(Extra)Ordinary Time

For lectionary-followers, this summer has been an unusually long slog through Ordinary Time. Maybe it's getting a little too ordinary for you by now. Help is on the way, though. For August 31, the 22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time (year A), the lectionary presents us with several stories of people pulled from the ordinary. Laura Stephens-Reed presents us with the following call to worship, an excellent example of how a finely crafted call can be beautifully written, liturgically appropriate, and gently exegetical. Inspired by her good work, Erica Schemper adds a short prayer that might also be used on that Sunday.

With a few weeks left until August 31, we'd love to see a few additional worship ideas posted in the comments!

Call to Worship for Ordinary 22A

by Laura Stephens-Reed

One:    We gather on this ordinary Sunday for praise and worship.
            Yet it was on an ordinary day that God called to Moses from the burning bush
            
making him the leader of a chosen people.

Many:    It was on an ordinary day that Jesus first told his friends he must die and be raised
            setting self-giving as the standard for discipleship.

One:     What extraordinary thing will God do among us on this ordinary day?

Many:  Come, Holy Spirit, open our lives to the mystery among the mundane.

Collect for Ordinary 22A

by Erica Schemper

God of everything we know,
Creator, Redeemer, and Renewer,
bless to us what is familiar and ordinary:
the sights and sounds of home,
the smell of the people and places we love,
the regular pattern of heart and breath,
everything that is average and often goes unnoticed.

But when we need it, surprise us,
sharpen our vision, and clear our ears,
heighten our senses,
make our hearts race,
with the things you have promised,
the things we expect and the things that shock us.
Transform us, Lord, with the Spirit's fire.
Amen.

Laura Stephens-Reed is an ordained Baptist minister who currently graces the pulpits of fortunate churches in Alabama.

Erica Schemper is the Associate Pastor for Children and Youth at Fox Valley Presbyterian Church in Geneva, IL. After a busy summer, she is eager for things to be a little more ordinary.

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