Liturgy 1-7-2019

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to direct our attention to the Light of the World

to orient our hearts and minds
toward the Word-made-flesh

that in our singing, our praying,
our silence, and our listening

we might be caught up in the Story of God

and be formed more fully in the way of Christ

bearing the radiant love of God in our ordinary lives

amen

Scripture

Isaiah 60:1-6

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;

but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

Lift up your eyes and look around;
they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' arms.

Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and rejoice,
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.

A multitude of camels shall cover you,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come.

They shall bring gold and frankincense,
and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

Matthew 2:1-12

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage."

When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.

They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

`And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.'"

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage." When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was.

When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Prayer

This Sunday’s prayer was from Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson:

Quietly the New Year slips in.
Are we now more fearful, the radio asks?
More careful?
More tired?
Are we now more aware of the suffering, the violence,
the inequality, the injustice in our world?

Holy God,
In this New Year,
We seek you
As we have always sought you.
We need you
As we have always needed you.
We hunger for your presence, your peace, your justice and your love.

Open our hearts afresh and anew.
Open our minds that we may know you.
Open our hands that we may care for you.
Open our ears and eyes that we may hear and see you
In our neighbor, in the foreigner, in the refugee,
Even in our enemy,
And, perhaps especially, in ourselves.

That we may know in the deepest part of ourselves
That you call us
And that we are capable
Of seeing and naming, doing and being
Your love, your peace, your hope and your justice
In this your world.

Amen.

 

Liturgy 12-16-2018

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to direct our attention
to the One who made all things

to worship the One
who is making all things new

to enter into the story of God
and the people of God

and find our own stories transformed

into places where the dry land is glad,
where the desert rejoices and blossoms

where a Lights shines in the darkness
and the darkness does not overcome it

Amen

Joy Candle Liturgy

Here in the middle of the darkest days of the year, our Advent journey invites us to grasp for Joy; to embrace the truth that reality precedes and reaches beyond the present darkness.  The joy of Advent is a way of seeing where we stubbornly refuse to call the way things are “the way things will always be.” It’s a way of looking back to look forward, knowing that God is still working to reconcile all things to Godself, and raising this as a light in defiance of the dark.  It is for this joy that we light a candle this week.

[Light Joy Candle]

Hear now of the Lord coming into the darkness of Exile to lead us home in Isaiah 35:1-10.

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,
and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty of our God. 

Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees. 
Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
‘Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
He will come and save you.’

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 
then the lame shall leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert; 
the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes. 

A highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Holy Way;
the unclean shall not travel on it,
but it shall be for God’s people;
no traveller, not even fools, shall go astray. 
No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there. 

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. 

Scripture

Zephaniah 3:14-20

Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!

The Lord has taken away the judgments against you,
the Lord 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;

the Lord will rejoice over you with gladness,
the Lord will renew you in his love;
the Lord 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.

Luke 3:7-18

John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."

And the crowds asked him, "What then should we do?" In reply he said to them, "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise." Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, "Teacher, what should we do?" He said to them, "Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you."

Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what should we do?" He said to them, "Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages."

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, "I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.

Liturgy 12-2-2018

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to learn to wait
for the Light in the Darkness

to tune our hearts to hope

to step into God’s story

and find our own stories transformed

that our lives might bear wonder and love
in the midst of uncertainty and fear 

like flames against the gloom

 

Amen

Hope Candle Liturgy

On this first Sunday of Advent, we are reminded that we live by Hope.  Hope in the coming of the Messiah.  Hope that God will bring Light into our present darkness.  Hope that those pinned in by anxiety will find rest. Hope that those who feel worthless will find their true Value.  Hope that the poor, the homeless, the refugee, and all those trampled by systems of power will be caught up in the mercy and justice of God.  And hope that Love will cast out every fear.

For now, we wait, trusting that God is faithful and at work redeeming all things.  

[Light the Hope candle]

Hear God’s promise of hope from Isaiah 2:2-4: 

In days to come
   the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
   and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it. 
   Many peoples shall come and say,
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
   to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
   and that we may walk in his paths.’
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
   and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 
He shall judge between the nations,
   and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
   and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
   neither shall they learn war any more.

Scripture

Jeremiah 33:14-16

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: "The Lord is our righteousness."

Luke 21:25-36

Jesus said, "There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 

Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in a cloud' with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

Then he told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 

Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

"Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth.

Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."

Liturgy 11-11-2018

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship the One
who made heaven and earth
the seas and all that is in them

the One who gives justice to the oppressed
and food to those who hunger

to enter the Story of God,
and find the Eternal One there

the One who loves the righteous,
cares for the stranger,
and sustains the orphan and widow,
but frustrates the way of the wicked

hoping that the Spirit of the Living God

would form us in the way of Christ
and teach us to live to the fullest.

Amen.

Scripture

1 Kings 17:8-16

The word of the Lord came to Elijah, saying, “Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” So he set out and went to Zarephath.

When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.”

As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”

Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son.

For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth.”

