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, you made possible life-changing mission work led by the General Board of Global Ministries, in areas of clean water and sanitation. Almost 900 million people don’t have access to clean, safe water; and 2.5 billion people do not have safe sanitation. Through partnership across the church and with UMCOR and the Advance for Christ, United Methodists strive to meet this most basic need. 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 UMC to help people Access Safe Water at:www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Programs/Global-Health/Water-and-Sanitation

July 20, 2014 -- Sixth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide
Holy God who chose to live among us: You remind us that in your creation good and evil exist side by side. We know that the evil can come in subtle ways, valuing the regard of others more than seeking to please you, putting self-promotion before compassion for others, or turning a blind eye to injustice. May the gifts we give this morning be our affirmation to choose the good over the evil, and what serves your loving purpose over what denies it. Help us to bear fruit, and may our lives be deemed worthy at the time of harvest. We pray in the holy name of Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer. Amen. (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)

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

Monday, December 31, 2012

Arise and Shine, Reflection on Isaiah 60:1-6

Isaiah is speaking to people who have known defeat and desolation: Arise and shine for your light has come.

We're reading these words as we are still trying to find a way to recover from the economic shocks that have hit our world. We read them as we contemplate the continuing violence among peoples and nations.

Arise and shine for your light has come.

How are we to believe in this great reversal? How do we recognize God's power that has come into our lives? And how do we transmit that great power?

Isaiah explained that when God shares wealth and power, there's a reason: Nations shall come to your light. They all gather together and come to you.

Daily Prayer, Monday, December 31, 2012

Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son.
May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.

Morning
Invitatory Psalm 95
O come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

For the Lord is a great God,
  and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
  and the dry land, which his hands have formed.

O come, let us worship and bow down,
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
  and we are the people of his pasture,
  and the sheep of his hand.
O that today you would listen to his voice!
….

Psalm 1
Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
   or take the path that sinners tread,
   or sit in the seat of scoffers;
       but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
       and on it,  they meditate day and night.
They are like trees planted by streams of water,
   which yield their fruit in its season,
   and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.
The wicked are not so,
   but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
….

Psalm 2
Why do the nations conspire,
   and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
   against the Lord and his anointed,  saying,
       “Let us burst their bonds asunder,
         and cast their cords from us.”

The One who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord has them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
   and terrify them in his fury, saying,
       “I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.”
I will tell of the decree of the Lord:
   He said to me, “You are my son;
   today I have begotten you.
….
Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
….

Psalm 3
O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
many are saying to me,
   “There is no help for you in God.”
But you, O Lord, are a shield around me,
   my glory,
   and the one who lifts up my head.
I cry aloud to the Lord,
   and he answers me from his holy hill.
I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, for the Lord sustains me.
I am not afraid of ten thousands of people
   who have set themselves against me all around.

Rise up, O Lord!
Deliver me, O my God! ...
Deliverance belongs to the Lord;
may your blessing be on your people!

Psalm 5
Give ear to my words, O Lord;
give heed to my sighing.
Listen to the sound of my cry,
   my King and my God, for to you I pray.
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
   in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.
For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
   evil will not sojourn with you.
….
Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
   because of my enemies;
make your way straight before me.
   For there is no truth in their mouths;
   their hearts are destruction;
   their throats are open graves;
   they flatter with their tongues.
….
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
   so that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
you cover them with favor as with a shield.

Daily Lectionary Reading, Isaiah 60:1-6

Arise! Shine! Your light has come;
the LORD’s glory has shone upon you.
2 Though darkness covers the earth
and gloom the nations,
the LORD will shine upon you;
God’s glory will appear over you.
3 Nations will come to your light
and kings to your dawning radiance.
4 Lift up your eyes and look all around:
they are all gathered; they have come to you.
Your sons will come from far away,
and your daughters on caregivers’ hips.
5 Then you will see and be radiant;
your heart will tremble and open wide,
because the sea’s abundance will be turned over to you;
the nations’ wealth will come to you.
6 Countless camels will cover your land,
young camels from Midian and Ephah.
They will all come from Sheba,
carrying gold and incense,
proclaiming the LORD ’s praises. [Common English Bible]

Prayer for Today: O God our Lord, we pause on this day remembering the year we have just experienced and looking forward to the new year you are offering us. You have given us light to see the way we are to travel. You have provided light for those who are wandering to find their way. Open our eyes to see what is around us, to see what you have provided, to see what your intentions are for us to use these gifts. Amen.

