This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies. If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email email@example.com.
Call to Worship
we have gathered to worship the Living God,
the One who is with us,
and behind us
to enter into the story of God,
who is in us, beneath us, and above us,
on our right, and our left
to find our stories formed in the way of Christ,
in our lying down in our getting up
that the Spirit might shape our minds
to find Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of us
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of us,
Christ in every eyes that sees us
and Christ in every ear that hears us
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”
And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.” But the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.” He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.”
Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Then he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.” But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”
He brought him all these and cut them in two, laying each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon him.
When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates.”
Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears.
Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.
This prayer accompanied a time of silence for the victims of the mosque shootings in New Zealand:
Living God, we are for you, and it is to you that we return.
We come to you grieved by the display of evil that claimed the lives of 50 of your children in Christchurch this week.
We pray for the community that is learning to live in a world without some people that they love in it, and ask that you would grant them comfort and peace.
For those who are still in intensive care, we ask that you would grant them healing and strength.
We pray for the shooter, that the Light of your love would pierce the veil of the hatred he has embodied.
We ask also that you would care for our Muslim neighbors, both in New Zealand, and Waco, as they carry this story with them. Protect them from harm, unjust aggression and discrimination, breathe healing into their wounds, and teach us what it means to be Christ to them.
We are aware of the overwhelming scope of that which we cannot do about the evil in our world, but we ask that you would give us eyes to see the scope of that which we can.