You can watch today’s service here.
If you are watching our live stream this morning, you are invited to find a candle, so that we can all light candles at the same time. Later in the service, we will be sharing virtual communion. Have bread and grape juice or wine on hand–or elements that are roughly equivalent. Granola bar and a juice box? Jesus’ body is broken for you. Goldfish crackers and pop? Jesus’ body is still broken for you. Muffin and coffee? Yep, Jesus’ body is broken for you! We are one in Christ even when we aren’t able to share the same loaf of bread.
CALL TO WORSHIP (Rev-O-Lution)
Praise God from the highest mountains!
Praise God from the depths of the sea!
Praise God with loud instruments!
Praise God with the voice of our hearts!
Praise God in all things, at all times, in all ways,
For our God reigns over the whole earth.Come, worship God, all nations, tribes, and peoples:
For God is our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.
Let us worship God!
OPENING PRAYER (Bishop Telmor Sartison)
God of gods and King of kings; you called and anointed David, you called and blessed Paul, and through your Son Jesus, you called the twelve to follow.
In our time you have called us. Enable us to trust you above all voices, beyond all of our prejudices and fears. Give us courage to follow and serve you among all of our neighbors and with one another in the body of Christ. God of the Kingdom, hear our prayer. Amen.
CALL TO CONFESSION (Romans 8:38-39)
Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor power, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Assured by these words of promise, let us examine our hearts and confess our sins to God.
I invite you to join with me in our unison prayer of confession, followed by a time either for silent personal confession.
Moment of silent prayer–people of God, what do you need to confess this week?
PRAYER OF CONFESSION (Teri McDowell Ott, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
Holy God, we are quick to criticize, quick to judge, quick to blame. We fail to offer others the same grace we receive from you. We hold ourselves up as superior and fail to address the patterns of dominance we perpetuate. Forgive us, God. Help us seek understanding and compassion. Help us accept the love you offer us and share your love with others. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON (Psalm 103:17
The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting.
I declare to you, in the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven! Amen
PRAYER FOR UNDERSTANDING (Teri McDowell Ott, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
Open us to your Word and your way, Holy God. Inspire us with your presence. Quiet our distracted minds and help us to focus on the message you intend for us today. Amen.
FIRST SCRIPTURE READING
He left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honor, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’ And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.
Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, ‘Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.’ So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
Why do you think that the people of Jesus’ hometown are so unimpressed?
Why might the author of the gospel refer to Jesus as “the son of Mary” and name his brothers and reference his sisters but not mention Joseph?
The author of the gospel laments that Jesus was only able to cure “a few sick people.” Why do you think that was?
HYMN “This Is My Song”
lyrics by Lloyd Stone and Georgia Harkness
St. 1–2 © 1934, ren. 1962 The Lorenz Corp.; St. 3 © 1964 The Lorenz Corp.
music by Jean Sibelius, 1899 Arr. © 1933, ren. 1961 The Presbyterian Board of Christian Education (admin. Westminster John Knox Press)
Used by Permission. CCLI License #3456351 and ONELICENSE # 738214-A
This is my song, O God of all the nations
A song of peace for lands afar and mine
This is my home, the country where my heart is
Here are my hopes and dreams, my holy shrine
But other hearts in other lands are beating
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.
My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean
And sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine
But other lands have sunlight, too, and clover
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations
A song of peace for their land and for mine
SECOND SCRIPTURE READING
2 SAMUEL 5:1-5, 9-10
Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron, and said, ‘Look, we are your bone and flesh. For some time, while Saul was king over us, it was you who led out Israel and brought it in. The Lord said to you: It is you who shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you who shall be ruler over Israel.’ So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for forty years. At Hebron he reigned over Judah for seven years and six months; and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah for thirty-three years. David occupied the stronghold, and named it the city of David. David built the city all around from the Millo inwards. And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.
Third scripture reading
Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away the judgements against you,
he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall fear disaster no more.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands grow weak.
The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing
as on a day of festival.
I will remove disaster from you,
so that you will not bear reproach for it.
I will deal with all your oppressors
at that time.
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
At that time I will bring you home,
at the time when I gather you;
for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes, says the Lord.
