12

September 2021

Sep

Taming the Tongue

Doers of the Word

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

We must be even more vigilant in how we present God and what words we are wanting to put in the mouths of those who worship with us this day.

By Curry F. Butler

Wisdom, We Hear You

A Gathering Meditation for Proverbs 1:20-33

Wisdom, we hear your cries when we turn on the television and see our loved ones being struck down due to peaceful protest. We hear your cries when we read about those who hate us being protected during their violent ventures. We hear your cries when our social media notifications are going off because another one of us is lying dead in the streets. But do we listen? How long are we going to lend a non-listening ear to you? We carry around the ideology that “as long as it’s not happening to me” . . . but what happens when it does happen to us? All of us are affected by the daunting acts of those who hate us because we are beautifully and wonderfully made. We profess to be “woke,” but we act like we are sleepwalking. Many of us are talking in our sleep, carrying on conversations with the characters in our dreams like it is reality. I know that it sounds discouraging, but as we gather here we ask that you, Wisdom, never stop crying out. The more you cry, the better our chances are of waking up. Keep on crying for that father who doesn’t know which way to turn. Keep on crying for that mother who is on the verge of giving up. Keep on crying until the alarm goes off in the bedroom of our souls and we stand as an army . . . awakened by you, never to slumber again. Amen.

We Have Come to Give Thanks for your Wisdom

A Prayer for Proverbs 1:20-33

God, we come today to give you thanks and to worship you in spirit and in truth. We thank you for your grace and mercy. Lord, we thank you for Wisdom. She is crying out to us, and we have ignored her. She is crying out, and we have mocked her. Lord, she is crying out, and we have scoffed at her long enough. Today is the day that we cry out, acknowledging that we need her. We understand far too well the cruelties of this world. What we have been doing in defense has not been working. Give us your wisdom, Lord. We need her so that we can handle the uncertainties of life. We need her so that we can better handle our enemies as well as our frenemies. She no longer has to cry. God, we hear her loud and clear. It’s in Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Lord, We’re Made in Your Likeness

An interactive prayer for James 3:1-12. May be used as a prayer or as a call to worship.

Leader: Lord, I am not perfect. My mouth is just a little too slick, and my soul is just a little too sick and tired of stumbling.
People: Lord, We’re made in your likeness.

Leader: I keep falling because sometimes my tongue gets in the way. I know right from wrong, but sometimes my tongue gets the best of me.
People: Lord, We’re made in your likeness.

Leader: It starts arguments and ignites fires that not even the firefighters can extinguish. My tongue, this sword of fire, has become an instrument of life and death.
People: Lord, We’re made in your likeness.

Leader: “If you want it, you can come and get some,” is my attitude. I am a Samurai. I am not the first, nor am I the last. I tried to put this all in my past, but it presently keeps finding itself in my future.
People: Lord, We’re made in your likeness.

Leader: I don’t want to keep living this way. I am ready to lay down my sword and shield to study war no more, but it’s hard. People keep coming for me when I never sent for them.
All: Lord, I am your child, and I need you. Please help me control my tongue because we praise you and curse our brothers and sisters with the same tongue. And this should not be. Amen.

Down to the Heart of the Matter

A Call to Worship for Mark 8:27-38

Leader: Let us get down to the heart of the matter. Sunday after Sunday, we gather together, yet segregated. Not only are we divided into those who have melanin and those who don’t, we are also divided into those who are focused on religion and those who have a relationship.
People: Who do people say that I am?

Leader: Those who are focused on religion are concerned with technicalities. What month was he born in? When did the wise men actually show up? And was he really born outside surrounded by animals?
People: “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”

Leader: Those who have a relationship aren’t concerned with questions or birth records. They know Jesus for themselves.
All: You are the (Black) Messiah, the Revolutionary, my Miracle Worker, my mother’s healer, my father’s way out of no way, big mama’s walking cane, granddaddy’s leaning post, and my ancestors’ hope for a brighter day. Amen.

Bridle Our Tongues!

A Prayer for James 3:1-12

Lord, I humbly come to you this day to tell you thank you. You have shown us so much compassion despite our tongues. We have hurt our neighbors, our friends, and our families. Bridle our tongues, God, that we might speak love and not hate. Bridle our tongues, God, that we might uplift and not tear down. Bridle our tongues, God, that we might continue to win more citizens for the kingdom. It’s in the name of the one who saved us, Jesus Christ, that we pray. Amen.

We Know Your Son

A Prayer for Mark 8:27-38

Dear God, we come today acknowledging that we know the identity of your Son. The Old Testament prophets prophesied about him. They called him “a Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace.” We call his name Jesus. You sent him down through forty-two generations so that we might be saved. You thought about us before we were a sparkle in our mother’s eye. You made a way for us before we knew that we needed a way. For these things, we thank you. Although he is the stone that the builders rejected, we accept him and make him our chief cornerstone. We are not ashamed of your Son. He is our Redeemer, our Savior, and our Lord. We will continue to spread his gospel and testify about the difference that he has made until he returns. God, we pray that you give us strength to stand strong against this cruel world. Fill our cups as we continue to run this race. It’s in the blessed name of the one you sent…in Jesus’ name, we pray. AMEN!

We Will No Longer Ignore Wisdom

A Sending for Proverbs 1:20-33

Yes, Wisdom has been crying out for all to hear. We will no longer ignore her but give her our inclined ear. So, let us go out into the world with Lady Wisdom as our guide, so that we will be able to stand firm against the wiles of the devil. Our lives will produce fruit, showing the world how to live life like it is truly golden. Go, with Wisdom, go, in peace.

Exemplify the Change

A Sending

The time has come to become soldiers of the cross. Let us go out into the world proclaiming the Name of Jesus. We know his Name, and the time has come for others to know it as well. Let us testify of his goodness, be witnesses to his mercy, and exemplify the change he has made in our lives. Go, and carry the Name of Jesus with you.


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

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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