We are Your Beloved
Call to Worship
Leader: We gather today as your people, God.
People: Young and old; rule-followers and rule-breakers;
liberals and conservatives; and every distinction in between.
Leader: We gather today as your beloved.
People: We are a people who are tempted;
who are wilderness wanderers; who trust in you.
Leader: We gather today as children of the covenant.
People: We offer this time of worship to you, O God.
Call to Confession
We are a diverse people. Diversity is beautiful but sometimes it seeks to separate us. Our age, our race, the way we dress, the party we support, the money we make, all have the power to divide if we let them. But we are really not so different; we are all sinners in need of forgiveness.
Prayer of Confession
Leader: Lead us in your truth, forgiving God.
People: Where we divide, unite.
Where we make assumptions, show us the truth.
Where we sit in judgment, soften our hearts.
Forgive us when we treat one another as less than your beloved child.
(time for silent reflection)
Assurance of Pardon
Leader: The good news is this: God does not leave us in our guilt!
God is good and upright and teaches us a humble way. We are forgiven.
Thanks be to God, Amen.
Prayer for Illumination
God of wilderness, your son was baptized and tempted, same as us. Open our ears and our hearts to receive you now, show us you are with us, even in our struggle, and let us not ignore the Spirit among us as we accept your words today. Amen.
Scripture Possibilities for the Sermon
- Genesis 9:8-17
- Psalm 25:1-10
- 1 Peter 3: 18-22
- Mark 1:9-15
The lectionary text fits the theme as it focuses on the themes of being a covenant people, beloved children of God.
Prayers of the People
God of all ages, we do not understand the suffering we see around us.
We feel desperate—desperate to act, to fix, to help.
Help us to remember in every season, in every stage, you are with us.
For those who need us to carry them in faith, we pray.
For those whose names have been spoken and for those who sit heavily on our hearts,
we ask for the peace of your presence.
Lead us, as your people, to share your comfort with those who need it most.
And we thank you for the gift of accepting our burdens
when we carry them to you in prayer. Amen.
Invitation to the Offering
As God’s beloved, members of the covenant, we are called to give faithfully of what God has generously blessed us with.
Giving God, it is a privilege to return a portion of what we have been entrusted with to you. Grant us wisdom as we use these gifts; may the work they do be pleasing unto you. Amen.
Charge and Benediction
Notice the multiple generations represented among us—
none more beloved by God than another.
You are God’s beloved.
The person next to you is God’s beloved.
The person who annoys you is God’s beloved.
Leave resolved to see and treat others as just who they are: beloved.