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August 2020

Aug

To the Lost Sheep

Because God

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year A

This week’s topic is difficult. It is so difficult the worship team might be inclined to choose a different text. Both Paul’s letter to the Romans and Matthew’s Gospel present to us complicated texts that will be hard to wrestle into an easily digestible form for a comfortable Sunday morning. Yet, this is precisely why it is worth the struggle.

We struggle with this story, as we aren’t sure what it tells us about Jesus. But what if we focus instead on the Canaanite woman? What we discover is that the real struggle is what the story tells us about us. Are our prayers as heartfelt and persistent? Do we petition Jesus as though everything was at stake? Are we ready to put our faith on the line when we gather for worship?

Opening Sentences

How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
It is like a summer rain which restores the parched earth.
It is like a cool breeze at the shore of a lake, at the top of a mountain or through a crowded city street.
God meets us here.
We have gathered to worship the Maker of Our Days, the Restorer of Our Souls and the Breath of Our Lives.

© UCC 2017, https://www.ucc.org/worship_worship-ways

Congregational Prayer

Holy One of Israel, covenant-keeper,
you restore what is lost,
heal what is wounded,
and gather in those who have been rejected.
Give us the faith
to speak as steadfastly as did the Canaanite woman,
that the outcast may be welcomed
and all people may be blessed. Amen.

From https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu//prayers.php?id=155 (Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress.

Confession of Sin

When we try to go it on our own lacking faith in divine providence,
Lord have mercy.

Time for personal reflection and confession.

When we have not recognized God at work in the faith of others,
Christ have mercy.

Time for personal reflection and confession.

In all that we have done and all that we have left undone,
Lord have mercy.

Time for personal reflection and confession.

Assurance of Pardon

God calls each of us by name and cries out with tears of joy as we recognize God in our admission of need.
Praise be to God who welcomes us as we are, challenges us to let go of our guilt and provides a way for us to walk on together.

© UCC 2017, https://www.ucc.org/worship_worship-ways

Intercessory Prayer

We praise your abiding guidance, O God,
for you sent us Jesus, our Teacher and Messiah,
to model for us the way of love for the whole universe.
We offer these prayers of love
on behalf of ourselves and our neighbors,
on behalf of your creation and our fellow creatures.

Prayers of the People, concluding with:

Loving God,
open our ears to hear your word
and draw us closer to you,
that the whole world may be one with you
as you are one with us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

From https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu//prayers.php?id=155 (Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress.

Sending

Now go, to serve as God's people.
We will work to remove all that divides us from others.
Now go, to share the grace of Jesus.
We will love others just as we are loved.
Now go, to be the Spirit's community.
We will invite everyone to join us in this life of faith and service.

© 2014 Thom M. Shuman

In This Series...


Ninth Sunday After Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Tenth Sunday After Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes