Epiphany 6C–February 13, 2022
Service Prayers for the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany C
February 13, 2022
One of the key aspects of intergenerational worship is accessibility to all ages, and opportunities for each age group to learn from the others. There is no need to simplify all of the words used, as children should be exposed to the key elements of the language of our faith as they mature. However, painting vivid images with words, and incorporating as many of the five senses as possible, is helpful for all ages.
Jeremiah 17:5-10 Psalm 1 I Corinthians 15:12-20 Luke 6:17-26
Provide small stones (small enough to fit in the palm of one’s hand) for each person present. For those attending worship virtually, instruct them to bring a small stone or meaningful object with them to use during the ritual.
CALL TO WORSHIP
One: Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God..
Many: We are each a child of God.
No matter who we are, or where we are on life’s journey,
we are blessed.
One: Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.
Many: We come to worship the God who feeds us, who fills us, and who blesses us.
One: Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
All: Let us rejoice in the love of God,
and worship our God together in prayer, song, and praise.
O God of many blessings, be with us in our joy and in our sorrow.
Help us to reach out with your love to those in need,
that we may not be satisfied until all are fed.
Bless each of us here, and all who cannot be present with us today.
Shower your blessings on our worship, as we pray all this through Jesus the Christ,
our teacher and our guide.
We try to care for each other, especially when there is pain and sorrow,
and when we witness injustice.
But we cannot find blessing in poverty and hunger.
Sometimes it feels just too hard to offer relief or to work for change.
We prefer to stay in our comfortable spaces or choose to walk past those in need.
Sometimes we are afraid.
Forgive us when we serve ourselves more often than we serve you, O God.
We come to you with humble hearts.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
One: God knows your mind and knows your heart.
God forgives those who seek forgiveness with sincere hearts and minds.
God offers grace of hope and courage to change our ways and confront injustice.
Blessed are those who trust in God, whose trust is in God.
Know that you are loved and forgiven.
Many: Thanks be to God.
SCRIPTURE Luke 6: 17-26
Invite the congregation to hold up their hands to bless each other each time they hear the word “blessed.” Encourage them to face a different direction with each “blessed” in order to focus their blessing hands on as many different people as possible.
Tell the story of your choice of a famous person of color (in recognition of Racial Justice Sunday) who had been oppressed, and share how they lived their life in a way that demonstrated the blessedness described in Jesus’ teachings from Luke 6:17-26. What will happen when we view the oppressed as blessed in this way? What impact can we have on living out Jesus’ definition of blessed?
Invite all present to hold their stone in the palm of one hand and cover it with the palm of the other. Have them become aware of how the stone feels, and how the heat from their hands is warming the stone. Invite them to imagine that this warmth is God’s love and that it is surrounding them in a kind of blessing. Then have them think of someone who needs God’s love and blessings, and imagine that the warmth they are feeling is being transferred to that person and is surrounding them with God’s love. Invite everyone to say a silent blessing for the person they are thinking of, then imagine that blessing being transferred into their stone. Tell them that after worship, they may give that blessed stone to someone — at church, at home, or at another place they frequent — who they believe could use the particular blessing they put into their stone.
Sing together the fourth stanza of “Your Ways Are Not Our Own” (from The New Century Hymnal):
How shall we show your love, your pardon to believe?
You bid us share as we are blessed and give as we receive.
Gracious and loving God, who blesses us with so many good gifts, we bring these offerings with the hope of turning tears to laughter, and sorrow to joy. May they truly be a blessing. Amen.
If possible, have the congregation stand in a circle around the perimeter of your meeting space, and include the screen of virtual attendees, if you have one, in this circle. Invite them to raise their hands toward the opposite side of the circle in order to bless each other into the coming week as the Benediction is given:
Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
May you be like trees planted by streams of water,
which bear fruit at just the right time, and like them, may you prosper in all you do.
May God bless you and give you peace.
Blessed: Service Prayers for Epiphany 6C was written by Debbie Gline Allen, Commissioned Minister of Christian Formation, who serves as Minister of Faith Formation for the Southern New England Conference, and as the Director of its Faith Formation Leadership Program.
Copyright 2022 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.