Pentecost 16–September 12

Wisdom Calls

Service Prayers for the 16th Sunday after Pentecost
September 12, 2021

CALL TO WORSHIP (from Mark 8: 27-30)
Jesus asks the disciples:
“Who do people say I am?”

They answer,
“Some say John the Baptist; some say Elijah;
and others say one of the prophets.”
But Jesus presses them:
“Who do you say I am?”

Peter answers,
“You are Christ—God’s anointed one, God-with-us!”
Now Jesus pushes us:
“What about you?
Here, in this moment, in this community,
Who do you say I am?”

Where do we find the wisdom to answer?

Holy Wisdom of God
You call to us from the depths of our hearts,
where we long for connection with you and with one another.
You call to us from busy streets and neighborhoods,
Where human pain and possibility are most urgent.
You call to us from our sacred stories,
where God, Christ, Spirit create, challenge, comfort.
Guide us, we pray, on an adventure of hope, and
help us see with your eyes
the ways which lead to beloved community
where Christ Jesus is at the center.

Christ calls on us to “lose our life in order to save it”;
To “take up our cross and follow”
in the ways of justice and peace.
Like the disciples before us,
we are often amazed and overwhelmed by this command.
We close our ears to such challenge and
our hearts to such risk.

God’s words and actions are never careless;
In sending Jesus Christ to the world, God offers a model and a companion,
A source of ever-flowing love and acceptance and wisdom.
In Christ we are forgiven all our failings, and given strength to start again.

The psalmist declares, “The heavens are telling the glory of God.
Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.”
Let us share our gifts
so that we can also partake in telling others of God’s glory!

All-knowing God, teach us to use these gifts
to create greater access, insights, and wisdom
for people within and outside of these walls. So be it!

Let us ponder the challenge of Jesus this week:
–Who do we say Christ is in our lives, our community, our world?
Let Holy Wisdom shine through all our pondering,
and lead us to recognize and serve our Risen Savior in all our encounters.

Wisdom Calls: Service Prayers for the 16th Sunday after Pentecost was written by the Rev. Dr. Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi, Iliff School of Theology, Denver, CO.

Copyright 2021, 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.

Pentecost 16–September 12