After Pentecost 26C — October 30

The Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost
October 30, 2022
Luke 19:1-10
Welcome Jesus

Call to Worship
One: Come from every direction: north, south, east, and west.
Many: Let us welcome and worship Jesus in this sacred place!
One: Come bearing all your gifts: behind-the-scenes, quirky, unique, and more.
Many: Let us welcome and worship Jesus with zealous authenticity!
One: Come with all your identities: race, gender, sexuality, and all.
Many: Let us welcome and worship Jesus with our whole selves!

Welcome us, loving Jesus, as we now welcome you into our hearts, minds, and worship. Let us transform and be transformed by each other so that we might perceive your presence among us ever more clearly. Amen.

Prayer of Transformation & Words of Grace
We crowd each other out, clamoring for glimpses of and glances from Jesus. We get caught up in the hype, buzzing with the energy of and adrenaline from the crowds. Who wouldn’t? However, in so doing, we neglect the quiet opportunities to welcome Jesus into our homes and lives. <observe a brief stretch of silence>

We need not fret over our mistakes and missed chances of years and days past. God is forgiving and gracious. We are liberated from the things we cannot change and empowered to influence the things we can. No matter where we may go, God is always near.

Invitation to Generosity
When the crowds around Zacchaeus blocked his view of Jesus, he anticipated where Jesus would be and staked space in the sycamore tree to increase his ability to see. His foresight became a blessing as Jesus saw Zacchaeus and invited him down from the tree. Likewise, let us look ahead to where we can meet and welcome Jesus into our many ministries by generously sharing our various gifts today.

Prayer of Dedication and Thanksgiving
Thank you for choosing to receive these gifts that we now share with you, gracious God. Bless each offering – including our very selves – and let every single one be given in service to you. Amen.

Bless you in your coming and going. Bless you in your welcoming and being invited. Bless you in your doing and being. Bless you in your now and forever. Amen.

Welcome Jesus: Service Prayers for the Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost were written by The Rev. Phiwa Langeni is the Ambassador for Innovation & Engagement for the UCC’s CARDD, and the Founder and former Director of Salus Center in Lansing, MI.