Home Equipping Leaders African American We, the Church, Are the People of God: A 21st Century Worship Resource for Epiphany 5A

We, the Church, Are the People of God: A 21st Century Worship Resource for Epiphany 5A

Call to Worship

Leader: Long ago the Lord spoke to the people of God through the prophet Isaiah, saying: "You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified."

People: Today, we, the church, are the people of God, the Lord's servant.

Leader: Then the Lord is speaking to us, saying: "In you and your witness, I will be glorified."

People: We are honored in the sight of the Lord.
In the Lord's holy name, we will serve the people of God.

Leader: The Lord says that is not enough. The Lord says: "I will give you as a light to the nations that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."

People: The Lord, the Redeemer, the Holy One has spoken.
We trust that the Lord is faithful and will strengthen us, for we are the chosen people of God.

Invitation to Confession
The Lord has spoken through the prophets and apostles, proclaiming that we are the people of God. We are intended to bring honor and glory to God and to be a light to the nations of the world. We are, in fact, to be Christ-like. Knowing what we are supposed to be and very much aware of what we are, let us go to the Lord in a spirit of true confession, as we pray together…


Prayer of Confession


We know that you have called us, God.
We know that you have selected us to be your people.
We are charged with the responsibility of being the Light of the world.
Help us, God, our Good Shepherd, for we are weak.

Instead of speaking your truth in love, we too often remain silent.
Instead of standing up for the right in the face of opposition, we sometimes shudder in the shadows.
Instead of inclusivity, we practice exclusion.
Instead of being witnesses to your way of love and forgiveness,
we give in to the worldly path of hatred and violence.
We are frequently afraid of being Your Servants, and at times we claim we do not know what to do.

All we can do is to stand before you, weak and sinful, and rely upon your mercy.
Forgive us, Lord. Shed your grace and peace upon us. Amen.

Silent Confession

Words of Assurance
If we truly confess our wrongs and acknowledge our sin, God is faithful and merciful, willing to forgive our sins and cleanse us of unrighteousness. We are in fellowship with Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen.

Benediction
God sends us forth, promising to strengthen us for the work we are called to do. The grace of God is given us; the peace of Christ goes with us, and the presence of the Holy Spirit strengthens us for our tasks. Go, be the light of the world…


The Rev. Dr. Steven F. Plymale currently serves as the Lead Pastor at Mount Pisgah UMC and as Adjunct Professor of New Testament at the Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University, Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Plymale has been under appointment for almost 40 years. Much of his study and writing has been devoted to prayer in the New Testament.

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