United Church of Christ

Pentecost 8 - July 26

Kin-dom Wisdom
Prayers for the Eighth Sunday of Pentecost
July 26, 2020

  1 Kings 3:5-12 * Psalm 119:129-136  •  Romans 8:26-39  •  Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

Call to Worship  Mt 13: 31-33; 44-52

The kin-dom of heaven is like:
A tiny mustard seed that carries the life of a tree
The kin-dom of heaven is like:
A tiny portion of yeast that makes bread rise
The kin-dom of heaven is like:
A tiny pearl of great price
that we would give  all our “stuff” to have
The kin-dom of heaven is like:
A fishing boat filled with catch—good and bad together—
With fisherfolk wise to recognize the good.

Invocation

Holy One,
you call us to find your kin-dom
already hidden in our world—
in tiny, transforming possibilities;
in beauty that calls us to surrender all;
in complicated choices that call for wisdom.
Reveal yourself here in this moment
And heighten our senses that we may  find you
And join you in building this kin-dom of love, and hope, and peace.
In the name of the One who calls us to seek,
Jesus, the Christ.  Amen.

Prayer  for Grace and Wisdom 1 Kings 3:5-12

In today’s reading from 1 Kings 3, The Holy One asks Solomon,
newly come to the throne,
to ask for any gift. 
Solomon ponders,
and asks for the gift that will enable him to serve the people of God best: 
an understanding heart, to know good from evil, and to lead the people in wisdom.
There were other reasonable gifts that Solomon could have chosen;
But he put the needs of the people at the center of his desire.

Let’s take a moment in silence to consider our lives,
the many competing needs that confront us;
Let’s ask for the discernment and wisdom that Solomon longed for,
that our choices may reflect generosity and the common good.

Silence

Assurance of Grace  Psalm 119:129-136 

Holy One,  your word gives light and understanding to all;
we open ourselves to you in prayer
and find you already in our hearts,
leading us in the way of justice, compassion, and peace;
calling us to find you in our neighbors’ need as well.
We give thanks.

Scripture, Sermon, Prayers of the People

Notes for the worship planners in 2020:

  • Consider a simple message or even an  interactive Bible Study that engages people with the Scriptures for today.  The Romans passage offers poignant insight into the pain of people who have sustained loss of family, of livelihood, of health, of independence of movement.  The Spirit may meet us in our pain and pray for us “with sighs too deep for words.”  This may be a moment to engage the congregation in their experience of this time, their laments, their sorrow, their hard to  articulate hopes.  At prayer time, invite them to light a candle to represent a prayer for which they do not yet have words.

  • For the Prayers of the People, you might use a bidding prayer (“God, we pray today for those who are sick, including ….”) and encourage folk to type in their prayers using Zoom chat or Facebook Live; allow for more time in silence for those prayers to be typed and read. Consider a collective response at the end of each bidding prayer.

  • A caution regarding prayers of the People online: Folks gathered in-person often recount a lot of detail in their prayers concerning other members or family (“Elderly Name, living alone, experiencing isolation…”  In  a private, in-person gathering, this information may be safe, but online, it can expose vulnerable people to harm, since we can’t control who will join the gathering or access it later online.  Invite people to be prudent in offering prayers:  “For First name only, in need of healing”; “For First name only, comfort in grief”  etc. 

Encourage people to contact the pastor directly with news of those needed extra pastoral care

Invitation to the Offering

Our God calls us to seek and find the hints of the Kin-dom in our world,
and to nurture its growth among us.
We will use our gifts, tithes and offerings to rebuild the body of Christ.

Dedication Prayer

Grow these gifts in your love,
Bless our offerings, our hearts and our hopes in your love
To make us worthy of your work for your Kin-dom in heaven,
And among us here, even now.
Fill these gifts and each of us with your goodness. Amen.

Benediction

Go forth in Wisdom, in hope, in courage
With hearts open to recognize the signs of the reign of God in our midst,
and courage to create more space for grace in our lives and our world.

Kin-dom Wisdom was written by the Rev. Susan A. Blain, Minister for Worship and Gospel Arts,
Faith INFO Ministry Team, UCC.

Copyright 2020  Local Church Ministries, Faith INFO 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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