August 2024


Sent Out to Live

Worship with Rejoicing

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

If you got to last week and thought that must be the last week of this series since it focused on benediction—SURPRISE! The benediction isn’t the end of worship—nor is it the end of this series—because worship does not end when the gathered Body of Christ disperses.

“But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves” (James 1:22 NRSV). So, how does that work in worship? Haven’t we gathered for hearing? And sure, we want to go out and be doers, but for this hour, what can we do? Let the worship team struggle with this for a while and then share the struggle with the worshiping congregation.

On the one hand, we can talk about worship as being preparation for doing. What acts are being encouraged during this time of gathering? What is the life we sing about in our hymns and songs? What are the stories that we tell of what we have done and what we will do in the future? What corporate acts can we invite folks to join? What opportunities for doing the word do we describe as we worship together?

At the same time, worship is doing; prayer is doing; singing praise is doing. We can talk about how we are strengthened and supported as we worship together. We could have an act of commissioning that begins the work of transformation in the life of the worshipers. We could be reminded that prayer is not the last resort of the helpless, but the active entering into the issue of the day convinced that God is at work in the world, in us, and beyond us.

Let our worship this day be grounded in the reality of the world in which we live, with all its joys and pains. And while we can experience the withdrawal into this holy space, let it not be a way of divorcing ourselves from that which God so loved that the only Son was sent.

Gathering Meditation

(James 1:19-20) You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God's righteousness (NRSV).

Quick…to listen.

It’s not normal…to hurry…to shut up.
Shhh…I have to remind myself to listen:
So I won’t speak too soon
So, I won’t say what I’ll later regret.

Now…slow yourself
Slow down anger
Slow down careless thought
Slow down…
long enough…
to hear God whisper
the right things to do and say.


Pause and hear.


Kwasi Kena, Africana Liturgical Resources, Pentecost Package #2, ed. Safiyah Fosua.

Call to Worship

Hungering to Be Real
(Based on James 1:17-27)

One: We gather today hungering to be real
With genuine smiles
And actions that match our hallelujahs.
We are not content to just master the power handshake of strength.
We want also to master the partner handshake of mutual respect and mutual support.
Many: No more lip service; we want to be real!

One: We yearn to rise above culture and prejudice
To a mindset where foreigners and strangers are not held in contempt
And all are invited to God’s table.

Many: No more lip service; we want to be real!

Sherrie Dobbs Johnson, The Africana Worship Book for Year B (Discipleship Resources, 2007), 69.

A General Prayer for the Day

Blessed are you, O Lord our God; you alone do wondrous things. Blessed be your glorious Name for ever; may your glory fill the whole earth.

O great and glorious God, your precepts are filled with mercy and justice. In every act you bless us with goodness. You call us to honor you, but we do so only with our lips. Instead of worshipping you, we take the ways of this world and conform ourselves to them. We leave your commandments and hold fast to that which is most convenient. Search our hearts and root out every evil thing which defiles us. Make us anew into your image that your love may once more call us away from death into your life.

We know that every good endowment and every perfect gift comes down from you. By the power of your Holy Spirit, bring us forth in your truth that we may be the first fruits by the hearing and doing of your Word.

You have called us to care for the widows and orphans and any in their affliction. Go with us as we bring your hopeful and healing grace to all those committed to our care. May those in despair from any trouble or infirmity see the flowers of hope appear; may they enter into the time of singing their thanksgiving for your tender care.

O God, anoint us with the oil of gladness and lead us to the ivory palaces of heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Timothy J. Crouch, OSL, Nancy B. Parks, OSL, Chris E. Visminas, Mark R. Babb, OSL, And Also With You: Worship Resources Based on the Revised Common Lectionary Year B, OSL Publications, 1993, 121.

Prayer of Confession

When the busyness of our lives erodes the intentions of our hearts:
Merciful God, forgive us.
When our personal agendas take precedence over reaching out to others:
Merciful God, forgive us.
When we keep putting off being more active “doers of the word”:
Merciful God, forgive us.
When we resist change, knowing that our acting and thinking
are limited by our prejudice and ignorance:
Merciful God, forgive us.
When we only half-listen to those who cry out to be fully heard:
Merciful God, forgive us.

A time of silence to contemplate these words
and how they apply to us personally and as a community of faith.

Gracious and merciful God,
forgive us for past faults
and help us in the present and future
to make ourselves more available to the hurting world that surrounds us—
the world that begins on our doorsteps.
Equip us to be patient and compassionate listeners,
proclaiming the gospel not in overbearing ways but sensitively and lovingly.
Strengthen us with the Holy Spirit to be fruitful and active witnesses to Jesus in all we do and say.

(You might follow the spoken prayer with the song,
Make me a channel of your peace if your congregation is familiar with it.)

Assurance of Forgiveness (James 1:21)

As we become doers of the word and not merely hearers, we discover that it is “in pardoning that we are pardoned, in giving of ourselves that we receive”—surely evidence of “the implanted word that has the power to save our souls”—Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Thanks be to God!

Written by Moira Laidlaw and posted on Liturgies Online. http://www.liturgiesonline.com.au/ Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/08/confession-james-1-17-27.html

In This Series...

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes