CALL TO WORSHIP: Worship Leader and Congregation

Leader:  Come, mothers and sons, fathers and daughters.

People:  We are all welcome as the family of God.

Leader:  Become mothers and sons, fathers and daughters.

People:  We are knit by Christ into the family of God.

Leader:  Come to give thanks; come to sing praise.

People:  We are here to worship God together.

Leader:  Come, mothers and sons, fathers and daughters.

People:  We are all welcome as the family of God.  Amen.

PASTORAL PRAYER – LORD’S PRAYER:

Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION: Worship Leader and Congregation

When we refuse to listen to your guidance, whisper truth that we might really    hear.  When we demand all the wrong things, calm our minds and show us your wisdom.  When we divide your house, restore your unity in our midst. When we confuse our relationships, help us put love at the center of our ways.  Restore us as your family—a family open to your wisdom, a family unified in your love.  Amen.

WORDS OF ASSURANCE: Worship Leader

I assure you that we will be forgiven everything!  These are the words of Christ for the family of Christ.  Thanks be to God!  Amen.

SCRIPTURE READING: Guest Speaker – Minister Demitrius Burnett

First Reading:  Daniel 1:8-20  NKJV

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and [a]good will of the chief of the eunuchs. 10 And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.”11 So Daniel said to [b]the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.” 14 So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days. 15 And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. 16 Thus [c]the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. 17 As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 18 Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 Then the king [d]interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. 20 And in all matters of wisdom and under standing about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.

Second Reading:  1 Samuel 15:22-23 MSG

22-23 Then Samuel said, Do you think all God wants are sacrifices—empty rituals just for show?  He wants you to listen to him! Plain listening is the thing, not staging a lavish religious production.  Not doing what God tells you is far worse than fooling around in the occult.  Getting self-important around God is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors.
Because you said No to God’s command, he says No to your kingship.