Home Equipping Leaders African American 21st Century Worship Resources for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

21st Century Worship Resources for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

Gathering Meditation or Prayer
All-Knowing God,
John the Baptizer was willing to give up his life to serve you.
Jesus was willing to give up his life for us.
Paul encouraged Christians everywhere
to present themselves as living sacrifices to God.

Yet some of us struggle to sacrifice TV or tennis, pleasures or pastimes
For a few minutes of weekly worship.

Teach us to value the faith enough to invest in it.
Teach us to love you
more than we love pleasure or comfort or safety.
Make us ready to speak truth to power,
and to defend justice and righteousness regardless of the cost.
Just like John.

Amen.

(Safiyah Fosua)


Call to Worship
(Based on Ephesians 1:3-14)

One: Before we were born
Many: Before we breathed
One: Before we could talk
Many: Before we could sing
One: Before we could walk
Many: Before we could dance
One: Before we knew anything
Many: God blessed us.
One: Through Christ.
Many: God chose us
One: In Christ
Many: God destined us for adoption.
One: In Christ, there is redemption.
Many: Through Christ, there is salvation.
One: What is our response?
Many: We gather to worship;
We gather to hear the word of truth.

(Kwasi Kena)


Prayer of Confession
(Based on Mark 6:14-29)

Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him . . . (Mark 6:20)

Herod solemnly swore to his daughter Herodias, Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom . . . The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse. (Mark 6:22, 26)

Lord, at times we pretend to be . . . noble. We keep our word and defend our reputation at the expense of others. To what lengths will we go to protect our reputation -- even when we're completely wrong?

Silence

Lord, forgive us for caring more about how we appear before others than about how we appear before you. Have mercy on us. Silence

Words of Assurance

Hear the good news. God's grace is greater than our pretense. God's grace overcomes our shortcoming. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.

(To one another) In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.

(Kwasi Kena)



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.

Safiyah Fosua is also a former staff member of Discipleship Ministries, currently serving as Assistant Professor of Christian Worship at Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University. Fosua is a clergy member of the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference.

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