Restful yoke

The Celebration of the Gospel

July 9, 2017 —5th Sunday after Pentecost

 Come to me, you who are weary, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you.
 — Matthew 11.28-29

    ________We Gather as the Body of Christ______

PRELUDE     What A Friend We Have In Jesus     Tune: CONVERSE, arr: David Cherwien

[As we listen to the music we quiet our minds and bodies,
listen for our hearts’ deepest desires,
and become present to the Holy One who is lovingly present for us.

Leader:  Holy One, Heart of Heaven, you create us; you call to us.
All:    In love we come. In love we come.
Loving Christ, Hands of Heaven, you hold a place for us.
In love we come. In love we come.
Holy Spirit, Breath of Heaven, you move in us to labor with you.
In love we come. In love we come.  In love we are here.

* SONG  Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling   Blue  hymnal # 348


___________We Attend to the Word___________


Holy Mystery, there are empty spaces in our hearts that only you can fill; there is a longing that is only for you.  And you long for us. Speak to us and let us hear your voice, the voice of love that speaks our name. Let us hear your call, and come.   Amen.

NEW TESTAMENT     Romans 7.14-25
[Paul describes the human experience of sin: it seems to be more than our own choice. “I do not do the thing I want, but the very thing I hate. It’s as if sin lives in me and makes choices for me.”  (Sounds like our experience of addiction.) Trying harder does not free us from this battle; only God’s grace does.]

God, you love me purely, but I don’t trust that.
I’ve been brainwashed by self-centered fear.
It’s an instinct, a reflex, an addiction. I can’t stop it.
I act in ways I don’t understand.
I believe the right things, but I don’t live them.
I don’t do the good I mean to; I do the evil I hate.
I’m not even choosing; my fear is.
I’m on the right side in good versus evil,
but I keep scoring for the other team!
In my mind I think I’m faithful to your love,
but in reality I’m being controlled by my sin.
I’ve been kidnapped. My heart has been hijacked.
I can’t get out of this. Trying harder doesn’t work.
I’m trapped. I’m doomed.
What a wretched person I am! Who will rescue me?

Thanks be to God: it’s the Beloved, Jesus Christ.

*PSALTER       Psalm 36.5-10
[We extol the steadfast faithfulness of God’s love.]

Your steadfast love, O God, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your judgments are like the great deep;
you save humans and animals alike, O God.
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
O continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
and your salvation to the upright of heart!

GOSPEL       Matthew 11.28-30
[Jesus offers the heart of his ministry: his companionship.  When we share in his compassion for the world, we are yoked with him—like married partners. But this is not a burden; it is rest for our souls.]

Come to me.
You are weary and heavily burdened.
I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in spirit,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.


SONG   Drawing Me    Steve G-H

Holy One, Mystery, how will you keep drawing me
nearer to the heart within the heart?
Nearer still falling in, closer to the heart within,
draw me God. I fall into your love.

Holy One, you are calling, you are drawing,
I am falling into you in love.

Deep in me there’s a voice, there’s a hunger, there’s a choice,
seeking something vital that is you.
By your grace drawing me, may I fall eternally,
nearer to my center deep in you.

Holy One, you are calling, you are drawing,
I am falling into you in love.


Jesus, we hear you call, and we answer:
Christ, we come to you, we who are weary and carrying heavy loads.
We lay down our burdens, and empty our hands.
We take your yoke upon us: your love, your oneness with all beings,
your call to justice.
We learn from you: the grace of God, the Way of Love, life in your Spirit.
We take your yoke upon us.
You are gentle, and humble in heart, and we find rest and life in you.
We thank you, and we join with you.
Your yoke is easy.  Your burden is light.
We accept your yoke.  We bear your light into the world.
You will be with us.
We take your yoke upon us.
       [ Silence….]

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

* SONG   Without Seeing You   Black hymnal # 2206

[Anyone who wishes may share a prayer concern at the microphone.]

______ We Are Sent in Ministry to the World_____

Come, Ye Sinners, Poor And Needy    William Walker, arr: Brian Buda

*  OFFERING SONG   O Lord, Your Tenderness   Black hymnal  #2143

Gracious God, we give you our lives, symbolized in these gifts.  Receive them with love, bless them with grace and use them according to your will.  Yoke us together with Christ in love and service for the sake of the healing of the world, in the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.


*  SONG    The Summons    Black hymnal #2130

RESPONSE    We stand and sing to our neighbors:
May the grace and peace of Christ be with you my friends.
Go and share the love of God, love that never ends.

POSTLUDE   Blessed Jesus, At Thy Word    J. S. Bach

[During the postlude there are people ready to pray with you at the candles in the corners.]

After coffee we invite you to join us in the Sanctuary to share your questions and reflections on the worship service, the sermon or scriptures, or other matters on your heart.



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