Sunday, September 30
Year C, Proper 21, Season after Pentecost
Meditaions, Prayers and Scripture Readings
There are a couple of ways that we consider stewardship. The first way is to think about the right use of money, and sometimes we consider that by taking a look at the wrong ways we use money. God is concerned with how we make our money. Have we come about it honestly or have we harmed people in the process? A second way to consider stewardship is to understand what we owe God. Our first loyalty is as participants in the kingdom of God, and it is a loyalty that nothing on earth can claim and no Christian should give except to God. We are ultimately accountable and responsible to God. Our loyalty is demonstrated in faithfulness. It can be seen in worship. It can be seen in missions. And it certainly can be seen, heard, and known as we announce the loving presence of our Lord in this world. “The peace of Christ be with you.”
1 Timothy 6:6-16
Gracious God, giver of life, without you we have nothing. We cannot rest in our earthly accomplishments, for they are not eternal. They wither like grass in the unapproachable light of your presence. We are gathered as your church, not because of what we have been able to do. No, we are here because of what our Lord has accomplished on our behalf. By his great love for us we have been saved. We ask your blessings upon us that we might shun the ways of the world in order to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. As we worship you today, we pray that you would find us taking hold of the eternal life to which we have been called, keeping the commandments of our Lord in purity of faith. May all we do in this hour glorify your presence, in words spoken, prayed, and sung; in our welcoming of each other in this service; and in our honoring your sovereignty in our lives. May this time be a good confession in the presence of many witnesses, even now as we confess your name in prayer, saying as our Savior taught, “Our Father . . .
Prayers of the People
Our Lord and our God, we are glad that we know you and we sing your praises. Hear our hallelujahs and receive the prayers of your people.
You are the God in whom we can place our trust. We have no need to rely on the powers and systems of this world. They are temporary, fading and dissolving with time. You are eternal, keeping faith forever, and our hope is in you, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them.
You execute justice for the oppressed. We offer our prayers for the people of this world who find them selves subjected to oppression by others. We pray for believers who suffer persecution. We pray for people who suffer from hunger or poverty because a tyrant disrupts the distribution of food or a government violates human rights.
We pray for the healing of the sick and the relief of all who are in distress. Open the eyes of the blind. Lift up all who are bowed down. Sustain them with your presence. Drive away illness from their bodies and set their spirits aright that they may know the victory of life and peace and be enabled to serve you now and evermore.
We pray for your continuing watchcare over strangers. May your peace accompany them. May your protection be a noticeable characteristic of their travels.
We pray for the care of the widow and the orphan. Lift them up to know the ways that you have provided for them in love and grace.
As we pray for others, we also pray listening for your word to us. Show us the ways that we can help meet the need of these we have lifted up to you. Strengthen us to be your servants and guard us from wickedness that we would acknowledge your reign with songs of praise to all generations.
We sing your praises all our life long, for we have much for which we can be thankful. We especially say “praise the Lord” in thanksgiving for the eternal life granted to us by Jesus Christ our Lord. It is in his name we are gathered as his church, commissioned to make disciples, and in his name we make this our prayer. Amen.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Go in the name of the One who came back from the dead for our sake. Go with your eyes wide open to see your neighbor in need. Go with your hands open to lift up the broken and give all you can to help. Go with your heart open that the love of Christ would be known. And your good works will be seen to the glory of our God in heaven. Amen.