Growing in the New Creation

When the Spirit Moves

Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

Worship this week is about growing into the new creation that we are called to be in Christ. So, think about talking about growing. Those who are raising kids find themselves telling stories about the latest thing, the latest mischief, the latest accomplishment that their child has gotten into. We need stories to help us see what living as a disciple is like. We tell our stories, and we tell stories of others as examples of a faithful life.

This week we celebrate the new creation that we have become in Christ and we encourage continued growth on the path of discipleship. Wesley and others called this sanctification, where we are made by the activity of the Spirit within and among us into something that more resembles the Christ we follow. It is a long and often difficult process, full of as many setbacks as advances. Yet we forge on in joy, knowing that we are the body of the Christ we serve.

Do Not Be Afraid

(Based on Mark 4:25-31)

You who are weary

Do not be afraid!

You who are fed up

Do not be afraid!

God is present in your suffering.
God will calm the winds and waves of your soul!

Junius Dotson, The Africana Worship Book, For Year B, Valerie Bridgeman Davis, PhD and Safiyah Fosua, eds., (Discipleship Resources, 2007), 33.

Who Is My Family?

(A Call to Worship for Mark 3:31-35)

Leader: Who is my mother and who are my brothers and sisters? Look around you, and you will see them. They are not always the people you grew up with. They are the people who have joined the journey to learn more about God and the ways of God’s people.
People: They are the people who abandon houses and land, fame, and fortune -- for the sake of the gospel.

Leader: They are the people who pray through the night for the safety of someone else’s child or for the healing of someone else’s loved one.
People: They are the ones who offer a cold cup of water to people considered outcast. They do so in the name of Christ.

Leader: Who are my brothers? Who are my sisters? Where is my family?
People: Jesus said that: Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother (Mark 3:35, NRSV).

Leader: Welcome to worship, family!
All: We gather to worship the God who has made us kin!

Safiyah Fosua, Pentecost Liturgical Resources from Africana Writers 1, edited by Safiya Fosua, 2020.

Contemporary Call to Worship

(inspired by Mark 4:26-34 or Matthew 13:31-32)

What mysteries there are in God’s world!
We, so sophisticated, stand in awe at the wonders of the natural world.
We look at the tiniest of seeds and wonder what will happen
From that small seed will grow a large shrub.
Although we consider our gifts to be small and insignificant,
God will use our gifts in miraculous ways.
Praise the God of small seeds and mighty power. Amen.

Written by Nancy C. Townley, on the Worship Connection page of the Ministry Matters website.

Prayer of the Day

(inspired by 1 Samuel 16:1-13, Mark 4:26-34)

Holy One:
you anoint us with living water,
so we may go to serve the world
in these troubled days.
You open our eyes
so we will see everyone
as our sisters and brothers.

Seed Planter:
you place faith
deep within us,
so we can bear witness
to your just and loving kingdom.
Your love regulates our hearts,
so we can welcome all
in your name.

Gentle Spirit:
when we cannot see the way,
you take us by the hand
so we can step forward,
in faith,
into the kingdom.
You fill us with hope,
so we can sing God's joy
all of our days.

God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we pray as Jesus has taught us,
Our Father…

Written by Thom Shuman, and posted on Lectionary Liturgies. Reposted:

Prayer of Confession

(inspired by Mark 4:26-34, Matthew 13:31-32)

Lord Jesus Christ,
we remember with gratitude those people
who generously sowed the seeds of faith in our lives.

Pause for a time of reflection

Above all. we recognize how you have blessed our lives
with the gift of the Holy Spirit
so that our faith has miraculously and mysteriously grown.

We confess the times we fail to involve ourselves
in planting any seeds of faith in the lives of others;
the times when our personal agendas become more important than yours;
the times when we have denied others the opportunity to expand their faith
through our lack of interest or involvement;
the times when our lives become so entangled with the values of the world
that we forget what you have said and done and promised.

Lord Jesus Christ, we know that when we become disconnected from you,
our lives becomes parched and unfruitful and our faith becomes stunted and dry.
Bless and renew our lives, we pray,
so that we remain connected to you at all times and in all places,
strengthening our faith to expand and, growing strongly and vigorously,
to bear the fruit of your mercy, your love, your undying life. Amen.

Written by Moira Laidlaw, and posted on Liturgies Online, Reposted:

Prayer: All Things New!

(inspired by 2 Corinthians 5: 17)

God of all new things, God of
Spring, and fragrant flowers, and
unexpected snow. God of hope
and new life,
Bless us, we pray,
this day.

Creator God from whom
all life springs forth
We give You thanks
Come, one and all,
Celebrate and rejoice!

Celebrate and rejoice -
The old has passed away
Everything has become new!

God of all things passing away, God
of old and yesterday,
the One
who is with us
in our despair and fear.
God who sighs and weeps, with us,
God who wipes away our tears.

Loving God, we offer up these prayers of concern this day -
for those struggling to rebuild lives
from natural disasters, especially those
recovering from the recent tornados -
and for those recovering from human disasters
from failed economies -
also for those struggling with illness
and, from_______________ .

Hear us when we pray. Incline
your ear to our words,

Be gentle with our suffering
with our sorrows and losses,
and especially when our hard
hearts close us off to you.
Be gentle.
Be gentle.
O God, be God!

Anoint us with your touch
so that the softness of your love
can break into our hardness
and open us anew.

Anoint us, Holy One and fill
us with your loving touch.
Fill us that we can touch
in your love and fill
others. Fill us gently.
Fill us.

Living God, father, son,
mother, daughter
Family, friend, one, all
With, through, and by
Your love becomes

Celebrate and rejoice -
The old has passed away
In you, in your resurrection,
In your life and love,
Everything becomes new!

Written by the Rev. Terri C. Pilarski and posted on WordsMatter. Reposted:

In This Series...

Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Trinity Sunday, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes