57A – Sunday 25A

56A - Sunday 24A58A - Sunday 26A
See also my post from 2017, 2020, 2023

The psalm lection (Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45) this week comes in two parts,
so I offer “Jeff’s Version for Today” in that way also.

FIRST, verses 1-5 offered here as a CALL TO WORSHIP
Give thanks to the LORD; call on the name of the LORD.
tell the world what God has done. 
Sing to the LORD, and sing praises;
and tell of God’s wonderful works
Glory in God’s holy name
let those who seek the LORD rejoice to the core of their being.
Seek the LORD, and the strength of the LORD;
seek God’s presence continually.
Remember the wonderful works,
the miracles and the judgements of the LORD
Holy is your name, O LORD.

This could also form the beginning of a
Prayer of Adoration or Thanksgiving (see below).

And, SECOND, verses 37-45 as a response to the Exodus reading:
Then the LORD God brought them out with silver and gold,
and none of those tribes stumbled
Egypt rejoiced at their leaving
because of the dread that had come upon them.
The LORD spread a cloud as covering,
and fire at night to give them light.
They asked, and quails came,
and with heavenly bread God satisfied them.
God opened up the rock and water gushed out,
and it flowed like a river through dry land.
God remembered the sacred pact with Abraham,
and brought out the people of the LORD;
the chosen ones, singing and rejoicing. 
The LORD God gave them the lands of the nations,
and they enjoyed the fruits of their labours,
providing that they observed God’s statutes
and kept the laws of the LORD.

Divine mystery we name God,
in thanks we call on your name
for your works are wonderful.
We sing your praises and tell the world of your deeds;
we glory in your holy name
and in our seeking you, rejoice to the core of our being.
We seek you, Holy Presence;
we seek your strength and your presence continually.
We remember your wonderful works,
your miracles and judgements, and give thanks.
Holy is your name and presence, O God.

. . . and CONFESSION 
You have saved us, O God,
and given us riches beyond silver and gold.
Our oppressing and difficult past,
once glad to see the last of us because of your actions,
still tries to reclaim us.
You spread a cloud as covering,
and a light for our darkness.
We complain,
not seeing your goodness for our own selfishness.
We grumble,
but with heavenly bread you satisfy us.
You opened up the rock
and it became a spring of water, gushing up to a spring of eternal life,
flowing like a river through the dry land.
You remembered your sacred pact with Abraham,
you rescued your people, your chosen ones; 
but sometimes in our singing and rejoicing
we celebrate ourselves rather than your great works. 
You gave us a new start, made us conquerors,
and we have enjoy the fruits of your Spirit.
LORD God, help us keep your law of love and justice
and to walk in your way. Amen

For use in worship, with acknowledgement. © Jeff Shrowder 1999.

A CREATIVE MOMENT – Matthew 20:1-16
(a) a dramatised version of Matthew 20:1-16.
There is a published dramatised version of the Bible. If you don’t have access to one but have a version of the Bible on a computer, import the reading into your favourite word processor, and set it out (and, as necessary, adapt the text) in the manner of a play for the various characters.

Have several members of the congregation prepare and present the “dramatised version” in worship – with or without simple props and dress-ups.

Some alternative approaches: 
(a) have the characters mime their parts which “Jesus” tells the parable to the congregation;
(b) simply have a suitable number of participants present this as a play reading without the dramatic embelishments.

(A prayer, usually with connection to one or more of the lections for the day, to gather the spoken and silent concerns/joys/thanks expressed by the congregation and lead into a more structured Intercession. Sometimes this prayer also borrows lightly from other sources e.g. Uniting in Worship 2 or publications of the Iona Community.)

Gracious and eternal Source of life,
in whom we find rest and shelter,
hear the cries of our world …
    those for whom today is the beginning of life;
    who face new ventures and new challenges;
    who are engulfed by loneliness, despair or grief;
    who feel cast off from your presence;
    who are walled in by circumstance;
    whose will to live is exhausted;
    who this day will encounter eternal rest:
in Jesus’ name we pray…..
         (The Prayers of the People continue)

Looking for contemporary music and song resources?
Try David MacGregor’s Together to Celebrate

Come, God’s people, sing for joy TIS 391
God is my strong salvation TIS 15
God of freedom, God of justice TIS 657
Have faith in God my heart TIS 619
I bind unto myself today TIS 478
O God of Bethel TIS 564
Seek, O seek the Lord TIS 464
You satisfy the hungry heart TIS 539
Exodus 16:2-15
Bread of heaven, on you we feed TIS 513
Christ, whose glory fills the skies TIS 212
Guide me, O my great Redeemer TIS 569
Lord Jesus, joy of loving hearts TIS 499
Safe in the shadow of the Lord TIS 644
Psalm 105: 1-6,37-45
Blessed are those whose way is blameless TIS 75
O give thanks to God [Sing to God, sing…] TIS 66
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty TIS 111
Philippians 1:21-30
God be in my head TIS 549
I need you, Lord, for I have seen TIS 625
Son of God, eternal Saviour TIS 606
We are your people, Lord, by your grace TIS 468
Matthew 20:1-16
A spendthrift lover is the Lord TIS 676
Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord TIS 390
O day of God, draw near TIS 616
Through all the changing scenes of life TIS 112

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