Order of Worship

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

August 30,  2020                                                            10:00 a.m.

Organ Prelude                                                                                                                                                       

Call to Worship     

One:   Look, over there, the spark of God’s presence calls to us.

All:     We must be standing on holy ground!

One:   Look, all around, the light of God’s love is in each person we know and come into connection with.

All:     We must be standing on holy ground!

One:   Look, deep within, the light of God’s creativity and compassion are part of our being.

All:     We must be standing on holy ground!

One:   God is calling for our curiosity and our attention.

In this time of worship let us recognize the flame of God’s presence everywhere.

All:     And let us celebrate that we are standing on Holy Ground!

Opening Prayer

Igniting Presence, your spark is here; your flame burns amidst us. (A candle is lit.)

We recognize that we are standing on Holy Ground – for all Creation is holy, and all who abide in it are called to be awake in awareness and care. (another candle is lit.)

Help us to notice the flame of your passion for healing and wholeness everywhere. (another candle is lit.)

Help us to turn our heads and be attentive to the lights of your constant compassion around us and among us. (another candle is lit.)

Catch our eyes by the flickering of your grace that is in the goodness and mercy of communion and love. (another candle is lit.)

And help us always to remember that you are with us. (another candle. Is lit.) Amen.

Storytelling –  “Moses Hears God’s Call”

Message in Music          

Reading of Scripture                                                          Exodus 3:1-15

 

Message      “No Excuses!”                        Rev. Laura McLeod

Preparation for Prayer

Silent Prayer

Pastoral Prayer and Lord’s Prayer

Holy Word, you have caught our attention today.

We have noticed your flickering presence in our midst, and we recognize that we abide on Holy Ground.

We bring our compassionate curiosity to you, Loving Parent. We bring our often reluctant, but honestly caring hearts and ask, “Who are we that you should call us?”

Open our eyes to the ways life is being consumed and requires protection. Encourage us in the promise of new life beyond the pain.

We lift our hearts to all who suffer under the oppression of societal systems.

We lift our prayers for all who struggle in physical pain and anguish.

We lift our voices in solidarity with all who are imprisoned in body, mind, or spirit.

And we strive to lift our beings in willingness to say “yes” to your invitation to help.

May the Holy Ground on which we stand today empower our steps toward the journey of healing in which we have been placed as your people. May the energy of your Earth reach into our beings and give us the strength to say “yes” again and again. May the burning bushes all around us continue to call out for attention and transformation, until the new life they reflect is fulfilled. Bless us for this journey, we pray. Help us always to embrace the curiosity.

We pray as Jesus taught us to pray saying, Our Father…Amen.

Benediction

People of God, May every step you take into this world be a step toward new life and renewal. Go now in curiosity and peace. Amen 

Postlude 

 

Scripture Reading                                                Exodus 3:1-15 NRSV

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.”

But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’:

This is my name forever,
and this my title for all generations.

 

Storytelling – Moses Hears God’s Call

Based on Exodus 3:1–15

When Moses was a baby, several women kept him safe from the pharaoh’s wicked plan to harm the Hebrew boy babies.

Moses went to live in the palace with the pharaoh. Pharaoh did not know Moses was one of the Hebrew people. When Moses grew up, he left the palace. Moses did not like to see the Hebrew people work so hard as slaves for the pharaoh.

Moses moved to another country and took care of sheep alone up in the hills. Day after day, Moses tended the sheep and walked the hills. But God still had a plan for Moses. It was time for God to get Moses’ attention. It was time for Moses to remember the Hebrew people. It was time for Moses to hear about God’s plan for them.

One day while Moses was watching the sheep, he saw a bush on fire. He went to see it. The bush was on fire, but it didn’t burn up! Then Moses heard God’s voice.

“Moses! Take off your shoes,” God said. “You are in a holy place.”

Moses took his shoes off right away. God said, “Moses, go back to Egypt. Go and tell the pharaoh to let my people leave Egypt.”

But that wasn’t Moses’ plan. Moses wanted to stay in the hills, taking care of the sheep. Moses had been away from Egypt for a long time and was afraid to go back. Moses wasn’t sure he could do what God was asking.

Moses said to God, “Who am I to tell the Pharaoh what to do? What if he won’t listen to me? What if the people won’t listen to me?”

But God had a plan. God said, “I will be with you. I will help you. I will bring my people out of Egypt.”

Knowing that God would be with Moses helped Moses to be brave. So Moses listened carefully to God and did just what God said. Moses went back to Egypt to talk to the Pharaoh.

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