Offertory Prayer

Invitation to the Offering
The offering you made last week empowered ministry within our congregation and in response to the needs of our community. It also helped support the work of ministries beyond the local church that reach people who are in desperate need to feel the touch of love and reconciliation. Through the Episcopal Fund, your church not only supports the Bishop who serves your conference, but the global work of our United Methodist episcopal leaders. Your giving makes possible their witness for the whole church in many areas including evangelism, justice ministries, global health and working with the world’s poor. This ministry happens thanks to the generous support of United Methodists like you. I invite you once again to give generously as we worship God through the sharing of our gifts, tithes and offerings.

Learn more about the work of the Council of Bishops of the UMC at: http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/council-of-bishops

August 3, 2014 -- Eighth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide

God of abundant grace and compassion, you heap blessings on us with the reminder that we have been blessed to be a blessing. As we offer our tithes and offering this morning, we remember that we live in a world where so many don’t have enough to eat or clean water to drink. The words that Jesus spoke to the disciples ring loud in our ears: “You give them something to eat!” As we put these gifts in your hands and lift our eyes in gratitude, bless the gifts and multiply them to ease the need in places we may never go for people we may never meet. We ask this in the holy name of Jesus, the Christ. Amen. (Matthew 14:13-21)

"Prayers by Ken Sloan. Copyright General Board of Discipleship. www.GBOD.org Used by permission."

Saturday, March 31, 2012

If he's the Messiah, Reflection on Mark 15:24-47

The first reaction to the crucifixion of Jesus was mockery. Mockery by passers-by and by the chief priests and the scribes. "If he's the Messiah, why doesn't he do some Messiah-like thing?" Even the two bandits being crucified next to him taunted him.

Mark is making an important point. What does Messiah-behavior look like? What do we expect of a savior, of an anointed one chosen as our leader? What does it mean for us that our Christ has suffered and died? What does it mean for us that our Christ was rejected by religious experts and deserted by his closest followers?

And what does it mean for us that a centurion, an officer of the occupying Roman army, recognized that this man was God's Son?

What does it mean for us to remember that Jesus had women disciples? ones who were not hiding away at this frightening time but were witnesses to the crucifixion?

Daily Prayer, Saturday, March 31, 2012

I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.”
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your steadfast love.

Morning
Invitatory Psalm 102
Hear my prayer, O Lord;
let my cry come to you.
Do not hide your face from me
  in the day of my distress.
Incline your ear to me;
answer me speedily in the day when I call.
For my days pass away like smoke,
  and my bones burn like a furnace.
My heart is stricken and withered like grass;
I am too wasted to eat my bread.
Because of my loud groaning
  my bones cling to my skin.
I am like an owl of the wilderness,
  like a little owl of the waste places.
I lie awake; I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
All day long my enemies taunt me;
those who deride me use my name for a curse.
For I eat ashes like bread,
  and mingle tears with my drink,
because of your indignation and anger;
  for you have lifted me up and thrown me aside.
My days are like an evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.
But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
your name endures to all generations.
You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
  for it is time to favor it;
the appointed time has come.
For your servants hold its stones dear,
  and have pity on its dust.
The nations will fear the name of the Lord,
  and all the kings of the earth your glory.
For the Lord will build up Zion;
he will appear in his glory.
He will regard the prayer of the destitute,
  and will not despise their prayer.
Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
  so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord:
that he looked down from his holy height,
from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,
to hear the groans of the prisoners,
  to set free those who were doomed to die;
so that the name of the Lord may be declared in Zion,
  and his praise in Jerusalem,
when peoples gather together, and kingdoms,
  to worship the Lord.
He has broken my strength in midcourse;
he has shortened my days.
“O my God,” I say, “do not take me away
  at the mid-point of my life,
  you whose years endure throughout all generations.”
Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth,
  and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you endure;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You change them like clothing, and they pass away;
but you are the same, and your years have no end.
The children of your servants shall live secure;
their offspring shall be established in your presence.

Psalm 26
Vindicate me, O Lord, 

for I have walked in my integrity, 
and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Prove me, O Lord, and try me; 

test my heart and mind.
For your steadfast love is before my eyes, 

and I walk in faithfulness to you.
I do not sit with the worthless, 

nor do I consort with hypocrites;
I hate the company of evildoers, 

and will not sit with the wicked.
I wash my hands in innocence, 

and go around your altar, O Lord,
singing aloud a song of thanksgiving, 

and telling all your wondrous deeds.

O Lord, I love the house in which you dwell, 

and the place where your glory abides.
Do not sweep me away with sinners, 

nor my life with the bloodthirsty,
those in whose hands are evil devices, 

and whose right hands are full of bribes.
But as for me, I walk in my integrity; 

redeem me, and be gracious to me.
My foot stands on level ground; 

in the great congregation I will bless the Lord.

Psalm 27
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? 
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh—
my adversaries and foes— they shall stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.
One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: 
to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, 
to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; 
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; 
he will set me high on a rock.

Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, 
and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; 
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!
“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!” Your face, Lord, do I seek.

