After Pentecost 25C – October 23

The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
October 23, 2022
Joel 2:23-32
“Repay the Years”

Call to Worship

It is a time of good rain, early and abundant,
that renews and does not flood.

We are the gatherers
of all that nourishes body and soul,
for we work
among a harvest of possibility.

It is a time of good trouble,
bringing justice without violence,
a time of unexpected spirit
bringing new words, understandings.

We are the Everyone
who receives God’s spirit,
the Everyone who shares God’s spirit,
in spoken word and Sign,
in song, text, Braille, code, hand-reaching.

You are gatherers, who are not washed away,
the troublemakers of a trouble called love,
the Anyone, dangerously open.


God, we come from years of losses – pandemic years, disappointment years, hiding years – and from broken days, wasted hours, painful moments. Yet our hands are out, expecting love so wide it seeps through our fingers. We hold only what we share. We receive only what is shared with us – worship blessings, life blessings, surprising blessings. amen

Prayer for Transformation and New Life
God, we have put your people to shame. We have shamed people because of color, age, size, gender identity, sexual orientation, sensory difference, cognitive difference, life choices influenced by faith, politics, mobility, memory, mental illness diagnoses.

God, we have not been ashamed of shaming your children, but we have often been decided we know your preferences and been ashamed of ourselves. That too is sin. Like locusts we have turned against ourselves, swarmed against, and cut off life. We ask, O Holy One, for your forgiveness. amen

Words of Grace

God repays our unlove with love. God repays our cursings of ourselves and others with a forgiveness that always makes harvest even from desolation. Thanks and thanks abundant.

Invitation to Generosity

We are invited to repay the grace we have received with our resources, time, abilities, compassion from a deep and wide place of gratitude. These gifts are for prophesies, dreams, and hopes of the future from all your children. [include directions for receiving in the particular church.] Be generous, my friends, with repaying, repraising, repairing,

Prayer of Dedication and Thanksgiving

God, you who have everything, we bring our offering and enter your spirit. This is your generosity to us — we can share with you in the giving and receiving of gifts. May these be blessed for each use, and may we be blessed by letting go plenty and learning need. Amen.

May you be blessed by the least expected people,
recognize plenty after empty,
and feel an incognito inner urge
to be the Spirit’s lungs and tongues.

Repay the Years: Service Prayers for the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost were written by Maren C. Tirabassi, a UCC pastor, author of fiction and non-fiction, and also a hiker in autumn leaves and a lover of fireside moments in the company of dogs, reading poetry and novels and finding myself praying.