Sunday, June 26, 2016

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time [Proper 8]

2Kings 20:1-21 or Amos 4:1-3 or Malachi 3:6-18 (4:1-6)
Psalm 56
Matthew 9:27-34 or John 5:31-47
1Corinthians 3:12-15 (3:16-4:5) 4:6-21 or 2John


     

CALL TO WORSHIP [from GREATER ATTENTION: LERW, YEAR D]
May grace, mercy, and peace be with us from God the Father
and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, in truth and love.
         Let our service to God and our faith in Christ Jesus
         be a spectacle to the world, to angels and to mortals. 
If we are fools for the sake of Christ, let others become wise in him.
If we are weak, may they become are strong.
         When reviled, we shall bless; when persecuted, we shall endure;
         when slandered, we shall speak kindly.
For even if we are like the rubbish of the world, the dregs of all things,
We know that the Lord himself has received as much from the world.
         Therefore, in God, whose word I praise, in God I trust;
         I am not afraid; what can flesh do to me?
My vows to you I must perform, O God;
I will render thank offerings to you.
         For you have delivered my soul from death,and my feet from falling,
         so that I may walk before you in the light of life.

Friday, June 17, 2016

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time [Proper 7]

Isaiah 29:1-24 OR Isaiah 59:1-21
Psalm 55
Matthew 15:1-20 OR Mark 7:1-20 
1Timothy 4

   

PRAYER OF CONFESSION [from GREATER ATTENTION: LERW, YEAR D]
Our Holy and Gracious God, we confess we have often seen things upside down. We have made a habit of following blind guides rather than fully trusting in your Word, and have risked fall into the Pit. We confess we have been afraid to see what you would show us, to hear what you would say to us; thus, we find ourselves in a stupor, in a spirit of deep sleep. We have forgotten ourselves and foolishly regarded you, the potter, as though you were the clay; we have rashly questioned why you have made us this way. Forgive us, LORD! Give ear to our prayer, and do not hide yourself from our supplications. For we are besieged us and hemmed in by sin. Redeem us unharmed from the battles that we wage, for many forces and foes are arrayed against us. Nevertheless, we will trust in you to hear us as we call upon you, to save us from the wages of sin, and train us up in godliness. This we ask in Jesus’ name.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

In memory of Hughes Oliphant Old

I was saddened to read of the recent death of Dr. Hughes Oliphant Old, late Dean of Erskine Seminary and a rare historian of preaching and worship in the Reformed tradition. His textbook on worship ever a staple of the classroom, Dr. Old's scholarship on preaching crossed my radar screen again lately in the form of his contribution to Communio Sanctorum, a 1982 festschrift for J.-J. von Allmen, Old's essay being a study of the preaching of John Oecolampadius on the 500th anniversary of the birth of the Basel Reformer.

May the coming General Assembly in Portland not come and go without notice of Old's valuable work and his passing. In my own small way, and hopefully on the way to other projects related to the homiletics of the "house lamp" of the Reformation, I would honor the memory of both Dr. Old and the Basel Reformer, with this translation of Theophil Stähelin's mid-19th c. biography of John Oecolampadius.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time [Proper 6]


Isaiah 6:8-13 OR Ezekiel 17:22-24 OR 31:1-18 OR Daniel 4:1-37 
Psalm 7
Matthew 13:10-17 (18-33) 34-35 OR Mark 4:1-25 OR Luke 8:4-25; 13:18-21
Ephesians 4:17-25 (4:26-5:1-2) 5:3-7 OR 2Peter 2:1-22

   

