Sunday, January 24, 2016

Church on the blog

WE CALL OURSELVES TO WORSHIP 


The sky unfolds the story of your presence;
The firmament tells of the work of your hands.
Day after day overflows with speech;
Night after night breathes out knowledge.
 

There is no word or phrase
In which the voice of your creation is not heard.
Your testimony is faithful,
Enlightening those who do not understand. 


Your decisions are true;
Taken together, they prove righteous
They are more valuable than gold,
More than refined gold in abundance. 


May the words from our mouths
And the contemplations of all our hearts
Be in keeping with your will,
God, my Rock and my Redeemer. 


— from The Complete Psalms: The Book of Prayer Songs in a New Translation by Pamela Greenberg, Psalm 19 


*Hymn “Praise with Joy the World’s Creator” #273 



WE OPEN OURSELVES TO GOD’S PRESENCE (unison) 


Throughout the Bible, Holy One, you spoke to and through your prophets. You spoke to Moses through a burning bush. You spoke to Elijah in a gentle whisper. Miriam and Hannah, Deborah and Mary sang of your justice and compassion. 

Today, your voice continues to sound all around us: in the whistling wind, the ocean’s mighty roar, in the cacophony of the daily news. In our quiet times, your whisper touches our deepest thoughts. Open our ears to hear your call. 

In the synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus read from the scripture that the Spirit of the Lord “has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor, freedom for the prisoners, and recovery of sight for the blind.” He told listeners that “today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” All heard, yet many did not receive his words. 

Open our ears to receive your call, Holy One. Open our eyes and loosen our tongues. For if we, your church, do not speak out to end racism and poverty, who will? If we, your church, do not call for social justice and environmental awareness, who will? If we, your church, do not proclaim the good news to those we meet on life’s way, who will? Speak to us and help us be your voice in a world that so desperately needs to hear it. AMEN. 


— written by John Micklos, Jr. 


WE LISTEN FOR THE WORD OF GOD 


The Written Word: Luke 4:14-21 


Response to the reading: 

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Thanks be to God. 


*Hymn “I Am the Light of the World” #584 


The Word Interpreted “Why Are We Here?” 


WE OFFER OUR GIFTS TO GOD 


Offertory Anthem: “Jesus, Lord, We Look to Thee”       Forrest

Financial and Food Gifts 

*Doxology: Praise God, Creator of the earth;
                    Praise God made flesh with Jesus’ birth;
                    Praise God within each living soul;
                    Praise God in whom we are made whole. 


*Prayer of Dedication

Even as we gather these gifts, Holy One, our hearts falter. Are they enough? Are we enough? Does what we do, who we are, make a difference? O God, transform what we offer, even our lives, that by our giving, our fear and doubt would become hope that sustains, good news for the poor, freedom for
prisoners, vision for those who can’t see the way forward. AMEN. 



WE GO FORTH TO SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS 


*Hymn: “Go, Tell It on the Mountain” #154 


Benediction:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon us, Church. We are the Body of Christ. We too have been anointed to bring this good news, to proclaim release, to give sight where it is needed, to let the oppressed go free. 

If not us, then who? If not now, then when?

Amen.
 



Benediction Song #160 


We will follow the light,
Beautiful light,
Come where the dewdrops of mercy are bright,
Shine all around us by day and by night,
Jesus, the light of the world.


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