Man Out On a Limb

Face to Face with Jesus

Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost, Year C

What would it be like to encounter Jesus face to face? That’s the question this series sets out to help us answer. We can’t know, of course, but we can get a glimpse of what happened to those who did meet Jesus in the Gospel texts we examine here.

Call to Worship

(inspired by Luke 19: 1-10)

With the pressing crowds, searching for healing and hope,
We wish to see Jesus.
With the pushed out and cast aside, with the lonely lost, stripped of pride,
We wish to see Jesus.
With those who seek mystery and meaning, wisdom and grace,
We wish to see Jesus.

From Order for Ecumenical Worship: World Aids Day 2002. Posted on Reposted:

Prayer: ‘We are Zacchaeus’

O God, forgive us for those times when we stood around and watched Jesus touch others and offered negative reactions. At times, we have been self-centered wanting the attention for ourselves. Because of our judgmental behavior, we have often blocked the meetings between Jesus and others like Zacchaeus. Help us to remember that it is we who are Zacchaeus, embarrassed by our spiritual height and trying to get a glimpse of Jesus among so many tall believers. Give us faith to hear you calling our name. Amen.

B. Kevin Smalls, The Africana Worship Book, Year C, Valerie Bridgeman Davis and Safiyah Fosua, eds., (Discipleship Resources, 2008), 153.

Prayer for the Day

O Lord, how good and righteous are your judgements. Your testimonies are sure, and your promises are always kept. Receive now our worship of your glory. Delight in the songs of praise which we offer to your holy name.

In your mercy, you have chosen to bring the good news to sinners. We know that we have sinned against you, and we seek to hide in places where you will not find us. Yet you are so loving that you will not let us remove ourselves from your care. We are sinful people for our desire is to keep for ourselves the riches of this life and we do not show due regard for the poor. Pardon our iniquity; let your salvation come to us, even though we are lost. Restore us as your sons and daughters once more.

We know that your law is true and is the way of righteousness. Fill us with your Spirit of understanding that we may live to your glory and proclaim the good news of eternal life in all the world.

Why do we see wrongs and look upon trouble? We turn to you and ask your mercies upon those who suffer any kind of distress in body, mind, or spirit. We lift up those in any kind of trouble. Make them steadfast in their faith that they may endure their afflictions that the name of the Lord Jesus may be glorified.

Accept our praise and thanksgiving for all your mercies to us, and grant to us what we most need. These things we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

And Also With You, Year C, Timothy J. Crouch, OSL; Nancy B. Crouch, OSL; Chris E. Visminas; Mark R. Babb, OSL, (OSL Publications, 1994), 141.

Call to Confession

We confess we have strayed away from your Word
We cry out to you, O God

We confess that we have allowed the worries of this world
to drive us away from your vision for our lives
We cry out to you, O God

We confess that there is strife and contention all around us
We cry out to you, O God

Let us confess together:
That we are powerless
and have taken our focus off your Word…
that we have not allowed your Word to work in our lives,
yet we continue to cry out to you in times of trouble and need.
Grant understanding and wisdom
that we may see your vision and apply it in our lives.
Hear our prayer, O God, and
Call us back to you.

Assurance of God’s Love

(inspired by Luke 19: 1-10)

The scriptures tell us that God’s love will find us
no matter how far away we are from the Word.
Just as Jesus found Zacchaeus hiding in a tree,
God will find us and bring us home.
It does not matter what we have done wrong,
we still belong to God.
We have the assurance that God will rescue us.
This is the good news of the Gospel!

From Reformation and Reconciliation, written by LT Leticia Rouser. Posted on the Worship Ways page of the United Church of Christ website, Reposted:


(inspired by Luke 19: 1-10)

You can heal, Christ has touched you.
You can love, Christ has sought you.
You can give yourself away.
Christ has come walking and called you.
You can break the barriers from which others suffer.
Christ has visited your house.
Christ is in you and around you.
Christ will set you free.

From Order for Ecumenical Worship: World Aids Day 2002. Posted on Reposted:

In This Series...

Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Reign of Christ, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes