Worship 1/24/21

Call to Worship/Psalm 62:5-12 (NRSV)

For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

Those of low estate are but a breath, those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.

Put no confidence in extortion, and set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.

Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.

For you repay to all according to their work.

Opening Prayer

O God of mystery and silence, you call us to sail out of our safe harbors into the uncharted waters of faith; to wander off from our predictable paths; to follow you into the unpredictable footsteps of the kingdom; to leave the comfort of our homes and accompany you into the uncomfortable places we usually avoid. In our simple, sometimes hectic, constantly uncertain lives, speak to us, Spirit of Grace: of that hope which is our anchor; of that peace which is our rock; of that grace which is our refuge. In the name of the One who is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, your Son, Jesus the Christ, we pray.  Amen.

Scripture Lesson/Jonah 3:1-5, 10 (NRSV)

3The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, 2“Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.”  3So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord.  Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across.  4Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk.  And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

5And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.  10When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

Message/Something Smells Fishy!

Pastoral Prayer

God of heaven and earth, through Jesus Christ you promise to hear us when we pray to you in his name.  Confident in your love and mercy we offer our prayer.

Empower the church throughout the world in its life and witness.  Break down the barriers that divide so that, united in your truth and love, the church may confess your name, share one baptism, sit together at one table, and serve you in one common ministry.

Guide the rulers of the nations.  Move them to set aside their fear, greed, and vain ambition and to bow to your sovereign rule.  Inspire them to strive for peace and justice, that all your children may dwell secure, free of war and injustice.

Hear the cries of the world’s hungry and suffering.  Give us, who consume most of the earth’s resources, the will to reorder our lives, that all may have their rightful share of food, medical care, and shelter, and so have the necessities of a life of dignity.

Restore among us a love of the earth you created for our home.  Help us put an end to ravaging its land, air, and waters, and give us respect for all your creatures, that, living in harmony with everything you have made, your whole creation may resound in an anthem of praise to your glorious name.

Renew our nation in the ways of justice and peace.  Guide those who make and administer our laws to build a society based on trust and respect.  Eradicate the prejudices we hold onto that dehumanize and oppress others; free us from greed and materialism; quell the fears and anxieties within us that cause us to hate; remind is that violence can only breed more violence.  Inspire us all with a new vision of your kin-dom to work for the common good of all people.

Strengthen this congregation in its work and worship.  Fill our hearts with your self-giving love, that our voices may speak your praise and our lives may conform to the image of your Son.  Nourish us with your Word, that we may faithfully serve in your name and embody your love and grace to all the world.

Look with compassion on all who suffer.  Bring healing and hope to those who are sick, those unjustly imprisoned, those denied dignity, those who struggle with depression or addiction, those who are homeless or abandoned.  As you have moved toward us in love, so lead us to be present with them in their suffering in the name of Jesus Christ.

Sustain those among us who need your healing touch.  Give hope to the dying.  Comfort those who mourn.  Uphold all who suffer in body, mind, spirit, or relationship—not only those we know and love, but also those known only to you, that they may know the peace and joy of your supporting care.  O God, in your loving purpose answer our prayers and fulfill our hopes.  In all things for which we pray, give us the will to seek to bring them about, for the sake of Jesus Christ who taught us to pray:

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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen.

Blessing/Benediction

As the word of God came to Jonah, the word of God also comes to us.
Go, in spite of your fears.
Speak the truth of God in both your words and your actions.
Love your neighbor as well as your enemy.
Drink from the deep well of forgiveness and offer its life-giving waters to others.
Receive the blessing of grace upon grace overflowing from the fullness of God. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, go in peace.