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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 about God’s provision?” 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:
Exodus 16:2-15 and Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45, Jonah 3:10-4:11 and Psalm 145:1-8, Philippians 1:21-30, Matthew 20:1-16.
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 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 are gathered here today as people who often become fed up.
We wonder if you are there—if you see the things that trouble us…
All: Hear our complaints, O God!
Leader: We wonder if we will have enough!
Sometimes we let a theology and attitude of scarcity overtake us.
We let what we have define us, control us, and restrict us.
All: Hear our complaints, O God!
Leader: God provides enough.
God created each of us as enough.
God creates a world of abundance.
All: Help us live in gratitude, graciousness, and sharing, O God!
Leader: Move our hearts and lessen our fears.
That we may trust you more and more and more.
All: Help us live in gratitude, graciousness, and sharing, O God!
Leader: Praise be to the God of Abundance and Great Love!
All: Let us worship this great God!
Song of Response
Song of Praise
Sing one song that focuses on God’s love and God’s call.
Reading of the Psalm
The psalmist writes in Psalm 105 (CEB),
Give thanks to the Lord;
call upon his name;
make his deeds known to all people!
2 Sing to God; sing praises to the Lord;
dwell on all his wondrous works!
3 Give praise to God’s holy name!
Let the hearts rejoice of all those seeking the Lord!
4 Pursue the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always!
5 Remember the wondrous works he has done
all his marvelous works, and the justice he declared—
6 you who are the offspring of Abraham, his servant,
and the children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
37Then God brought Israel out, filled with silver and gold;
not one of its tribes stumbled.
38 Egypt celebrated when they left,
because the dread of Israel had come upon them.
39 God spread out clouds as a covering;
gave lightning to provide light at night.
40 The people asked, and God brought quail;
God filled them full with food from heaven.
41 God opened the rock and out gushed water—
flowing like a river through the desert!
42 Because God remembered his holy promise
to Abraham his servant,
43God brought his people out with rejoicing,
his chosen ones with songs of joy.
44 God gave them the lands of other nations;
they inherited the wealth of many peoples—
45 all so that they would keep his laws
and observe his instructions.
Praise the Lord!
Exhortation from the New Testament
Philippians chapter 1 (CEB) says,
21 Because for me, living serves Christ and dying is even better. 22 If I continue to live in this world, I get results from my work. 23 But I don’t know what I prefer. I’m torn between the two because I want to leave this life and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 However, it’s more important for me to stay in this world for your sake. 25 I’m sure of this: I will stay alive and remain with all of you to help your progress and the joy of your faith, 26 and to increase your pride in Christ Jesus through my presence when I visit you again.
27 Most important, live together in a manner worthy of Christ’s gospel. Do this, whether I come and see you or I’m absent and hear about you. Do this so that you stand firm, united in one spirit and mind as you struggle together to remain faithful to the gospel. 28 That way, you won’t be afraid of anything your enemies do. Your faithfulness and courage are a sign of their coming destruction and your salvation, which is from God. 29 God has generously granted you the privilege, not only of believing in Christ but also of suffering for Christ’s sake. 30 You are having the same struggle that you saw me face and now hear that I’m still facing.
Prayer of Preparation
We come today to hear from you.
May we hear again the challenge to be your disciples.
May we hear again the message of this one who brings good news.
May we hear again the invitation to come to you, “all you who are weary and heavy laden.”
May we hear again eternal words of hope which tell us that however dark the world becomes the darkness cannot ever overcome the radiant light of Jesus.
May we hear again those simple words: “Come, follow me,” and may we come, just as we are, and know again the depth of your grace and love for us.
Open our hearts to receive your word today.
In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
(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 Exodus, chapter 16 (CEB).
2 The whole Israelite community complained against Moses and Aaron in the desert. 3 The Israelites said to them, “Oh, how we wish that the Lord had just put us to death while we were still in the land of Egypt. There we could sit by the pots cooking meat and eat our fill of bread. Instead, you’ve brought us out into this desert to starve this whole assembly to death.”
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I’m going to make bread rain down from the sky for you. The people will go out each day and gather just enough for that day. In this way, I’ll test them to see whether or not they follow my Instruction. 5 On the sixth day, when they measure out what they have collected, it will be twice as much as they collected on other days.” 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “This evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt. 7 And in the morning you will see the Lord’s glorious presence, because your complaints against the Lord have been heard. Who are we? Why blame us?” 8 Moses continued, “The Lord will give you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning because the Lord heard the complaints you made against him. Who are we? Your complaints aren’t against us but against the Lord.”
9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole Israelite community, ‘Come near to the Lord, because he’s heard your complaints.’” 10 As Aaron spoke to the whole Israelite community, they turned to look toward the desert, and just then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared in the cloud.
11 The Lord spoke to Moses, 12 “I’ve heard the complaints of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat. And in the morning you will have your fill of bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’”
13 In the evening a flock of quail flew down and covered the camp. And in the morning there was a layer of dew all around the camp. 14 When the layer of dew lifted, there on the desert surface were thin flakes, as thin as frost on the ground. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” They didn’t know what it was.
Moses said to them, “This is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.
Let’s remember together what happened in this story. You may want to read/act out one or both of the following readings. 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 these scriptures 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 text . . . a word, a phrase, something that happened in the text, something that you’re thinking about. Start out by saying “As we read this story, it made me wonder . . . ”
What do we learn about God from these texts? What do we learn about people?
What will we carry into this week from this text?
How can we be praying this week?
Prayers of the People
God of Love,
like the Israelites in the wilderness,
we too have known Your love,
and experienced Your care and provision.
You call us to extend Your love to the world around us—
to care for others as deeply as we care for ourselves.
And so we bring the needs of our world before You now. (pause)
We pray for those who do not have what they need in order to survive;
those without enough food to eat, or shelter to keep them warm;
those without employment, or enough money to pay their bills; (pause)
We pray for those who have more than enough to meet their needs,
but who continue to feel empty inside;
who struggle to find meaning and purpose in life,
who turn to other things to try and hide the pain. (pause)
We pray for those who are struggling physically,
who are battling life-threatening disease or injury,
who are living with chronic pain. (pause)
God of the first and the last,
and all those in between,
Your grace reaches out to all of us—
life-long believers or newcomers alike.
You call us to live as citizens of heaven,
to work together with one mind and one purpose,
to reach out in love to those in need.
Strengthen us so that we might live in a manner worthy
of the Good News we have received,
And now we pray together 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, follow where Christ calls you
and proclaim the message God gives you.
Wait in expectant hope.
Avoid become bound up in the business of the world,
but live in readiness for the inbreaking of the Kingdom.
And may God be with you;
May Christ Jesus give you courage for His mission;
And may the Spirit guide your path.
We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
In the name of Christ. Amen.