Midday Psalm 119:1-8
Happy are those whose way is blameless,
   who walk in the law of the Lord.
Happy are those who keep his decrees,
   who seek him with their whole heart,
   who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways.
You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.
O that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame,
   having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart,
   when I learn your righteous ordinances.
I will observe your statutes; do not utterly forsake me.

Evening
Psalm 6
O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger,
   or discipline me in your wrath.
Be gracious to me, O Lord,
   for I am languishing;
O Lord, heal me,
   for my bones are shaking with terror.
My soul also is struck with terror,
   while you, O Lord—how long?
Turn, O Lord, save my life;
deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love.
….
The Lord has heard my supplication;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
All my enemies shall be ashamed and struck with terror;
they shall turn back, and in a moment be put to shame.

Psalm 7
O Lord my God, in you I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me,
or like a lion they will tear me apart;
they will drag me away, with no one to rescue.
....
O let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
   but establish the righteous,
   you who test the minds and hearts,
        O righteous God.
God is my shield, who saves the upright in heart.
God is a righteous judge,
   and a God who has indignation every day.
….
I will give you the thanks due to your righteousness,
   and sing praise to your name, O Lord, the Most High.

Psalm 8
O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouths of babes and infants
   you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
       to silence the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
   the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
   mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
   and crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them dominion
   over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet,
   all sheep and oxen,
   and also the beasts of the field,
   the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
   whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Sovereign,
   how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

While making your resolutions, a Reflection on Matthew 25:31-46

We're looking forward to a new year but the old years are still part of who we are. 

The gospel reading chosen for New Year's Day is the prophecy of what the Son of Man will say on the day of judgment.

"When have we seen you?" they asked. His response is that he was present in the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the needy, the prisoner, and the sick.

I'm struck by how many modern day parallels we still see to this list--people who have lost their jobs, people who have entered our country without documentation, people who don't yet have health insurance.

It may be a new year this week, but we aren't quite ready yet for the Son of Man to come in his glory with all the angels with him to sit on the throne of glory and begin that separation of people who did not do to the least of what they knew they should have done for Christ.

Daily Prayer, Sunday, December 30, 2012

O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Morning
Invitatory Psalm 24
The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
the world, and those who live in it;
for he has founded it on the seas,
   and established it on the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
   who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
   and do not swear deceitfully.
They will receive blessing from the Lord,
   and vindication from the God of their salvation.
Such is the company of those who seek him,
   who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah

Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
   that the King of glory may come in.
Who is the King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
   the Lord, mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O gates!
   and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
   that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah


Psalm 147
Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to our God;
   for he is gracious,
   and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted,
   and binds up their wounds.

He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.

The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
he casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre.

He covers the heavens with clouds,
   prepares rain for the earth,
   makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the animals their food,
   and to the young ravens when they cry.

His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
   nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;
but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
   in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!
For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
he blesses your children within you.
He grants peace within your borders;
he fills you with the finest of wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;
he scatters frost like ashes.
He hurls down hail like crumbs—
   who can stand before his cold?
He sends out his word, and melts them;
he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob,
   his statutes and ordinances to Israel.
He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
   they do not know his ordinances. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 148
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels; 
praise him, all his host!
Praise him, sun and moon; 
praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens,
   and you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
   for he commanded and they were created.
He established them forever and ever;
he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
  you sea monsters and all deeps,
  fire and hail, snow and frost,
  stormy wind fulfilling his command!
  Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars!
  Wild animals and all cattle,
  creeping things and flying birds!
  Kings of the earth and all peoples,
  princes and all rulers of the earth!
  Young men and women alike, old and young together!

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
   for his name alone is exalted;
   his glory is above earth and heaven.
He has raised up a horn for his people,
   praise for all his faithful,
    for the people of Israel who are close to him.

Praise the Lord!

Psalm 149
Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
   his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in its Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.
Let them praise his name with dancing,
   making melody to him with tambourine and lyre.

For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
he adorns the humble with victory.

Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy on their couches.
Let the high praises of God be in their throats
    and two-edged swords in their hands,
    to execute vengeance on the nations
       and punishment on the peoples,
    to bind their kings with fetters
        and their nobles with chains of iron,
    to execute on them the judgment decreed.

