From Chaos to Community — Series Overview

Fifth Sunday After Pentecost, Year A

Like all human families, the first families of our faith tradition were not perfect. They had their share of failure and struggles, just like everyone else. But throughout it all they knew the abiding presence of the Lord God was with them—perhaps most clearly known during moments of difficult decision, rites of passage, and periods of painful transition.


During the transition from the first to the second opening song, the persons may bring or uncover items to complete the series stagescape.


“Song of Love” CCLI #3607983
“O God Our Help in Ages Past” CCLI #2335500


“Jesus, Joy of Our Desiring” United Methodist Hymnal, 644
O God, Our Help in Ages Past UMH 117


Reading Based on Genesis 24
During the second opening song, the readers take their places. Readers may include a teenage girl, a late middle-aged man, and an older-adult woman.

Reading 1: (Late middle-aged man)
Abraham sent me with gifts from Beersheba to his ancestral home in
Aram-Naharaim, a month’s journey, to get a wife for his son, Isaac, from his own
family. When I arrived at the city of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, I stopped at the
spring where the townspeople drew water. I asked the Lord, God of my
master Abraham, for success. I prayed for a sign to show whom I should bring
for Isaac, and immediately Rebekah fulfilled it.

“Your Love, O God” (st 1) UMH 120 (Alt TUNE: UMH 437)

Reading 2: (Teenage girl)
A man from far away asked me for a drink, and I said to him, “Drink from my jar,
and I will draw for your camels also.” When I returned from getting the water,
he gave me a ring for my nose and two gold bracelets. He asked whose daughter
I was, and I told him. The man fell to his knees and praised his god. I ran home
to tell my family all about it. And they invited this man to dinner. He called himself Eliezer.

“Your Love, O God” (st 2) UMH 120 (Alt TUNE: UMH 437)

Reading 3: (Older-adult woman)
We approved of the proposed marriage that night, even before the man
showered Rebekah with more gifts of silver, gold, and rich garments. But
we wanted him to stay with us longer before taking Rebekah to his master’s
household. He insisted he leave with her immediately. We asked Rebekah,
and she consented. Before she left, we blessed her, according to our custom:
“May you, our sister, become the mother of multitudes,
and may your offspring possess the cities of their enemies.”

“Your Love, O God” (st 3) UMH 120 (Alt TUNE: UMH 437)

Reading 4: (Teenage girl)
We had been traveling a long time, longer than Eliezer had told us he had
traveled to arrive at my home. Finally, I saw a man walking across a field
apparently coming toward our caravan. He was older than I, late thirties. I
asked Eliezer who this was. He said it was his master, Isaac, the man who was
to be my husband. I covered myself with my veil and waited while Eliezer told his
story to Isaac.

We traveled to a town where Isaac’s mother had once lived.

He brought me into her tent.

And I became his wife.

Sermon “Legacy”

“Your Love, O God” (st 4) UMH 120 (Alt TUNE: UMH 437)

Call to Prepare for a Good Legacy
As music plays (continue to play FINDLANDIA quietly), invite worshipers to write down the things they have received or become that have helped them build community and that they want to pass on to future generation, and things they have received or become that create chaos they want not to pass on.

Prayers of the People
Whichever form you use, include time for people to pray (silently) about what they have listed and for each other to respond faithfully in response to one of the biddings. Conclude with a petition for the forgiveness of sins.

“Prayers of the People” CCLI #7039048 OR
“Prayers of the People” The Faith We Sing, 2201

The Lord’s Prayer


Deacon or Pastor:
The Peace and Offertory
May the peace of Christ, who is faithful in all generations, dwell richly among us.
And may the gifts we offer, in money and in praise, be pleasing to God.

The people may exchange the peace of Christ. The offering may be collected. The Lord’s Table may be prepared.

Music During the Offering
“All Glory Be to Christ” CCLI #7008232 OR
“I Thank You, Jesus” Worship & Song, 3037


Deacon or Pastor (standing behind the Lord’s Table):
Christ our Lord now invites us to his table.
We love him.
We have earnestly repented of our sin.
We seek to be at peace with one another.

The Great Thanksgiving

Pastor: So lift up your hearts!
We lift them to you, Lord.

Give God the glory.
All our praise, all our thanks, all our lives are yours!

Yours is the praise,
yours is the thanks,
yours is the honor,
now and forever,
One in Three
and Three in One.

Glorify your name in all the earth.

Out of chaos,
you bring creation.

Out of years of waiting and wondering,
you bring hope for new life.

Out of separation, death, and grieving,
you bring healing, life, and generations of joy.

And so we join our voices with every saint and sinner
of every nation, people, and tongue,
with every angel and heavenly being,
and with every element of creation
that shines or wriggles or vibrates in your praise:

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of power and might.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is Christ who comes in your name.
Hosanna in the highest!

You make us whole, Lord Jesus.

Calling people from every walk of life,
from mainstream to marginalized,
from low to high estate,
from everybody who was somebody,
to everybody who was nobody,
you unite us in one body.
You make us whole.

Showing mercy to sinful people,
feeding hungry people,
delivering oppressed people,
and caring for and healing people
of every ability and disability,
you strengthen ours and every body.
You make us whole.

Speaking peace to thunderstorms
and the storms of our lives,
and calling us to be reconciled with all
and to pray and seek good for those who harm us,
you bring community that nurtures life and love
now and for generations to come.
You make us whole.

And gathering with us now,
at this table,
as you gathered with your disciples long ago,
even in the face of betrayal and death
you offer to fill us with the life of God
in your body and blood.
You make us whole.

Even so, come Holy Spirit.
Come, Holy Spirit.

Come upon us,
and on these gifts of bread and wine we offer
in our full-bodied praise
as we remember the words of Jesus
who gathered his disciples around bread and wine,
and said:

The pastor or an assistant lifts the bread.
This is my body, given for you. Eat this, and remember me.

The pastor or an assistant lifts the cup.
This is my blood, poured out for you. Drink this, and remember me.

And so,
offering our lives and these gifts before you,
Holy Three, Holy One,
we join our voices in prayer and sing:

“You Are Holy”/”Du Är Helig” Global Praise 3, 40 OR
“You Alone Are Holy”/”Sólo Tú Eres Sant” The Faith We Sing, 2077

The pastor breaks the bread in the sight of the people, then serves the servers, who serve the pastor and the people.

Music During Communion
“Sing of the Lord’s Goodness” W&S 3010 OR
“I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry” TFWS 2051

Thanksgiving after Communion

Deacon or Pastor with People:
Thank you, Triune God,
for feeding us abundantly
from the storehouse of your mercy
in Jesus Christ.
You restore us, body and soul.
You make us whole.

Now send us forth into the messiness of our lives,
as living witnesses of your renewing love
that brings hope and wholeness
today, tomorrow, and for generations to come. Amen.


“10,000 Reasons” CCLI #6016351 OR
“All My Days” W&S 3011

Deacon or Pastor:
Go in peace, love, and joy.
And let your lives be signs of God’s legacy
wherever you go.

Reprise: “You Alone Are Holy”/”Sólo Tú Eres Santo” TFWS 2077

In This Series...

First Sunday After Pentecost 2017 — Planning Notes Second Sunday After Pentecost 2017 — Planning Notes Third Sunday After Pentecost 2017 — Planning Notes Fourth Sunday After Pentecost 2017 — Planning Notes Fifth Sunday After Pentecost 2017 — Planning Notes