Do not hide your face from me. 
Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. 
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation!
If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.
Teach me your way, O Lord, 
and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, 
for false witnesses have risen against me, 
and they are breathing out violence.

I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord 
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong, 
and let your heart take courage; 
wait for the Lord!

Psalm 29
Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
worship the Lord in holy splendor.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.

He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
   and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl,
   and strips the forest bare;
   and in his temple all say, “Glory!”

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!

Daily Lectionary Reading, Mark 15:24-47


24 They crucified him. They divided up his clothes, drawing lots for them to determine who would take what. 25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The notice of the formal charge against him was written, “ The king of the Jews. ” 27 They crucified two outlaws with him, one on his right and one on his left. (t)


29 People walking by insulted him, shaking their heads and saying, “ Ha! So you were going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, were you? 30 Save yourself and come down from that cross! ”


31 In the same way, the chief priests were making fun of him among themselves, together with the legal experts. “ He saved others, ” they said, “ but he can’t save himself. 32 Let the Christ, the king of Israel, come down from the cross. Then we’ll see and believe. ” Even those who had been crucified with Jesus insulted him.


33 From noon until three in the afternoon the whole earth was dark. 34 At three, Jesus cried out with a loud shout, “ Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani, ” which means, “ My God, my God, why have you left me? ”


35 After hearing him, some standing there said, “ Look! He’s calling Elijah! ” 36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, and put it on a pole. He offered it to Jesus to drink, saying, “ Let’s see if Elijah will come to take him down. ” 37 But Jesus let out a loud cry and died.


38 The curtain of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 When the centurion, who stood facing Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “ This man was certainly God’s Son. ”


40 Some women were watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James (the younger one) and Joses, and Salome. 41 When Jesus was in Galilee, these women had followed and supported him, along with many other women who had come to Jerusalem with him.
_________________________________________________
t  15:28 is omitted in most critical editions of the Gk New Testament The scripture was fulfilled, which says, He was numbered among criminals .
[Common English Bible]


Prayer for Today: Almighty God, you sent your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, to suffer death on the cross. Grant that we may share in his obedience to your will and in the glorious victory of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and ever. Amen. UMH 281

Evening
Psalm 35:1-3, 9-28
Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me!
Take hold of shield and buckler, and rise up to help me!
Draw the spear and javelin against my pursuers;
say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”

Then my soul shall rejoice in the Lord,
   exulting in his deliverance.
All my bones shall say, “O Lord, who is like you?
You deliver the weak from those too strong for them,
   the weak and needy from those who despoil them.”

Malicious witnesses rise up;
they ask me about things I do not know.
They repay me evil for good; my soul is forlorn.

But as for me, when they were sick, I wore sackcloth;
I afflicted myself with fasting.
I prayed with head bowed on my bosom,
   as though I grieved for a friend or a brother;
I went about as one who laments for a mother,
   bowed down and in mourning.

But at my stumbling they gathered in glee,
they gathered together against me;
ruffians whom I did not know tore at me without ceasing;
they impiously mocked more and more,
   gnashing at me with their teeth.

How long, O Lord, will you look on?
Rescue me from their ravages, my life from the lions!

Then I will thank you in the great congregation;
in the mighty throng I will praise you.

Do not let my treacherous enemies rejoice over me,
   or those who hate me without cause wink the eye.
For they do not speak peace,
   but they conceive deceitful words
   against those who are quiet in the land.

They open wide their mouths against me;
they say, “Aha, Aha, our eyes have seen it.”

You have seen, O Lord; do not be silent!
O Lord, do not be far from me!
Wake up!
Bestir yourself for my defense,
   for my cause, my God and my Lord!
Vindicate me, O Lord, my God,
   according to your righteousness,
   and do not let them rejoice over me.
Do not let them say to themselves,
   “Aha, we have our heart’s desire.”
Do not let them say, “We have swallowed you up.”
…..
Let those who desire my vindication shout for joy
and be glad, and say evermore,
    “Great is the Lord,
    who delights in the welfare of his servant.”
Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness
   and of your praise all day long.

Psalm 38
O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger,
   or discipline me in your wrath.
For your arrows have sunk into me,
   and your hand has come down on me.
There is no soundness in my flesh
   because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones because of my sin.
For my iniquities have gone over my head;
they weigh like a burden too heavy for me.
My wounds grow foul and fester
   because of my foolishness;
I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;
all day long I go around mourning.
For my loins are filled with burning,
   and there is no soundness in my flesh.

I am utterly spent and crushed;
I groan because of the tumult of my heart.
O Lord, all my longing is known to you;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart throbs, my strength fails me;
as for the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.

My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction,
   and my neighbors stand far off.
Those who seek my life lay their snares;
those who seek to hurt me speak of ruin,
   and meditate treachery all day long.

But I am like the deaf, I do not hear;
like the mute, who cannot speak.
Truly, I am like one who does not hear,
and in whose mouth is no retort.

But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait;
it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.

For I pray, “Only do not let them rejoice over me,
    those who boast against me when my foot slips.”
For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever with me.

I confess my iniquity;
I am sorry for my sin.
….
Do not forsake me, O Lord;
O my God, do not be far from me;
make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation.