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Invocations and Benedictions for the Revised Common Lectionary
By John M. Drescher
Abingdon PressCopyright © 1998 Abingdon Press
All rights reserved.
First Sunday of Advent
Lections: Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44
Eternal and most holy God, we praise and honor you as we gather in the name of your dear Son, Jesus. During this Advent season we sense your nearness in the songs we sing and in the words we hear from holy Scripture.
May your light and peace radiate about us and within us as we worship you today. We praise and thank you for this house of worship and this body of your church. In expectation and joy, we worship you now and each day until Jesus returns to claim his own. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Go in anticipation of God's grace and mercy. Go in anticipation of Jesus' love and forgiveness. Go in anticipation of the Holy Spirit's presence in comfort and hope. Go in peace. Amen.
Second Sunday of Advent
Lections: Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12
O Lord, our God and Savior, come among us.
In this worship hour,
Open our minds to understand your purpose for each of us,
Open our hearts to make a ready response to your voice.
Give us understanding of your will, and the courage and commitment to follow Jesus, who
said, "I am come to do your will, O God."
May we heed the message to repent and bring forth fruits that show true repentance.
Increase our love for you, O God, and for one another, we ask through Jesus Christ our
"May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 15:5-6).
Third Sunday of Advent
Lections: Isaiah 35:1-10; Psalm 146:5-10 or Luke 1:47-55; James 5:7-10; Matthew 11:211
LEADER Happy are those whose help and hope is in the Lord.
PEOPLE: Our help rests in you, O God,
LEADER The one who made heaven and earth, the sea and all things in the sea, The one who executes justice for the oppressed, And gives food to the hungry.
PEOPLE: Our hope rests in you, O God,
LEADER The one who sets the prisoners free, And opens the eyes of the blind.
The one who lifts up those who are bowed down, And watches over the strangers.
ALL We come hoping, O God. Help us. Amen.
Go and tell what you have seen and heard.
The blind receive their sight, the lame walk,
The lepers are cleansed, the dead are raised,
The deaf hear, and the poor receive good news.
Blessed are you who have eyes to see and ears to hear.
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Lections: Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25
In this special season of Advent
We come to you, O God.
Give us a vision
Not just of a baby in Bethlehem's barn,
But of the Lord of Lords;
Not only of a lad in Nazareth,
But of the hope of the world;
Not only a rabbi teaching on a hillside and in a temple,
But the revealer of yourself;
Not only one who climbed a cross,
But one who was raised to life,
Who lives forevermore,
Our hope of life everlasting,
Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
Go from this place
And may Christ,
Emmanuel, God with us,
Go with you this day, and always.
First Sunday After Christmas Day
Lections: Isaiah 63:7-9; Psalm 148; Hebrews 2:10-18; Matthew 2:13-23
Lord Jesus Christ, we are again in the throes of celebrating your birth and life among us.
Revive in us the wonderment of Mary and Joseph, living with the miracle and day-to-day practicality of life with you. Renew in us the dedication of the Magi who sought long and hard to present you with your first birthday gifts.
Receive from us abundant honor and love, our Savior and our God. Amen.
May the birth of Jesus reverberate anew throughout your world with joy.
May the Spirit of Jesus guide all of your words and thoughts with love.
May the life of Jesus inspire you to follow his ways of peace, until the whole world is, again, full of his glory.
Second Sunday After Christmas Day
Lections: Jeremiah 31:7-14 or Sirach 24:1-12; Psalm 147:12-20 or Wisdom of Solomon 10:15-21; Ephesians 1:3-14; John 1:(l-9), 10-18
Today we rejoice, O God
That you revealed yourself in Christ,
Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer,
As your Word became flesh.
Reveal Christ to us today
As we gather—
Those who, by the power of the gospel,
Have become your children—
The children of light.
Go forth as children of the light
Shine forth in the darkness.
Let the gospel become flesh in you.
And may the love, peace, and joy of Christ
Radiate from your life.
Season After the Epiphany
Baptism of the Lord (First Sunday After the Epiphany)
Lections: Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 29; Acts 10:34-43; Matthew 3:13-17
O God, as we join in worship,
Open our eyes to behold wondrous things out of your Word;
Open our ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church;
Open our hearts to believe unto salvation and righteousness;
Open our lips to witness to our living Lord, Jesus.
In whose name we pray. Amen.
Go and speak as God has spoken to you.
Go and forgive as God has forgiven you.
Go and love as God has loved you.
Go and become as God has directed you.
Go and live as Christ has commanded you.
And go with God's blessing,
Live in God's will,
And God will be with you. Amen.
