6

November 2022

Nov

Band of Puzzlers

Face to Face with Jesus

Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year C

The gospel writers love these stories—stories where Jesus gets the better of those who seek to outsmart him appear in all the gospels. But a key to the stories is that Jesus always engages.

Call to Worship: God of the Living

Leader: You are God, not of the dead, but of the living, for to you, all of them are alive.

People: Alive is the alcoholic, tired of being worn out by whiskey and wine. Alive is the drug addict, hearing a fresh call to “come and dine.”

Leader: You are God, not of the dead, but of the living, for to you, all of them are alive.

People: Alive is the woman used, abused, and misused by a loved one, needing someone’s compassion and care. Alive is the man castrated by the pressures of society, needing divine power and prayer. Alive is the child searching for what can be, when everyone has told him or her what he or she would never be.

Leader: You are God, not of the dead, but of the living, for to you, all of them are alive.

People: Yes, alive is the immigrant looking for a fair and just place to call home. Alive is the descendant of slaves, whose fight for common justice is very well known. Alive is the progeny that still hopes, planting fresh seeds to be sown.

Leader: You are God, not of the dead, but of the living, for to you, all of them are alive.

People: Yes, alive is the poor man struggling for health care. Alive is the hungry woman seeking a job paying a good fare. Alive is the youth who will not quit, the one fashioned to dream and taught to dare.

Leader: You are God, not of the dead, but of the living, for to you, all of them are alive.

All: We come this morning, feeling a little dead; even with little energy for journey ahead. But you are God, and in you, we are not dead. For to you, all of us are alive! Help us strive; ready us to thrive. Yes, we are alive!! In the name of Jesus, we are alive!

Joseph W. Daniels Jr., The Africana Worship Book, Year C, Valerie Bridgeman Davis and Safiyah Fosua, eds., (Discipleship Resources, 2008), 80.

Pastoral Prayer: God of the Living

God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, we confess to you that we are frequently slow to believe what you have promised through your prophets and in your Son Jesus. We succumb to fears of death as if it were the end of everything - and all too often we live as if there is nothing to live for beyond death. Forgive us, Lord: forgive us our doubts, our disbelief, and our deafness to the witness of other believers, and our silence when we could give witness to the faith which we have...

Lord, hear our prayer.

Lord of mercy, God of the living, grant that we might see beyond the ruins that lie about us; that we might take to heart the lessons of Scripture which testify to your willingness and ability to bring new life to dry bones. Give to those who despair a vision of the resurrection which awaits all those who believe, all those you have chosen. Help them to order their lives by the principles of your everlasting kingdom—that kingdom in which faith, hope, and love transfigure all that they touch...

Lord, hear our prayer...

Father, help us be a people who are prepared for the journey which lies ahead. Take from us all evil desire; remove from us any refusal we have to forgive others; lift from us any reluctance we have to love our enemies and to bless, in your name, those who curse us. Send unto us the desire to love one another as Jesus loves us, the yearning to bring your saving word to those who hunger, the longing to reach out and touch another person with your love and to speak to others—and to ourselves—your truth. Help us to be ones who are prepared; help us to be ones who live Christ-like lives…

Lord, hear our prayer.

We ask all these things not in our name, but in the name of Jesus Christ—he who taught us to pray to you for ourselves and for the coming of your kingdom saying: “Our Father…”

Written by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild and posted on Kir-shalom. http://www.spirit-net.ca/index1.html , reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/10/pastoral-prayer-god-of-living.html.

Prayer of Confession

O God, we long to rest in you,
to trust in your goodness, in your care for us,
in your abundant life.
But we don’t know how to rest
And we have forgotten how to trust:
We seek material goods that we don’t really need.
We befriend people not always out of love.
We ask questions of you like the Sadducees did of Jesus,
questions that try only to prove our point,
not to grow in understanding of your desires for us.
Slow us down, Holy One.
Attend to us, Holy One,
And show us that you are our salvation and our resting place.

Silent confession...

Assurance of Pardon

God is God of the living.
The Holy One will make a place for you
that is full of life and love,
forgiveness and humility,
kindness and justice.
Your belonging to God is your salvation.
You may rest in that truth.

From Hold on to Faith: Service Prayers for the Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost, written by The Rev. Catherine Rolling. Posted on the Worship Ways page of the United Church of Christ website. http://www.ucc.org/worship/worship-ways. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/10/prayer-of-confession-proper-27c.html.

Benediction

May we who worship the God of the living go from here to embrace each moment as an opportunity to grasp eternity and to be fully alive in the now. Go in the confidence of today and the hope for tomorrow. Go with Christ. Amen.

Derek Weber, Discipleship Ministries, April 2022

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