Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time C, September 11, 2016

Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28
Psalm 14:1-7
1 Timothy 1:12-17
Luke 15:1-10

CALL TO WORSHIP
One: We follow a savior who loves beyond bounds. 
All: He even eats with the tax collectors and sinners. 
One: We have a God who knows us deeply. 
All: God even knows the extent of our imperfections and wrongs. 
One: We are always being searched for, and our returns celebrated. 
All: We come together to worship a God who never, ever gives up on us. 

OPENING PRAYER
Gracious God, it is difficult for us to understand how you keep putting up with us. Our scriptures – especially this week, are full of your children disappointing you, yet your son tells of how you celebrate at the return of just one sheep or the finding of just one coin. Help us be found this week. Or if we have remained this time, help us not be resentful of the search for the lost. Amen. 

CALL TO CONFESSION
We are a broken lot who do much wrong. We likely are even among those scripture calls doers of evil. But come. Let us face our God and admit what we have done. Let us confess our sins. 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
O Holy One, we have been foolish and refused to know you. We have been stupid – acting with no understanding. We are too often skilled in doing evil and neglect to do good. We have all gone astray and eaten up people as we eat bread. But now we call upon the Lord. Forgive us, please. Help us turn around and live righteous lives in you. Amen. 

ASSURANCE OF PARDON
May the grace of our Lord overflow for you with the faith and the love that are in Christ Jesus. Christ came into the world to save sinners. He displays the utmost patience. Know that in his name your sins are forgiven. Now go and sin no more. 

INVITATION TO THE TABLE
We are always to come to the dinner table with our hands clean and no dirt behind our ears. Yet we would much rather play just a bit longer or let the cleaning slide. But it is important. At this table where God and Christ host, all levels of clean or unwashed are welcome. But when you come here you will leave changed – altered. You will have even more living water with which to clean yourself and to care for others. You will have bread to fill your tummy to share with others. You will have your thirst quenched so that you may give drink to others. Come to the table, all of you, just as you are. 

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