Call to Worship
We give you thanks, O God, we give you thanks, calling upon your Name and declaring all your wonderful deeds. (Psalm 75:1)
Glory be to the Creator, and to the Christ, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Amen.
Opening Psalm (Psalm 100)
Make a joyful noise to Yahweh, all the earth.
2 Worship God with gladness;
come into the divine presence with singing.
3 Know that Yahweh is God.
It is God who made us, and we are God’s;[a]
we are God’s people, and the sheep of the holy pasture.
4 Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving,
and the divine courts with praise.
Give thanks to God, bless the holy name.
5 For Yahweh is good;
God’s steadfast love endures forever,
and God’s faithfulness to all generations.
Collect (Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love)
God, of your goodness, give me yourself; you are enough for me, and anything less that I could ask for would not do you full honor. And if I ask anything that is less, I shall always lack something, but in you alone I have everything.
Scripture: Matthew 6:16-24
And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Parent who is in secret; and your Parent who sees in secret will reward you.
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; 23 but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
Silent and/or Spoken Reflections
“What makes the temptation of power so seemingly irresistible? Maybe it is that power offers an easy substitute for the hard task of love. It seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people, easier to own life than to love life.”
–Henri Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership, pg. 77
Offering Our Prayers (God, in your mercy . . . hear our prayer.)
Concluding Prayer (Miriam Therese Winter, WomanWord: A Feminist Lectionary and Psalter, p. 153)
You call us into discipleship,
O One Who Bears All Burdens,
making a way through the wilderness,
hovering near in pillar and cloud,
revealing bits of Your glory
when all seems hopeless and courage fails.
Carry us on the wingtips of Your
through moments of discouragement
as we push against the tide.
You are my friends,
You told us all,
my friends and my disciples.
Be with us always,
be with us now
as we seek Your way.
God’s Blessing be with us, Christ’s peace be with us, the Spirit’s outpouring be with us, now and always. Amen.