Community of Christ

Worship Resources - 18 September 2016

Worship Suggestions

Ordinary Time (Proper 20)Heritage Day

Luke 16:1–13

Faithfully Serve God

Additional Scriptures

Amos 8:4–7, Psalm 113, Timothy 2:1–7, Mosiah 1:49


Worship Setting

Display items that have historical relevance to the church community—locally as well as Community of Christ worldwide (for example, hymnals from different eras; pictures of historic sites; photos of Community of Christ in many countries, places the congregation has worshiped, and the congregation over time).

We Serve God through Prayer and Praise

Prelude

Prayer for Peace

Light the peace candle.

Sung Prayer

“God’s Melody of Peace”    CCS 319
OR “We Serve the Prince of Peace”    CCS 348

Additional ideas: The Daily Prayer for Peace services offered at the Temple in Independence, Missouri, are on the church’s website as Calendar Events at www.CofChrist.org/daily-prayer-for-peace.

Welcome

Scripture of Praise: Psalm 113:1, 3

Hymn of Praise

“The God of Abraham Praise”    CCS 94
OR “Now in This Moment”    CCS 96
OR “Rejoice, Ye Saints of Latter Days”    CCS 81

Invocation

Response

We Serve God through Word and Song

A Unison Prayer of Confession

Loving Creator,
We long to be faithful servants,
to serve one another and our world.
Forgive us when we fall short,
when our actions and words cause harm to others.
Call us back when we make the wrong choices.
Lift us up when we are weak.
Too often, God, our efforts fall short,
but we know that your grace is ours if we but ask.
We are asking. Flood us with your grace.
In the name of the one we follow, Christ Jesus,
amen.

Ministry of Music or Congregational Hymn

“Take My Life, That I May Be (Toma, oh Dios, mi voluntad)”    CCS 610
OR “How Long, O God, How Long?”    CCS 455

Focus Moment

Read aloud A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams (Greenwillow Books, 2007, ISBN 9780688040741).

Have a jar filled with various coins to display before reading the story. After reading the book, talk about how the family saved for something they needed. Point out how difficult it is to save and how strong is the temptation to use the money for something else. Talk about how the family got what it needed when it stuck to the plan. If time allows discuss the faithful friends and families who also helped with both material goods and the gift of time when there was a crisis.

Hymn

“What Does the Lord Require of You?”    CCS 580
OR “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me”    CCS 581

Morning Message

Based on Luke 16:1–13

We Serve God through Giving and Actions

Disciples’ Generous Response

Scripture Reading

…when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God. —Mosiah 1:49, adapted

Hymn

“Take My Gifts and Let Me Love You”    CCS 609
OR “As Saints of Old”    CCS 620

Focus

Take time to recognize Heritage Sunday and the history of generosity within Community of Christ. Include stories about giving to build the Auditorium and temples, responding to disasters locally and throughout the world, providing funds to start new missions both in the United States and worldwide, our association with other organizations such as Bread for the World, Outreach International, and World Accord. Use examples from your own congregation where possible. Encourage sharing equally between local and worldwide mission tithes.

Free the full capacity of Christ’s mission through generosity that imitates God’s generosity. Discover deep joy and life’s meaning by promoting divine purposes on Earth. Listen to the testimonies of those who are responding and follow your soul’s yearning to come home to God’s grace and generosity.

Beloved Community of Christ, do not just speak and sing of Zion. Live, love, and share as Zion: those who strive to be visibly one in Christ, among whom there are no poor or oppressed.

—Stephen M. Veazey, words of counsel presented to the 2013 World Conference

For additional ideas and resources, see Disciples’ Generous Response Tools at www.CofChrist.org/disciples-generous-response-tools.

Blessing and Receiving of Mission Tithes

Hymn

“God, Whose Grace Redeems Our Story”    CCS 570
OR “O My People, Saith the Spirit”    CCS 604

Sending Forth

…always remember, the way of suffering love that leads to the cross also leads to resurrection and everlasting life in Christ’s eternal community of oneness and peace. Trust in this promise. Amen.

—Stephen M. Veazey, words of counsel presented to the 2013 World Conference

Postlude

Sermon Helps

Ordinary Time (Proper 20)

Luke 16:1–13

Exploring the Scripture

Today’s text contains one of two parables in Luke 16 that begin with, “There was a rich man.” The chapter is devoted to Jesus’ teachings about possessions, a theme often found in Luke. This parable was addressed to the Pharisees who were referred to later in the chapter as “lovers of money.” Jesus implied they regarded prosperity as God’s reward for righteousness (Deuteronomy 27—28). It was also addressed to the disciples who could learn from the actions of the dishonest steward.

In this parable, the master discovers the wastefulness of the manager who was in charge of some of his holdings. He asks him to account for his actions. When the manager sees he will be punished for his actions, he shrewdly develops a plan to reduce the debts of those who owe the master money. He does this to win their favor should he be released from his duties by the manager. The manager buys goodwill for the future.

This raises some interesting scenarios. Was he cheating the master by reducing the debts owed to him? Was he simply reducing the debt by the interest, which was forbidden in Deuteronomy 23:19–20? Or was he reducing the debt in the amount of the commission he would have earned? This speculation could lead to various interpretations of the parable. Whatever the reason, the master on hearing of the manager’s resourcefulness, praises him.

Jesus urges his hearers to cast caution aside, seize the moment of opportunity, and provide for the future with God. Being faithful over what God has entrusted to us is more important than all earthly wealth.

Central Ideas

  1. It requires resourcefulness to manage what God has entrusted to us.
  2. God’s grace is available to all who respond to the call to life as a disciple. The master in the parable was graceful and forgiving.
  3. Disciples of Jesus Christ are to be faithful in mission whether they deal with small or vast resources.

Questions to Consider

  1. What are your impressions of the actions of the manager and of the master?
  2. Why is it important to be shrewd in managing the resources placed in our trust?
  3. This text might be uncharacteristic of your impressions of a loving and generous God. How do you make sense of that in terms of the message to the wealthy?
  4. What do the wealthy and those with less have to teach each other? How might this happen in congregational life?

PrintFriendly