september 2017

Liturgy 9-24-2017

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 jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship
the One who is merciful, slow to anger,
and abounding in steadfast love

the One who delivered
Israel from Egypt,
and walked with them
in the wilderness

seeking to be formed by God’s Story

into people of mercy and compassion

and to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit

to tend to the Kingdom of God
wherever we go

Amen

Scripture

Exodus 16:2-15

The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.”

So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?”

And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.”

Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, ‘Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.’“ And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.

The Lord spoke to Moses and said, “I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’“

In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground.

When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.

Matthew 20:1-16

Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard.

When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same.

And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’

When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage.

Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’

But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Prayer

This week's prayer was from An Iona Prayer Book and is attributed to Sundar Singh (79).

O Lord God, I seek from thee no other gift but thyself
who are the giver of life and its blessings.
From thee I ask not for the world or its treasures,
but thee alone do I desire and long for.
The hunger and thirst of this heart of mine
can be satisfied only with thee who has given it birth.
Take away then from my heart all that is opposed to thee,
and enter and abide and rule for ever.

Amen.

Setlist 9-24-2017

This was the sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost.  Our songs were gathered with this in mind.  Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics.  Below the songs, you can find an example of one way you might think of these songs in light of this week's theme. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Future/Past by John Mark McMillan

Pulse by Jameson McGregor

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

Heart With No Companion by Leonard Cohen

Your Love is Strong by Jon Foreman

Doxology

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

Future/Past: We sang this song to put words to what we are doing when we gather for worship; namely, to locate ourselves within God's Story, which extends before and beyond the part that we occupy.  In locating ourselves within this Story, we both acknowledge that God bends low to encounter us as we are, and greets us with love, and we also make ourselves aware that the way God relates to creation in this Story places a claim on how we are to relate to everything God has made if we are to call ourselves the body of Christ.

Pulse: This song is a confession of our tendency to be selective with our love for people, such that we withhold this love from people we deem to be "others." This confession includes a petition for the Spirit to awaken us to our interconnectivity with the rest of Creation and to relate to everyone we encounter as a creature who is worthy of love.

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go: This song praises God's faithfulness to us despite our own inconsistent commitments to God.  

Heart With No Companion: This song is a reminder of God's solidarity with the hopeless, and a proclamation that the love of God meets us at our lowest points.

Your Love Is Strong: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about Your Love Is Strong then: This song gives us words to acknowledge the work of God in our lives in both mundane and significant ways, and rises into an offering of the Lord's Prayer, where we essentially ask God to keep showing up and to transform us into people who relate to one another in a way that is transformed by the grace we have received.

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.

-JM

Liturgy 9-17-2017

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 jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship the Lord of Mercy

the One who pulls life out of death

to look back on what God has done

and to look ahead to what God is doing

and to invite the Spirit to continue to shape us

into people who live and move
like Christ in the world

amen

Scripture

Exodus 14:19-31

The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night. 

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea.

The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.

The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. At the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic.

He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.” So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth.

As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained.

But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. 

Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

Matthew 18:21-35

Peter came and said to Jesus, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. 

“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made.

So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt.

But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’

Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place.

Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’

And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Prayer

This week's prayer was from An Iona Prayer Book and is attributed to the Syrian Church (14).

Lord, open to us the sea of your mercy
and water us with full streams
from the riches of your grace
and the springs of your kindness.
Make us children of quietness and heirs of peace;
kindle in us the fire of your love
and strengthen our weakness by your power
as we become close to you and to each other.

Amen.

Setlist 9-17-2017

This was the fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost.  Our songs were gathered with this in mind.  Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics.  Below the songs, you can find an example of one way you might think of these songs in light of this week's theme. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Come Thou Fount

Amazing Grace by Citizens & Saints

Your Love is Strong by Jon Foreman

Breathe for Me by Jameson McGregor

There's A Wideness In God's Mercy  by Jameson McGregor (adapted from F. Faber)

Doxology

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

Come Thou Fount: When this song is in the set, we almost always sing it first.  This is because it offers us language to orient our attention toward inviting God to shape us around who God has been for the people of God in the past.  By some measure, one of our main concerns in our liturgy is to remember the work of God in the world.  This implication is made most plain in the second stanza that talks about raising an Ebenezer, which, if you don't know, is a monument to signify God's showing up in a time of need.  It is a monument of remembrance.  The song also has some significant themes of God's faithfulness to us, and a petition for God to transform us through God's Story.  During Ordinary time, this is doubly significant, because it mirrors the part of the story that we now find ourselves in--Christ has died, Christ has risen, and Christ will come again (but hasn't yet).  These words serve to reorient us toward God in a time where we are left to work with the Spirit to look for and lean into the inbreaking of the Kingdom in our particular time and place.

Amazing Grace: We sang this song to remind ourselves of the grace of God both in our particular stories and the larger Story in which we find ourselves.  In the context of this week's sermon text, this song served to remind us of the forgiveness extended to us through the grace of God that we are called to extend to those who wrong us.

Your Love Is Strong: This song gives us words to acknowledge the work of God in our lives in both mundane and significant ways, and rises into an offering of the Lord's Prayer, where we essentially ask God to keep showing up and to transform us into people who relate to one another in a way that is transformed by the grace we have received.

Breathe For Me: This song is a prayer for re-creation.  It gives voice to the sort of wearing thin that comes about when we live in a broken world, and asks the Spirit of God to form us anew and breathe life into us.

There's A Wideness In God's Mercy: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about There's A Wideness In God's Mercy then: This song is a reminder to us that God's mercy is greater than we deem reasonable, and that our thinking is much more bound by rules than God's.  We sang it to proclaim the good news, and to challenge ourselves together to imagine the breadth of God's mercy.

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.

-JM

Liturgy 9-10-2017

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 jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship the Living God

with our songs
with our prayers
with our attention

to locate ourselves within God’s story

and to offer our stories to God

and to seek the Spirit to form us more fully in the way of Christ

so that we might take up
the love of Christ as our own

amen.

Scripture