As for me, my foot had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked...This is what the wicked are like - always free of care, they go on amassing wealth...When I try to understand all this, it troubled me deeply until I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.
When we do not do this, we risk being part of what Ezekiel 28:18 says, "By your many sins and dishonest trade, you have desecrated your sanctuaries."
We need to examine ourselves before worship. We need to be aware of our unclean hands when we enter the sanctuary.
If this does not happen, the integrity of our worship will be impacted. And if we engage in unfaithful worship practices, the integrity of our work will also be impacted. One leads to the other, either to both flourish or to both suffer. The two are tied together and we must not forget that.
These are all placed around the communion table and the pastor says, "Let's pray:
Lord of all creation,
You have given us this work.
You have planted us in this city.
We serve in hospitals, businesses, homes, and schools,
Places to care and create, places to serve and to bless.
We come to you today grateful for all these vocations,
Grateful for the opportunity to join you and your work in this city.
And so today we present our humble and imperfect works to you.
We ask that, through the redeeming power of your Son,
You would take our fallen and finite tasks and turn them into worship,
Works of praise, pleasing to you.
In the power of your Spirit, take our meager and imperfect crafts,
Use them to feed, and serve, and bless this city.
Through the power of your Spirit, may these fruits produce an aroma,
An aroma that is sweet to you
And all who are blessed by them.
Many of these challenges cause us pain.
From injustice and discrimination at work, we pray for deliverance.
From pain, we pray for your healing.
For those straining to receive a new calling,
We pray that your voice would be heard strong and clear.
God, we confess that we do not always offer our best at your table
We confess that sometimes we do not offer our all.
We hold back.
We try to control these callings.
We think they belong to us.
We think they exist to bless us alone.
Forgive us, Lord.
These labors we offer today are imperfect,Sometimes they are outright rebellious.Forgive us for our unfaithfulness at work.Clean our soiled hands and hearts.Renew our minds.By your grace and through the power of your Spirit,Take these callings and make them yours.Break these callings open and feed your people.Pour these callings out and quench their thirst.
May the work of our hands,
The offerings of our whole lives
Give you pleasure and bring you praise.
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Then the pastor takes the loaf of bread and the bottle of wine from the pile before them, and they have communion together.
Our work transforms into His work.
His work transforms us to do our work.