Second Sunday After the Epiphany
Lections: Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 40:1-11; 1 Corinthians 1:1-9; John 1:29-42
Welcome, welcome to the Christ
Chosen by God to reveal himself
Who came as a servant
To restore the tribes of Jacob;
To bring salvation to the ends of the earth.
Welcome to the Holy One
The one in whom we can put our trust
Who hears our cry
Who puts our feet on a firm place
Who gives a new song in our hearts
Whose righteousness we proclaim.
Welcome, welcome to those who come to worship him.
Lord, we gathered to worship you,
The one who gives a new song and plants our feet on a firm place.
We put our trust in you.
Continue to challenge us as we accept the revelation of yourself through Jesus. Empower us by the Holy Spirit to daily give witness of our relationship with you. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Third Sunday After the Epiphany
Lections: Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1, 4-9; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 4:12-23
Lord, it is winter now. The days are short, the darkness of our despair encroaches soon.... Still, you call us out of this darkness into your great light.
The winds of our icy discontent swirl all about us, to freeze our faith and numb our courage ... but you are our light and salvation, why should we be afraid?
God, enter with us into this place, your house. Here, may all that troubles us melt in the light and warmth of your care.
Go now into this cold world, warmed by the very presence of God.
Go in safety, for there is no place that God has not already been.
Go in joy, for Jesus has already gone ahead of us, and we gladly follow.
Go in confidence, for we are kept in God's care.
Fourth Sunday After the Epiphany
Lections: Micah 6:1-8; Psalm 15; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Matthew 5:1-12
O God, we come to this place of worship. We invoke your presence.
We come inquiring of you, our God, Where is the wisdom that comes from you? Where is true living? Where is your blessing to be found?
We come to you the author of wisdom, and the source of life.
In our own way and in our own time, speak to our hardest questions and to our deepest needs.
As we quiet ourselves in your presence, and bow ourselves before you, we ask that you will look into our hearts, listen to our thoughts and intentions, review our daily actions, and speak to us of your wisdom, your justice, and your kindness. Speak to us of your righteousness and sanctification and redemption.
Show us the way to walk with you, our God.
Blessed are we who have heard the Word of the Lord, and blessed are we who have seen both the wisdom of God and the foolishness of God. Blessed are we who have received life through the foolishness of God's extravagant love, which our God demonstrated by sending Jesus to be our Savior and Lord. Through the new life continually being created in us, let us go forth to do what is just among our neighbors; go forth and faithfully love the people we meet this coming week; go forth to live in humble fellowship with our God. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fifth Sunday After the Epiphany
Lections: Isaiah 58:1-9a, (9b-12); Psalm 112:1-9 (10); 1 Corinthians 2:1-12, (13-16); Matthew 5:13-20
O God, in this hour we pray.
We invite your presence.
What we know not, teach us,
What we see not, show us,
What we have not, give us,
What we are not, make us,
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Go from this place of united worship
Strengthened by the Spirit in your inner being,
So that you, at all times,
In all things,
Wherever you are
May be enabled to do God's work
In the power of the living Christ. Amen.
Sixth Sunday After the Epiphany
Lections: Deuteronomy 30:15-20 or Sirach 15:15-20; Psalm 119:1-8; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9; Matthew 5:21-37
We invite your presence today, O God.
We come to you, our God, and Creator,
As those growing to maturity,
In whom you are at work,
Through your Word and Spirit,
To make us servants of Christ and vessels
for your service,
Created for your glory.
Go as God's children,
Remember the words spoken here,
Review the hymns sung here,
Recall the prayers prayed here,
Rely on the fellowship known here,
Reverence the Savior worshiped here,
Recollect the blessings found here,
Respond to the Spirit met here
Until, by God's grace, we return here.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Seventh Sunday After the Epiphany
Lections: Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18; Psalm 119:33-40; 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23; Matthew 5:38-48
Come among us O God,
And manifest yourself to each person present.
Show us the Lord Jesus,
As the only foundation for our faith.
Make real to each of us
The truth that we are your temple,
Your dwelling place,
The home of your Holy Spirit.
We pray this in Jesus' name.
Go forth from here today
Indwelt by the Holy Spirit,
Made holy and kept pure,
Strengthened and sustained,
Guided and filled,
By the very Spirit of Jesus Christ.
Eighth Sunday After the Epiphany
Lections: Isaiah 49:8-16a; Psalm 131; 1 Corinthians 4:1-5; Matthew 6:24-34
Our Lord and God. Yearning, broken, burdened with worry, we come to be reverently still before you. In this place of refuge there is calmness. In this place of healing there is hope. In this place of worship there is joy.
Restore our souls as we kneel in spirit before you. Restore our being as we take hope in your promises. Restore our dignity as we rejoice in our salvation.
