COCU60A.11thOct2020

Readings
Exodus: 32:1-14: While Moses is on the mountain with God, the people, struggling with how long he has been gone, ask Aaron to make them gods. He agrees, takes their gold jewellery and makes a golden calf which the people then worship, even though he tries to remind them that their celebration is “to the Lord”.
Psalm 106: 1-6, 19-23: A psalm of confession, remembering how God’s people turned away, and traded God for an image of a calf, forgetting God’s saving acts for them. Also, a recognition that God seemed intent on destroying the people, but for Moses pleading on their behalf.
Philippians 4:1-9: Paul encourages the Church to stand firm, to agree with one another, to live as those who await Christ’s appearance, and to meditate on those things that are good, true and beautiful.
Matthew 22:1-14: Jesus tells a story about a king who prepares a wedding feast for his son, but the none of the originally invited guests want to go. So, he sends his soldiers to destroy those guests, and then he invites others from the streets to come in, but when someone is found without wedding clothes, that person is thrown out. Jesus finishes with the well-known saying that many are invited but few are chosen.
(Summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

RCL Bible readings

Call to worship
Whatever is true and honourable
is before us in the life of Christ this day.
In every moment lies a new possibility,
and an invitation to be present
in the gathering of love and justice.
Here, God meets us,
in the celebration of love for all people
and the passion for true community.
The invitation to the church is open before us
so that we may clothes ourselves in hope.
Let us think on these things,
as we lift our hearts in praise to God.
(Source: W4W, 2011)

More suggestions for Call to Worship and gathering prayers.

Prayer of Confession
O Christ, you graciously invite us
to the feast of your divine life,
but sometimes we are tempted
to delay our response to you.
We detour into trivial activities, or busy ourselves with commitments
which are to our own advantage. 
We convince ourselves that we are choosing what is important
and that other things can wait
until we are ready (a time for silence)
Forgive us, Jesus Christ.
Call to us again and give us the wisdom
to accept your invitation, we pray.
If we come into your presence
clothed in self-righteousness,
or with assumptions and certainties
which are not arising from your life with us:
Forgive us, Jesus Christ. 
When we fail to see what your people must wear
in kindness and respect for others
and openness to relationship:
Forgive us, Jesus Christ. 
Call to us again and give us the wisdom
which flows from your grace, we pray. Amen.
(Source: W4W 2011)

Words of assurance
Over and over again, when we stand in humility,
the voice of Christ comes to us in welcome and compassion.
We are forgiven. Thanks be to God. 

More prayers of confession/prayers of who we are here.

Isaiah 25: 1-9 (alternate Hebrew Scriptures reading)
O Creator, you are my God; I will exalt you, I will praise your name;for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.For you have made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin;the palace of aliens is a city no more, it will never be rebuilt.Therefore strong peoples will glorify you; cities of ruthless nations will fear you.For you have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress,a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm,the noise of aliens like heat in a dry place,you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds; the song of the ruthless was stilled.On this mountain the God of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food,a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.And God will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples,the sheet that is spread over all nations; God will swallow up death forever.Then God will wipe away the tears from all faces,and the disgrace of all people God will take away from all the earth, for God has spoken.It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for God, so that we might be saved.This is God for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation
Prayer
You are my God.
We will remember the past:
slavery in Egypt, and exodus to Sinai, 
arrival to milk and honey,
and colonization of captives,
exile in Babylon, and blessing of return,
condemnation and promise of the prophets,
suffering of the cross and hope of resurrection triumph
and tragedy, grief and joy.
In one breath, we confess our trespasses and give thanks for our blessings.
You are my God.
Our present mixes:
ruin and reimagining,
poverty and palaces,
fear and glory,
refuge and refugee,
shelter and homelessness,
shade and storm,
noise and song,
shroud and salvation.
In one spirit, we pray for, and offer gratitude for, our world.
You are my God.
We long for a future of feasting.
We wait for the pall to be removed.
We yearn for the tears to be wiped away.
We want the disgrace to be removed.
We pray that all manner of death will be destroyed.
May this vision sustain us.
May this desire give us hope.
May this dream guide our steps. Amen.
(Source: Diaconal Minister Ted Dodd, United Church of Canada)

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon) in placement at Pilgrim Uniting Church, in Adelaide CBD (12 Flinders St). This blog is mainly to resource worship planners for our services, but of course may be useful for others. We have some great writers of music, words for hymns and liturgy at Pilgrim, so this blog also includes their words.
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