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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call to Worship
we have gathered to devote our attention
to the One who draws near to the afflicted
the One who desires justice
more than religious gatherings
to hear the story of God
and find ourselves drawn into it
until our desires are re-shaped
by the desires of Christ
and our lives are driven
by the hope of Resurrection.
Joshua 24:1-3, 14-15
So Joshua summoned all of the tribes of Israel together at Shechem, all the leaders, judges, officers, and elders, and they stood in the presence of the True God.
Joshua: The Eternal One, the True God of Israel has told me to give you this message: “Many years ago, your ancestors, Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River where they served other gods. But I took your father Abraham and led him over the river and into the land of Canaan, and I made his descendants numerous.
So remember: fear the Eternal and serve Him sincerely and faithfully. Put away from you any gods your ancestors served across the Euphrates River or in Egypt, and serve only Him.
If you decide that you’re not willing to serve Him, then today is the day for you to choose whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors bowed to in the land beyond the great River, or the gods of the Amorites whose country you possess. But as for me and my family, we will serve the Eternal.
Jesus: Or picture the kingdom of heaven this way. It will be like ten bridesmaids who each picked up a lantern and went out to meet a certain bridegroom. Five of these women were sensible, good with details, and remembered to bring small flasks of oil for their lanterns.
But five of them were flighty, too caught up in the excitement of their jaunt, and forgot to bring oil with them. The bridegroom did not turn up right away. Indeed, all the women, while waiting, found themselves falling asleep.
And then in the middle of the night, they heard someone call, “The bridegroom is here, finally! Wake up and greet him!” The women got up and trimmed the wicks of their lanterns and prepared to go greet the groom. The five women who had no oil turned to their friends for help.
Ill-prepared Bridesmaids: Please give us some of your oil! Our lanterns are flickering and will go out soon.
But the five women who’d come prepared with oil said they didn’t have enough.
Prepared Bridesmaids: If we give you some of our oil, we’ll all run out too soon! You’d better go wake up a dealer and buy your own supply.
So the five ill-prepared women went in search of oil to buy, and while they were gone, the groom arrived. The five who stood ready with their lanterns accompanied him to the wedding party, and after they arrived, the door was shut.
Finally the rest of the women turned up at the party. They knocked on the door.
Ill-prepared Bridesmaids: Master, open up and let us in!
Bridegroom (refusing): I certainly don’t know you.
So stay awake; you neither know the day nor hour [when the Son of Man will come].
This week's prayer was taken from An Iona Prayerbook (26), and is labeled as being from the Philippines.
Lord, in these times
When we fear we are losing hope
Or feel our efforts are futile,
Let us see in our hearts and minds
The image of your resurrection,
And let that be the source of courage and strength.
With that, and in your company,
Help us to face challenges and struggles
Against all that is born of injustice.