She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.

Mark 12:38-44

As Jesus taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.

For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Prayer

This week’s prayer was from An Iona Prayer Book (p. 102):

Spirit of God,
your power alone
can lead us from death to life.
Hover over the chaos of our lives
and create a new moment
for each of us
in which we hear your call
to live again

Fill us with the breath of life
when we are immersed
in human heart
and cosmic pain.

Then raise us
in baptismal joy
to proclaim
your resurrection day.

Liturgy 11-4-2018

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship the Eternal One

to learn to love God with all our heart,
with all our soul,
with all our mind,
and with all our strength
.

to enter the story of God and the people of God

to learn to see as God sees
to embrace life’s beauty
and live fully

that we might be formed in the way of Christ

and learn to love our neighbor as ourselves

Amen.

Scripture

Ruth 1:8-18

But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back each of you to your mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find security, each of you in the house of your husband.”

Then she kissed them, and they wept aloud. They said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.”

But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters, why will you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? Turn back, my daughters, go your way, for I am too old to have a husband.

Even if I thought there was hope for me, even if I should have a husband tonight and bear sons, would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, it has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the Lord has turned against me.”

Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.

So she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.”

But Ruth said,

“Do not press me to leave you
   or to turn back from following you!
Where you go, I will go;
   where you lodge, I will lodge;
your people shall be my people,
   and your God my God.

Where you die, I will die—
   there will I be buried.
May the Lord do thus and so to me,
   and more as well,
if even death parts me from you!”

When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.

Mark 12:28-34

One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that Jesus answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’

The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’ —this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question.


Liturgy 10-21-2018

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship the Eternal One

the One who draws near to us but evades our grasp
the One who outshines our greatest hopes

to direct our attention to the story of God and the people of God

to enter the Story
and find our own stories transformed

seeking the Spirit of God to form us more fully in the way of Christ

to hold us together in our uncertainty
to hold us together in our love
to hold us together

Amen.

Scripture

Job 2:11-13; 3:1-10, 20-26

Now when Job’s three friends heard of all these troubles that had come upon him, each of them set out from his home—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite.

They met together to go and console and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him, and they raised their voices and wept aloud; they tore their robes and threw dust in the air upon their heads.

They sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.

After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. Job said:

“Let the day perish in which I was born,
   and the night that said,
   ‘A man-child is conceived.’
Let that day be darkness!
   May God above not seek it,
   or light shine on it.

Let gloom and deep darkness claim it.
   Let clouds settle upon it;
   let the blackness of the day terrify it.
That night—let thick darkness seize it!
   let it not rejoice among the days of the year;
   let it not come into the number of the months.

Yes, let that night be barren;
   let no joyful cry be heard in it.
Let those curse it who curse the Sea,
   those who are skilled to rouse up Leviathan.

Let the stars of its dawn be dark;
   let it hope for light, but have none;
   may it not see the eyelids of the morning—
because it did not shut the doors of my mother’s womb,
   and hide trouble from my eyes.

“Why is light given to one in misery,
   and life to the bitter in soul,
who long for death, but it does not come,
   and dig for it more than for hidden treasures;
who rejoice exceedingly,
   and are glad when they find the grave?

Why is light given to one who cannot see the way,
   whom God has fenced in?
For my sighing comes like my bread,
   and my groanings are poured out like water.
Truly the thing that I fear comes upon me,
   and what I dread befalls me.
I am not at ease, nor am I quiet;
   I have no rest; but trouble comes.”

Mark 10:35-45

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Jesus and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”

But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them.

But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Prayer

This week’s prayer was from Søren Kierkegaard (The Prayers of Kierkegaard, p. 30):

Father in Heaven! Draw our hearts to Thee, that our heart may be where our treasure must be, that our thoughts may aspire to Thy kingdom where our citizenship is so that our departure when Thou shalt call us may not be a painful separation from this world but a blissful reunion with Thee. Still we do not know the time or the season; perhaps it is still far from us. But when at times our strength is taken from us, when lassitude overcomes us like a kind of fog in which our visions plunged as into a dark night, when our desires, our impatience, and our anger are stirred up, when our hearts tremble in anxiety awaiting what is to come, then, O Lord our God, teach us and strengthen this conviction in our hearts, that also in this life we belong to Thee. Amen.

Liturgy 10-7-2018

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship the Living God

the one in whom we live and move and have our being

to enter the story of God and the people of God

and find our own stories changed

hoping the Spirit of God shape our imaginations and rewire our hearts

that we might be formed in the way of Christ
and learn to be the presence of Christ in our time and place

amen.

Scripture

Job 1:1; 2:1-10

There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.

One day the heavenly beings came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

Satan answered the Lord, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil. He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason.”

Then Satan answered the Lord, “Skin for skin! All that people have they will give to save their lives. But stretch out your hand now and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, he is in your power; only spare his life.”

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and inflicted loathsome sores on Job from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. Job took a potsherd with which to scrape himself, and sat among the ashes.

