God's Open House

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Call to Worship
One:       Friends, we live in a world full of troubles, problems that can seem too big or overwhelming to face.
All:          Though our challenges are great, we will not be overwhelmed, because our God is greater.
One:       Sometimes it seems as if we are alone in a sea of peoples that flows with the rapidity of current events.
All:          Though I am small, I join with my brothers and sisters in communion and stand firm, for we are all one in Christ Jesus.
One:       What can the actions of one person do against the powers of the world?
All:          Through one man, the mighty were humbled and the people of the world were saved. So through our actions we can hope to save others. Amen.

Prayer of Renewal    (From St. Basil the Great)
Oh God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers and sisters, the animals to whom you gave the earth as their home in common with us. We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of humans with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to you in song, has been a groan of travail. May we realize that they live not for us alone but for themselves and for you, and they love the sweetness of life.

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:1-10
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to our food and drink? Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who at any time pays the expenses for doing military service? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not get any of its milk? Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law also say the same? For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Or does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was indeed written for our sake, for whoever plows should plow in hope and whoever threshes should thresh in hope of a share in the crop.