LITURGY IN FOCUS

CALL TO WORSHIP & CENTERING PRAYERS

Call to worship

Today’s scriptures remind us that all people are loved, not just the elite. We are all invited guests at the banquet feast of God’s kingdom. We should accept the responsibility that comes with God’s gracious invitation and have our mindset focused on the faith we celebrate together.
  • To the point: The king is adamant about filling the wedding hall with guests. His initial guest list has been carefully drawn up, but when these invited guests do not come, the king sends his servants out to invite anyone and everyone. The hall must be filled. The issue, therefore, is not who is invited, but who will choose to come. God persistently invites us to the royal banquet in the “kingdom of heaven.” But the gracious invitation requires our positive and definite response.
  • Connecting the Gospel (Matt 22:1-14) to the first reading: Isaiah describes a lavish banquet given when death is destroyed and sorrow is no more. The wedding feast described in the gospel is this banquet and more. It is the messianic banquet at the end of time when God will have completed the saving work for which the Son was sent to us.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: Most of us receive invitations to all kinds of things, some of them of consequence (such as an invitation to the wedding of a close family member), others of little consequence (such as an invitation to the opening of a new department store). In both cases a response is required. But one response has far greater consequences than the other.

Centering prayers

The Gospel
(Matthew 22:1-14)
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son.”
O Christ, your father prepared a banquet for us.
He set a table, killed the fattened calf.
He gave us the very finest wine.
And he invited us to come,
each and every one, every single one,
to this table of plenty.
Oh Jesus, what shall we wear?
Would you be our garment?
Let us put on your mind and your heart.
Then we can relish the morsels, savor the wine;
and taste your love, which is the most beloved of all foods.
The First Reading
(Isaiah 25:6-10)
“The Lord God will wipe away the tears from every face.”
We are running fast to your mountain, Lord.
Wipe away tears from our eyes.
Take away the fog of virus, of body and soul;
and the web of destructive chaos that hides you from us.
Oh Lord, you have called us all here.
Let us take care of each other,
and the home you have given us,
so together we can enjoy
your feast of rich food and choice wines.
The Second Reading
(Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20)
“I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”
All thing work together for those who
love God. Filled up or starving,
in fortune or in void, let these be equal in us.

Copyright © 2020, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection

Telemann: Table Music

Brother Sun, Sister Moon

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