He Is Our Peace

Geared Up For Life

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

What does it mean to be the dwelling place or a dwelling place for God? How can we present the church and/or the community of faith of something worthy of that designation? In this second chapter of Ephesians, this is the description that we are given of the church: the dwelling place of God. God takes up residence among us. What does it mean to be God’s home?

At the core of all we do as Christians is the peace that comes from Christ. This gives us the courage to act and the staying power to keep acting even when it doesn’t seem like we are seeing the change we long for. We are in this for the long haul. Peace gives us endurance. And in this peace, we can begin to be the dwelling place of God. This is more a corporate experience than an individual one. Together, we become God’s abode. So, let’s celebrate the community as we worship.

Call to Worship: Ephesians 2:11-22

We gather together in the name of Jesus Christ—
members of God’s family,
and brothers and sisters to one another.
There are no outsiders here among us,
no one has any special standing or bragging rights.
For we have been brought together by the redeeming love of Jesus.
Let’s join together in worship!

Christine Longhurst, re:Worship, https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/06/call-to-worship-ephesians-2-11-22.html

Opening Collect: Cornerstone

Opening prayer based on Ephesians 2:20.

Almighty God,
you have built your Church
on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
Jesus Christ himself
being the chief cornerstone.
Join us together in unity of spirit
by their teaching,
that we may become a holy temple,
acceptable to you:
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

From Starters for Sunday, posted on the website of the Church of Scotland. Reposted at https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2011/09/opening-collect-cornerstone.html.

Prayer; Aliens and Sojourners

God, we are aliens and sojourners in this world,
but you invite us to be your guests.
You lavishly offer us your hospitality
and lovingly welcome us into your family,
You invite us to share in the abundance of your kingdom.

God, you have shown us that providing hospitality to strangers
opens a doorway into the Kingdom of God.
Remind us that when we offer hospitality to others,
we are receiving Christ into our midst and so fulfilling the law of love.

We open our hearts to embrace the stranger, the friend, the rich, and the poor,
We open our lives to offer a generous heart toward all.

Adapted from A Litany of Hospitality written by Christine Sine. Posted on Word Made Flesh. Reposted on re:Worship, July 21, 2013, https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/07/prayer-aliens-and-sojourners.html.

Prayers of Intercession

Gracious God, we come before you on behalf of the people who work hard and do not have regular rest from their labor.

For those who work for inadequate wages and without proper benefits:
Hear their cries.

For your people who work for Sabbath violators, slave masters, and in sweat shop conditions:
Hear their cries.

For those who work for modern-day sharecroppers who steal what they have rightly earned:
Lord, have mercy.

For those for whom home is a place of work without celebration and appreciation:
Lord, give them rest.

Deliverer from slave labor, we ask that you lead your people to places of rest and restoration for their bodies, minds, and souls.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. Amen.

Alexis Carter, Africana Liturgical Resources, Pentecost Package 1, ed. Safiyah Fosua.

Benediction: Ephesians 2: 11-22

We leave this place no longer strangers,
but members of God’s own family,
brothers and sisters through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Together, we are being built into a holy dwelling place
where God lives by the Spirit.

So go out with joy and confidence
to love and serve the world,
for we do not go alone.

From re: worship, https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/07/benediction-ephesians-2-11-22.html.

In This Series...

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes