Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time C, September 18, 2016

Jeremiah 8:18-9:1
Psalm 79:1-9
1 Timothy 2:1-7
Luke 16:1-13

CALL TO WORSHIP
One: We come into this place to praise the God of love,
All: yet we see pain and suffering everywhere. 
One: We come to serve a Lord who lifts up the righteous,
All: yet we find compassionate grief and mourning. 
One: We come here to find a Savior. 
All: Today we come to worship the great healer, the physician, who is a balm in Gilead and beyond. 

OPENING PRAYER
Lord, you are often such a grieving and compassionate God, and we don’t always know what to do with that. And you challenge us by saying that serving you is more important than wealth, yet we answer, “but I have all these bills…”  Help us hear your way afresh today. Help us understand you more. Help us be whom you created us to be. Amen. 

CALL TO CONFESSION
Ideally we all would be leading quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and dignity, but all too often we miss that mark completely. Let us join together confessing our sins. 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Gracious God, we have not been your people. We have done wrong in our actions, and all too often we haven’t done enough. We ignore others in pain and choose to not learn your compassion. We see hurt and walk away. We see destruction and do not intervene. Help us to learn. Please help us get better. Let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and forgive our sins, for your name’s sake. Amen. 

ASSURANCE OF PARDON
Dear ones you are not alone. Generations upon generations of our sisters and brothers in all time and space have been judged and found lacking. But, because you come forth in honesty and earnestness, I can declare to you that in the name of Jesus Christ you are forgiven. Now go and sin no more. 

CALL FOR THE OFFERING
Today’s parable isn’t crystal clear, but to Jesus, justice in matters of money is clearly important, and taking advantage of those without it is deplorable. In this moment as we collect our tithes and offerings, as well as throughout this week and beyond, let us contemplate how we can serve God and not wealth. 

PRAYER OF DEDICATION
O Holy One, may what we have brought from our pockets and what we bring of ourselves today heal and not harm, include and not dismiss, act with compassion and not disdain, and further your will and work here on earth. Amen. 

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