RESPONDING TO THE TEXT
The text this week from Matthew can be read as a call to repentance, a reminder that we have been entrusted by God to care for the gifts we have been given. This text provides an opportunity for us to be honest about our participation in systems of violence and oppression, both in our relationship with people and in our care for the earth. It also provides an opportunity to explore themes of freedom and abundance.
See the prompt page from Trinity United Methodist Church at TrinityofRahway.com: Vineyard Tales.
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Today we gather around a bountiful table to celebrate the freedom of God.
People: From all around the world we come, to rekindle our spirits and receive strength for our common tasks.
Leader: Bread from the earth and fruit from the vine, they are gifts to us of God’s presence.
People: Let us be bound in love, walk together in truth, and be united in purpose.
All: For the earth and all its fullness belong not to us, but to the Lord.
God of our lives, your Word is one of communion, not division. Your gifts are gifts of abundance, peace, and freedom, not scarcity, violence, and oppression. We thank you that in Christ you have given us greatest gift: you gave us yourself. As we gather today, may your gifts and your presence be received with joy and humility. Amen.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
O God, Giver of life and all that is good, everything we have is yours. Open our eyes that we might see as you see, our ears that we might hear as you hear, and our minds that we might understand that hope to which you have called us. As the scripture is read and your word proclaimed, let your Spirit move within us, setting our hearts on your Kingdom. Amen.
The Words of Confession and Words of Assurance are a part of our Communion Liturgy for this Sunday.