The Presbyterian Church at Woodbury
August 1, 2021
10th Sunday after Pentecost
PRAYER OF PREPARATION
Holy God, we come together to worship, a people who would like to think that we love you with all our hearts and souls, with all our might, but there are so many other things in our lives that clamor for our attention that we often relegate you to Sundays and times when we want you to rescue us.
Most of us really do want you to be the one in whom we live and move and have our being. We really do want to hear your voice above all of the other voices in our lives. But we get bogged down in the daily routine. We forget who we are. We forget who you are. We forget what the church is supposed to be.
So here we are, standing before you today, with our human foibles and our short attention spans, asking that you would make yourself known to us, that you would help us to recognize the presence of the Holy, that you would continue to challenge us, inspire us, and make us into the people you want us to be. Amen.
PRELUDE “Now Let Us All with One Accord’ Edward Broughton
CALL TO WORSHIP
Blessed is God, who created us and loves us beyond measure.
Blessed is God, who calls us to stop measuring out our love.
Blessed is God, who speaks and tells us stories about ourselves.
Blessed is God, who reveals to us who we are and who we could be.
Blessed is God, whose compassion is poured out on every single person.
Blessed is God, who gives us compassion to share with every single person, even people we do not know or care about.
CALL TO RECONCILIATION
Are you in love with God? Do you show it in your words, your thoughts, your actions? Are you in love with your neighbor? Do they know this by your presence, your grace, your friendship? Or are you so obsessed with yourself, that you have no time, no room, nor pity for others, or for God? Let us confess the limits we place on our love, so we might be filled with God’s limitless mercy.
PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS
They may not be beaten down or lying by the road,
but there are people we pass by, Watching God.
Some are family and friends
we take so much for granted
we cannot see how we have stripped
them of our love and compassion.
Others are neighbors:
who have been left half-dead by crushing work;
who have fallen into the hands of despair;
who have been abandoned by all those
who walked on by them.
Many are strangers, people we don’t know,
but quickly judge:
they are weak,
or the enemy
or because they remind us of whom
we once were, or could become.
Rescue us from the power of our sins,
Righteous One of all generations.
Pour out your justice on us,
rather than your judgment,
that we would be moved with pity,
and spurred to action;
that we would hear of the hope that is ours,
and share it with our sisters and brothers;
that we would shower mercy on all we meet,
even as we have received forgiveness for our sins
through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Silence is observed
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
Children of the Most High: you are forgiven and brought into the kingdom. Be filled with spiritual wisdom, lead lives worthy of your inheritance, bear fruit in all you say and do and think.
God has rescued us and redeemed us from our sins, setting aside judgment to shower us with mercy. We will go and do likewise. Thanks be to God. Amen.
RESPONSE “Gloria Patria”
PASSING OF THE PEACE OF CHRIST
Our peace comes from knowing how much God loves us in Jesus Christ. With God’s help, we try to love and forgive one another as Christ loves and forgives us.
“The peace of Christ be with you,”
“And also with you.”
MUSICAL INTERLUDE “A Reflection on the Cross” Heather Sorenson
(all children will remain in the sanctuary)
PRAYER OF ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE Luke 10:25-37
25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus.[a] “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” 27 He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”
29But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two denarii,[b] gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ 36Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
SERMON “The Good Samaritan” Rev. Jenny McDevitt
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH (from the Belhar Confession)
We believe that Christ’s work of reconciliation is made manifest in the church as the community of believers who have been reconciled with God and with one another; that this unity of the people of God must be manifested and be active in a variety of ways: in that we love one another; that we experience, practice and pursue community with one another; that we are obligated to give ourselves willingly and joyfully to be of benefit and blessing to one another; that we share one faith, have one calling, are of one soul and one mind; have one God and Father, are filled with one Spirit, are baptized with one baptism, eat of one bread and drink of one cup, confess one name, are obedient to one Lord, work for one cause, and share one hope; together come to know the height and the breadth and the depth of the love of Christ; together are built up to the stature of Christ, to the new humanity; together know and bear one another’s burdens, thereby fulfilling the law of Christ that we need one another and upbuild one another, admonishing and comforting one another; that we suffer with one another for the sake of righteousness; pray together; together serve God in this world; and together fight against all which may threaten or hinder this unity.
THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION
Friends, this is the joyful feast of the people of God! They will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God. According to Luke, when our risen Lord was at table with his disciples, he took the bread, and blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him. This is the Lord’s table. Our Savior invites those who trust him to share the feast which he has prepared.
We give you thanks, O God, for you have made us in your image – female and male, black, brown, red, and white. You created us and taught us to love you and our neighbors, and even ourselves. You set us in this world to love and to serve you, calling us to live in covenant relationship with you and in peace with your whole creation.
We have failed to do so, but you have not rejected us, but continue to call us back to your way. In Jesus Christ you showed us your love for all, especially those among us often rejected by others: criminals, prostitutes, addicts, abusers; the poor, immigrants, those suffering from illness or deemed unclean or impure by society. Today we join our voice with theirs, and with all people and creatures in heaven and on earth, as we glorify your name and lift our voices in joyful praise: Holy, holy, holy, my heart, my heart adores you! My heart pours out my praise to you; you are holy, Lord.
Truly you deserve our love, O God, and so does your Son, Jesus, our Lord. He proclaimed the good news of the reign of God and showed us the way to a new community, one in which the last would be first, justice would be realized, resources would be shared in common; where those hungry for food would be fed, and those thirsty for God would be filled.
Yet we rebelled against Jesus’ message of compassion and justice, and he was crucified because we feared such love.
But God’s love and life is stronger than human fear or death. Jesus rose from the grave.
We joyfully celebrate his life and place our hope and assurance in his resurrection as we wait for the day that he is fully present with us and in us, and the world is at peace.
Gracious God, we give you thanks for giving us your Son and for pouring out your Holy Spirit upon us. By your Spirit we are able to become one with you and with one another. Feed us at this table, that we might hear your call to feed others. Fill us with compassion and move us to action, that your reign might be over the earth as it is in heaven:
Finally, hear us pray the prayer Christ taught us, saying, Our Father …
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
Breaking Bread & Pouring Cup
The Lord Jesus, on the night of his arrest, took bread, and after giving thanks to God,
he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take, eat. This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.
In the same way he took the cup, saying: This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this in remembrance of me.
Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the saving death of the risen Lord, until he comes.
Gracious God, may we who have received this sacrament live in the unity of your Holy Spirit, that we may show forth your gifts to all the world. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
OFFERING OF TITHES & OFFERINGS
Do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Take our hearts, our hands, our gifts, Holy God. Mold us, shape us, send us, so that we might be your body in the world you so love. Amen.
Now go, to be God’s blessing to others.
We will not stop measuring out our love by the spoonful,
but shower everyone with it.
Now go, to tell share the story of Jesus’ love and hope for all.
We will go to speak of the One who, with grace and wonder,
shows everyone who they are and who they might be.
Now go, to pour out the Spirit’s compassion in every corner of your life.
We will go to care for everyone, even those we do not know.