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 World Service Fund, your church supports a network of dedicated, faithful missionaries. Working with the support of our General Board of Global Ministries, servants like Clara Biswas do ministry in our name. Clara’s work with the children of Cambodia, who live in deepest poverty, has changed lives. In partnership with UM Women, her work has led to the building of a school near the garbage dump where these children scavenge to help their families. 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 our General Board of Global Ministries Missionaries at:www.umcmission.org/Explore-Our-Work/Missionaries-in-Service/Missionary-Landing

October 19, 2014 -- Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide
Holy God, as we prepare to present to you our offering and gifts, we can’t help but think of all we have held back. When Jesus told the Pharisees to render to the Emperor what was due the Emperor, and to God what was due God, we know he was speaking to us. We know we have been much more ready to give what is due to the powers of this world, and far more tight-fisted with what is due God: justice, mercy, compassion, and trust. All that we are is due our God, and we offer that now with gratitude for all we have received from your goodness, and with trust in your faithfulness. We pray in the name of Christ our Savior. Amen. (Matthew 22:15-22)


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

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Swallowing that Permits Life, Relection on Isaiah 25:6-9

Since many people don't own a Bible that includes the Apochrypha, the lectionary offers an alternative Old Testament reading for All Saints Day from Isaiah.

Here's a repeat of an entry from October 11, 2008:
They have heard Isaiah's prayer of gratitude for their deliverance. He now tells them that the Lord will make for all peoples a banquet.

Two things are important about this banquet. First, it really is a banquet. The menu includes rich food and fine wines. Second, it's not just for them; it's a feast for all peoples.

This banquet takes the place of the negative force that death has held over them, swallows it up forever. Walter Brueggemann reminds us of NT allusions to this promise in 1 Corinthians 15:54 and Revelation 21:4 (Isaiah 1-39, WestminsterJohnKnoxPress).

Daily Prayer, Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the King of glory may come in.

Morning
Invitatory Psalm 100
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.

Know that the Lord is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
   and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
   and his faithfulness to all generations.


Psalm 120
….
“Deliver me, O Lord, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue.”
….
Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace.
I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.

Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.

Psalm 122
I was glad when they said to me,
   “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together.
To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord,
   as was decreed for Israel,
   to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
For there the thrones for judgment were set up,
   the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
   “May they prosper who love you.
   Peace be within your walls,
      and security within your towers.”

For the sake of my relatives and friends
   I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
   I will seek your good.

Psalm 123
To you I lift up my eyes,
   O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master,
   as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
   so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
   until he has mercy upon us.
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
   for we have had more than enough of contempt.
Our soul has had more than its fill of the scorn
   of those who are at ease,
   of the contempt of the proud.

Psalm 124
If it had not been the Lord who was on our side
—let Israel now say—
if it had not been the Lord who was on our side,
   when our enemies attacked us,
then they would have swallowed us up alive,
   when their anger was kindled against us;
then the flood would have swept us away,
the torrent would have gone over us;
then over us would have gone the raging waters.

Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth.
We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken, and we have escaped.

Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Daily Lectionary Reading, Isaiah 25:6-9

6 On this mountain,
the LORD of heavenly forces will prepare for all peoples
a rich feast, a feast of choice wines,
of select foods rich in flavor,
of choice wines well refined.
7 He will swallow up on this mountain the veil that is veiling all peoples,
the shroud enshrouding all nations.
8 He will swallow up death forever.
The LORD God will wipe tears from every face;
he will remove his people’s disgrace from off the whole earth,
for the LORD has spoken.
9 They will say on that day,
“Look! This is our God,
for whom we have waited—
and he has saved us!
This is the LORD, for whom we have waited;
let’s be glad and rejoice in his salvation!”

Prayer for Today: O Lord, we pause in our lives to remember all that you have already provided for us here on earth. We are grateful for your gifts in this life. And we are reassured that your presence will continue to be with us, that you will continue to provide for us, that you will continue to save us. Amen.

Midday Psalm 119:153-160
Look on my misery and rescue me,
  for I do not forget your law.
Plead my cause and redeem me;
  give me life according to your promise.
Salvation is far from the wicked,
  for they do not seek your statutes.
Great is your mercy, O Lord;
  give me life according to your justice.
Many are my persecutors and my adversaries,
  yet I do not swerve from your decrees.
I look at the faithless with disgust,
  because they do not keep your commands.
Consider how I love your precepts;
  preserve my life according to your steadfast love.
The sum of your word is truth;
  and every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever.

Evening
Psalm 130
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
   Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
   so that you may be revered.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
   and in your word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
   more than those who watch for the morning,
   more than those who watch for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
   and with him is great power to redeem.
….

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Under the Care of God, a Reflection on Wisdom 3:1-9

No, we can't know precisely what happens after death. But, since we know what happens before it, we trust in God to continue to be God. And, as we remember the people who have died this year, we also remember that God will still be taking care of them.
But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,
and no torment will ever touch them.
In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died,
and their departure was thought to be a disaster,
and their going from us to be their destruction;
but they are at peace....

Those who trust in him will understand truth,
and the faithful will abide with him in love,
because grace and mercy are upon his holy ones,
and he watches over his elect.
(The Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-3, 9)

Daily Prayer, Tuesday, October 30, 2012

You have founded the world
and those who live in it
on the seas,
and established it
on the rivers

Morning
Invitatory Psalm 84
How lovely is your dwelling place,
 O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, indeed it faints
   for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
   to the living God.

Happy are those who live in your house,
   ever singing your praise. Selah
Happy are those whose strength is in you,
   in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the valley of Baca
   they make it a place of springs;
   the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
the God of gods will be seen in Zion.

