Shout praises to the Lord!
Our God is kind, and it is right
and good to sing praises to him.
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem
and brings the people of Israel
back home again.
He renews our hopes and heals our
He decided how many stars there
would be in the sky and gave each one a name.
Our Lord is great and powerful!
He understands everything.
The Lord helps the poor, but he
smears the wicked in the dirt.
Celebrate and sing! Play your
harps for the Lord our God.
He fills the sky with clouds and
sends rain to the earth, so that the hills will be green with
He provides food for cattle and for
the young ravens, when they cry out.
The Lord doesn’t care about the
strength of horses or powerful armies.
The Lord is pleased only with those
who worship him and trust his love.
Psalm 147:1-11 from the
Contemporary English Version
Copyright © 1995 by American
God of all life,
we thank you
for the signs of your love that surround us,
for sun and warmth and all that comes to life
for all that sleeps within the earth awaiting birth.
for the wisdom of your care,
water on the earth,
sunlight on our spirits,
hands on blinded eyes.
Continue to touch us.
Reach out to sue
with compassion and forgiveness
that we may receive your gifts,
that we may know your love and grace
and rise to new life in Jesus Christ. AMEN
#680, adapted from
Pat Kozak, C.S.J., and
Janet Schaffran, C.D.P.
1st edition ©1986 by the authors;
2nd revised edition ©1988. Crossroad/Continuum Publishing Company.
Our gospel reading this morning continues the story
from last week, where Jesus spoke “as one having
authority” in the synagogue in Capernaum. As you listen,
pay attention to the personal touch in the following
verses, where “hands” are mentioned or implied. As this
scripture shifts between three scenes, we will add an
extra reader. Listen…
29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they
entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now
Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him
about her at once. 31 He came and took her by
the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began
to serve them.
32 That evening, at sunset, they brought to
him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33 And
the whole city was gathered around the door. 34 And
he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out
many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because
they knew him.
35 In the morning, while it was still very
dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he
prayed. 36 And Simon and his companions hunted
for him. 37 When they found him, they said to
him, “Everyone is searching for you.” 38 He
answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may
proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to
do.” 39 And he went throughout Galilee,
proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out
Were you listening? Where did you hear mention of “hands”
in the story we have just received? Or, were there places
where the word “hands” was not spoken, but was implied? -
like when the disciples entered the home of Simon and
Andrew, someone’s hand needed to open the door.
Jesus took their mother “by the
and “lifted her up.” (and the fever left)
used to hands, then, to serve them.
People brought (by hand?) the sick
Did he touch them when he cured many?
In the dark (by feel?) he got up
and left for a deserted place.
There he prayed (hands?)
Did the disciples place their hands on his shoulder when
they found him?
Did he point as he aimed, then, for
Revised Standard Version
copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States
Used by permission. All rights reserved
Praying in motion - confession
When we pray, we sometimes use words. We also use our bodies. I
invite you in the following prayer of confession to pray with your
hands. I may be speaking the words, but I encourage you to put the
words into your hands, doing what the prayer suggests. Pray with
your eyes open. Watch what I or others around you do with our
hands, and do something similar. Together, we will thus pray our
confession in motion. Let us pray…
God you created our hands beautiful and
Too often we use them to grab what we want
We ball them up into fists to hit.
We use them to hug only ourselves.
We hide them behind our backs pretending
there is nothing we could do to help when we know there is.
So, we turn our hands up to you asking for
all the bad we have done with our hands.
Wash our hands and make them clean.
Lead us to use our hands well.
Teach us to open our hands to share with
Give us the power to shake hands with our
Show us how to join hands with our
neighbors to build your kingdom of love.
We pray in Jesus’ name and remembering his
idea and prayer by Carolyn C. Brown
in her blog,
Worshiping With Children
Praying with heart - intercession
With you, O Lord,
through many doors into the homes and lives
of persons we know,
as well as those who are only a name
or a face
or a shared concern.
You draw us into their
and plant within us the seeds of compassion.
Thus, we grow to care about them -
sometimes painfully so,
especially when it seems there is nothing
we can do to help,
or that the answer to their need
is hidden from our eyes.
How can we pray when we don’t even know
for what we should pray?
And yet, you walk through that door before us,
and your hand reaches out.
Before words come to our lips, you are there.
And our prayers recognize your presence,
even in the midst
of the most difficult situations.
It is your hand which
raises up those who have fallen
upon the wings of eagles.
It is your hand that gently but
firmly transforms persons
or lost one
to someone who can stand
and freely give of themselves to others,
shining like the sun.
It is by your hand that slaves are
debts are forgiven,
personal demons are cast out,
the broken are made whole,
the homeless are given a place,
enemies are reconciled,
chains are broken,
love is reborn.
All that is within us yearns for this,
our Savior and Lord,
that your kingdom would come,
your will be done on earth
in the lives of those
we have remembered
in our sharing this day,
as it is in heaven.
Such is our prayer,
that you are standing at our own door
ready to be invited in.
Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Affirmation in word
note: while the words will be projected on the screen,
they will be spoken only by two readers. The scripture is
grouped on the powerpoint slides into ten
sections, each with a heading, which the readers do not
1 - Don’t you know?
2 - Haven’t you heard?
1 - Wasn’t it announced to you from the beginning?
2 - Haven’t
you understood since the earth was founded?
Perspective from above:
1 - God inhabits the earth’s
2 - its inhabitants are like locusts.
1 - God
stretches out the skies like a curtain and spreads it out like a
tent for dwelling.
2 - God makes dignitaries useless and the
earth’s judges into nothing.
Perspective from below:
1 - Scarcely are they planted,
2 - scarcely is their shoot rooted in the earth
1 - when God breathes on them, and they dry up;
2 - the
windstorm carries them off like straw.
1 - So to whom will you compare me,
and who is my equal? says the holy one.
Perspective from above:
1 - Look up at the sky and
2 - Who created these?
1 - The one who brings out
their attendants one by one, summoning each of them by name.
- Because of God’s great strength and mighty power, not one is
1 - Why do you say, Jacob, and declare,
2 - “My way is hidden from the Lord my God
ignores my predicament”?
1 - Don’t you know?
2 - Haven’t you heard?
1 - The Lord is the everlasting God, the
creator of the ends of the earth. He doesn’t grow tired or weary.
2 - His understanding is beyond human reach, giving power to the
tired and reviving the exhausted.
1 - Youths will become tired and weary,
2 - young men will certainly stumble;
1 - but those who hope in
the Lord will renew their strength;
2 - they will fly up on
wings like eagles;
1 - they will run and not be tired;
they will walk and not be weary.
Isaiah 40:21-31 from the
Common English Bible
Copyright © 2011 by Common
with our Tithes and Offerings
Let us pray.
Living God, your love for us is so unfathomable.
Open our ears to hear the cries of your neediest children.
Open our eyes to see human injustice.
Open our minds to think about compassion in all
circumstances. Continue to
increase our willingness to give so that we may lead lives fully
focused on ministry to others.
We bring our tithes and offerings in gratitude for your
guidance and love. In Jesus’
name, we pray.
Copyright © 2015
David S. Bell, adapted
Reprinted with permission from www.davidsbell.org
Leader: We came to worship.
People: We go now to serve.
Leader: We have been given the light.
People: We go now to let it shine.
Leader: We have been blessed by God’s love.
People: We go now to share it.
Leader: We are Christ’s disciples.
People: We go now to witness to all.
by Jimmy Ross
from We Gather Together
copyright ©1979, Brethren Press, adapted