Home Equipping Leaders African American Who Do You Say That I Am?  A 21st Century Resource for the Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost, Year A

Who Do You Say That I Am?  A 21st Century Resource for the Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost, Year A

Call to Worship

Leader: Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"

People: And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

Leader: He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

People: Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."

Leader: But who do you say he is?

People: We gather because we believe Jesus is the Son of the living God, and we want to be his loyal followers.

Invitation to Confession
It seems so hard to be a follower of Jesus, to believe in the living God so completely that our lives change and conform to his way and his plan. There is much in our lives that keeps us from full discipleship, so we come before our God with a humble prayer of confession.

Prayer of Confession
Lord Jesus, we confess that although we proclaim with our words that you are the Son of the living God, our lives do not always reflect that faith. We do things we know you do not want us to do. And we fail to do things that we are sure you are calling us to do. We sometimes act as if we were something other than your servants. Help us Lord. Forgive us. Renew us. Grant us your strength that we may so live so as to honor your name among the people around us.

Silent prayers of personal confession

Words of Assurance

Jesus says that all of us who feel a heavy burden can find rest in him. Take him at his word. Let him grant you the peace that is beyond understanding. In the name of our Lord and Savior, know that you are forgiven. Amen.

Affirmation of Faith
A Modern Affirmation, United Methodist Hymnal, 885

Invitation to the Offering
Let us present our tithes and gifts for the work of the Lord, recognizing that these offerings are but a symbol of the dedication of our total selves, offered to be a living sacrifice.

Prayer of Thanksgiving
May these gifts, O Lord, be blessed by the power of your Holy Spirit that they might become vessels of your redemption. May those who give be blessed by the power of your Holy Spirit that we might truly be living sacrifices, bringing honor and glory to your name. Amen.

Go forth now, empowered by Jesus Christ, Messiah, Son of the living God, to be living sacrifices bringing others into the Kingdom. Know that you go with the grace and peace of Christ. Amen.

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.