Service Prayers for the 17th Sunday after Pentecost
September 11, 2016 Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28 Psalm 14 1 Timothy 1:12-17 Luke 15:1-10
Reflection on the Passages Today’s passages are a study in contrasts. Jeremiah’s famous passage of creation undone because of the faithlessness of God’s people is full of despair, hopelessness and nothingness. We see God peering out from heaven trying to find at least one soul who is seeking God – one soul that knows God. While the vision is of a desolate land, God offers one sign of hope: part of the land will be spared for a future. Psalm 14 speaks about God’s care and concern for the victims of those who do not seek, nor know, God. The New Testament passages are more hopeful. A merciful God actively seeks those who have made the commitment to follow God but who have lost their way. We can sense in the passages the love God has for creation by the determination to keep looking for those who are lost. God rejoices over us once we are found. We are reminded that we are precious to God.
to a place of rejoicing in which new hopes abound.
We will celebrate the gift of your caring Spirit. Amen.
Confession Leader: O Most Patient God, we recognize how much we need you for life itself.
People: But how often have we behaved
as if we did not know or even care about you? How often have we become the ones who do not carry out justice?
How often have we tried to dominate others
even as you stand with them? How often have we participated in the desolation of your creation
by our treatment of the heavens, the earth and its waters?
Forgive us for these times when we have lost our way.
Know, All Loving God, that we want to be among those whom you seek.
Shower your mercy upon us.
Find us, and lead us safely home to faithfulness. Hymn Suggestions(after the Prayer of Confession) Come, O Fount of Every Blessing(verse 2) NCH 459
There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy NCH 23
Assurance of Pardon
in the name of God the Creator, Christ and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
From Despair to Rejoicing: Service Prayers for the 17th Sunday after Pentecost was written by Henrietta Stith Andrews, a retired UCC Pastor who served as Associate Conference Minister in Michigan. Rev. Andrews is a certified Spiritual Director, currently residing in Powder Springs, GA.
Copyright 2016 Local Church Ministries, Faith Formation Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115-1100. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.