19

September 2021

Sep

Root of Conflict

Doers of the Word

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

Peace is possible, even while we are works in process. This isn’t about completion and the satisfaction of a job well done; it is about a journey of discovery and transformation.

By Curry F. Butler

Lord, Bless Us

A Call to Worship, Inspired by Psalm 1

Leader: We live in a world where it seems like those who don’t know you are the only ones who are prospering.
People: Lord, bless us!

Leader: The rent is due, the refrigerator is barren, and the electricity is on its final notice.
People: Lord, bless us!

Leader: Lord, we are walking the path that you have placed us on. Our steps are ordered by you. We spend time in your word. We try our best to live by it.
People: Lord, bless us!

Leader: Struggle knows many of us by name. Pain asked for several, specifically. We wonder how the wicked are doing with their vacations, shopping sprees, and skinny jeans.
People: Lord, bless us!

All: We need you, Lord, to bless us. Open the windows of heaven and pour us out a blessing that is just right for us and our neighbors.

Bless Me

A “Seeker’s” Prayer, based on Psalm 1
This prayer is meant to be shared as a monologue.
Suggestion: Present this prayer before or after a sermon on Psalm 1.

Lord, I, too, want you to bless me, but I don’t fit the bill, scripturally. I realize that there isn’t much difference between those who are considered to be wicked and myself. I don’t always walk in the paths of righteousness. Sometimes I tip toe through tulips that have been trod upon by the wicked. Now, I’m far from being perfect. I even tend to sin sometimes…a little. Okay, I sin a lot. Does that make me a sinner? My friends and I get together and talk about the misfortunes of others, and I didn’t wake up this morning with my mind stayed on Jesus. I have so much going on in my life that I don’t have time to delight in the black letters of the Old and the red letters of the New.

Bless me God, even though I’m not producing any fruit -- which leads me to wonder, “When is my season going to come?” Everyone is getting blessed around me…especially the wicked. When is it my turn to be blessed? When is it my turn to finally see life and not death? They say that being wicked leads to death, but why are they experiencing the life that I long for? Why are they smiling while all I do is cry myself to sleep? Tear-stained pillows fill my bed while I struggle with doing good when wicked is all around me. It is said that the wicked will be blown away by the wind for their sin, but all I see them do is stand tall.

We are like wheat and tare. We grow up together, but we don’t look alike. If you judge me by their description, I look like the wicked and the wicked looks like me. I’m down here struggling to make a dollar out of fifteen cents, and they are living the good life. Who is righteous? Who is wicked? I am afraid that when judgement comes, you might not even know who I am; but if you bless me, I’ll know it’s real. Amen.

Stand by Us

A Prayer for the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Lord, the storms of life are raging, and we need you to stand by us. The winds are trying to toss us to and fro, and we need you to stand by us. We want to be prosperous, like the tree planted by the streams of water the psalmist talked about. We, too, want to yield fruit, but life is threatening our productivity. Some of us are so stressed that our leaves are starting to wither. God, we need you to order our steps and give us the strength to handle whatever is on the path that you have assigned. Show us your grace and your favor. In your Son Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

No One Made Us Judge

A Sending inspired by Psalm 1

As we leave this place of sanctuary, let us go out into the world with the understanding that we are not to judge those who are not like us. We will no longer make distinctions like saints and sinners, but we will consider everyone blessed because we all are children of the Almighty God.


Rev. Curry F. Butler, Jr. is an ordained deacon in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Currently, Rev. Butler is completing his Doctor of Ministry degree at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

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

Colors


  • Green

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