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The Calling of the First Disciples; the Call to Repent!

Worship
Lectionary Worship Workbook
Series II, Cycle B
Pastoral Invitation

Again, God, the Evangel, has invited, has called us to worship. We, God's evangels, have said, "yes." God has called us to no spectator sport. The liturgy, that is, the order of worship, is defined as "the work" (and I add, the play) of the people, not the production of the pastor, church secretary, or musicians. So, as always, as God's evangels, we work and play in worship, in order to work and play in our vocation, education, socialization, and recreation. In one sense, the liturgy is to brainwash us. Let's understand: our math teacher brainwashes us with the multiplication table; our English teacher brainwashes us with the alphabet; our chemistry teacher brainwashes us with the valence chart. Now, we come to worship this Epiphany Sunday, so the Holy Spirit will brainwash us to receive and share the Good News.
P: Speak, sing, shout praises to God the Evangel.
e: We speak, sing, shout praises to our Evangel.
P: God is the Evangel of all the earth.
e: We, God's evangels, speak, sing, shout praises with thanksgiving, for the joy of our calling as Christ's evangels.

Hymn for the First Half of Epiphany

"From a Distant Home." (Remind the people that this is our hymn of the month for the first half of Epiphany.)

Prayer of Praise

In this prayer, continue to focus on God, the Evangel. Perhaps someone in the congregation would be willing to prepare the prayer. Do ask well in advance. And remember, children and youth also are members of the church.

The evangels Face Up To Themselves

Introduction to the Act of Recognizing Our Humanity

Jesus said, "Repent, and believe the Good News." For two minutes, I invite you to write down your description of the first image that comes into your mind when you hear the word, "repent." (Wait two minutes.) Ask for responses. Now, for two minutes, write down what you need to do to repent. (Wait.) Ask if anyone wants to take the risk of responding. (Wait.) For the truly courageous, share one of your own. Proceed with caution.

After another minute of silence, sing "Agnus Dei," by Herbert G. Draesel, Jr., from The Genesis Songbook (see Appendix I for address). Have the people read it silently, then together, then hum it, finally sing it. Ask the people if they believe that God has forgiven them; and if so, how will this make a difference in their lives this coming week.

Introduction to the Act of Receiving New Life

Harvey Cox, in his book, The Secular City, has said that the modern equivalent of repentance is the responsible use of power. In the light of Cox's statement, consider, silently, your act of confession and repentance. (Two minutes.)

Response

"How Blest Are Those," Fred R. Anderson, 1986; harm. George Ratcliffe Woodward, 1904.

The evangels Respond To God's Good News

Message with the Children of All Ages

Have your parents, whatever age, ever said to you, "Repent!"? Of course they have. How? (Wait a few moments.) Remember when they said, "Pick up your clothes. Brush your teeth. Don't waste your money on the slot machines. Take care of your animal." Make your own list. The word "repent" means to change your thinking and behaving; and when Jesus said that, he promised his presence with us to help us change.

Reading from the Scripture

Stimulate the calling of the disciples. Have Jesus and the disciples dressed in today's clothing. You may also want to have four people, two men and two women from the congregation, receive the call from Jesus.

Proclamation of the Good News

Compare or contrast the lapel-grabbing approach, "Are you saved, brother, sister?" with Harvey Cox's approach to repentance. Perhaps you have had someone use the former approach. I have; and it seemed as though the fellows were simply interested in collecting another scalp for Jesus. Jesus, in this passage, indeed is inviting the disciples to take responsibility for their own lives, so they can make a difference in God's world.

Stewardship Challenge

The stewardship of change: Thomas Gordon, in his book, P.E.T., says that "it is idiotic to assume that anyone can be alive and not be changing." Contrast this with the seven last words of the church. "We've never done it that way before."

Hymn of Commitment

"Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore," Ces‡reo Gabar‡in, 1979; trans. Gertrude Suppe, George Lockwood and Raquel Ach----n, 1988; harm. Skinner Ch‡vez-Melo.

Charge to the Congregation

When Jesus calls us, from whatever hiding place we choose, thinking that we're safe, he always calls us to give our lives away -- for the right reasons, causes, even when, especially when, we want to set aside his agenda to make it easy for us. God's Christ disturbs me, pushes me to change, to get out of my Egyptian slavery into the Exodus wilderness; to set priorities, God's priorities; to remain dissatisfied with the status quo. "Those who lose their lives for Christ and the Gospels will discover their true identity" (WHK).

Response to the Benediction

"Ready, Lord!" Richard Avery and Don Marsh, from The Second Avery and Marsh Songbook. (See Appendix I for address.)

Meditation

Are you ready for the future, which begins now? If you are not ready, how will you get ready; for we ready ourselves by default or decision, by inertia or energy, by apathy or action, by complaining about or by accepting change (WHK).


Music Possibilities In Addition To Those Already Suggested

Music for Preparation and Dismissal: Medley of Epiphany hymns.

Hymn of Praise: "Fairest Lord Jesus," Silesian folk melody, 1842; trans. Church Chorales and Choir Studies, 1850; alt.

Response to the Act of Recognizing Our Humanity: "Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God," Jim Strathdee, New Wine, First Edition. (See Appendix I for address.)

Response to the Proclamation: "There is a New Wind Blowin'," words and music by David Yantis, from New Wine. (See Appendix I for address.)

Hymn of Commitment: "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind," John Greenleaf Whittier, 1872; Frederick Charles Maker, 1887. (For those concerned about sexist language, change "mankind" to "all of us.")
UPCOMING WEEKS
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Epiphany 2 (OT 2)
28 – Sermons
110+ – Illustrations / Stories
32 – Children's Sermons / Resources
25 – Worship Resources
31 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Epiphany 3 (OT 3)
20 – Sermons
110+ – Illustrations / Stories
26 – Children's Sermons / Resources
21 – Worship Resources
33 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Epiphany 4 (OT 4)
34 – Sermons
120+ – Illustrations / Stories
35 – Children's Sermons / Resources
23 – Worship Resources
29 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Epiphany 5 (OT 5)
34 – Sermons
100+ – Illustrations / Stories
30 – Children's Sermons / Resources
26 – Worship Resources
27 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
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Leader: Let the redeemed of the Lord gather this day for worship!
People: We were once condemned by our sins and now we know the mercy of God.
Leader: God sent the prophets to call us back into God's will.
People: And God is true and faithful to all who hear and obey the Holy Word.
Leader: Let us proclaim the righteousness of the Lord for all the world to hear!
All: Blessed be the name of the Lord!

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