OT 11

Lectionary Texts

In 1 Kings 21. 1-21 King Ahab wants Naboth’s vineyard, his ancestral inheritance, for himself. Ahab’s wife Jezebel gets Naboth killed so that Ahab can take the vineyard. The prophet Elijah confronts Ahab about his evil.

Psalm 5. 1-8 is a lament, crying out to God for justice and protection against the malice and deceit of enemies.

In Galatians 2. 15-21 Paul says we are saved not by our fulfillment of the law, but by God’s grace, which we trust because of Christ. We have “died to the law,” that is, we do not seek life from our efforts to fulfill the law. Instead we live to God: our life comes from God loving in us. So “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” InLuke 7.36 – 8.3 a woman who is a “sinner” anoints Jesus’ feet inappropriately, but Jesus accepts her gift and tells his dinner host a parable about forgiveness. Since she has been forgiven of much, she loves much. Subsequently many women join his ministry.

Preaching Thoughts

Call to Worship

Leader: O God, in your infinite grace, you forgive us perfectly.
All: God of grace, we praise you.
O Christ, in your deep love, you receive our gifts.
Loving Christ, we thank you.
O Holy Spirit, you give us new life.
Spirit of God, fill our hearts with the power of your love,
that with gratitude, humility and compassion
we may welcome, forgive and bless others
as we have been so blessed, in the name of Christ, to your glory. Amen.

2. (Based on Psalm 5)Leader: O Heart of Heaven, Listening One, hear our cry!
All: Through the abundance of your love we enter your house.
Facing your holy presence we worship you in awe.
O Righteous One, you destroy all falsehood, but you bless those who turn to you.
Lead us in your righteousness. Make your path clear before us.
In the morning we bring our praise to you, and we listen for you.
Alleluia! You cover us with favor as with a shield.
Come, Holy Spirit, and transform us by your grace. Alleluia!

3.Leader:Creator God, we praise you!
People: Risen Christ, we greet you!
In mercy you bestow your forgiveness upon all people;
all humanity is one in our sin and one in your grace.
May the earth be filled with your peace
Alleluia! God of forgiveness, may we worship you always
by being forgiving, in the name of Christ Alleluia!

Collect / Prayer of the Day

God of grace, you come to us and make your home with us in all our joys and sorrows. You are present, in love and mercy. We open our hearts to you, to listen for your voice, to receive your grace, to become your people. Only say the word, and we shall be healed. Amen.

Gracious God, a woman anointed Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. We bring to you our sorrow and our gratitude, our amazement and our joy. And you receive us with grace and love. Still and silent at your feet, we open our hearts to your Word. Speak, and call us to new life.

God of grace, we do not live our lives by ourselves: you live in us. Arise now from within and among us, and give voice to our worship. Give ear to our prayers. And give flesh to the Gospel of your grace, so that we might hear your Word and be changed. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

Pastor: The grace of God be with you.

Congregation: And also with you.

Trusting in God’s tender mercy, let us confess our sin to God with one another.

God of love, for all that is broken in us,

forgive us;

open our hearts to your grace,

that we may forgive as we have been forgiven.

Pastor: The grace of God be with you.

All: And also with you.

Trusting in God’s tender mercy, let us confess our sin to God with one another.

Gracious God, we confess our sin: we have not loved you with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, nor have we loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. Have mercy upon us: forgive our sin, heal our hearts, and renew your Holy Spirit within us, that being born anew by your grace, we may live in the light of your love, in the name of Christ.

Silent prayers of Confession…


The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

The lord does not deal with us according to our sins,

nor repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is God’s love for us.

As far as the east is from the west, so far does God remove our transgressions from us.

We thank you, O God!

Show us your ways and teach us your paths,
that we may live in the light of your grace. Amen.


Psalm 5 — My parpahrase

let the sigh of my heart lie against your chest.
Hold my cry like your child—
you who are Life and all Being,
the One to whom my prayers belong.
You hear me before my day dawns;
in the morning I put my desire in your hands
and I wait.

Evil is like darkness in your light;
in you my deadliness dies.
The closer I draw to you
the farther behind I leave my falsehood.

You see through our arrogance like glass,
and like glass you shatter our wrongdoing.
Your grace destroys our lies,
and our deceit evaporates in your truth.

Your mercy draws me into you;
your presence awes and awakens me.
Lead me, O Love, in your way of blessing,
despite those who would pull me elsewhere:
maintain the path so I don’t miss it.

There are those who are gushers of lies,
deep wells of hurt and destruction.
Their greed is a grave;
their fear is disguised as power.

Don’t let me fall for their deceit.
Let their disguises unravel about them.
Strip them naked of their lies
so that I can stay true to your grace.

Those who nest in you are safe forever;
our lives are songs of joy.
Surround us in your presence,
set free our joy in your embrace.
Your blessing is our inescapable gravity.
You hold us to you with love
as the earth holds us
and the air gives us breath.

Poetry by Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Response / Creed / Affirmation

God of love, Creator of all that is and that shall be, we trust in you. You are our Life and our Being, our Source and our End. For your people you have overthrown the powers of injustice, set us free, and given us a place of belonging in this world.

Christ, we follow you. Living Word, embodying God’s love, you taught and healed and performed prophetic acts of justice and mercy. You embraced the outcast, forgave sinners, freed us from all condemnation, and created among us a community of grace and kinship. Dying and being raised, you sowed the Reign of God, and you live among us still, calling us to lives of humble service.

Holy Spirit, beauty of God in us, you open to us the depth of eternal life, the power of forgiveness, and the mystery of resurrection. Making us one as the Body of Christ, you empower us to give of our gifts, to love all people, to forgive, and to serve you in lives of hope and joy, for the sake of the healing of the world, in the name of Christ. Amen.

Listening Prayer

(suitable as a Collect, preparation for hearing scriptures, or invitation to prayer)

Eucharistic Prayer

[The body of the prayer may be read responsively or by the presiding leader(s) alone.]

God is with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your heart.
We lift them up to God.
Let us give thanks to the Holy One, our God.
It is good and beautiful to give God our praise.


Blessed are all who come in your name,
and blessed is Jesus, your Christ,

     (The Blessing and Covenant)
As long as we break this bread and share this cup
we remember his death and resurrection, until he comes again.
Therefore, remembering these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
we offer ourselves as a living and holy sacrifice,
in union with Christ’s offering for us,
as we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

     (Memorial Acclamation)

Pour out your Holy Spirit on these gifts of bread and cup,
that they may be for us the body and blood of Christ.
Pour out your Spirit on us, that we may be for the world the Body of Christ,

* The Blessing and Covenant
[I usually don’t print the words. I want people to be looking at the bread, not their bulletins.]

On the night in which he gave himself for us
Jesus took bread, blessed it,. broke it, and gave it to his disciples,saying,
“Take and eat; this is my body.”
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup,
blessed it with thanks and gave it to them, saying,
“Drink of this, all of you. This is my blood,
poured out for you and for many, in a new Covenant,
which is the forgiveness of sin.”
As long as we break this bread and share this cup
we remember his death and resurrection, until he comes again.

Prayer of Dedication / Sending

Gracious God, in thanksgiving for your mercy, 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. As Jesus has accepted us and blessed the gifts that we have offered, send us into the world in a ministry of acceptance: to honor people as they are, to appreciate and bless their gifts, and to support them in the ministry to which you call them. We pray as we live, in the name of Jesus Christ, and in the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayer after Communion

God, we thank you for this mystery in which you have given yourself to us.

Suggested Songs

(Click on titles to view, and hear an audio clip, on the Music page)

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