Home Equipping Leaders African American 21st Century Worship Resources for Pentecost 21B

21st Century Worship Resources for Pentecost 21B

Gathering Meditation
[For Job 38:1-7 (34-41)]

Lord, you know how many times I thought I knew...
How to run my life
How to fix their problems, and
How you should answer prayer.

But each time, through trauma or tragedy, hardship or hard times, you remind me how much I don't know about your will. Though I may not like it at the time, please remind me that you are God and I am not. Ask me questions I can't answer. Give me answers I can't comprehend. Remind me that you laid the earth's foundation. That you speak and the winds obey. That you squeeze the clouds 'til rain falls. Then, give me the good sense to hold my peace and meditate on what you've just said.

Call to Worship (For Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c)

May be used as a choral reading with 3 voices and the congregation or as a typical call to worship with the leader leading parts for voices 1, 2, and 3 and the congregation.

Voice 1: Praise God in the sanctuary!
All: Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Voice 2: Look at God!
Voice 3: Robed in majesty
Voice 1: Clothed with honor.
Voice 2: Dressed in glory. Voice 3: Garments of wonderful light.
All: Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Voice 1: Look at God!
Voice 2: Flung heaven across the sky.
Voice 3: Walks on the clouds.
Voice 1: Rides on the wind.
Voice 2: Speaks through fire.
Voice 3: No one is greater than our God!
All: Bless the Lord.
Voice 1: For God is Great!
All: Bless the Lord.
Voice 2: For God is Wonderful!
All: Bless the Lord.
Voice 3: The whole earth declares your glory.
All: Bless the Lord. Bless the Lord. Bless the Lord, O my soul.

Prayer of Confession
(Mark 10:35-45)

Gracious God, we confess that too often we clamor for attention. Me! Me! Look at how important I am. That's what our actions say. Like James and John, we pray selfish prayers, for power, for position, for prestige -- for what? So that people will say how great we are? Teach us that true greatness comes from humble service. Show us how to roll up our sleeves, dig in, and lend a hand -- even when no one else will. Preoccupy us with humility; then greatness can come when we least expect it. Give us the grace to live as humble servants. Amen.

Words of Assurance

Know that Jesus, who came not to be served but to serve, hears our prayers. Know that this same Jesus hears and forgives us. Walk with lifted heads and bowed hearts. Go now as humble children of God, ready and willing to serve.


May the Lord Jesus Christ, who ransomed himself for your salvation, bless you and keep you. May the Lord, who came not to be served, but to serve, bless you with humility. Go now, seeking neither glory nor fame. Go to seek greatness by serving others to the glory of God. Amen.

The Rev. Dr. Kwasi I. Kena is a former staff member of Discipleship Ministries, currently serving as Assistant Professor of Christian Ministry at Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University. Kena is a clergy member of the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.