Home Equipping Leaders African American 21st Century Africana Worship Resources for the Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost, Year A

21st Century Africana Worship Resources for the Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost, Year A

Call to Worship
(Based on Psalm 133, CEV, TNIV, NRSV)

Speaker 1: It is truly wonderful when relatives live together in peace.

People: It is like the dew falling on mountains, where the LORD has promised to bless his people with life forevermore.

Speaker 2: How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity!

People: It is as if the dew were falling on God's mountain.

Speaker 3: For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.

People: How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!

All: It is like the dew that falls on the mountains, for there the LORD ordained his blessing, life for evermore.

Hymn: De Gospel Train (Git on Board), Songs of Zion, 116

Scripture Reading
(Adapted from Genesis 45:1-15, CEV)

Female Voice: When Joseph was alone with his brothers, he told them,

Male Voice "I am Joseph."

Female Voice: Then he cried so loudly that the Egyptians heard him and told about it in the king's palace. Joseph asked his brothers if his father was still alive, but they were too frightened to answer. Joseph told them to come closer to him, and when they did, he said:

Male Voice: Yes, I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt. Don't worry or blame yourselves for what you did. God is the one who sent me ahead of you to save lives. Now hurry back and tell my father that his son Joseph says, "God has made me ruler of Egypt. Come here as quickly as you can. You will live near me in the region of Goshen with your children and grandchildren, as well as with your sheep, goats, cattle, and everything else you own. I will take care of you there during the next five years of famine. But if you don't come, you and your family and your animals will starve to death."

Female Voice: Joseph and Benjamin hugged each other and started crying. Joseph was still crying as he kissed each of his other brothers. After this, they started talking with Joseph.

Gracious God, We are a people who strive with one another, but we remember.
We remember Joseph whose brothers threw him away,
but he forgave them and became their salvation.
We remember Jacob and Esau who fought in their mother's womb,
but they became reconciled on the battlefield.
We remember your people, who suffered in exile, and Queen Esther who took a stand 'for such a time as this' to end the strife.

And still we strive against one another.
Our brothers strive against sisters,
Mothers and fathers strive against daughters and sons
(Offer silent prayer for families.)

We strive among races, among nations, among classes.
We strive across the miles and across the ages.
We strive in the Christian family, in the human family.
(Invite the prayers of the people for these concerns.)

But Jesus prayed for our unity.

Almighty God, You reconciled us to yourself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
You created one humanity out of the two.
You have broken down the dividing wall of hostility.
You say there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free…

You say, "How good it is for us to dwell in unity."
You say "There's plenty good room."
You say, "Git on board, there's room for many more."
You say, "Lay down your sword and shield down by the riverside and study war no more."

Hymn: "Down By the Riverside"
Gonna lay down my sword and shield
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
Gonna lay down my sword and shield
Down by the riverside
Ain't gonna study war no more.

About the Author: Tony Peterson is a former staff member of Discipleship Ministries.

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