Aug 25, 2016

Readers' Theatre: Luke 14: 1, 7-14

Here’s a simple readers’ theatre setting of Luke 14: 1, 7-14.  It is set for two voices:  Jesus, and a narrator.

Readers’ Theatre
(Luke 14: 1, 7-14)

One Sabbath day Jesus went to eat dinner
in the home of a leader of the Pharisees,
and the people were watching him closely. 

When Jesus noticed that all who had come to the dinner
were trying to sit in the seats of honor near the head of the table,
he gave them this advice:

When you are invited to a wedding feast,
don’t sit in the seat of honor.
What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited? 
The host will come and say, ‘Give this person your seat.’
Then you will be embarrassed,
and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table!

Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table.
Then when your host sees you, he will come and say,
‘Friend, we have a better place for you!’
Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests. 
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled,
and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Then Jesus turned to his host.

When you put on a luncheon or a banquet
don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors.
For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. 
Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 
Then at the resurrection of the righteous,
God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.

Opening Prayer: Luke 14: 7-14

Here’s an opening invocation inspired by Luke 14: 7-14.  It was written by Rev. Christopher Ney.

Opening Invocation
(inspired by Luke 14: 7-14)

Hospitable God, you invite us to a banquet
where the last may be first,
and the humble and the mighty trade places.
Let us share your abundance with no fear of scarcity;
let us greet strangers as angels you have sent!
Send your Spirit now
so that we may find a place at your table
and welcome others with radical hospitality.
In the name of Jesus, Guest at all our tables, we pray.  Amen.

~ written by Rev. Christopher Ney, and posted on the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways website. http://www.ucc.org/worship/worship-ways/year-c/p/pentecost-ordinary-time-15.html

Call to Worship: Proper 17 C

Here’s a responsive call to worship inspired by the suggested scripture texts for Proper 17, Year C.  It was written by Eliza Buchakjian-Tweedy of First Church Congregational in Rochester, NH. 

Call to Worship
(inspired by Luke 14:1, 7-14, Hebrews 13:1-6)

Creator God, you call us to hospitality;
to give as generously to others as you have given to us.
For there are angels among us.
Loving God, you call us to give you glory
in the compassion we show to one another.
To love without judgment, of ourselves or of others.
We gather as one Body,
seeking to walk in the way you have set for us.
We gather as one Body,
to worship the one who is Love.

~ written by Eliza Buchakjian-Tweedy, Pastor at First Church Congregational, Rochester, NH.  She blogs at http://sermonizing.wordpress.com/

Jul 25, 2016

Call to Worship for Proper 13C

Here’s a call to worship inspired by the suggested scripture texts for Proper 13, Year C – especially Colossians 3 and Psalm 107. It was written by Bruce Prewer, and posted on Bruce Prewer’s Home Page.

Call to Worship
(inspired by Psalm 107 and Colossians 3:1-11)

If you wish to be raised up with Christ,
then seek the high ground where Christ is found.
O give thanks to God who is so good,
whose love goes on forever!

Let the redeemed all say so together,
Those who have been liberated
and gathered in from many lands.
From the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south,

We seek the high ground where Christ is found.
O give thanks to God who is so good,
whose love goes on forever!

Let us worship our wonderful God.

~ written by Bruce Prewer, and posted on Bruce Prewer’s Home Page. http://www.bruceprewer.com/DocC/C47sun18.htm

Call to Worship: Luke 12:19

Here’s an invitation to worship inspired by Luke 12:19, the parable of the rich fool. It was written by Rachel Hackenberg (see below for link).

Instead of a Barn
(based on Luke 12:19)

I will say to my soul,
“Soul, you have ample grace
to live absent of fear and full of love.
Now at last will you rest your worries and
welcome God’s possibilities for life?
Come, my soul, step out
into a new thing!”

~ written by Rachel Hackenberg (inspired by Luke 12 :19).  Posted on Rachel G Hackenberg. http://rachelhackenberg.com/blog/