Worship resources for:
Ordinary Time 22 (August 29, 2021)
The Song of Solomon is a love poem shared by two lovers. In 2.8-13 one beckons to the other to come away into the world of spring flowers and turtledoves.
In the Spirit of the Songof Solomon, Psalm 45 is a wedding ode to a prince marrying a foreign princess, extolling both his personal loveliness and his nobility as a ruler. (Alternate Psalm, United Methodist): Psalm 72 prays for God’s guidance for the king, that he may defend the cause of the poor, and that he may prevail over the enemies of justice.
James 1. 17-27 says: several things: • Everything is a gift from God. • We are children of God’s truth, and clear expressions of God’s creativity. • Be quick to listen and slow to speak, and slow to anger. • We do not just hear the Word of God; we do it. Real religion is both inward and outward: attention to our inner lives and compassion for the poor.
In Mark 7. 1-23 some people criticize Jesus for not observing religious traditions around cleanliness, which was “next-to-Godliness.” But Jesus responds that it’s the inner life, and choices and actions that flow from it, not external circumstances, that define our spiritual state and our closeness to God.
Call to Worship
Leader: Muddy water swirls, clouded and opaque.
All: Still water settles out, and becomes clear.
God has called us to this time and place to be still in God’s grace.
We come to rest in God’s presence, that what is within may become clear.
God desires truth in the inward being.
Holy Spirit, clarify our souls, cleanse our hearts,
and renew within us the desire to do your will,
in the name and grace of Christ.
Collect / Prayer of the Day
God of grace, you give us your law not to restrict us but to set us free. Help us by your grace to hear and understand, to listen and discern; to know and choose wisely. By your Holy Spirit, your Word in Christ, alive in us, guide us in the way of your Wisdom. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
Pastor: Friends in Christ, we desire to be in harmony with God,
who desires truth in the inward being.
All: We confess what is within us is a mix of love and fear.
God, open to us our inward lives, that we may see clearly, and be made new.
Help us see clearly what within us is born of love,
and what is born of our wants and fears.
By your grace transform our inner desires,
that what flows from our hearts may be love and healing,
and the grace of Christ.
[Silent prayer … Words of grace]
The grace of God be with you.
And also with you.
Trusting in God’s tender mercy, let us confess our sin to God with one another.
God, You who are truth,
You who dwell within me:
You see me as I am; and you receive me as I am.
Help me to shed all attachment to outward appearances,
to see myself truthfully,
and to let myself be filled from the inside out
with your grace, your forgiveness,
your blessing, your love.
[Silent prayer .. The Word of Grace]
Response / Creed / Affirmation
With gratitude we affirm that every good thing is a gift of God, the Mother of stars, the Father of lights, whose love is not shadowed or changing.
We give thanks that Christ, the Word of God, the word of truth, has given us birth so that the wonder of Creation might blossom in us.
By the Holy Spirit we seek to be doers of the word, not hearers only, to live by the perfect law, the law of liberty. We seek to rid ourselves of selfish desires, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save our souls. By the Spirit’s grace we seek to persevere, to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. We devote ourselves to care for those who are vulnerable, to do justice and act mercifully, and to serve God in all we do, in the name of Christ. Amen.
Be Thou My Wisdom
Tune: Slane – Be Thou My Wisdom
Be thou my Wisdom and grant me your sight.
Help me to see by your love’s perfect light.
Love, be my compass, my balance, my Way:
guide from within what I choose day by day.
Grant me the wisdom to seek and to learn,
to pray for your leading and wait and discern.
Help me to listen with all of my heart,
listen for all of the Truth you impart.
Grant me your Wisdom: a heart that’s made pure,
courage to follow a love that is sure.
Led by your Spirit, listening still,
help me to know and to follow your will.