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still persist in your integrity? Curse God, and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as any foolish woman would speak. Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Mark 10:13-16

People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.

Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.


Liturgy 9-30-2018

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship the One who made all things

the One who is making all things new

bringing the whole of our selves

our joy and our pain
our hopes and broken dreams
our hearts and our minds

  

trusting that the Spirit of the Living God is in our midst

healing us in the love of Christ
sustaining us in the hope of Christ
and forming us in the way of Christ

 

Amen.

Scripture

Exodus 2:1-6

Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him three months.

When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.

The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it. When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him. “This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,” she said.

Mark 9:38-50

John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.

And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

“For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

Liturgy 9-23-2018

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship the Living God

to direct our attention toward the One
who liberates the trampled of the world,
and whose righteousness is everlasting

hoping to be formed more fully in the way of Christ

to learn how to relate to God,
our neighbor, and ourselves

and to embrace the Spirit of God in our midst

that we might carry the Kingdom of God
in our ordinary lives

Amen

Scripture

Psalm 54

Liberate me, O God, by the authority of Your name.
Vindicate me through Your legendary power.
Hear my prayer, O God;
let the words of my mouth reach Your sympathetic ear.

The truth is, these strangers are rallying against me;
cold-blooded men seek to slay me;
they have no respect for You.

But see now! God comes to rescue me;
the Lord is my valiant supporter.
the Lord will repay my enemies for the harm they have done; they are doomed!

According to Your faithful promises, silence them.
I will sacrifice to You willingly;
I will lift Your name by shouts of thanksgiving, O Eternal One, for Your name is good.

God has pulled me out from every one of the troubles that encompass me,
and I have seen what it means to stand over my enemies in triumph.

Mark 9:30-37

Jesus and his disciples passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.

Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”

Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

Liturgy 9-16-2018

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship the One
who is righteous and full of compassion

the One who brings rest for the weary,
and whose love is stronger than the grip of the grave

to enter into the story of God and the people of God

and be formed in the way of Christ

that we might be people of the Spirit

who walk with the Eternal
in the land of the living

Amen.

Scripture

Psalm 116:1-8

I love the Lord, because the Lord has heard the voice of my supplication,
because the Lord has inclined the Lord’s ear to me whenever I called.

The cords of death entangled me;
the grip of the grave took hold of me;
I came to grief and sorrow.
Then I called upon the Name of the Lord:
"O Lord, I pray you, save my life."

Gracious is the Lord and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.

The Lord watches over the innocent;
I was brought very low, and the Lord helped me.
Turn again to your rest, O my soul,
for the Lord has treated you well.

For you have rescued my life from death,
my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling.
I will walk in the presence of the Lord
in the land of the living.

Mark 8:27-38

Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?”

And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.

For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?

Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Liturgy 9-9-2018

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship the Lord of all

to direct our attention
to the One who sets the prisoner free,
who opens the eyes of the blind,
who lifts up those who are pulled down

to enter into God’s story

and find our own stories transformed

hoping the Spirit might infuse our lives with the way of Christ

teaching us to care for the stranger,
the orphan, and the widow,
and frustrate the way of the wicked

amen

Scripture

Psalm 146

Hallelujah!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth,
for there is no help in them.
When they breathe their last, they return to earth,
and in that day their thoughts perish.

Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help!
whose hope is in the Lord their God;
Who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them;
who keeps the Lord’s promise for ever;

Who gives justice to those who are oppressed,
and food to those who hunger.
the Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;

The Lord loves the righteous;
the Lord cares for the stranger;
The Lord sustains the orphan and widow,
but frustrates the way of the wicked.

The Lord shall reign for ever,
your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.

Mark 7:24-37

Jesus set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.

He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.” So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”

And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”


Liturgy 9-2-2018

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship the Living God

to direct our attention to the Creator and Sustainer of all that is

hoping to be formed by God’s story

that our stories would be One

and hoping that the Spirit of God would work faith in our hearts

that in our living and moving,
we might reflect the way of Christ

amen.

Scripture

Psalm 15

Lord, who may dwell in your tabernacle?
who may abide upon your holy hill?
Whoever leads a blameless life and does what is right,
who speaks the truth from his heart.

There is no guile upon his tongue;
he does no evil to his friend;
he does not heap contempt upon his neighbor.
In his sight the wicked is rejected,
but he honors those who fear the Lord.

He has sworn to do no wrong
and does not take back his word.
He does not give his money in hope of gain,
nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
shall never be overthrown.

Mark 7:1-18, 14-15, 21-23

When the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.)

So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?”

He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,

‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’

You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”

Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”

For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Liturgy 8-26-2018

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship the One who is near to the brokenhearted,

the One who saves those whose spirits are crushed

to enter into the story of God

and find our own stories changed

to be formed more fully by the Spirit of God into the way of Christ

that we might carry the love of God within us
and learn to live as citizens of the Kingdom of God

Amen

Scripture