October 3, 2021
Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
World Communion Sunday
On this World Communion Sunday, we thank you, O God, for the reminder that we are not alone. In every age people have known joy and struggle. So it is in this moment.
Grant us wisdom, courage and discipline that we might see and testify to this truth.
May we weep with those who weep, even as we ourselves have been comforted.
We pray in the spirit of grace, mercy and peace. Amen.
Call to Worship
L: In the midst of struggle and strife, God is with us.
P: Praise be to God for God’s steadfast presence.
L: Even though many things in life hurt and disappoint us, God is with us.
P: We seek God’s mercy and grace to heal our wounded souls.
L: Come, bring your needs and wants to God, for God will hear your cries and restore your souls.
P: Praise be to God for mercy, peace, and hope. AMEN.
Words of Welcome and Parish News
Prayers of the people and a time for Silent Prayer
Prayer focus: “Healing”
The New Testament Lesson Romans: 12: 1-8 (NIV)
Living Sacrifices to God
12 I beseech[a] you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your [b]reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Serve God with Spiritual Gifts
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
The Message “Looking for Unity” Rev. Marshall Murphy Jr.
World Communion Sunday calls the church to reach out to all people and model diversity among God’s children. On World Communion Sunday, we celebrate how the church around the world is joined together as one. However, due to the Covid-19, worshipping has made us explore new terrain.
How wonderful it is when people can work together for the common good. When we can embrace each other’s gifts and talents to praise, worship, and honor God, this World Communion Sunday should help us remember the impact of Jesus and the Good News. But, sometimes, working together can be hard to accomplish in a group, workplace, or even in the church. For example, I remember supervising a group of union employees working on three shifts: days, afternoons, and midnights. As a result, these employees developed their own rules in the workplace.
When the midnight shift started and looked at the daily logbook and saw a task had not been completed by the day and afternoon shift, they would not touch the assignment. It was later known as the two-shift rule. This Scripture makes us appreciate when people have various gifts to share for a common goal of praising God.
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Can you imagine if people saw a need and wouldn’t respond because they wanted some type of recognition or praise? Verse 7 says “… let us use it in our ministry…”. I witness this happening here in Redeemer for the glory of God. But a true blessing to witness here is the use of gifts that are often unnoticed in a cluster of people. Maybe someone is good with cooking, greeting people, taking pictures, using their hands to re-pot plants, calling people, offering prayer on a moment’s notice, listening, and just saying hello. I want you to know that what you have inside that God gave you is unique and important. Yes, this includes the financial, building, and ministry needs to do the work of God. That’s why it’s essential to understand why we shouldn’t be conformed to the world but transformed by renewing our minds in relationship to God. It ain’t easy. But God is walking with us through these trials of life that we go through all the time. There may be times we are down, and we are not willing to share the gifts from God. But, today we do so much more in remembrance of Christ. We continue to stand and praise God for all the blessings we have and will receive in life.
Holy Giver of all that we need, you have filled our hearts with joy and our hands with overflowing abundance. With thanks and joy, we bring these gifts, offering ourselves in communion with you
and with all creation. Amen.
Unison Prayer of Dedication:
Take what we offer and use it for the goodness of your kingdom.
Help us share generously with others all that you so graciously give to us. Amen.
The Sacrament of Holy Communion
Having been healed and made whole by God’s love, now go out into God’s world to be a healer and one who brings peace and hope to others. Know always that God is with you. AMEN.
Recessional (Please remain seated to meditate and reflect on the music)