Worship resources for:
7th Sunday after Pentecost — Ordinary Time 16 (July 18, 2021)
In 2 Samuel 7. 1-14 David aspires to build a temple, a house for God. But God says, “No, I will live in a tent among my people as I have always done.”
Psalm 89.20-37 celebrates the covenant, the promise, that God made to David.
Ephesians 2. 11-22 says Christ has broken down the division between “insiders” and “outsiders” s Jews and Gentiles. We are all one. We are members of God’s household. In fact we are God’s house, God’s temple.
In Mark 6. 30-34, 53-56 the disciples return from their mission andJesus invites them to retreat to a solitary place. But they are followed by people who seek Jesus’ healing and teaching. He has compassion on them (they are “like sheep without a shepherd”) and he heals them.
Call to Worship
Welcome to this holy time and place.
Bring your hearts into the presence of God.
We have been busy!
What of our triumphs and our struggles?
What of our wish to know and understand?
Gentle Christ, we are here, with you. It is enough for us.
Collect / Prayer of the Day
God of grace, we wander through this life, hungry, like sheep without a shepherd. But you have compassion on us. And so we bring to you our hunger and our wounds. We bring our sick souls on the mats of our prayer. BY your tender grace, touch us, change us, and make us whole. Amen.
Prayer of Confession:
Pastor: The grace of God is with you.
All: And also with you.
Trusting in God’s tender mercy, let us confess our sin to God with one another.
Gentle God, we have not always been present;
caught up in many things, we have neglected the One Thing.
We confess: renouncing all pretending,
letting go of all fear,
we bring ourselves to be with you,
in simplicity, in honesty, in silence.
Receive us as we are.
In your presence and your grace,
we are willing to become again the souls you create us to be.
The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and stop a while.”
— Mark 6. 30-31
Purify your doing with being.
Come away to a solitary place
where there are no others:
no one watching, judging, comparing, setting examples.
No one to impress, please, satisfy, conform to.
Just you, your body and your soul.
Go to a place where nothing matters, and nothing defines you
but being there,
where you have not achieved or failed at anything.
A stopping place,
a place where you stop all that you do,
and discover your being,
at the center, beyond all doing.
The Holy One, who said, “I Am Being,” is there,
creating you moment by moment,
breath by breath.
Stop doing, and simply be being created.
You may find such solitude in a quiet park or in a noisy office.
For the place is nowhere out there, but within you.
Stop a while.
Such a time and place is holy.
A resting place
Breathe in. Breath out.
Let go of all you have accomplished.
Step out of what you have done,
the “who” you think you are
that comes from something,
into the who that is I AM.
Breathe in. Breath out.
Set everything down.
The great burden of being yourself,
what everyone thinks, even you,
the work of remembering,
what you must and mustn’t,
let them all go.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Come to the sabbath place
where nothing, even you,
is fashioned, everything just is.
Come into the rest that is God,
the silence from which your light pours,
the Spirit brooding over the waters.
Here where you are received,
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Response / Creed / Affirmation
We give our hearts to God, the Creator of all that is and all that is to come, who is present everywhere and in each moment.
We follow Jesus, our teacher and healer, who has compassion on all people. He leads us to seek God in activity and in quiet, in ministry and in solitude, in words and in silence—and in life and even in death. Though Jesus was crucified, he was raised to new life, and accompanies us still in all things.
We live by the Holy Spirit, God’s presence in and among us, which makes us the church the Body of Christ. The Spirit empowers us to live with forgiveness and compassion, and trust in the power of resurrection; to proclaim Christ’s way of living, and to give of ourselves in ministry, for the sake of the healing of the world.
2. [from Ephesians 2.14-22; 4.11-16]
Christ is our peace. In Christ God has made us into one flesh. and has broken down every dividing wall between us.
In Christ God has created one new humanity, making peace, and reconciling all to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death all hostility through it.
Jesus came and proclaimed peace to those who were far off and peace to those who were near. In Christ all of us have access in one Spirit to God. So we are no longer strangers and aliens, but citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone.
In Christ the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom we are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.
God has given us various gifts to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Beloved of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.
So we grow up in every way into the one who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.
(suitable as a Collect, preparation for hearing scriptures, or invitation to intercessions)
Leader: Holy God, we leave behind the busyness of our lives;
All: we come to you.
We leave behind the noise in our lives and our minds,
and we come to a quiet place where you are.
We come to a place of solitude, where there are no roles, no expectations:
we are souls. And here in this simple place, you are with us.
We let go. We sink in. We become present.
We are happy to be here.
Gentle God, you draw us into the stillness of your Presence. You breathe your breath in us, and we become more deeply aware. We come into the quiet place in your heart Speak your Word to us, even if it is silence, and we will listen, even if we do not understand. Our hearts are open. Come, Spirit of Truth, and be with us. Amen.
God, you invite us to discover your presence in activity and in quiet, in word and in silence. Help us now, as your Scripture is read and your good news proclaimed, to pay attention, to be mindful of your presence, and to listen for your Word as you speak to us. Amen.
Gracious God, in Christ you welcome us into your presence. Bless us now as the scriptures are read and your Word proclaimed, that by the grace of your Spirit we may be at home in your word. Amen.