Call to Worship: Psalm 25

Here’s a call to worship based on Psalm 25 with two options for the last congregational statement.

In worship today, we offer our lives to you, Lord.

Our God, we trust in you.

In worship today, make your ways known to us, Lord; teach us your paths.

Lead us in your truth—teach it to us—because you are the God who saves.  We put our hope in you always.

In worship today, show us your compassion and faithful love.

Forgive our sins, and teach us the way we should go—the way of justice, love, and faithfulness.

In worship today, we want to honor you.

Show us the way of your heart.

(or…)

For you alone are worthy.

Call to Worship: 2 Sam. 24:24

Here’s a contemplative call to worship based on David’s words in 2 Sam. 24:24 (CEB) that invites worshipers to consider worship as costly and sacrificial.  The moment of silent reflection is optional but I recommend it.

Consider these words of David in 2 Sam. 24:24: “I won’t offer up to the Lord my God entirely burned offerings that cost me nothing.”

(Silence)

Lord, worship is sacrifice.  It can be no other way.  When we worship you we aren’t looking to get something from you but to give something to you.  Help us to understand today, as we prepare for this service of worship, that you call us to lay ourselves down before you, to give ourselves over to you, to offer the sacrifice of praise.  And in our feeble attempts to give you what you’re due, accept what we have to offer, our lives humble and broken, and transform us into living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to you.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Call to Worship: Spirit and Truth

Here’s a contemplative call to worship that invites worshippers to approach God and engage in worship with both heart and mind.  The biblical texts used (CEB) are 1 Cor. 14:15 and John 4:23-24.

Reflect on the words of the Apostle Paul from 1 Corinthians 14:15: “What should I do? I’ll pray in the Spirit, but I’ll pray with my mind too; I’ll sing a psalm in the Spirit, but I’ll sing the psalm with my mind too.”

(Silence)

Almighty God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Perhaps we’ve joined this assembly today because we desire that our hearts be stirred by your Spirit; help us also to be open to the renewal of our minds by your Word.

Perhaps we’ve come to this place with the expectation that we will experience your presence through music that touches our hearts; help us also to be open to a divine encounter through thoughtful engagement with every aspect of worship, even those that don’t particularly “move” us.

Jesus told us, “But the time is coming—and is here!—when true worshippers will worship in spirit and truth. The Father looks for those who worship him this way. God is spirit, and it is necessary to worship God in spirit and truth.”  And so today we desire to worship you in our spirits and with our minds—truly, to know you and love you with all that we are and all that we have.  We bring you our hearts: touch them.  We bring you our minds: transform them—all this by your Spirit and your Word, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Call to Worship: Christ our King

This is a call to worship, which uses the full text of Psalm 93 along with part of Rev. 11, highlights God’s supreme rule over all through the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  The last Sunday in the Christian year, known as “Christ our King Sunday” would be a great occasion for this call to worship.  You might also consider using it on Sundays that coincide with major national political events, such as Independence Day or a presidential election.  In that context, this call invites worshippers to recall that only God’s kingdom is eternal and only Jesus is Lord over all, forever.

Call to Worship: Based on Psalm 93, Rev. 11:15-18

The Lord rules! He is robed in majesty— the Lord is robed, clothed with strength.

Yes, he set the world firmly in place; it won’t be shaken. Your throne is set firm for a very long time. You are eternal! 

Lord, the floods have raised up— the floods have raised up their voices; the floods raise up a roar!

But mightier than the sound of much water, mightier than the sea’s waves, mighty on high is the Lord! Your laws are so faithful. Holiness decorates your house, Lord, for all time.

The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ and he will rule forever and always.

We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and was, for you have taken your great power and enforced your rule, in judgment and salvation.

(Together): So we worship you, Christ our King, for you alone are worthy.

Call to Worship: God’s Kingdom

Here’s a call to worship based on Jesus’ basic teaching about God’s kingdom (Mark 1:15) and his Isaiah-sourced mission statement (Luke 4:18-19).  This responsive call to worship would work well for services focused on God’s kingdom and/or Jesus’ ministry.

Call to Worship: Based on Mark 1:15, Luke 4:18-19

Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom! Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news! Jesus comes with good news for the poor.

Now is the time!  Here comes God’s kingdom!

Jesus comes to release the prisoners.

Now is the time!  Here comes God’s kingdom!

Jesus comes to give sight to the blind.

Now is the time!  Here comes God’s kingdom!

Jesus comes to liberate the oppressed.

Now is the time!  Here comes God’s kingdom!

Jesus comes to bring the year of the Lord’s favor.

Now is the time!  Here comes God’s kingdom!

