Call to Worship from Psalm 96
Worship God in holy splendor
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
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 Scripture: Proverbs 8:22-31
The Holy One created me at the beginning of the work,
the first of God’s acts of long ago.
Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth—
when God had not yet made earth and fields,
or the world’s first bits of soil.
When God established the heavens, I was there,
when God drew a circle on the face of the deep,
and made firm the skies above,
when God established the fountains of the deep,
and assigned to the sea its limit,
so that the waters might not transgress the divine command,
when God marked out the foundations of the earth,
then I was beside God, like a master worker;
and I was daily God’s delight,
rejoicing before God always,
rejoicing in God’s inhabited world
and delighting in the human race.
Collect (from the New Zealand Prayer Book)
God of unchangeable power, when you fashioned the world the morning stars sang together and the host of heaven shouted for joy; open our eyes to the wonders of creation and teach us to use all things for good, to the honor of your glorious name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Scripture: Matthew 14:13-21
Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Silent and/or Spoken Reflections
Meditation “Loaves and Fishes” by David Whyte
This is not
the age of information.
This is not
the age of information.
Forget the news,
and the radio,
and the blurred screen.
This is the time of loaves
People are hungry,
and one good word is bread
for a thousand.
Offering Our Prayers
Holy One, we celebrate your generous and abundant creation and we rejoice to be part of all that you call “good.” Hear our prayers of thanksgiving. [offer prayers of gratitude with response: God of life, . . . we give you thanks.]
Holy One, you are a rock of refuge for us; incline your ear to us and receive these concerns we carry in our hearts . . . [offer prayers of intercession with response: In your mercy . . . God hear our prayer.]
Prayer (New Zealand Lord’s Prayer)
Eternal Spirit, Earth-Maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all, Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name shall echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed
by the peoples of the earth!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and forever.
Benediction (traditional Guatemalan blessing; #77 in Sing the Journey)
The peace of the earth be with you, the peace of the heavens too;
The peace of the rivers be with you, the peace of the oceans too.
Deep peace falling over you.
God’s peace growing in you.