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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call to Worship
(contributed by Craig Nash)
we have arrived to plant our feet into the soil of God’s Kingdom,
to participate in God’s upside-down economy
which proclaims the poor will be lifted up,
and the rich can participate by bringing themselves low
we are the rich and we are the poor
praying for the courage to shed those things that weigh us down,
in hope that our need will draw us near to God
leaving, lighter, we will go with joy into the streets to preach this Good News
that God is with us, and God’s treasures are mercy, grace, and love.
2 Samuel 23:13-17
Towards the beginning of harvest three of the thirty chiefs went down to join David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the valley of Rephaim.
David was then in the stronghold; and the garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem. David said longingly, “O that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!”
Then the three warriors broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and brought it to David.
But he would not drink of it; he poured it out to the Lord, for he said, “The Lord forbid that I should do this. Can I drink the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives?”
Therefore he would not drink it. The three warriors did these things.
2 Corinthians 9:6-11
The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.
As it is written,
“He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us;
Jesus said, "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man's table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores.
The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried.
In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, `Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.'
But Abraham said, `Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.'
He said, `Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father's house-- for I have five brothers-- that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.'
Abraham replied, `They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.' He said, `No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'
He said to him, `If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
This week’s prayer was adapted from Walter Brueggemann by Craig Nash
The Noise of Politics
We watch as the jets fly in
with the power people and
the money people,
the suits, the budgets, the billions.
We wonder about monetary policy
because we are among the haves,
and about generosity
because we care about the have-nots.
By slower modes we notice
Lazarus and the poor arriving from Syria,
and the exiled from Central America, and
the throng of the marginalized
with their visions of inclusion and rest.
We wonder about peace and war,
about ecology and development,
about hope and entitlement.
We listen beyond jeering protesters and
soaring jets and
faintly we hear the mumbling of the crucified one,
feeding the hungry
and giving drink to the thirsty,
about clothing the naked,
and noticing the prisoners,
more about the least and about holiness among them.
We are moved by the mumbles of the gospel,
even while we are tenured in our privilege.
We are half ready to join the choir of hope,
half afraid things might change,
and in a third half of our faith turning to you,
and your outpouring love
that works justice and
that binds us each and all to one another.
So we pray amidst jeering protesters
and soaring jets.
Come by here and make new,
even at some risk to our entitlements.