Worship resources for:
6th Sunday after Pentecost — Ordinary Time 15 (July 11, 2021)
In 2 Samuel 6.1-19 David brings the ark— the chest holding the stone tablets of the law—into Jerusalem. He dances before the ark with joy, clothed only in a linen ephod. We don’t know exactly what an ephod is, but it was scanty enough to offend Michal, David’s sometime wife, the former king’s daughter.
Psalm 24 asks questions and responds. Who comes close to God? Those who seek truth and live truthfully. Who is the power that rules our lives? It is Yahweh. A refrain about opening the gates suggests the bringing of the ark into Jerusalem—and also implies that Jerusalem is the base of operations from which God protects the people.
Ephesians 1.3-14 says God has chosen us and adopted us as children, forgiven us, and disclosed the mystery of God’s delight to us: that all Creation is to be gathered together in love. It is our destiny to radiate that love. God has given us the Holy Spirit as a sign of this inheritance.
In Mark 6. 6-29 Jesus sends out the disciples two by two with power to heal and cast out evil spirits. Meanwhile Herod kills John the Baptist, a glimpse of the evil that comports with power, a foreshadowing of Jesus’ own death, and a reminder of the self-sacrifice of those who confront injustice nonviolently.
Call to Worship
The human heart is a rich mystery, full of good and evil.
We bring our hearts to you, God,
that you will heal us of our fears,
open our eyes to see ourselves as you see us,
renew your Spirit in us,
and re-create us as the image of your love.
We thank you for your love, we ask your blessing,
and we open ourselves to your race. Amen.
Leader: Glorious God, as David danced before you, so we come with joy and praise.
All: We worship you. We praise you. We open our hearts to you.
All Creation dances before you. The stars and planets circle in joy and wonder.
The seas wave and clap their hands.
The trees sway to the music of your wind.
And our hearts sing your praise.
Alleluia! Glory be you to, now and forever.. Alleluia!
Leader: Creator God, we praise you!
All: Risen Christ, we greet you!
Holy Spirit, we are one body by your grace.
You alone are holy, and we worship you.
You send us out into the world to do the work of healing.
But we have not always been healing. Sometimes we have been hurtful.
Holy One, have mercy.
We ourselves need healing.
Christ, have mercy.
Give us power to face the unwholesome spirits in us and in our world.
Holy One, have mercy.
Grant us your Spirit, to work for justice and healing.
Come, Holy Spirit, and transform us by your grace. Alleluia!
Collect / Prayer of the Day
Eternal God, Life-Giver, you create all things, you establish the bounds and set the laws of all Creation, you are infinite and unknowable—yet you come among us in faithful presence. We worship you. As David danced before the ark, our hearts rejoice in the presence of your Word. Speak to us; sing to us. May we hear the music of your grace, and lose ourselves in your beauty. Amen.
(suitable as a Collect, preparation for hearing scriptures, or invitation to intercessions)
God of grace, you give us power to heal, to proclaim your good news, to anoint with blessing. Open us to receive these gifts, that we may pass them on. You send us in poverty of spirit. Be our guide and companion, our power and our wealth, our journey and our home.
Prayer of Dedication / Sending
Gracious God, we give you our lives, symbolized in these gifts. Receive them with love, bless them with grace and use them according to your will. Help us to be a force for good in the world, and to join you in the work of healing and justice for the sake of the blessing of all Creation, in the name of Christ. Amen.
Gracious God, we give you these gifts as symbols of our lives. Receive them with love, bless them with grace, and use them according to your will. We go now into the world filled with your joy, graced with your presence and dancing in your Spirit, in the name and the love of Christ. Amen.
Prayer after Communion
Gracious God, we thank you for this mystery in which you have given yourself to us. In this meal you strengthen us for the journey. Send us into the world to witness for justice, to pray for peace, to work for healing, in the name and the Spirit of Christ. Amen.
Bread of Justice
Words: Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Tune: Holy Manna
God of justice and compassion, you who freed the Hebrew slaves,
you who feed the poor and powerless, you whose great forgiveness saves,
now you feed us, poor in spirit, through the grace of your dear Son;
now you call us, now you send us . May your loving will be done.
Feed us, God, the bread of justice: give us hearts to see and care.
We are one with all who suffer. They are yours; now send us there.
Knowing not if we shall triumph, give us faith to never cease;
give us strength to boldly witness, seeking justice, making peace.
Feed us , God, the wine of courage, faithfully to do your will.
Now we drink of resurrection, facing death but steadfast still.
To this world of heartless plunder, send us in a different vein:
by our fearless, gentle healing, to bear witness to your Reign.