Closing Devotion: Monday, May 16

General Conference
Closing Devotion
Monday, May 16, 6:10 PM
As You Go, Call All

Gathering

God welcomes all! [spoken in French]

God Welcomes All (tune: THEMBA AMEN)

All sing: God welcomes all, strangers and friends;
God’s love is strong and it never ends.

God welcomes all! [spoken in Kiswahili]

All sing: God welcomes all, strangers and friends;
God’s love is strong and it never ends.

God welcomes all! [spoken in English]

All sing: God welcomes all, strangers and friends;
God’s love is strong and it never ends.

God welcomes all! [spoken in Portuguese]

All sing: God welcomes all, strangers and friends;
God’s love is strong and it never ends.

Proclaiming

SCRIPTURE    Matthew 22:1-14 (CEB)

“Jesus responded by speaking again in parables: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding party for his son. He sent his servants to call those invited to the wedding party. But they didn’t want to come. Again he sent other servants and said to them, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Look, the meal is all prepared. I’ve butchered the oxen and the fattened cattle. Now everything’s ready. Come to the wedding party!”’

“But they paid no attention and went away–some to their fields, others to their businesses. The rest of them grabbed his servants, abused them, and killed them. The king was angry. He sent his soldiers to destroy those murderers and set their city on fire. Then he said to his servants,’The wedding party is prepared, but those who were invited weren’t worthy. Therefore, go to the roads on the edge of town and invite everyone you find to the wedding party.’

“Then those servants went to the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good. The wedding party was full of guests. Now when the king came in and saw the guests, he spotted a man who wasn’t wearing wedding clothes. He said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ But he was speechless. Then the king said to his servants,’Tie his hands and feet and throw him out into the farthest darkness. People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth.’ “Many people are invited, but few people are chosen.”

ANTHEM     Africa University Choir

A REFLECTION FROM THE GC PRAYER GUIDE

Hear these words from our Daily Prayer Guide, written by Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey:

Many today share a fascination with royal weddings. Millions watched when Princess Diana and Prince Charles married. And “watch parties” met to view Kate Middleton and Prince William’s wedding. Can you imagine not responding with a positive RSVP to a royal wedding? Or can you imagine sending out invitations only to discover on the day of the wedding that no one wants to attend?

Here in Matthew 22 we have a king who, after all the invitees regretfully decline, chooses to invite everyone willing to attend —good and bad. Can you imagine a banquet full of fits and misfits? I can. You and I experience this every time we gather at the Communion table.

And what are we to make of the one who comes terribly underdressed for the occasion? Can you imagine not dressing appropriately for a royal wedding? Did he refuse to wear the wedding robe traditionally provided by the king? Unimaginable. Or is it?

How often have we refused to wear the “wedding robe”? Remember the time we thought we were better than them and didn’t have to wear the wedding robe? Or the time we felt that we were not worthy enough to wear it? Truth be told, all of us need the “wedding robe.” Wearing the robe covers a multitude of sins.

Jesus invites us all to his banquet—a feast of the finest gifts of grace. A feast for fits and misfits! Good and bad! You and me! And best of all, robes of forgiveness, love and acceptance; robes that cover our brokenness and remind us of our worthiness are freely and readily available for all of us to wear. (Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey)

Thanksgiving

SONG OF REJOICING

Cantai ao Senhor (Rejoice in the Lord)

PRAYING WITH BEADS

Worship Leader: invites the people to take prayer beads, to hold the beads with a sense of joy for the prayers they represent, for the security of God’s love that we know as we hold fast to each bead.

Silence

Soloist: O Lord Jesus, enfold me in your arms. Let me never be parted from your love.

Worship Leader: As you finger each bead in the strand, offer a prayer of thanksgiving for each person you know who extends the invitation of God’s love to others.

Silence

Soloist: O Lord Jesus, enfold me in your arms. Let me never be parted from your love.

Worship Leader: Touch each bead again, and offer thanks for the comfort and reassurance of the love of God that we know in Jesus Christ.

Silence

All sing: O Lord Jesus, enfold me in your arms. Let me never be parted from your love.

Worship Leader: Allow your fingers to travel the length of the beads again. This time pray for those whom you will invite to God’s party.

Silence

All sing: O Lord Jesus, enfold me in your arms. Let me never be parted from your love.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

[you are invited to pray in your first language]

Sending

SONG

Blest Be the Tie That Binds (tune: DENNIS)

Blest be the tie that binds
our hearts in Christian love.
The fellowship of kindred minds
is like to that above.

Before our Maker’s throne
we pour our ardent prayers.
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
our comforts and our cares.

We share each other’s woes;
our mutual burdens bear.
And often for each other flows
the sympathizing tear.

From sorrow, toil, and pain,
and sin we shall be free;
and perfect love and friendship reign
through all eternity.

BLESSING

Bear witness to the love of God in this world,
so that those to whom love is a stranger will find in you generous friends.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

SENDING INVITATION        Africa University Choir

[As the choir sings, they exit the platform and the room, inviting the congregation to follow them out to call others into God’s love.]

 

****************

Acknowledgements:

Unless otherwise noted, all liturgical pieces are written by Laura Jaquith Bartlett, © 2016 The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music & Worship Arts.

The Blessing is taken from the United Methodist Book of Worship, © 1992 The United Methodist Publishing House.

Cantai ao Senhor (Rejoice in the Lord); words: English paraphrase by C. Michael Hawn; tune: traditional Brazilian melody arranged by Simei Monteiro; found at #57 Global Praise 3. English paraphrase © 1999 Choristers Guild.

God Welcomes All; words: John L. Bell; tune: THEMBA AMEN, South Africa, transcribed by John L. Bell; found at #399 Glory to God. © 2008 WGRG, Iona Community (admin. GIA Publications, Inc.).

Blest Be the Tie That Binds; words: John Fawcett; tune: DENNIS, Johann Georg Nägeli; found at #306 Glory to God. Public Domain.

Photo:

Members of the Africa University Choir sing during an April 29 session of the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Florida. A UMNS photo by Paul Jeffrey.

 

This website is provided by:

Fellowship_Logo_Blue_Full
Connect with us: umfellowship.org

Advertisements