James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a
Call to Worship:
Leader: God of Compassion, allow us to experience today the abundance of your Love.
People: We are in awe of your presence; our whole being longs for your peace.
Leader: What a great mystery you have revealed to us: that whoever wants to be first must become a servant; and whoever wants to lead, must follow.
People: We follow You God. Wherever you are, we want to be; whoever you love, we want to love also.
Leader: You have made of children an example, granting them entrance to your Kingdom.
All: You have taught children and infants to testify of your strength, shouting the songs that drown out enemy babble.
-Prepared by Efrain Zavala (with additions inspired by Psalm 8, from The Message).
unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hid:
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may welcome children in your name,
and in doing so, that we may perfectly love you;
for you have said, “Whoever welcomes a child in my name welcomes me.”
In Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.
-Adapted by Michael Howard, based on Mark 9:37, from “Service of Word and Table IV”, UMBOW, p. 42.
Prayer of Confession
Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
We acknowledge that we often seek to be first,
Rather than following your example that we should be servants of all.
Yet, in your great mercy you have promised forgiveness of sins
to all who heartily repent, have true faith, and turn to you.
Have mercy upon us;
pardon and deliver us from our need to be first;
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness;
and bring us to everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- Adapted by Michael Howard, based on Mark 9:35 and UMBOW 45, “Service of Word and Table IV”.
Words of Assurance
Leader: Hear the Good News! As Christ has welcomed the child, we, too, may approach God’s throne if we come as children.
All: Behold, what love the Father has for us, that we should be called the children of God.
-Prepared by Michael Howard, based on Mark 9 and 1 John 3:1.
Prayer for Illumination
Gracious God, give us humble, teachable, and docile hearts,
so that as Scriptures are read and your Word proclaimed in this place
we may receive what you have revealed, and do what you have commanded. Amen.
- Prepared by Efrain Zavala.