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed.

For a day in your courts is better than
   a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
   than live in the tents of wickedness.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
he bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does the Lord withhold
   from those who walk uprightly.

O Lord of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you.

Psalm 97
The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice;
let the many coastlands be glad!
Clouds and thick darkness are all around you;
righteousness and justice are
   the foundation of your throne.
...
The heavens proclaim you righteousness;
   and all the peoples behold your glory.
All worshipers of images are put to shame,
   those who make their boast in worthless idols;
all gods bow down before you.

Zion hears and is glad,
and the towns of Judah rejoice,
   because of your judgments, O God.
For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.

You love those who hate evil;
you guard  the lives of his faithful;
you rescue them from the hand of the wicked.
Light dawns for the righteous,
   and joy for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
   and give thanks to the holy name!

Psalm 98
O sing to the Lord a new song...
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
   break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
   with the lyre and the sound of melody.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
   make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
   the world and those who live in it.
Let the floods clap their hands;
let the hills sing together for joy
   at the presence of the Lord,
who is coming to judge the earth with righteousness,
   and the peoples with equity.

Psalm 99
….
Mighty King, lover of justice,
you have established equity;
you have executed justice
   and righteousness in Jacob.
….
Extol the Lord our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for the Lord our God is holy.

Psalm 101
I will sing of loyalty and of justice;
to you, O Lord, I will sing.
I will study the way that is blameless.
When shall I attain it?
I will walk with integrity of heart
   within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
   anything that is base.
….
I will look with favor on the faithful
   in the land,
so that they may live with me;
whoever walks in the way that is blameless
   shall minister to me.

No one who practices deceit shall remain in my house;
no one who utters lies shall continue in my presence.
….


Daily Lectionary Readings, 

Wisdom 3:1-9
The souls of those who do what is right are in God’s hand. They won’t feel the pain of torment. 2 To those who don’t know any better, it seems as if they have died. Their departure from this life was considered their misfortune. 3 Their leaving us seemed to be their destruction, but in reality they are at peace. 4 It may look to others as if they have been punished, but they have the hope of living forever. 5 They were disciplined a little, but they will be rewarded with abundant good things, because God tested them and found that they deserve to be with him. 6 He tested them like gold in the furnace; he accepted them like an entirely burned offering. 7 Then, when the time comes for judgment, the godly will burst forth and run about like fiery sparks among dry straw. 8 The godly will judge nations and hold power over peoples, even as the Lord will rule over them forever. 9 Those who trust in the Lord will know the truth. Those who are faithful will always be with him in love. Favor and mercy belong to the holy ones. God watches over God’s chosen ones.

Psalm 24
The earth is the LORD ’s and everything in it,
the world and its inhabitants too.
2 Because God is the one who established it on the seas;
God set it firmly on the waters.
3 Who can ascend the LORD ’s mountain?
Who can stand in his holy sanctuary?
4 Only the one with clean hands and a pure heart;
the one who hasn’t made false promises,
the one who hasn’t sworn dishonestly.
5 That kind of person receives blessings from the LORD
and righteousness from the God who saves.
6 And that’s how things are
with the generation that seeks him—
that seeks the face of Jacob’s God. (r) Selah
7 Mighty gates: lift up your heads!
Ancient doors: rise up high!
So the glorious king can enter!
8 Who is this glorious king?
The LORD —strong and powerful!
The LORD —powerful in battle!
9 Mighty gates: lift up your heads!
Ancient doors: rise up high!
So the glorious king can enter!
10 Who is this glorious king?
The LORD of heavenly forces—
he is the glorious king! Selah
_________________________________________________
r  LXX, Syr; MT seek your face, Jacob

Prayer for Today: Choose one of the prayers for All Saints Day from Joan Stott's website Timeless Psalms   

[Common English Bible]

Midday Psalm 119:137-152
You are righteous, O Lord,
  and your judgments are right.
You have appointed your decrees in righteousness
  and in all faithfulness.
My zeal consumes me
  because my foes forget your words.
Your promise is well tried,
  and your servant loves it.
I am small and despised,
 yet I do not forget your precepts.
Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
  and your law is the truth.
Trouble and anguish have come upon me,
  but your commandments are my delight.
Your decrees are righteous forever;
give me understanding that I may live.

With my whole heart I cry;
answer me, O Lord.
I will keep your statutes.
I cry to you;
save me, that I may observe your decrees.
I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I put my hope in your words.
My eyes are awake before each watch of the night,
  that I may meditate on your promise.

In your steadfast love hear my voice;
  O Lord, in your justice preserve my life.
Those who persecute me with evil purpose draw near;
  they are far from your law.
Yet you are near, O Lord,
  and all your commandments are true.
Long ago I learned from your decrees
  that you have established them forever.

Evening
Psalm 115
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory,
for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness.
Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”
Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases.

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.
They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell.
They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk;
they make no sound in their throats.
Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them.

O Israel, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.
O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.
You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.
The Lord has been mindful of us; he will bless us;
he will bless the house of Israel;
he will bless the house of Aaron;

he will bless those who fear the Lord, both small and great.
May the Lord give you increase, both you and your children.
May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
The heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth he has given to human beings.
The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any that go down into silence.
But we will bless the Lord from this time on and forevermore. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 116
I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications.
Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.

Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I pray, save my life!”
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.
The Lord protects the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return, O my soul, to your rest,
   for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For you have delivered my soul from death,
   my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
I walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
I kept my faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”;
I said in my consternation, “Everyone is a liar.”

What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord,
I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
….
I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 117
Praise the Lord, all you nations!
Extol him, all you peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us,
   and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!