Weekly Evangelectionary for Sunday, November 1 2015

Tissot - The Greatest CommandmentLectionary (Year B):  Ruth 1:1-18 or Deuteronomy 6:1-9; Psalm 119:1-8; Hebrews 9:11-14; Mark 12:28-34

Call to Worship: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.  You shall love the Lord your God with all   your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” (Deut. 6:4, 5)

Theme: Summary of the Law

Message: “How Does One Express Christian Love?”

 It’s easy to say that “love is the essence of my religion,” but it’s often difficult to put that love into practice.  What do I do, for instance, when I have to deal with my insufferable brother-in-law or my sister who has cheated me out of my inheritance?  And how can I keep from hating  God for taking away our two-year-old?  And how can I lovingly deal with my neighbor who refuses to pick up the evidence of his morning dog walk?  (Leroy Koopman)

Quote:

“I aim to suggest to skeptical friends how someone might share their commitment to reason, evidence, and, yes, even skepticism while also embracing a faith that makes sense of the universe, gives meaning to life, connects us in supportive communities, mandates altruism, and offers hope in the face of adversity and death.”  David G. Myers, “A Friendly letter to Skeptics and Atheists; Musings on Why God is Good and Faith Isn’t Evil.”

Illustration:

The athlete knows that exercise needs to include not only the primary muscles, but the whole body; and such is the case in our faith walk, as we must strive to love God with all our might, everything: heart, soul, mind and strength.

Music: “O Worship the King,” “Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens Adore Him,” “Be Still and Know,” “This is My              Father’s World, “We Will Glorify”

Prayers:

Call to Worship: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord Alone.  You shall love the Lord     your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.”

Prayer of Confession:

Leader: We have not loved you with the whole heart, and mind, and strength.

People: Have mercy on us, O God.

Leader: We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

People: Have mercy on us, O God.

Leader: We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven.

People: Have mercy on us, O God.

Words of Assurance:

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  (Jn. 15:13)

Offertory Prayer:

In obedience to the first and second commandments, as summarized by Jesus, we are expressing love through these gifts, both to you, our Father in heaven, and to our neighbors on earth.

Prayer of Intercession:

Gracious God and ever-loving friend of us sinners, today we pray that we may in some small way mirror to others the way that you love us.  Help us to realize this week in all our dealings with    others that it’s all about love…your love for us, and our love for you, and one another.  Give us the grace to live that out not only when we are feeling good about life, but when we are challenged to our very being by all of life’s unhappy surprises.  Help us to love as we’ve been loved, unconditionally, forgivingly, and constantly regardless of our performance.  Enable us to see that of all the missions we have in life, learning to love in spite of ourselves is the essence of  all that we are called to be and do.  May we find in you the motive for our love, the source for our love, the inspiration for our love, and the power of our love, both for you and for each other.  And grant, Lord Jesus, that the love we have for you may find its fruit in self-giving love to the weakest, the most needy, and the most unlikely.  In the power and grace of your name  and example we pray, Amen.

Benediction:

“Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart.  Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise.”  (Deuteronomy 6: 6, 7)

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avatar About Bruce Laverman

Bruce is a retired pastor and former Director of Evangelism in the Reformed Church in America now living in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the RCA's representative to Evangelism Connections and serves as Managing Editor of this Web site.

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