Be Made Clean! 21st Century Worship Resources for the Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B
Call to Worship: Be Made Clean!
(Based on Mark 1:40-45)
Leader: Today is the day to cry out to our Lord:
People:If you are willing, cleanse us of our sins, make us whole.
Leader: Today is the day for us to make a choice;
People: No longer to be victims or captives,
But to be that healing witness in the world we have sought!
Leader: Today is the day to reach out to society's lepers,
To choose a faith of healing humanity and solidarity.
People: We do choose.
Be made clean!
(Invite worshipers to say these words to one another)
Meditation: God Bless My Enemies
"Lord bless my enemies" . . . how difficult those words are to say. It is much easier to create and hate enemies than to love them. We create enemies in sports, enemies in business, enemies in love. "It's so easy for "others" to become enemies.
What do we mean when we label others enemy? Does the label cancel our Christian responsibility to love that person? Does the label hide us from God's gaze so we can abuse others?
When Naaman, a high-ranking, enemy army commander suffered from leprosy, God used his apparent "enemies" to heal him. A captive Israelite servant girl and Elisha aided Naaman, while the king of Israel refused to help.
Do we "lay our religion down" because of our enemies? Or should God's decision to heal Naaman cause us to think otherwise and sincerely pray, "Lord bless my enemies"?
About the Authors: The Rev. Nathan Decker is the pastor of the Cheriton Charge on the Eastern Shore District and a clergy member of the Virginia Annual Conference. His great love is the diversity and inspiration of God's creative nature in worship.
The Rev. Dr. Kwasi Kena is the Director of Evangelism Resources at the Discipleship Ministries and a clergy member of the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference.