Monday, June 18, 2012

Why Are You Afraid?


Why Are You Afraid? is our worship theme for the fourth Sunday after Pentecost, June 24, 2012. Our focus scripture is Mark 4:35-41.

This brief passage comes early in Jesus’ ministry as his disciples are still reckoning with his wisdom and power.  Earlier in Chapter 4 Mark tells of Jesus teaching in parables to great crowds who gather at the side of the Sea of Galilee to hear him. When evening comes Jesus decides to head to Gentile territory on the other side. He gets comfortable in the stern of the boat and falls asleep on a cushion. Soon, however, a great storm kicks up and begins to swamp the boat. His disciples wake him in terror. “Teacher, don’t you care that we are perishing?” With a word Jesus rebukes the wind and suddenly there is a dead calm. “Why are you afraid?” Jesus asks the flabbergasted disciples. “Have you still no faith?”

In Chapter 5 Jesus will proceed to heal the man with the legion of demons, then cross back again to Jewish territory to heal the woman with a continuous flow of blood and to raise Jairus’ daughter. “Who is this?” the disciples ask each other in awe at what Jesus does. “Who is this?” we may well ask ourselves. “What is the source of his wisdom and power? And does Christ make it available still today to us?”

Here are several Calls to Worship appropriate for this Sunday in the season of Pentecost. As usual, please feel free to use or adapt anything useful to you.


**Call to Worship   

L: Sisters and brothers, let us celebrate the presence and power of Christ!
P: Jesus’ love surrounds us, encouraging us to love.
L: His life-creating Spirit works constantly to heal us in every way.
P: His vision of God’s kingdom inspires us to work for justice.
L: His personal integrity straightens the crooked places in our lives. 
P: His trust in God leads us to a deep inner peace.
L: His compassion for the poor and outcast stirs us to care for them.
P: His hopefulness enables us to laugh even in difficult circumstances.
L: And his resurrection reveals our true home in heaven.
 All: Nothing can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ!
        Alleluia! Let us worship God!


**Call to Worship    (based on Psalm 9)

    L: I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart.
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
P: I will be glad and exalt in you;
        I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
L: You are a stronghold for the oppressed,
        a fortress in times of trouble.
P: Those who know your name put their trust in you.
 All: For you, O God, never forsake those who seek you.


**Call to Worship (From Psalm 9:9-20)

          Liturgist:     Draw near, all who are weary
                             and burdened with troubles.

          Pastor:        Call out to God in your distress.
                             Make your lament known to the one whose love
                             brings wholeness and peace.

          All:             Our souls wait for God, more than those
                             who watch for the morning.

Liturgist:     Draw near, all who hope against hope
                             for the healing and release.

          Pastor:        Hear Jesus proclaim hope to you and to all,
                                      “do not fear; only believe.”

All:             Our souls wait for God, more than those
                             who watch for the morning.

Liturgist:     Draw near, all who jump for joy in God’s presence.

Pastor:        Rejoice in the abundance of life.
                             Be eager and generous in sharing.

          All:             Our souls wait for God, more than those
                             Who watch for the morning.


**Call to Celebration   (based upon Psalm 107:1-3,17-22)  by Rev. Paul Berry
         
Liturgist:     Come and worship the Lord our God
with thanksgiving and praise,

All:             You alone, O Lord, are good
and Your loving kindness is forever.

Liturgist:     Come to worship the Lord our God
with a sacrifice of thanksgiving.

All:             Your loving kindness, O Lord,
is shown in Your Word and Your wonderful deeds.
We come to worship You.
With thanksgiving, we open ourselves to Your presence.
We celebrate Your grace and loving power.

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