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Preparation for Worship
Songs: Ask yourself and the people who will be worshipping with you (kids included), “What are some of the songs we sing that focus on ways God provides for us?” Play them on Spotify, sing them acapella, or create your own instrumental arrangement.
Bible: You will need a Bible to read from the scriptures. You can use this doc or your phone as well…but I’d recommend using an actual Bible.
This week’s liturgy is based on the following texts:
Genesis 32:22-31 and Psalm 17:1-7,15, Isaiah 55:1-5 and Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21, Romans 9:1-5, Matthew 14:12-21
You can decide who will lead the different movements of this gathering. It would be great for every person to have a part.
In the Bible, in Matthew 18:20, the scripture says, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.” We believe that the church is not a building. The church is made up of people. So, we have gathered here in the spaces in which we live to be the church. We will worship God together. We trust that God is here with us, and God is at work among us.
Call to Worship
Leader: We gather here in anticipation,
seeking an encounter with our Holy God,
All: God, meet us here today.
Leader: God comes among us when we least expect it,
God invites us to wrestle with our questions and doubts,
All: God, meet us here today.
Leader: God richly blesses us, provides for us,
and calls us each by name.
All: Let’s worship God together!
Song of Praise
Sing one song that focuses on God’s power and provision.
Interpretive Reading of the Psalm
The psalmist writes in Psalm 17,
Listen while I build my case, God,
the most honest prayer you’ll ever hear.
Show the world I’m innocent—
in your heart you know I am.
Go ahead, examine me from inside out,
surprise me in the middle of the night—
You’ll find I’m just what I say I am.
My words don’t run loose.
I’m not trying to get my way
in the world’s way.
I’m trying to get your way,
your Word’s way.
I’m staying on your trail;
I’m putting one foot
In front of the other.
I’m not giving up.
I call to you, God, because I’m sure of an answer.
So—answer! bend your ear! listen sharp!
Paint grace-graffiti on the fences;
take in your frightened children who
Are running from the neighborhood bullies
straight to you.
And me? I plan on looking
you full in the face. When I get up,
I’ll see your full stature
and live heaven on earth.
Old Testament Reading
Hear the word of the Lord from Genesis 32.
22 Jacob got up during the night, took his two wives, his two women servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed the Jabbok River’s shallow water. 23 He took them and everything that belonged to him, and he helped them cross the river. 24 But Jacob stayed apart by himself, and a man wrestled with him until dawn broke. 25 When the man saw that he couldn’t defeat Jacob, he grabbed Jacob’s thigh and tore a muscle in Jacob’s thigh as he wrestled with him. 26 The man said, “Let me go because the dawn is breaking.”
But Jacob said, “I won’t let you go until you bless me.”
27 He said to Jacob, “What’s your name?” and he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name won’t be Jacob any longer, but Israel, because you struggled with God and with men and won.”
29 Jacob also asked and said, “Tell me your name.”
But he said, “Why do you ask for my name?” and he blessed Jacob there. 30 Jacob named the place Peniel, “because I’ve seen God face-to-face, and my life has been saved.” 31 The sun rose as Jacob passed Penuel, limping because of his thigh.
Prayer of Preparation
God of our hearts, we offer ourselves to you today.
We’ve come with hungry hearts,
praying that your Word will satisfy us.
We come with heavy hearts,
praying for good news to comfort us.
We come with overflowing hearts,
praying for a chance to share your love.
You, who know our hearts and hear our prayers,
be with us now as we listen to your word.
(The time of listening is a series of reading the scripture, re-telling the story, and paying attention to where God is stirring your hearts as you listen. Invite everyone to listen to the words of the scriptures and to be ready to re-tell the story.)
A reading from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 14.
13 When Jesus heard about John, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. When the crowds learned this, they followed him on foot from the cities.
14 When Jesus arrived and saw a large crowd, he had compassion for them and healed those who were sick.
15 That evening his disciples came and said to him, “This is an isolated place and it’s getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus said to them, “There’s no need to send them away. You give them something to eat.”
17 They replied, “We have nothing here except five loaves of bread and two fish.”
18 He said, “Bring them here to me.”
19 He ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves of bread and the two fish, looked up to heaven, blessed them and broke the loaves apart and gave them to his disciples. Then the disciples gave them to the crowds.
20 Everyone ate until they were full, and they filled twelve baskets with the leftovers. 21 About five thousand men plus women and children had eaten.
Let’s remember together what happened in this story. What happened first? What happened next? (go around the circle and tell the story to each other. Try to remember as many details as possible.). Perhaps your group would like to act out this story…
What part of this miracle story stood out to you? Why do you think that part stood out?
Let each person in the circle take a turn to wonder about something in this story. Start out by saying “As we read this miracle story, it made me wonder…”
What did you learn about Jesus through this reading?
What will we carry into this week from this text?
What can we pray for this week?
Prayers of the People
Loving and Gracious God,
So often we come believing in our emptiness,
believing that we will never have enough,
believing that what we have is unworthy.
Yet we know that you provide for us.
We believe that you take our meager offerings
And turn it into something worthy,
Something that can meet the needs of others.
We pray today, O God, for those in need.
We pray for those who are hurting and sick.
We pray for those in need of your miraculous provision.
These are the things we offer to you today (invite everyone to offer their prayers)…
May we be the hands and heart of Christ.
As we pray the prayer you taught us to pray saying,
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
Go now into the world, strengthened by the gifts
with which Christ has fed you.
Be generous to others, for Christ has given extravagantly.
Live by God’s word, avoiding lies and violence.
Walk in God’s paths and never stray.
And may God’s wonderful love be with you everywhere;
May Christ Jesus feed you with his body and word;
And may the Holy Spirit confirm the truth in you
……..and fill you with God’s presence always.
We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
……..In the name of Christ. Amen.