Shine Like the Sun

The Path of the Disciple: Imagining a New Reality

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A

We never know who we might see shining like the sun. We are learning to imagine a new reality where even flawed humans, like ourselves, can be disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Call to Worship

One: Despite hardship, our ancestors dared to dream God-sized dreams.
Many: Praise God for hope-filled dreams.

One: Do it again, Lord. Dream big dreams through us today!
Many: Praise God for new dreams for our generation.

One: Invisible God, be visible through our faith today.
Many: Praise God who empowers us with faith to see what others miss.

One: Will we stop building a better future because of evil?
Many: No! Our God will deliver us from evil!

One: Will we concede our neighborhoods because evil walks the streets?
Many: No! God will judge all evildoers!

All: Come now, Lord, and fulfill your dreams in us today!

Written by Kwasi I. Kena, The Africana Worship Book, Year A (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2006), 70.

Prayer of the Day

Creator God, Holy Gardener who sustains and nurtures all life, open us today to your life-giving grace and transformative love. As we notice our internal struggles, empower us to greet the wheat and the weeds in our own hearts with care and compassion. As we recognize the challenges and suffering in our community, inspire us to meet the weeds and the wheat in our neighbors with acceptance and hope. We know that you alone have the final say, and so we give ourselves over to you as instruments of hospitality and grace that we would tend our neighbors even as we are tended by you. Amen.

Written by Dr. Lisa Hancock, Discipleship Ministries, January 2023.

Prayer of Confession

Merciful God,

You plant each of us like seeds in the same field and together we are nourished and nurtured by the sun We sway in the wind and are refreshed by the rain. We are blessed by the knowledge that you want us to grow towards what you call us to be.

When we deprive others of that same opportunity,
forgive us.

When we want to uproot those whom we believe
do not belong in our part of the field,
forgive us.

When we label others as good or bad
rather than accept them for who they are,
forgive us.

When we are reluctant to acknowledge
that we ourselves are a mixture of weeds and wheat,
forgive us.

When we are afraid to look into the fields of our own lives
to see what is growing there,
forgive us.

O God, you know us inside and out, through and through.
You search us out and lay your hand upon us.
You know what we are going to say even before we speak.
So we pray that you will help us to reach out to the uprooted and rejected,
the lonely and the outcast,
and to develop and grow the good in ourselves, in others, and in the world.

This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Written by Moira Laidlaw, Liturgies Online, Re-posted at


May you go forth filled with God’s grace that overflows in hospitality and care for your neighbors as we work with God to bring about a new, life-giving reality for all creation. Amen.

Written by Dr. Lisa Hancock, Discipleship Ministries, January 2023.

In This Series...

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes