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Feb 05

7th Sunday After the Epiphany (Year A)

heartWorship Ideas

  • Leviticus is not a book that we read very often; but Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18 is a wonderful text to use when talking about our call to love one another. We are not holy because of anything we do. We are holy because God is holy. The directives that are offered in this passage do not merely describe how we are to act — they serve as a powerful description of who God is and how God acts in this world. God is generous; therefore, we are to be generous. God is honest and just; therefore, we are to be honest and just. God does not hate, therefore we do not hate. God loves all of us, therefore we are to love all others.
  • Psalm 119:33-40 could be read as the Prayer of Confession.
  • Inspired by Psalm 119:33-40 and Leviticus 19:9-18, set up a series of prayer stations that focus on each of the “commandments” that are named in the Leviticus passage. Invite the congregation to follow “the path” and explore each verse, one by one.
  • 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23 speaks of the firm foundation of our faith: Jesus Christ. Use extra-large building blocks to create a “foundation” in the front of your worship space – clearly label the blocks with names for Jesus (Christ, Savior, Light of the World, Prince of Peace, etc). Invite the congregation to help build upon it.
  • Matthew 5:38-48 describes peaceful (but active – not passive) protests, as well as a clear call to love all people – neighbors, friends, and enemies alike. All that we ever do should be based in love — real love. These words are remarkably challenging, and we can be tempted to make excuses for our actions that do not show real love to our enemies. But, there is no stronger demonstration of love than loving those who do not love you. Jesus/God is the best example of this — unconditionally loving the world who does not always love God/Jesus in return.

Liturgy Suggestions

Call to Worship (inspired by Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18)

We are called to follow in the Way of God.

The Holy One is generous, so we are to be generous.

The Almighty is kind and just, so we are to be kind and just.

The Lord loves all, so we are to love all.

Let us offer our praise to the God of Love.

Prayer of Confession (inspired by Matthew 5:38-48)

We confess, O God, that we have listened to voices that encourage violence and greed instead your Voice which calls us to live lives of peace and generosity. We confess that we would rather hate out enemies than dare to show God’s love. Forgive us, we pray. Teach us to love as you love, that we may demonstrate your perfect grace.