Having been here we've met with the Lord. As we go from here may we go with the Lord. Take God's Spirit and Word to linger on in our hearts and to guide us in the coming days. We've been touched by restoration and refreshed through a renewed spirit: enlightened, encouraged, and strengthened for having worshiped together.
And now may the mercy, grace, and peace of our Lord Jesus be with us.
Ninth Sunday After the Epiphany
Lections: Deuteronomy 11:18-21, 26-28; Psalm 31:1-5, 19-24; Romans 1:16-17; 3:22b-28, (29-31); Matthew 7:21-29
Come among us, O God.
Reveal your will.
Give to each of us
That inward grace, courage, and wisdom
To not only say, "Lord, Lord,"
But to do your will, O Christ.
Only then shall we withstand
The stress and floods of life,
And go from here
Better because we have been here.
"The LORD our God be with us,
as [God] was with our ancestors;
may [God] not leave us or abandon us,
but incline our hearts to [God],
to walk in all [God's] ways, ...
to keep [God's] commandments,
[God's] statutes, and [God's] ordinances,
which [God] commanded our ancestors." (1 Kings 8:57-58)
Last Sunday After the Epiphany (Transfiguration Sunday)
Lections: Exodus 24:12-18; Psalm 2 or Psalm 99; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Matthew 17:1-9
Lord God, we meet as your people,
Redeemed by Jesus Christ.
Make us eyewitnesses of your glory.
Give us ears to hear
Your voice from heaven.
May the Holy Spirit,
Who speaks of Christ,
Who shows us Christ,
Who magnifies Christ,
Give us a fresh vision of Christ,
Go forth from here,
And, having seen the Lord of glory
On the mountain of worship and praise,
Go into the valley of life,
Knowing that the Lord of glory
Goes with you
In the presence and power of his Spirit
Who dwells within you.
First Sunday in Lent
Lections: Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7; Psalm 32; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11
Gracious God and Lord of all, we gather in your name, and invoke your presence. Surround us with your steadfast love in order that we may no longer hide in fear. We are all too aware of the death in our lives—of the sins that ensnare us while promising us life; of the tempter's traps that lead us away. Surely, Lord God, your grace is much more abundant than the evil that tempts us. Rain down on your children, with the mighty waters of your grace. May we be sheltered under your arm and preserved in your love. Our trust is in you, through your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Happy are those whose sins are covered,
Whose transgressions are forgiven.
For great is the free gift of grace
And great is the love that surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
Receive then this gift of grace and walk in the way of love.
Second Sunday in Lent
Lections: Genesis 12:1-4a; Psalm 121; Romans 4:1-5, 13-17; John 3:1-17 or Matthew 17:1-9
We gather today in celebration of our birth into the kingdom of God.
Spirit of God, giver of new beginnings
Whose birthday gift to us is Love and Eternal Life,
Open our new eyes to see Love
High and lifted up, on the cross of Calvary.
Breathe into our new being the breath of life that lasts forever.
And reveal to us the kingdom of God in all its glory.
Lift your eyes in confidence to our Maker.
Go forth in confidence under the Maker's watchful eye.
Our God, the Maker of heaven and earth, who watches
over your sleeping and your awakening,
your beginning and your ending,
Steps ahead of you, guarding your coming and going
Both now and forevermore.
Third Sunday in Lent
Lections: Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 95; Romans 5:1-11; John 4:5-42
God, I am no Moses, that I should strike a rock to yield its sweet water for this spiritually thirsty people!
Nevertheless, I seek some sign of your presence, to still the burning thirsty question: "Is the Lord with us or not?"
Then we hear the inviting words "Come, see a man ... could this be the Christ?"
Lord, you have been with your people through so much, tried, tested, and true. So we quiet our questioning hearts and clamoring voices. We bow down in worship before you, O Lord our Maker.
And we know that we shall once again be well fed from your gracious hand. Amen.
Go now to express in your lives the beliefs that have been expressed here in word and song. No longer believe because of what has been said, but know for sure that this Jesus in whose name we have met is really the Savior of the world.
Fourth Sunday in Lent
Lections: 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41
Our Lord God,
Come as holy light to enlighten our minds.
Come as holy truth to teach us your way.
Come as holy wind to blow a fresh work of your Spirit.
Come as holy fire to cleanse us from all sin.
Come as holy power to send us into your service.
"May God who gives patience, steadiness, and encouragement help you to live in complete harmony with each other—each with the attitude of Christ toward the other. And then all of us can praise the Lord together with one voice, giving glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 15:5, 6 TLB).
Excerpted from Invocations and Benedictions for the Revised Common Lectionary by John M. Drescher. Copyright © 1998 Abingdon Press. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press.
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