Pentecost -- Ordinary Time -- Service Prayers -- Proper 17

Look Who’s Invited!
Service Prayers for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 17 (Semicontinuous)

Jeremiah 2:4-13  Psalm 81:1, 10-16         
Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16    Luke 14: 1, 7-14

 

Radical hospitality is a theme of both the lesson from Hebrews and Jesus’ parable of the banquet in Luke. Find creative ways to build your service around these images!  Consider a Communion celebration: set a festive table at the front of the sanctuary and invite the congregants to find a place; leave a place open for “angels” to be entertained. Organize an agape feast as worship, and celebrate it in the context of a potluck picnic in a local park.    Invite people to bring food to donate to the food pantry. Celebrate all the ways that God fills our lives with good things and calls us to share the bounty with others.

 

Call to Worship (Based on Psalm 81)

            Sing aloud to God our strength and shout with joy:

            God, our Host, welcomes us.                                                           

            God reminds us,

            “I brought you out of the land of Egypt and fed you along the way:”

            When we opened our mouths, God filled us with good things.

            God calls us to walk the path of faithfulness, trusting the promise:

            a feast for all--  

            freshly-baked bread, hot from the oven,

            and sweet honey to satisfy our hunger.

            Let us worship God!

 

Invocation

            Hospitable God, you invite us to a banquet

            where the last may be first,

            and the humble and the mighty trade places.

            Let us share your abundance with no fear of scarcity;

            let us greet strangers as angels you have sent!

            Send your Spirit now

            so that we may find a place at your table

            and welcome others with radical hospitality.

            In the name of Jesus, Guest at all our tables, we pray.  Amen.

 

Confession and Assurance of Pardon               (Based on Jeremiah 2)

            Dear God, we have known you since the time

            you led our ancestors from bondage to freedom.

            We have found no fault in your promise. 

            Yet we wander from the path that you have set and

            put our faith in other “gods”

            which lead us away from justice, compassion and hospitality. 

            We forsake your blessing.

 

            Forgive our faithlessness and our arrogance.

            Restore us to right relationship with you and all those in our midst.

 

            God is merciful and slow to anger.

            God seeks the lost and extends the invitation again and again.

            God welcomes us when we turn to God.

            Friends, believe the Good News of the Gospel,

 

            In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. 


Call to Offering and Dedication

            As God has welcomed us,

            let us extend God’s blessings by sharing our tithes and offerings

            in support of Christ’s ministry today.

 

            Dear God, you have offered us a place at the table

            and you have called us to share without expectation of being repaid.

            You have called us to make a place for the poor,

            the outcast and the oppressed.

            So we ask that you bless these resources

            so that they might support ministries of compassion and justice

            until all of your children have a place at the table. Amen.


Benediction

            As you have feasted at the table at God’s invitation,

            go into the world renewed and restored.

            Go into the world to share to Good News

            that there is a place for everyone at God’s banquet table.

            Go into the world to share God’s bounty. Amen.

 


 

Look Who’s Invited!  Service Prayers for the Fourteenth 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
Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
216-736-3869
blains@ucc.org