64A – Sunday 31A

63A - All Saints Day65A - Sunday 32A
See also my post from 2017, 2023

CALL TO WORSHIP (from Psalm 107:1-9)
Come and worship the LORD our God
with thanksgiving and praise,
You alone, O LORD, are good
and your lovingkindness is for ever. 

You who are hungry and thirsty
come and worship the Lord our God
You gather us from every direction, O LORD.
You who are distressed, cry to the LORD;
“Rescue us from our predicament!”
Give thanks to the LORD
You show your lovingkindness;
in your word and your wonderful deeds,
you satisfy our parched throats,
and fill our hungry lives.

WE GATHER TO WORSHIP GOD (from Psalm 107: 1-9)
Come and worship the Lord our God;
You alone, O Lord, are good ,
and your lovingkindness is forever.
Come into the saving presence of the Lord our God;
You save us, O Lord,
and rescue us from our troubles.
Come and worship the Lord our God
who has gathered us;
You gather us, Lord God,
from a week which was sometimes like a wasteland,
where our inner being was hungry and thirsty for you.
Come and worship the Lord our God
who hears when we cry out;
You lift us from the muddy ground of our distress,
and by a straight path, O Lord,
you lead us into community,
Come and worship the Lord our God
whose steadfast love and marvellous works are for all humankind;
You satisfy our thirst, O Lord;
and the emptiness of our deepest hunger,
you fill with good things.

Eternal God,
by your word you create
and by your breath you give life.
We worship you with joy and thanksgiving,
praising you for the fullness
that your presence brings to our lives,
and our life together.
We praise you that by your word you feed us;
we are satisfied, and there is always more.
Your goodness is displayed in your wonderful works for all humanity,
and in your perfect love. . . . .

In our humanity we are rebellious,
and sometimes follow after foolish – even wicked – ideas;
going ways which lead away from life with you . . .
Our activities have dried the rivers of community to a trickle,
and created great inland seas of salt affected soil
where there is no life.
And yet, when we cry out you are there,
your word like a pool of water reviving our inner emptiness and desolation;
you turn parched earth into springs of water,
and settle the hungry, establishing community.
We sow and plant and hope for a fruitful harvest
but when will you send the rain?

We cry out to you, O God,
and you are faithful:
Thanks be to God

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

A CREATIVE MOMENT – Joshua 3:7-17
This suggestion is very similar to that for Week 24 – Exodus 14:19-31. That similarity is intentional. The two events narrated are important in Israel’s salvation history and stand like a pair of book-ends around a particular and significant part of that history. Unfortunately, the Joshua 3 event doesn’t have the recall or spectacle of the Exodus 14 event, but it is equally important. It deserves to be remembered better.
(a) large sheets of newsprint 2-3 metres long (perhaps from a roll remant, but sheets from your daily newspaper, stuck together would also work) – as many sheets as aisles in your church,
(b) have one or several members of the congregation paint the newsprint – a metre or so of blue, and a metre or so of sandy brown.
(c) attach the newsprint between the front pews so that the sandy brown is on the floor between the pews and the blue sections rise up one of the pew ends.

As the congregation comes forward to receive communion, they experience another reminder of God’s saving acts that are often mentioned in the communion liturgy.
If this is not a communion Sunday in your church, perhaps you could locate (during the last hymn?) an appropriately sized “River Jordan” at the door between the nave and the narthex.

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

Compassionate and including God, who knows our inmost being,
By your Word and your Spirit you sustain those who live at the edges.
Comfort and encourage those whom we name on our lips
and in the silence of our hearts,
and those whose troubles are known only to you …
(The Prayers of the People continue)

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

Break thou the bread of life TIS 429
For all the saints TIS 455
May the mind of Christ my Saviour TIS 609
The church’s one foundation TIS 457
Joshua 3:7-17
Guide me O my great Redeemer TIS 569
If we will trust in God to guide us TIS 554
You are before me, Lord, you are behind TIS 87
Psalm 107: 1-7, 33-37
Eternal Father, strong to save TIS 138
Lift high the cross, the love of Christ TIS 351
They will say the Lord’s redeemed TIS 67
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13
Brother, sister, let me serve you TIS 650
Christ, from whom all blessings flow TIS 440
Jesus, where’er thy people meet TIS 445
Love divine, all loves excelling TIS 217
The church’s one foundation TIS 457
We are your people TIS 468
Matthew 23:1-12
Kneels at the feet of his friends TIS 640
O Master, let me walk with thee TIS 601
O day of God draw near TIS 616
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy TIS 136
There’s a spirit in the air TIS 414

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