Call to Worship
Leader: In big miraculous displays and in still silent whispers
All: the Lord indeed is God.
Leader: When we struggle to make a choice and when the voice draws us ever nearer
All: the Lord indeed is God.
Leader: For those of us who feel we’re out here on our own and those of us embedded in a community that both helps and hinders
All: the Lord is indeed God, and we will worship God together.
Blessed Assurance UMH 369
Prayer of Confession
We go back and forth, O God, between faithfulness to your way and the ways of this world. Do we really have to choose? We hop from one thing to the other, balancing and contorting ourselves to try to make the systems work for us when they only work for themselves. There’s no profit in stability and balance.
On the one hand, we want what the world promises, and we’ll do what it takes to get it, even when we know better. On the other hand, we long for the peace and justice of your promise, though honestly, you often feel invisible. Forgive us, O God, for our labored hobbling from one thing to another. Forgive us, O God, for the mental gymnastics we’ll do to avoid a choice. Forgive us, O God, for you alone are God; you alone are the Source of Life, God of our ancestors, the One we are called to worship and serve; you alone are the Love that consumes and transforms. Amen.
Words of Assurance
Leader: God's love is not fickle, and we are not left to our own devices. Even when we waver, we are always held in the loving embrace of our Creator.
People: Thanks be to God! We give thanks for God's never-ending love, which grants us the assurance and strength to journey faithfully in His path.
Passing of the Peace
1 Kings 18:17-39
Elijah at Mount Carmel by Pastor Kevin Rutledge
Hymn of Response
This is my Father's World UMH 144
The Apostle's Creed
The Great Thanksgiving
Tithes and Offerings
Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow UMH 95
With hearts full of gratitude for your boundless generosity, we offer these gifts, O Lord. May they serve as a reminder of your love, and may we, as a church, renew our commitment to living out your call to love and serve others.
Pastoral Prayer and Lord's Prayer
When I survey the Wondrous Cross UMH 298
Said Each Week as A Communal Prayer:
Send to us all the people who feel unwanted and loved everywhere else, and if they can't come to us, send us to them.
This Week's Reading Plan
The Drought Ends: 1 Kings 18:41-46
Elijah on the Run: 1 Kings 19:1-8
Elijah at Mount Horeb: 1 Kings 19:9-18
Elijah and Elisha: 1 Kings 19:19-21
Elijah and Ahaziah: 2 Kings 1:1-8
More Fire from Heaven: 2 Kings 1:9-17
God's Beloved Children: Hosea 11:1-9
Reflections and Caring Conversations
Please use the prompts and prayers below to aid you in your devotions for this week.
Morning Prayer: Dear Lord, as I begin this day, I ask that You help me share the stories of Your blessings in my life. May I have the courage and the words to express Your love and power in my journey, just as Elijah did in his time. May my testimony bring hope and inspire faith in those who hear it. Amen.
Evening Prayer: Almighty God, as I prepare for rest, I thank You for the blessings I recognized today. Help me to continuously celebrate Your goodness, just like the United Methodists did in their worship services. May I always be aware of Your presence and the abundant blessings You provide. In Your name, I pray. Amen.
Reflection Question: The sermon highlighted the importance of sharing personal stories of God's blessings. How have you witnessed God's work in your life and how have you shared these experiences with others?
Reflection Question: The story of Elijah brings to light the power of faith and decision-making. How has your faith guided your decisions? Can you recall a specific instance where you had to rely on your faith to make a difficult decision?
Reflection Question: The sermon emphasizes the transformative power of prayer, as illustrated by Elijah's prayer that ignited the heavenly fire. How has prayer transformed your life and strengthened your relationship with God?
Challenge: Challenge yourself to share your faith experiences with others this week, demonstrating God's transformative power and blessings in your life.