Closing Devotion: Tuesday, May 17

General Conference
Closing Devotion
Tuesday, May 17, 6:10 PM
Go, Despising None

Gathering

CALL TO WORSHIP

Blessed are you, whom God has called to this important work.
Blessed are we, and blessed is the world.
Blessed are you who are burdened with the sorrows of this day. God is waiting here to embrace your pain.
Blessed are we, and blessed is the world.
Blessed are you, in this space and beyond, who are hungry and thirsty. God offers abundant food and living water. In this space and beyond, all are invited to God’s table.
Blessed are we, and blessed is the world.
Blessed are you who are learning how to live in the light of God’s mercy. Mercy is yours, and God’s mercy is available for all the world.
Blessed are we, and blessed is the world.
Blessed are you who are lost, for God is already searching for you. And God’s party is ready for everyone to come and rejoice!
Blessed are we, and blessed is all the world!

SONG

Blest Are They

Proclaiming

SCRIPTURE       Matthew 18:10-14

‘Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.”

A REFLECTION FROM THE GC PRAYER GUIDE

Hear these words from our Daily Prayer Guide, written by Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, the Ecumenical Officer for the Council of Bishops:

Today, the United Methodist Conference welcomes ecumenical leaders from other Christian churches around the world. Bishop Ivan Abrahams, General Secretary of the World Methodist Council (a body of 80 Methodist, Wesleyan, and related Uniting and United Churches with more than 80 million members in 133 countries around the world) will proclaim the word. In addition, world leaders from other Christian communions including the Eastern Orthodox churches, Baptist churches, Pentecostal churches and the Roman Catholic Church will be present — all together in worship and prayer. All together in Christ. All together in response to Jesus’ prayer for oneness.

Unity is a gift from God. Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and prayer makes us one in Christ. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in and through Jesus Christ. There is one God, one faith, one hope, one baptism. We believe in Jesus and honor his word, which calls us into unity and oneness. We are one body with many members — an important understanding. Jesus said that our unity, our oneness, our genuine love and respect for one another would enable the world to believe that he was sent by God.

This year, as I represented The United Methodist Church at the National Council of Churches, the World Council of Churches, and the Parliament of World Religions, I experienced a sense of joy and hope that lifted my spirit and increased my resolve to live in accord with Jesus’ prayer. Will you join me in praying, “That they may all be one … so that the world may believe that you sent me.” (Bishop Mary Ann Swenson)

PRAYER

All sing: Make Us One

One voice (as music continues): Loving Lord Jesus, we join our prayer with yours—that we may be one—so the world may believe that God sent you to seek and save us all.

All sing: Make Us One

One voice (as music continues):Loving God, we are grateful for the blessings you give to us and to all your children. In the diversity of your gifts may we rejoice in the unity of the Giver.

All sing: Make Us One

One voice (as music continues): Loving Spirit, bind us together into one flock. Many cultures, many colors, many traditions, but one baptism, one Lord, one Spirit. Make us one, Lord. Amen.

All sing: Make Us One

Thanksgiving

PRAYING WITH PRAYER BEADS

THE LORD’S PRAYER [in your first language]

Sending

BLESSING

Voice 1, spoken: May the love of the Lord rest upon your soul.

Soloist (singing): May the love of the Lord rest upon your soul …

Voice 2, spoken: May God’s love dwell in you, throughout every day.

Soloist (singing): May God’s love dwell in you, throughout every day.

Voice 1, spoken: May God’s countenance shine upon you and be gracious to you.

Soloist (singing): May God’s countenance shine upon you and be gracious to you.

Voice 2: May God’s Spirit be upon you as you leave this place.

Soloist (singing): May God’s Spirit be upon you as you leave this place.

Voice 1: May all God’s children know the blessing of unity,

Voice 2: And may we be unified by the blessings of all God’s children.

Soloist (singing):
May the love of the Lord rest upon your soul.
May God’s love dwell in you, throughout every day.
May God’s countenance shine upon you and be gracious to you.
May God’s Spirit be upon you as you leave this place.

Worship Leader: Go in peace. Amen.

POSTLUDE

 

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Acknowledgements:

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

Blest Are They; words and music: David Haas; found at #2155 The Faith We Sing. © 1985 GIA Publications Inc.

Make Us One; words and music by Carol Cymbala; found at #2224 The Faith We Sing. © 1991 Word Music Inc. and Carol Joy Music ℅ Integrated Copyright Group.

May the Love of the Lord; words: Maria Ling; tune: SOON TI, Swee Hong Lim; found at #549 Glory to God. © 2000 Maria Ling and Swee Hong Lim (admin. General Board of Global Ministries t/a GBGMusik.

Photo:

Liturgical dancers participate in the April 24 opening worship service of the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Florida. A UMNS photo by Paul Jeffrey.

 

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