Twenty-Nineth Sunday in Ordinary Time C, October 16, 2016

Jeremiah 31:27-34
Psalm 119:97-104
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Luke 18:1-8

CALL TO WORSHIP
One: We gather as disciples and lovers of God’s law.
All: Father, Son and Holy Spirit – our teachers three.
One: We gather to write God’s law and sense of justice on our hearts.
All: Righteousness, equality, recognition, inclusion, hospitality
One: God will be our God, and we will be God’s people.
All: Today let us be devoted students learning and living God’s law.  Let us worship the Lord.

OPENING PRAYER
O Holy One, we talk of law and order, but do we know your law?  We think of the 10 Commandments, but do we seek further understanding than that?  We hear the call for law and justice, but we rely on prisons and punishment as the answers.  Help us today understand the difference made by following your law written on our hearts.  Help us understand your justice for inclusion and equality.  Help us live lives of righteousness seeking right relationships with all of your creation.  May we further explore today how your law is sweeter than honey in the mouth.  Amen.

CALL TO CONFESSION
God uses us in spite of and because of our imperfect selves.  Let us come clean and be made new and useful again.  Let us confess our sins.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
O loving Creator, you knew we would not be perfect on our own, and you gave us tools and teachings to help us know your way.  But we have ignored your law.  We have even made up laws and rules of our own about who is better, who is more deserving, who can be forgotten.  Straighten us out, we pray.  Help us acknowledge and live by your wisdom – your way.  Forgive us, please.  Help us be people of faith and not lose heart.  Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON
The Psalmist seems to be so perfect and good.  “I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word.  I do not turn away from your ordinances, for you have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!  Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.”  We think that the Psalmist is an impossible ideal. Yet we can have that relationship with God as well.  Get out of your own way, listen to the teacher, live by the Divine law, and know that in Jesus Christ you are forgiven.  Live in the opportunity for wisdom that comes with that assurance.  Now go and sin no more.

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