WORSHIP IN NOVEMBER
Grant Us Wisdom, Grant Us Courage
Worship This Fall with United
We continue our worship series, inspired by the prayer from Harry Emerson Fosdick’s hymn “God of Grace and God of Glory.” In the midst of the Great Depression and World War II, Fosdick prayed (through song): “Grant us wisdom, grant us courage – for the facing of this hour, for the living of our days, that we fail no one nor thee.” In November worship, we’ll explore the Biblical stories of people who sought such wisdom and found such courage.
Knowing When Something Doesn’t Fit
October 25 – Reformation Sunday
The giant Goliath is terrorizing the Israelites. A young shepherd named David tells King Saul he can take him on. The desperate king gives the boy a chance and his armor. After clanking in the over-sized suit and shield, the boy takes it all off. He goes to meet Goliath
armored only with his sling and five smooth stones. The rest, as they say, is history. (I Samuel 17) Sometimes wisdom is letting go of things that don’t fit. A good word for Re-formation Sunday.
The Wisdom to Find Another Way, the Courage to Follow It
November 1 – All Saints Day
The Sunday before an Election
As a king, David wasn’t always wise. When the wealthy landowner Nabal insulted him, the king rounded up his troops and declared war on him. Nabal, “surly and mean” as the Bible described him, had no more sense than David, but his wife Abigail did. (I Samuel 25) She assembled a great feast of cakes, wine, and other good things and went to meet David. Her wisdom and willingness to find a way other than war saved the day—for both sides. We need Abigail’s wisdom and courage now.
The Wisdom to Listen to a Prophet, the Courage to Repent
As a king, David wasn’t always just or kind. His desires got the best of him when he “took” Bathsheba while her husband, David’s greatest general, was away at war. Later he put Uriah on the front line to insure his death. God had enough and sent the Prophet Nathan to confront the king with the truth. As hard as it was, David listened to Nathan and repented (“turned around”). (2 Samuel 12:1-15) It takes a lot of courage to confront a king, and it takes a lot of courage for a king (or any of us) to turn our lives around. May we and our leaders be blessed with such wisdom and courage.
Wise Enough to Pray for Wisdom
November 15 – Stewardship Sunday
According to tradition, Solomon became king of Israel when he was only 15—the same age as our Youth Initiates. His first prayer upon ascending the throne was not for power, military might, or wealth. He prayed instead for wisdom, God’s guidance: “Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil.” (I Kings 3:9) What do we hope our leaders pray for? What do we? And how do we help our young people seek and know God’s wisdom?
Wise Enough for Visions
November 22 – Thanks-singing Sunday
Sometimes wisdom comes through deep study and research. Sometimes it comes from paying attention to the world around us, and sometimes wisdom comes through visions, like those of the Prophet Isaiah with his wonderful vision of God’s great feast for all people. (Isaiah 25:6-9) On God’s holy mountain, everyone will be well-fed, and the “veil” that keeps us from seeing one another will be lifted. May we have the wisdom to see such a vision, too. May we have the courage to live into it.
Wise Enough to Be Honest, Courage Enough to Say “Yes”
November 29 – First Sunday of Advent
Before he became the great prophet, Isaiah described himself as a “man of unclean lips, living in the midst of a people with unclean lips.” What a confession! But because he had the wisdom and courage to be honest about himself and his people, Isaiah was then able to respond to God’s call to help them find a new way. (Isaiah 6:1-8) Confession may seem an odd way to get ready for Christmas, but perhaps like Isaiah, we need to be honest about our current lives to be open to new life. As we begin Advent’s preparation, what wisdom and courage do we need to be that honest?
Traditionally, Sunday services are held at 8:30 AM and 11:00 AM. Holy Communion is celebrated every Sunday at 8:30 and the first Sunday of the month at the later service (11:00 AM). Adult forum is held at 9:45 AM. Childcare available. Please check back for updates.