Epiphany -- Service Prayers -- 6th Sunday

God’s Field
Service Prayers for the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany

Deuteronomy 30:15-20 or Sirach 15:15-20    
Psalm 119:1-8    1 Corinthians 3:1-9   Matthew 5:21-37

 

Call to Worship

One:          O lilies of the field, we of all colors and all varieties,

GOD calls us to hear the Word.

All:            As those who have been planted in faith,

we turn our flower faces to you, O GOD.

 

O people of the plains, the cities and the mountains,

we of all colors, theologies and life choices,

we are God’s field. 

Come into God’s sanctuary with joy!

            You have cultivated us, O GOD. 

Let us vine and blossom

And bear the fruit of your integrity.

 

O we of mustard seeds and wheat,

we of little faith and great, we come.

We come to the Living Waters,

to the Sun of love and light.  

We will drink of your ways, O GOD,

and we will sow your seeds.

 

O, all who are of the world,

come and see what GOD has grown.

We come to worship you. 

We stand in the sunshine of your living word.   

We prosper in your paths, O GOD,

as the lilies of your field.

 

Invocation

 

Great God-Gardener,

Creator of all living things,

you live with us today,

shining like the February sun,

and promising tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. 

The crocus tells us you are near

and the snow-drops make vows you alone can keep. 

May we find you in every blooming thing beneath

the snows of our lives. 

May we see you in the brightness of the morning

streaming through these windows. 

May we know you in the promise of

today and today and today –

becoming, always becoming.

 

Confession

 

Righteous God, we confess with sorrow

that we often forget who has given us light,

who has made our garden grow with waters of love. 

We forget your living word

and move off your paths to serve our own worldly desires. 

We leave your cultivated field

to venture out into the wilderness on our own. 

We quarrel with one another trying to decide

“who is the greatest.”

We make our own faces the benchmark for all faces. 

Help us to remember Jesus,

reconciling the whole variegated world in himself.   

 

Assurance of Pardon

 

Thank you for calling us back,

for never giving up on us when we turn aside,

for always loving us,

even when we forget who we are and who you are.

We know you, as the greatest Gardener of all,

who has promised always to replant us in flourishing fields.

 

Offering Invitation

 

Give away your self and your resources, so you can grow.

Give away your beauty and your energy, so your neighbor can grow.

Give away your love and hope, so that this church can grow.

Give, as you have been given.

 

Dedication

 

These gifts are our fruit, O God of all fields.

Each giver has made the choice between life and death,

blessings and curses.

We choose blessing.  We choose life.

May God’s promises be fulfilled

through the harvest of God’s garden in these our gifts. 

 

Benediction

 

The Law of Moses says:

“You can have life or death.  Which will you choose?”

We choose life.

The Law of Moses says:

“Obey the commandments of the Holy One, your God,

loving God, and walking in God’s ways, and you will grow.”

We choose to grow. 

 

The Law of Moses says: 

If you turn to your own ways, you will perish.

We choose God’s ways.

 

The Law of Moses interpreted by Jesus says:

“Love God above all and love your neighbor as yourself.”

 We choose to walk that talk.  Amen.

 

 

 

 


God’s Field: Service Prayers for the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany, Racial Justice Sunday was written by The Rev. Marilyn K. Levine, a United Church of Christ pastor, ministering to New Town United Church of Christ and Parshall Memorial Congregational Church on the Fort Berthold Reservation at Lake Sakakawea in northwest North Dakota.

Copyright 2011 Local Church Ministries, Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved. 

 

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CONTACT INFO

Rev. Susan A. Blain
Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
216-736-3869
blains@ucc.org