This is glory for all his faithful ones.
Praise the Lord!

Daily Lectionary Reading, Matthew 25:31-46

31 “Now when the Human One [f] comes in his majesty and all his angels are with him, he will sit on his majestic throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in front of him. He will separate them from each other, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right side. But the goats he will put on his left.

34 “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who will receive good things from my Father. Inherit the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world began. 35 I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. 36 I was naked and you gave me clothes to wear. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me.’


37 “Then those who are righteous will reply to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? 38 When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and give you clothes to wear? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’


40 “Then the king will reply to them, ‘I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.’


41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Get away from me, you who will receive terrible things. Go into the unending fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 I was hungry and you didn’t give me food to eat. I was thirsty and you didn’t give me anything to drink. 43 I was a stranger and you didn’t welcome me. I was naked and you didn’t give me clothes to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’


44 “ Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and didn’t do anything to help you?’ 45 Then he will answer, ‘I assure you that when you haven’t done it for one of the least of these, you haven’t done it for me.’ 46 And they will go away into eternal punishment. But the righteous ones will go into eternal life. ”

_________________________________________________
f  Or Son of Man
[Common English Bible]

Prayer for Today: Pray the words of this hymn Whatever You Do by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. The suggested tune, St. Denio can be found at hymnary,org


Evening
Psalms 144
Bless the LORD, my rock,
who taught my hands how to fight,
who taught my fingers how to do battle!
God is my loyal one, my fortress,
my place of safety, my rescuer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
and the one who subdues
people before me.

What are human beings, LORD,
that you know them at all?
What are human beings
that you even consider them?
Humans are like a puff of air;
their days go by like a shadow.

LORD, part your skies and come down!
Touch the mountains so they smoke!
Flash lightning and scatter the enemy!
Shoot your arrows and defeat them!
Stretch out your hand from above!
Rescue me and deliver me
from deep water,
from the power of strangers,
whose mouths speak lies,
and whose strong hand is
a strong hand of deception!

I will sing a new song to you, God.
I will sing praises to you
on a ten-stringed harp,
to you—the one
who gives saving help to rulers,
and who rescues his servant David from the evil sword.

Rescue me and deliver me
from the power of strangers,
whose mouths speak lies,
and whose strong hand
is a strong hand of deception,
so that our sons can grow up fully,
in their youth, like plants;
so that our daughters can be like pillars
   carved to decorate a palace;
so that our barns can be full,
providing all kinds of food;
so that our flocks can be
in the thousands—
even tens of thousands—in our fields;
so that our cattle can be loaded
with calves;
so that there won’t be any breach
in the walls,
no exile, no outcries in our streets!

The people who have it like this
are truly happy!
The people whose God is the LORD
are truly happy!
[Common English Bible]

Psalm 145
I will lift you up high, my God, the true king.
I will bless your name forever and always.
I will bless you every day.
I will praise your name forever and always.
The LORD is great and so worthy of praise!
God’s greatness can’t be grasped.
One generation will praise your works to the next one,
   proclaiming your mighty acts.
They will talk all about the glorious splendor of your majesty;
I will contemplate your wondrous works.
They will speak of the power of your awesome deeds;
I will declare your great accomplishments.
They will rave in celebration of your abundant goodness;
they will shout joyfully about your righteousness:
“The LORD is merciful and compassionate,
   very patient, and full of faithful love.
The LORD is good to everyone and everything;
God’s compassion extends to all his handiwork!”
All that you have made gives thanks to you, LORD;
all your faithful ones bless you!
They speak of the glory of your kingdom;
they talk all about your power,
   to inform all human beings  about God’s power
   and the majestic glory of God’s kingdom.
Your kingdom is a kingship that lasts forever;
your rule endures for all generations.
The LORD is trustworthy in all that he says,
   faithful in all that he does.
The LORD supports all who fall down,
   straightens up all who are bent low.
All eyes look to you, hoping,
    and you give them their food right on time,
opening your hand and satisfying the desire
   of every living thing.
The LORD is righteous in all his ways,
   faithful in all his deeds.
The LORD is close to everyone who calls out to him,
   to all who call out to him sincerely.
God shows favor to those who honor him,
   listening to their cries for help and saving them.
The LORD protects all who love him,
but he destroys every wicked person.
My mouth will proclaim the LORD’s praise,
and every living thing will bless God’s holy name
   forever and always.
[Common  English Bible]