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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 loving God with all of our hearts, minds, and souls?” 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:
Deuteronomy 34:1-12 and Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17, Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18 and Psalm 1, 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8, Matthew 22:34-46.
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: Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
All: Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
Leader: A thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.
All: Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Leader: Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
All: Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!
Leader: Come, let us worship 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 1 (NRSV),
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;
2 but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law they meditate day and night.
3 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.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
Exhortation from the Old Testament
Leviticus 19 (CEB) says, The Lord said to Moses, 2 Say to the whole community of the Israelites: You must be holy, because I, the Lord your God, am holy. 15 You must not act unjustly in a legal case. Do not show favoritism to the poor or deference to the great; you must judge your fellow Israelites fairly. 16 Do not go around slandering your people. Do not stand by while your neighbor’s blood is shed; I am the Lord. 17 You must not hate your fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your fellow Israelite strongly, so you don’t become responsible for his sin. 18 You must not take revenge nor hold a grudge against any of your people; instead, you must love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.
Prayer of Preparation
You are like the sunlight enticing us taller
and like the breeze rustling our leaves.
You are with us through hard seasons of summer heat,
and in the nights when winter’s frost ice the landscape
your love warms and sustains us.
You are everything to us.
O let our gratitude be great,
let our praise be plentiful,
let our worship be wonder-full!
Through Christ Jesus your ever-living Son. 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 34 (CEB).
Then Moses hiked up from the Moabite plains to Mount Nebo, the peak of the Pisgah slope, which faces Jericho. The Lord showed him the whole land: the Gilead region as far as Dan’s territory; 2 all the parts belonging to Naphtali along with the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, as well as the entirety of Judah as far as the Mediterranean Sea; 3 also the arid southern plain, and the plain—including the Jericho Valley, Palm City—as far as Zoar.
4 Then the Lord said to Moses: “This is the land that I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when I promised: ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have shown it to you with your own eyes; however, you will not cross over into it.”
5 Then Moses, the Lord’s servant, died—right there in the land of Moab, according to the Lord’s command. 6 The Lord buried him in a valley in Moabite country across from Beth-peor. Even now, no one knows where Moses’ grave is.
7 Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eyesight wasn’t impaired, and his vigor hadn’t diminished a bit.
8 Back down in the Moabite plains, the Israelites mourned Moses’ death for thirty days. At that point, the time for weeping and for mourning Moses was over.
9 Joshua, Nun’s son, was filled with wisdom because Moses had placed his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to Joshua, and they did exactly what the Lord commanded Moses.
10 No prophet like Moses has yet emerged in Israel; Moses knew the Lord face-to-face! 11 That’s not even to mention all those signs and wonders that the Lord sent Moses to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh, to all his servants, and to his entire land— 12 as well as all the extraordinary power that Moses displayed before Israel’s own eyes!
And a reading from the Gospel of Matthew 22 (CEB),
34 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had left the Sadducees speechless, they met together. 35 One of them, a legal expert, tested him. 36 “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
41 Now as the Pharisees were gathering, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”
“David’s son,” they replied.
43 He said, “Then how is it that David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, called him Lord when he said, 44 The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right side until I turn your enemies into your footstool’? 45 If David calls him Lord, how can he be David’s son?” 46 Nobody was able to answer him. And from that day forward nobody dared to ask him anything.
Let’s remember together what happened in these readings. You may want to read/act out one or both of the 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.).
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 these texts, it made me wonder…”
What do we learn about God from these texts? What do we learn about people from these texts?
What will we carry into this week from this text?
How can we be praying this week?
Prayers of the People
Every generation has found
its home in you,
God our provider,
and discovered that every moment
spent in your holy presence
lasts beyond all imaginable time.
You watch over us in the night,
cradling us in your arms
as tenderly as a nurse
cares for her children,
and her neighbor’s.
Full of wisdom,
Imagination of Creation,
you humbled yourself
that we might learn
to love those
who have been swept aside
by a callous and cruel world.
Witness to God’s grace,
you call us to act
in ways of love of peace
to all we meet in this life.
In the fresh breeze
on a summer’s day;
in the leaves dancing
across autumn’s lawns;
in the crisp, new snowfall
crunching beneath our feet;
in the new life
flowering in the spring:
from everlasting to everlasting
you proclaim God’s grace to us,
Spirit of Life.
God in Community, Holy in One,
continue to be the dwelling place
of our minds, our hearts, our souls,
even as we pray as we have been taught,
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,
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
In the name of Christ. Amen.