You can listen to Pastor Leia’s sermon, “Home,” here.
HYMN “What Does the Lord Require of You?”
music and lyrics by Jim Strathdee
1986 © 1986 Desert Flower Music
Used with permission under ONE LICENSE # 738214-A
What does the Lord require of you?
To seek justice, and love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE (Teri McDowell Ott, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
Gracious God, because we are not strong enough to pray as we should, you provide Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to intercede when we go astray. In this confidence, we pause as a people to lift up our prayers of thanksgiving, intercession, lamentation and petition. We ask you to accept the prayers we make that serve your will and fulfill the vision you have for our world. God of mercy, hear our prayers.
As we give thanks for the freedoms we enjoy on this Independence Day, we pray for peoples and countries struggling under oppressive regimes, abusive systems of power and coercive means of control. We pray for our nation’s leaders who seek creative ways to address complex problems. We pray for the safety and well-being of our military personnel, especially those serving in harm’s way. We pray for those who are traveling this weekend, that they might be responsible and safe. We pray for those in our nation still waiting to be freed from hunger, poverty and the ravages of injustice. God of mercy, hear our prayers.
Compassionate God, as we continue to move through this pandemic, we pray for health and healing. Lift up the depressed. Befriend those who grieve. Comfort the anxious. Fill all people with your Holy Spirit that we might bear each other’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. God of mercy, hear our prayers.
United as a family of faith and as the Body of Christ we lift these prayers up to you, God our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer. Amen.
HYMN “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
lyrics by James Weldon Johnson, 1900; music by J. Rosamond Johnson, 1905
1 Lift every voice and sing till earth and heaven ring,
ring with the harmonies of liberty.
Let our rejoicing rise high as the listening skies;
let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us;
sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us.
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
let us march on, till victory is won.
2 Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod,
felt in the days when hope unborn had died.
Yet, with a steady beat, have not our weary feet
come to the place for which our parents sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered;
we have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last
where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.
3 God of our weary years, God of our silent tears,
thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
thou who hast by thy might led us into the light,
keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee;
lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee;
shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand,
true to our God, true to our native land.
INVITATION TO THE TABLE
Throughout the years, God has called to us.
In the beginning, God called us into being and breathed life into our souls.
God called us to follow.
God called us to love.
God called us to listen.
Whenever the people were in the wilderness,
or in exile,
or living in the valley of the shadow of death,
God called out words of hope and promise.
Whenever the people were at a crossroads,
God called out so that God’s voice could lead us.
Whenever the people were in despair,
God called out, “I am here, I am with you, I am always beside you.”
Every time God speaks, God is calling us home.
God is calling us home to the heart of God’s people.
God is calling us home to the truth that is love.
God is calling us home to our purpose.
God is calling us home to this table,
where we have always broken bread together.
We have always broken bread with people who weren’t physically present.
Every time we share this meal, we have shared it
with Jesus and his friends
with all the saints who have gone before us
with all the faithful across the world
with all the people who will someday come to this same table
with the same trust that God is there, that God is here,
the same hope in a brighter tomorrow,
the same faith that when we break bread together,
we are never alone.
God is calling us home,
to the bread of heaven and the cup of salvation
because here in this bread,
here in the body of Christ,
we are home.
Christ came into this world for everyone, and broke bread with everyone, and died for everyone, and rose again for everyone, and we would not be living Christ-like lives if we did not welcome everyone, too: baptized or not; a member of this church, another church, or no church at all; a stranger, a wanderer or a guest. If you wonder whether you are welcome here…you are. God has called you home.
GOD WELCOMES ALL
text: John L. Bell (2008)
Music: South African song, transc. John L. Bell, 2008
© 2008 WGRG, Iona Community (admin. GIA Publications, Inc.)
Used with permission under ONE LICENSE # 738214-A
God welcomes all, strangers and friends,
God’s love is strong and it never ends.
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
Pastor: The Lord be with you.
Response: And also with you.
Pastor: Lift up your hearts.
Response: We lift them to the Lord.
Pastor: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
Response: It is right to give our thanks and praise.
