God Provides for Us -- Proper 5 (David Ackerman)

We continue sharing David Ackerman's liturgical materials that take us beyond the lectionary. As anyone who uses the lectionary knows, it doesn't cover all the texts. With his new book, Beyond the Lectionary: A Year of Alternatives to the Revised Common Lectionary, and with these liturgical materials, David Ackerman, a United Church of Christ pastor, offers us an alternative (perhaps used as year 4).

This set of liturgical materials is designed for use on June 9th.


Proper 5

June 9, 2013
“God Provides for Us”
Call to Worship:  Psalm 12 (vv 1-2, 5-7) NRSV
One:  Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone who is godly; the faithful have disappeared from humankind.  They utter lies to each other; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.
Many:  “Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan, I will now rise up,” says the Lord; “I will place them in the safety for which they long.”
One:  The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure; silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.
Many:  You, O Lord, will protect us; you will guard us from this generation forever.
Gathering Prayer:  As we gather together today, God, we thank you that you have brought us safely to this time and place.  As we prepare to embrace new challenges, help us to trust that you will provide and care for us.  May we respond to your faithfulness to us by being bold in proclaiming your good news in this world!  Amen.
Confession:  God, we confess that we have not trusted in your provision for us.  We have been cowardly and have tried to hide our guilt from you by lying to ourselves and others.  You know the truth, God!  Forgive us for our failure to have the faith in you that we should, and help us to change so that we might be confident in your care for us.  Amen.
Assurance:  God knows that we are frightened of many things and filled with doubts and misgivings.  Yet despite all that God comes to us and encourages us with grace beyond our deserving.  God strengthens us so that we may be a source of strength and inspiration to others.  Thanks be to God for this deep and wondrous gift!  Amen.
Scriptures:  Genesis 27:1-10, 18-19, 26-33, 38-40 – “Jacob and Esau”
Acts 4:23-31 – “They Spoke with Boldness”
Matthew 17:24-27 – “The Fish and the Coin”
Commentaries and sermon ideas are available in Beyond the Lectionary.
Reflection questions:
The story of Jacob and Esau in Genesis 27 is one that sounds unfair to our 21st century ears.  Why is Jacob favored when he is deceptive, and why does Esau not get a better blessing when he looks to be an innocent victim?  What do you think is really happening here?  What was the author’s point in telling this story?
Today’s selection from Matthew 17 relates the tale of the coin in the fish’s mouth.   How is this story a sign of God’s provision for Jesus’ disciples?
In Acts 4, when the disciples gather together, what happens that leads them to speak “the word of God with boldness (v 31)?”
How does God provide for us?  How does that help us to share God’s good news boldly?
Prayer of Thanksgiving:  We thank you, God, for providing for us.  So often we are anxious about how we are going to make it through the hardships of life.  Remind us that your Spirit gives us an abundant life that transcends any material satisfaction that this world can offer.  We pray that this assurance will inspire us to live courageously in a world of fear and despair.  Amen.
Benediction:  Now let us go, trusting in God’s provision for us, to share with boldness God’s good news.  Amen.

Reposted from:  http://beyondthelectionary.com/propers-1-10/proper-5/


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