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Proper 18

Worship
LECTIONARY WORSHIP AIDS
Series III
* CALL TO WORSHIP
Praise the Lord as long as you live. Sing psalms to God all your
life long.

* PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Just God, you are even-handed in your justice and in the day of
judgment will not play favorites. We confess that we are not so
fair in our dealings. We are often unduly impressed by the
powerful and the clever and excuse in them what we would condemn
in the powerless and ignorant. Forgive superficiality and
neglect of people needing advocacy and friendship, through the
friend of sinners, Jesus Christ. Amen.

* DECLARATION OF GOD'S FORGIVENESS
Hear the Good News! God has chosen those who are poor in the
eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom
he has promised to those who love him. Friends, believe the Good
News. In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

* EXHORTATION
Never show snobbery, believing as you do in our Lord Jesus Christ
who reigns in glory.

* PRAYER OF THE DAY
Divine Physician, heal our hardness of hearing and soften our
feelings so that we have your sensitivity to and awareness of the
needs of others, often hidden behind a curtain of words. Free
our tongues to share our innermost feeling with a trusted friend
or counselor. Make us well, Jesus. Amen.

* PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
We praise you, God of Israel, God of the church universal. You
made the heavens and the earth, the sparrow and the gull, the
whale and the minnow. You care for people, the hungry and the
oppressed. You restore sight and help the stooped to stand tall.
You give new heart to the bereaved and hopeless. Our hopes are
in you and you will not disappoint us at the last. We praise
you, Creator, Christ, Comforter. Amen.

* PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Divine Person, beyond all human personhood, transform these
tangible but impersonal things into acts and gifts of persons-
serving-persons in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

* PSALM 125
Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the LORD surrounds his people,
from this time on and forevermore.
For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land
allotted to the righteous,
so that the righteous might not stretch out their hands to do
wrong.
Do good, O LORD, to those who are good,
and to those who are upright in their hearts.
But those who turn aside to their own crooked ways
the LORD will lead away with evildoers.
Peace be upon Israel!

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John E. Sumwalt
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Contents
“Waking Up to Racism” by John Sumwalt
“Twists and Turns” by Frank Ramirez

 
Waking Up to Racism
by John Sumwalt
Psalm 98

Let the floods clap their hands;
    let the hills sing together for joy
 at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming
    to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
    and the peoples with equity.
(vv. 8-9)

Emphasis Preaching Journal

David Kalas
In the mid-1960s, a popular song declared, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just too little of.”1 It was an era of both national and international unrest. And the American landscape was reeling from the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, and opposition to both. Amidst headlines so marked by unrest and division, therefore, the sentiment of the song struck a chord with an American audience. 
Bill Thomas
Mark Ellingsen
Frank Ramirez
Bonnie Bates
Acts 10:44-48
Prejudice is always wrong. Nat King Cole is a well-known artist who was the first African American to host his own national television program. In 1948, he purchased a beautiful home in an exclusive Los Angeles neighborhood. When the local neighborhood association confronted him and informed him it didn’t want any undesirables to move in, Cole responded, “Neither do I. If I see any coming in here, I’ll be the first to complain.” He lived in that house until his death in 1965.

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John Jamison
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (vv. 9-12)

Hi, everyone! (Let them respond.)

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:

Jesus gave up his life for us. In our worship today let us explore how to love one another as he has loved us.


Invitation to Confession:

Jesus, sometimes our love for each other is thin and pale.
Lord, have mercy.

Jesus, sometimes we pretend to love but fail to care.
Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, sometimes we don't know how to love.
Lord, have mercy.

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John E. Sumwalt
Jo Perry-sumwalt
One evening, when I was 26 years old, beleagered by guilt for acknowledged sins, I was deep into an hour-long prayer of repentance. In despair, I grieved that I had broken the commandments and that I was not worthy of God's love.

Near me lay the Bible, unused and unfamiliar. I had never, ever read from the Bible. Yet my hands reached out and took the Bible to open it. I knew not where, nor why. But my hands knew the way. They opened to John 15:9-11 and as my eyes began to read, my mind knew the meaning with clarity. My eyes read verse 10 first:
Mark Ellingsen
Theme of the Day
God's love brings us together.

Collect of the Day
It is noted that God has prepared great joy for those who love Him. Petitions are then offered that such love may be poured into the hearts of the faithful so that they may obtain these promises. Justification as a reward for our deeds (love) is communicated by this prayer.

Psalm of the Day
Psalm 98
Stan Purdum
(See Christmas Day, Cycles A and B, for alternative approaches.)

Richard E. Gribble
Once upon a time a great and powerful king ruled over a vast territory. There was something very strange about this kingdom, however -- everything was the same. The people ate the same food, drank the same drink, wore the same clothes, and lived in the same type of homes. The people even did all the same work. There was another oddity about this place. Everything was gray -- the food, the drink, the clothes, the houses; there were no other colors.

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