PRAYER OF CONFESSION [from GREATER ATTENTION: LERW, YEAR D]
O God our Father, you sent your Son, your holy seed, into the world, speaking parables and proclaiming what had been hidden from the foundation of the world. Yet, we confess, though we have heard much, we have listened little; though we have seen much, we have perceived little. Our hearts have grown dull, and our ears are hard of hearing; we have often shut our eyes, and in doing so, closed ourselves off from the healing that you would give us, if we were simply to turn to you. So now we turn to you, in earnest, asking your forgiveness. May we never again shy away from the narrow gate, or be like the newly-washed sow that soon trots off to wallow in the mud. Let not your word be snatched from our hearts, neither let it be rootless or choked by the cares, the riches, and the pleasures of the world. Help us to endure in times of testing, and to pay attention to how we listen to and receive you, for we have had enough more than enough of our dullness, deafness, and sin, and we would have your kingdom come among us; we would have your Son, Jesus Christ, reign over us, no longer concealed in parables, but manifest and glorified, for every eye to see.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON [from GREATER ATTENTION: LERW, YEAR D]
Hear the good news! The LORD knows how to rescue the godly from trial. In Christ Jesus, the holy seed, God has spoken, and he will accomplish his redeeming purpose for those who trust in him. What is more, he has revealed to you the secrets of the kingdom of heaven! Blessed are you who have heard the truth and received it! For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. Therefore, live as those on whom the good seed has fallen, as those who, having heard the word, now hold it fast in an honest and good heart and bear fruit with patient endurance. Let your light shine, so that others may see it. Let no greed or impurity of any kind even be mentioned among you, as is proper among the saints. Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving! For though no impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), will have any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God, you who belong to Christ stand to share in his inheritance with him and with all the saints who have been forgiven, recreated, and redeemed. Praise the LORD!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time [Proper 5]

Deuteronomy 32:28-47 OR Isaiah 5:18-24
Psalm 74
Matthew 12:22-37 OR Luke 11:14-23
1John (3:8-15) 4:1-6

    

OPENING PRAYER [from GREATER ATTENTION: LERW, YEAR D]
Our Lord Jesus Christ, you who have come in the flesh and who, by the power of the Holy Spirit, cured the sick and drove out the spirits of darkness, come to us and grant each of us an awareness of your holy presence, and with it the gift of spiritual discernment. For in you we have the victory over sin, deception, and error; in you, who have overcome the world, we too shall overcome, for you who are in us are greater than the one who is in the world. Come, Lord Jesus, Son of David, Son of God! We are gathered in your name.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time [Proper 4]


Deuteronomy 31:30-32:27 OR Isaiah 5:8-17
Psalm 142
Matthew 17:9-20 OR Mark 9:9-29 OR Luke 9:18-27 (28-36) 37-45
Philippians 2:14-30

OPENING PRAYER [from GREATER ATTENTION: LERW, YEAR D]
O God, our Provider, who sent the Son of Man to suffer for human sin and raised him from the dead by your almighty mercy, draw near and fill us with your Holy Spirit, increasing the faith of all who would receive you. For though we believe, O LORD, yet we would have you help our unbelief! Speak to us and remind us of your amazing miracles and your wonderful deeds! Raise us up, we pray. Lead us into such height and depth and breadth of faith that we might, in faith, remove the mountains that would intimidate us and block our progress on the everlasting way, for you have promised us, as your disciples, that if we only have faith like a mustard seed, nothing will be impossible for us. Come, LORD, that we may worship you and enjoy your holy presence, find refreshment in your Word and Spirit, and be equipped for the work of Christ, for his name’s sake and yours.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Trinity Sunday (D)

1Kings 9:1-9; 11:1-13 OR Ecclesiastes 8:1-17
Psalm 35
John 15:18-25 (26-27); 16:1-4a
2Corinthians 12:11-21; 13:1-10 (11-13)

     

DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS [from GREATER ATTENTION: LERW, YEAR D]
The Lord Jesus Christ is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful in you. For though he was crucified in weakness, he lives by the power of God; and though we too are weak in him, yet we will live with him, again, by the power of God. Therefore, let everything be done for the sake of building up one another in faith, in truth, in love. Do nothing wrong, but do what is right, for those who walk the way of Christ cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth, as they grow in the love and the Spirit of Christ toward perfection. Know then that, by the grace of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven and free to persevere in faith.