Do not sit idle, thinking your worship has no point, no purpose, no power.
Your prayers invite God closer. Your singing touches God. Your confessions launch a brighter future.
God is active: attentively listening, eagerly forgiving, powerfully shaping you into your best self. Shaping you into the disciple you are called to be.
New instructions for the disciples
Confession & Words of Assurance
Giving and forgiving God,
we confess those times when we have been indifferent to the needs of your world. We confess those times when we have remained silent instead of challenging injustice and hate. We confess those times when we have surrendered to self-interest, self-satisfaction, fearfulness, or indifference. We confess those times when we have made wrong choices that have harmed others and ourselves. Heal us and restore us we pray.
Help us remember how the disciples stepped up and risked failure, rejection and imprisonment. Show us how we are called, just as they were, to share your love and justice throughout their world. Challenge us with the same commission you gave your followers so long ago.
Sometimes we forget what the word ‘servant’ means. God knows it’s easier for us to say the words than follow the expectation. However, when we admit we should be doing more, God is there forgiving us our shortcomings and supporting our new commitment. We don’t have to carry the burden of our previous inaction. We get to start new every day.
Jesus has pity on people
Matthew 935 Jesus went to every town and village. He taught in their meeting places and preached the good news about God’s kingdom. Jesus also healed every kind of disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he felt sorry for them. They were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 He said to his disciples, “A large crop is in the fields, but there are only a few workers. 38 Ask the Lord in charge of the harvest to send out workers to bring it in.”
Jesus Chooses His Twelve Apostles
10 Jesus called together his twelve disciples. He gave them the power to force out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and sickness. 2 The first of the twelve apostles was Simon, better known as Peter. His brother Andrew was an apostle, and so were James and John, the two sons of Zebedee. 3 Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew the tax collector, James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus were also apostles. 4 The others were Simon, known as the Eager One, and Judas Iscariot, who later betrayed Jesus.
Instructions for the Twelve Apostles
5 Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions:
Stay away from the Gentiles and don’t go to any Samaritan town. 6 Go only to the people of Israel, because they are like a flock of lost sheep. 7 As you go, announce that the kingdom of heaven will soon be here. 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead to life, heal people who have leprosy, and force out demons. You received without paying, now give without being paid. 9 Don’t take along any gold, silver, or copper coins. 10 And don’t carry a traveling bag or an extra shirt or sandals or a walking stick.
Workers deserve their food. 11 So when you go to a town or a village, find someone worthy enough to have you as their guest and stay with them until you leave. 12 When you go to a home, give it your blessing of peace. 13 If the home is deserving, let your blessing remain with them. But if the home isn’t deserving, take back your blessing of peace. 14 If someone won’t welcome you or listen to your message, leave their home or town. And shake the dust from your feet at them. 15 I promise you that the day of judgment will be easier for the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.
Warning about Trouble
16 I am sending you like lambs into a pack of wolves. So be as wise as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Watch out for people who will take you to court and have you beaten in their meeting places. 18 Because of me, you will be dragged before rulers and kings to tell them and the Gentiles about your faith. 19 But when someone arrests you, don’t worry about what you will say or how you will say it. At that time you will be given the words to say. 20 But you will not really be the one speaking. The Spirit from your Father will tell you what to say.
21 Brothers and sisters will betray one another and have each other put to death. Parents will betray their own children, and children will turn against their parents and have them killed. 22 Everyone will hate you because of me. But if you remain faithful until the end, you will be saved. 23 When people mistreat you in one town, hurry to another one. I promise you that before you have gone to all the towns of Israel, the Son of Man will come.
Performed by Margaret Whisselle
Prayers of the People
(Please add your prayers aloud and in the comment in section below)
God of the just and the unjust, we look at the world around us and see you active in so many places. We see you with the protestors, the marginalized, the racialized, the hungry. We also see you with the privileged reaching out to help, with those feeding the hungry and caring for the injured. We see you standing as guard to protect those who cannot protect themselves. We see You, O God.
The hurts of the world seem never ending and so overwhelming. We remember the refugees fleeing from their homes, the children trapped in cages and warehoused in unsafe conditions, the parents desperate to see their babies again, the sick calling out for their loved ones, those who have to stand by who are unable to comfort those they love. We see You with them, O God.
We lift up the hurting as well as the helpers. We pray for economic justice as frontline workers have their pay reduced now that the world has stopped calling them ‘heroes’. We pray for those in the medical community helping ease ill and exhausted bodies while fighting their own frustration at the carelessness of so much of our society that fails to take this pandemic seriously. We pray for the parents struggling to make wise choices between keeping their children close or letting them back to childcare facilities. We see You helping them, O God.
We pray for those who have been hurt in the uprisings south of our border as well as those around the world. We pray for families in our country and beyond, who will never see their loved ones again, lives extinguished because of the colour of their skin. We pray for our leaders and police, that they will have the courage to root out the wrongdoers and revision their profession as true minders of peace and justice. We see You showing how we should live, O God.
We pray for all politicians as they made decisions for their people, give them the wisdom to listen to the experts and the courage to stand up for what is right. We see You walking beside them, O God.
Gathering all these prayers into one, we offer the prayer tradition has taught us:
Our Father, who art in heave, hallowed be Thy name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Benediction & Commission
As you stay in your space
Jesus sent the disciples out into the communities, and like them we are sent to proclaim that the Kingdom of Heaven has drawn near. We are eager to share God’s love, without expecting a reward. We realize we will not always be made welcome. When that happens, let us move on because there are many more places that need to receive God’s grace. May God’s Spirit speak through us in truth.
Lord Jesus, equip us for the journey, we pray. Amen.