Pentecost -- Ordinary Time -- Service Prayers -- Proper 21

 Living the Life that is Really Life
(Or, how to trust God, not wealth)
Service Prayers for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 21 (Semicontinuous)

 Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15         Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16       
1 Timothy 6:6-19        Luke 16:19-31

 

Today’s texts present a powerful contrast. Jeremiah shows hope and confidence in God’s by buying a field even as enemy armies besiege Jerusalem. The prophet sees a day when the land will be restored to productivity and lives according to the promise of God. The epistle and gospel lesson offer clear warnings about the temptation of greed and efforts to find security in wealth. In a time of ongoing economic uncertainty, these are words of counsel and comfort.

 

Call to WORSHIP (Psalm 91)

One:                You who live in the presence of the Most High

            and sleep in the shadow of the Almighty will say to God:

All:                  You are my refuge and my fortress.

                        I put my trust in you.

 

One:                God will save you from hidden traps and

                        protect you from deadly hazards.

All:                  God’s arms protect.

                        God’s shelter is safe.

 

One:                We need not fear:

                        not wolves at night or flying arrows in the day,

                        not disease that prowls at midnight nor

                        disaster that erupts at high noon.

All:                  God says, “I will deliver those who love me.

                        If you hold fast to me, I will protect you from harm.”

 

One:                God says, “When you call, I will answer.

                        I’ll be with you in times of trouble.

                        I will rescue you and honor you.

All:                  Praise be to God!

 

Prayer of Invocation

            Loving God,

            we give thanks for your faithfulness

            which extends from generation to generation.

            We give thanks for your promise of hope and

            praise you for your justice.

            We give thanks for your care for the poor and the oppressed.

            Reveal yourself to us during this worship,

            so that we may see you more clearly

            and understand your loving-kindness for all of creation.

            Show us the life that is really life in you:                 

            We ask in the confidence of the promise you made long ago. Amen.

 

Call to Confession

            God calls us again and again to right relationship

            with God’s own self and all of creation.

            God welcomes us when we return.

            God restores us when we find our comfort in God.

            Join with me now as we turn to God in a spirit of confession.

 

Prayer of Confession (In unison)

            We are the children of a loving God and heirs to a great promise.

            God promises to protect and shelter us from danger.

            Even in times of war and distress,

            God strengthened our ancestors with a word of hope.

            Yet we cling to fear and try to protect ourselves

            with wealth and possessions that do not satisfy.

            Forgive us, God, for our lack of faith and our faltering love for you.

            Restore us and renew our hope. Amen.

 

Assurance of Pardon

            The God who created us is the God who guides us.

            The God who cautions us not to set our hopes on riches

            is the God who promises to provide everything for our enjoyment.

            God calls us today to take hold of the life that is really life.

            Friends, believe the Good News of the Gospel:

            In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

 

Call to Offering

          God calls us to live faithfully, and to invest our lives in the service of hope;

            God calls us to “fight the good fight” in the service of justice;

            God calls us to attend to the needs around us,

            and to be generous in the service of compassion.         

            In response to all the ways in which God has blessed our lives

            and continues to offer the promise of life in communion with God,

            let us give thanks through the presentation of our tithes and offerings.

 

Prayer of Dedication

Dear God, we give you thanks for the blessings of our lives

and for the promise of everlasting life in communion with you.  

We offer these gifts as a small expression of our gratitude.  

Accept them and use them to build a world

            where all have food and clothing

            and where all know your love. Amen.

 

Benediction

Go into the world restored and renewed.  

Go into the world assured of God’s goodness.  

Go into the world knowing that our hope rests

not in our possessions but in God’s promise.

May that knowledge inspire you to serve all that you see

in the name of the God of life.  Amen.

 

 


Living the Life that is Really Life  (Or, how to trust God, not wealth): Service Prayers for the 18th Sunday After Pentecost, was written by the Rev. Christopher Ney, Pastor of Central Congregational Church, UCC, of Newburyport, MA.

Copyright 2010 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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Rev. Susan A. Blain
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