We know the story, that on the last night with his friends, Jesus took bread, gave thanks, and broke it, telling them, “Take this and eat. It is my body, broken for you.” He also poured a cup, telling them, “This is the new covenant, sealed in my blood. Drink from it, all of you, and remember me.”
Whenever we have shared communion, we have remembered that we share in the feast with Christians throughout time and space. Generations before us have broken bread together, and will long after we are gone. Across the world, people celebrate communion with different liturgies and recipes and traditions and languages, but no matter what communion looks like in different times and places, at the heart of it all is a single loaf and a single cup.
It is lonely to eat alone.
It does not feel right to be unable to see those with whom we share this meal.
It doesn’t feel like what Jesus meant.
But this meal has always reminded us of the saints we cannot see.
It has sustained us until now, and it will sustain us until we can share this meal in person again.
Please pray with me:
God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
you have brought us this far along the way.
In times of bitterness
you did not abandon us,
but guided us into the path of love and light
and have always been calling us home.
Help these elements become for us your body and blood
and help us to feel your presence
as we join our voices to pray the prayer Jesus taught us:
THE LORD’S PRAYER
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.
If you are fortunate enough to be worshipping alongside someone, you might offer the elements to each other. If you are worshipping alone at home today, remember that you share this meal with Christians around the world and that God’s arms are around you, no matter how lonely it feels to eat this meal alone.
Remember that this is the body of Christ, broken for you, no matter where you are.
Remember that this is the blood of Christ, shed for you, no matter who you are.
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Let us pray:
Living Christ, you have fed us at this table.
Holy Spirit, you have brought us together, no matter the distance.
We give thanks to you, O God,
for you have fed us like a shepherd
and gathered us to your breast.
Now lead us forth to do your will,
feed your sheep, and show your love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
HYMN Softly and Tenderly, Jesus Is Calling
music and lyrics by Will L. Thompson, 1880
1 Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
calling for you and for me.
See, on the portals he’s waiting and watching,
watching for you and for me.
“Come home, come home!
You who are weary, come home.”
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
calling, “O sinner, come home!”
2 Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not his mercies,
mercies for you and for me? [Refrain]
3 O for the wonderful love he has promised,
promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, he has mercy and pardon,
pardon for you and for me. [Refrain]
MORNING OFFERING (Teri McDowell Ott, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.
If you are able to, please consider mailing your offerings to the church (210 Smith Street) or dropping them off in the mail slot. Alternatively, if you visit peoples presbyterian dot org, you’ll find a donate button at the top of the page that will link you directly to a secure page where you could make a donation online. We appreciate the generosity of the Peoples family as we live out our faith in MISSION and ministry.
PRAYER OF DEDICATION (Teri McDowell Ott, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
Inspired by your generosity towards us, we return these gifts to you, O God. May our offering today spread the hope of Jesus Christ to those most in need. Amen.
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH (FROM A BRIEF STATEMENT OF FAITH)
We trust in God, whom Jesus called Abba, Father.
In sovereign love God created the world good
and makes everyone equally in God’s image,
male and female, of every race and people,
to live as one community.
But we rebel against God; we hide from our Creator.
Ignoring God’s commandments,
we violate the image of God in others and ourselves,
accept lies as truth, exploit neighbor and nature,
and threaten death to the planet entrusted to our care.
We deserve God’s condemnation.
Yet God acts with justice and mercy to redeem creation.
In everlasting love,
the God of Abraham and Sarah chose a covenant people
to bless all families of the earth.
Hearing their cry, God delivered the children of Israel
from the house of bondage.
Loving us still, God makes us heirs with Christ of the covenant.
Like a mother who will not forsake her nursing child,
like a father who runs to welcome the prodigal home,
God is faithful still.
CHARGE AND BENEDICTION
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May God’s countenance be lifted upon you and give you peace.
From wherever you are, serve the Lord: Creator, Son, and Holy Spirit.
VIRTUAL COFFEE HOUR
If you are using this page to follow along with today’s worship service while it is being live streamed, please join us for virtual coffee hour! Turn on your video camera and join us after the benediction with THIS LINK. You could also join over the telephone by dialing (312) 626-6799 and entering the meeting code 146 874 134, followed by the password 075003. You can find other events throughout the week on our CALENDAR.