A Liturgy for Senior Adult Sunday
September 8, 2019
Call to Worship
One Voice: For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Many Voices: I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.
One Voice: My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Many Voices: Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
One Voice: In your book were written all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
All Voices: I try to count them—they are more than the sand; I come to the end—I am still
God of life, from before our birth you knew us. As we grew, we came to know you as parent, protector, and provider. In this worship hour, we praise you for your goodness, which only years of experience have taught us. We praise you with our bodies and voices which have grown weaker over time, and we praise you from the depths of our souls which are ever strengthening as we come nearer and nearer to your presence. Accept this worship as we praise you with all our hearts, all of our souls, all of our minds, and all of our strength. In the name of Jesus Christ, the redeemer of our bodies and souls, we pray this. Amen.
Hymn/Anthem/Music Offering Recommendation
“I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry”—John Ylvisaker
One Voice: Ever Compassionate, Ever Loving God, we celebrate those in our congregation who have been blessed to live as disciples for many years and, in turn, have given the church the fruits of those years of discipleship. They have served, they have taught, they have given, they have sacrificed for the glory of your Church.
Many Voices: The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green.
One Voice: While our bodies may grow older and we lose some of our strength, we will always be your beloved children, and you always have work for us to do. When we become weak, you become our strength.
Many Voices: Moses was one hundred twenty years old when he died; his sight was unimpaired, and his vigor had not abated.
One Voice: For years, O God, you have proven your faithfulness; you have shown us love every day. Now, even now, bring to our minds the promises you have made to your children; that you are a mighty fortress and you never change in your steadfast love for us.
All Voices: Even to your old age I am your God, even when you turn gray, I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save. Thanks be to God!
—Psalm 92:13-14, Deuteronomy 34:7, Isaiah 46:4
Call to Confession
Experience has taught us we are not perfect. In reflecting on our lives, we have made choices that led us away from a deeper fellowship with God and our neighbor. We are promised in scripture that in confession, we are healed and restored. Let us then go boldly before God in Christ Jesus confessing our shortcomings and disobedience.
Prayer of Confession
Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!
Assurance of Pardon
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. God’s mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is God’s faithfulness. If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I declare to you that your sins have been forgiven. May the peace of Christ be with you!
Prayer for Illumination
God of light, illumine our minds that we may understand your word. Open our ears, Lord, that we may hear your words of grace. Open our eyes that we may see your majesty. Silence all in us that keeps us from clearly receiving from you. Amen.
Scripture Possibilities for the Sermon
- Jeremiah 18:1-11—How the potter uses time and life experiences to form the clay
- Psalm 139—A long life lived in the presence of God; how someone who has had long life responds in praise
- Luke 14:25-33—What “veteran Christians” can teach younger Christians about discipleship
Prayers of the People
God, it is said that age is just a number, and how true it is. We have grown older, and we have gained experience and wisdom, but still, there are times when we wish we could call up our parents and ask for some advice. We still need comfort and still need someone to tell us, “It’s going to be okay. I’m here.”
We are still children. We are your children. So, we look to you as our heavenly, all-knowing and loving parent and ask for your attention and blessing on the requests we place before you today.
For our bodies and mind which break down we pray that you would be the Great Physician and heal those in the hospital and at home. For those who have diseases and those who are hurting in their bodies, give comfort to these, we pray. For those who are hurting in their minds, we pray that you would give them patience and a reminder that their identity is as a beloved child of God.
For the families who must work as a team to accomplish their daily task. For mothers and fathers who are caregivers for their mothers and fathers, we ask you to give strength and blessing for the task. For grandparents who support and raise their grandchildren, give them both strength and grace to share with their grandchildren your love.
For those whom retirement has been hard, who have felt a lack of purpose and meaning in life we ask that you be a light in the darkness and a lamp to their path as they figure out your purpose in this new stage in life.
For those who find life difficult because they feel they have been betrayed by their minds and bodies and for those who feel betrayed by our culture of newer and younger always meaning better, we pray you remind them and us that our worth is in being your beloved child.
Help us all, O God, to be used by you each day. Inspire us to set our minds on things above and not on earthly things. Remind us through the aches, pains, and disappointments that this world is not our home, and we are on a journey to you. In Christ, we ask these things. Amen.
Invitation to the Offering
Jesus says in the Gospel of Luke, “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.” With age and experience comes responsibility. Let us continue our worship and give a portion back of all that has been given to us.
Like many churches, our levels of giving vary from person to person. We pray that you bless this offering, those who gave and those that desired to do so. Ultimately, Lord, we know that the giving of our resources is a symbol. You have also asked us to offer our lives to you as a true act of worship. We ask that you do something incredible with these gifts to the glory of your name. Amen.
Go forth, no matter your age and be light in this world. Use your youthful strength to serve your neighbor. Use wisdom gained by years to guide and shepherd the wandering sheep. Together we are Christ’s body, and together we serve God. Go forth, and witness to the community of the wonderful acts of our God in Jesus Christ!
And now, “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Amen.