Call to Worship – When you give a banquet.

One: Our appetites are insatiable.

Many: We are hungry.

One: Our world wants us to fill ourselves to the brim, taking all we can find for ourselves – and only ourselves.

Many: God offers enough for today.

One: God’s providing means there is always enough.

Many: For today. For tomorrow. For you. For me. For all creation. One day and one act of sharing at a time.

All: Help us, Jesus, remember what it means to give a banquet that honors God’s providence. Amen.

Prayer – A Banquet

In Luke 14:1, 7-14, Jesus teaches how to hold a banquet and where to sit when invited to one. We know that these directions are not a cotillion style education about which utensil is used when. Jesus’ teaching cuts to the core of how we treat one another. He says in verses 13 and 14, “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” With those words in mind, please pray with me for all those who are hungry. -Pastor Kelli

Holy God,

You are table-setter and banquet-preparer.
In Jesus we see that you set a table that grows longer with every need known.
In Jesus we hear that you require of us to stand so that others may sit.
In Jesus we know that you demand we do something for all who hunger with needs unmet.

Give us vision to create tables that always have a chair ready for welcome.
A chair for the immigrant who came to our country for the treatment of a fatal disease and received word of their pending deportation.
A chair for the person who refuses to listen to our deep sadness or fears and even dismisses our trauma because they haven’t life the way we have.
A chair for the one in recovery who wonders what difference some big judicial verdict will make for the friends whose lives are controlled by opioids.

Each one is hungry, God.
Hungry for health.
Hungry for understanding.
Hungry for stability.

Allow our rumbling stomachs to send us back to you in prayer.
That we learn to set tables and prepare banquets like your heavenly one: open to all, embracing all, loving all – just as we are.

Amen.