(Together): We open our hearts and lives to God’s kingdom, trusting the good news of Jesus Christ.  We will worship Christ our King, who comes to transform us with grace and truth.

Prayer

Almighty God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, today we give thanks, we rejoice, we worship you, because you have given us your Son, Jesus, who sets us under your rule, where we find justice, peace, and joy.  Now is the time to worship.  We place ourselves in your hands, God of love and power.  Be glorified in the praise we bring to you and transform us through your presence today.  Through Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen.

Advent Call to Worship: John 1

Here’s a call to worship for the Advent season based on part of John 1 and 2 Cor. 4:6 (CEB).

Call to Worship: Based on John 1:4-5, 11-14, 18; 2 Cor. 4:6

In Jesus Christ, God’s Word to the world, is life.  The life is the light for all people.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.

The light came to his own people, and his own people didn’t welcome him. But those who did welcome him, those who believed in his name, he authorized to become God’s children.

The Word became flesh and made his home among us. We have seen his glory, glory like that of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

No one has ever seen God. God the only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made God known. 

God has shone in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.

Prayer

The light and peace of Jesus Christ be with us.  Heavenly Father, we thank you for speaking your Word to us in the person of Jesus Christ and for showing your will to us in the work of Jesus Christ.  Truly, we know you best in him.  Shine your life-giving light on your people today in this hour of worship, so that the darkness that closes in around us and the darkness that rises from within us will be expelled, through Jesus Christ, the Word become flesh.  Amen.

Advent Call to Worship: Isaiah 12

Here’s a call to worship for the Advent season based on Isaiah 12 (CEB).

Call to Worship: Based on Isaiah 12

You will say on that day:

I thank you, Lord. Though you were angry with me, your anger turned away and you comforted me. God is indeed my salvation; I will trust and won’t be afraid. The Lord, is my strength and my shield; he has become my salvation.”

You will draw water with joy from the springs of salvation. And you will say on that day:

Thank the Lord; call on God’s name; proclaim God’s deeds among the peoples; declare that God’s name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, who has done glorious things; proclaim this throughout all the earth.”

Shout and sing for joy, city of Zion, because the holy one of Israel is great among you.

Emmanuel, God is with us!  In Jesus Christ we are forgiven and free.  In the Holy Spirit we are enlivened and empowered.  Let’s worship the Lord who came to us, is now with us, and is coming again!

Prayer

God, the day Isaiah spoke about has arrived in the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ.  In him, you have shown us your saving love and power that breaks the chains of sin and the fear of death.  You are our strength, our shield, and our salvation.  Today we gather to proclaim the glorious things you have done, that you will do, and that even right now you are doing, through Jesus Christ, our Savior.  Amen.

Call to Worship: Heb. 10:19-22

For a simple call to worship, consider this reading from Hebrews.  I’ve offered a prayer that can follow the reading.  Biblical text from the CEB.

Call to Worship: Heb. 10:19-22

“Brothers and sisters, we have confidence that we can enter the holy of holies by means of Jesus’ blood, through a new and living way that he opened up for us through the curtain, which is his body, and we have a great high priest over God’s house. Therefore, let’s draw near with a genuine heart with the certainty that our faith gives us, since our hearts are sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies are washed with pure water.”

Prayer

Loving and Faithful God, from wherever we come this past week, whatever we’ve done and whatever has been done to us—we come into the open air of your love and freedom today.  We aren’t confident to come into your presence because we’re worthy or we’ve done well, but because you have torn the curtain and made for us a place here with you and each other.  You are our hearts desire and delight, and we come ready to worship you, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Revelation Call to Worship

Here’s a call to worship I created for a preaching series in the book of Revelation.  It’s based on some texts from Revelation and the Gloria Patri.  Biblical text from the CEB.

Call to Worship: Based on Rev. 4:8, 15:3-4, 19:5, and the Gloria Patri

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is coming.

Great and awe-inspiring are your works, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, king of the nations.

Who won’t fear you, Lord, and glorify your name? You alone are holy.

All nations will come and fall down in worship before you, for your acts of justice have been revealed.

Praise our God, all you his servants, and you who fear him, both small and great.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.

Pentecost Call to Worship

Here’s a call to worship for use on Pentecost Sunday.

Pentecost Call to Worship (Based on Joel 2:23-32)

Children of God, rejoice and be glad in the Lord your God.

God has given us all that we need!

Praise the name of the Lord.

God has done wonders for us!

Know that the Lord your God is in your midst.

God has poured out his Spirit upon us!

“In those days” are now these days.  The promise of the Spirit is for us all—men and women, young and old, rich and poor, high and low.

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved!