21st Century Worship Resources for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

by the Rev. Dr. Kwasi I. Kena
Gathering Meditation
(James 1:19-20, NRSV: You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God's righteousness.)

Quick . . .to listen.

It's not normal . . . to hurry . . . to shut up.
Shhh . . . I have to remind myself to listen:
So I won't speak too soon
So, I won't say what I'll later regret.

Now . . . slow yourself
Slow down anger
Slow down careless thought
Slow down . . .
long enough . . .
to hear God whisper
the right things to do and say.

Quick . . . listen.
Pause and hear.


Prayer of Confession
(Based on Mark 7:1-23)

One: We do it this way.
Many: We say it like this!
One: Why?
Many: Because . . .
All: Because we have always done it this way!

One: Loving God, we stand before you today
confessing that we have been slow to listen
for the new directions that the Wind of your Spirit might be blowing.
We have relaxed into the complacency of routine.
We have come to value skill at keeping our own rules
more than we value hearing your plans for the day.
O God, examine our hearts.
Reveal our motives.
Expose our intentions.


All: Cleanse us. Forgive us. Have mercy on us.
Turn our eyes toward you.
Help us understand what you really want from your people,
and help us become the people that honor you and glorify your name.


Words of Assurance

One: Hear the good news! The Lord forgives our sins and renews our hearts.
It is God alone who restores the joy of our salvation.
Receive God's grace.
Receive God's mercy.
In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.

All: In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.



The Rev. Dr. Kwasi I. Kena is a former staff member of GBOD currently serving as Assistant Professor of Christian Ministry at Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University. Dr. Kena is a clergy member of the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.