FROM CHAOS TO COMMUNITY: Birth
Bring in and place or uncover items for this week’s stagescape during the second song.
“How Can We Name a Love” United Methodist Hymnal, 111
“O God in Heaven” UMH 119
Prayer for Illumination
You are in this place, O God,
and we praise you.
Open now our ears and our hearts
to welcome your word,
to feast with you at your table,
and to receive your promise
in faith. Amen.
WORD AND RESPONSE
Whether live or on video, invite diverse fathers and grandfathers of many ages to lead this week’s reading.
Reading Genesis 17:15-17, 18:1-15
Call to Welcome Strangers and Receive Their News
As music plays, invite worshipers to take a moment to write the names of people they would consider “strangers” who simply “appeared” in their lives and offered them some kind of news (or who would have if they were welcomed). Then ask them to take a moment to pray for them and to discern how God may be calling them to welcome these strangers and receive their news.
“Welcome” Worship & Song, 3152
“Who Is My Mother, Who Is My Brother” The Faith We Sing, 2225
Prayers of the People
Whichever form you use, include time for people to name the “strangers” they have listed aloud, all at once, in response to one of the biddings.
“Prayers of the People” CCLI #7039048
“Prayers of the People” TFWS 2201
THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION
Invitation, Confession, and Peace
Deacon or Pastor (standing behind the Lord’s Table):
Christ our Lord appears before us, now,
as God appeared before Abraham,
sitting at his tent entrance,
at the heat of the day.
So let us prepare ourselves to feast!
Jesus, we love you.
We earnestly repent of our sin.
We seek to be at peace with one another.
Show your love
in your giving and thanksgiving,
and your commitment to reconciliation
with signs of Christ’s love and peace.
The peace is exchanged, the offering is collected, and the Lord’s Table is prepared.
Music during the Offering
“Welcome in This Place” CCLI #435790
“We Welcome You” Africana Hymnal, 4152
The Great Thanksgiving BOW 70-71
Christ is with us.
God is in this place.
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!
We are eager and ready to gather our best
and offer you all we have and all we are,
Even when you appear as a stranger among us,
we want to welcome you,
to bless you,
to feast with you,
as your servant Abraham prepared the feast
for the strangers at his tent.
And so we join our voices
with the voices of that multitude
no one can number,
and we sing:
“Alpha and Omega” Africana Hymnal, 4029
Alpha and Omega,
Beginning and End,
Lamb of God, Jesus Christ,
you came among us
and were in every way good to your promise
that God’s kingdom has drawn near.
And you have shown us the way of Life:
to welcome the stranger,
to feed the hungry,
to clothe the naked,
to care for the sick, the prisoner, and the needy,
to honor all people in every condition and stage of their lives,
to show mercy toward all,
and to invest our lives even in those who may betray us.
For in the night you were betrayed
you fed even your betrayer,
by taking and blessing bread,
The pastor may lift the bread.
“This is my body given for you;”
then taking a cup of wine
and giving thanks over it,
The pastor may lift the cup.
“This is my blood of the new covenant poured out for you.”
So in remembrance of all you are,
and all you have done,
and all you have taught us,
we offer you ourselves,
with this bread and this cup.
Even so, come Holy Spirit.
Come, Holy Spirit.
Come upon these gifts of bread and wine,
that they may be for us Christ’s body and blood.
Come, Holy Spirit.
And come upon us,
that we who receive them may be united with Christ,
strengthened in fellowship
and enlivened in mission and ministry
to every person everywhere,
even those who laugh
because they cannot believe
how good your good news is.
For yours is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory,
Holy Triune God,
now and forever. Amen.
Music During Communion
“God Is Here” CCLI #6454669
“A Place at the Table” W&S 3149
An older-adult woman may stand before the Lord’s Table to offer the reading.
“The Happy Song” (st 1) CCLI #1043209
“His Eye Is on the Sparrow” (st 1) TFWS 2146
Reading Genesis 21:1-7
“The Happy Song” (st 2 to end) CCLI #1043209
“His Eye Is on the Sparrow” (st 3) TFWS 2146
Deacon or Pastor:
Go in peace.
Hear God’s voice in theirs.
Laugh if you must.
Reprise of “The Happy Song” or “His Eye Is on the Sparrow”