Matthew 14:13-21
July 31, 2023

Liturgy Based on Matthew 14:13-21

A call to worship, litany of confession, and song suggestions for a worship based on Matthew 14:13–21, the feeding of the five thousand, which is the Revised Common Lectionary’s gospel reading for the 10th Sunday after Pentecost.

Call to Worship (Matthew 14:13–14)

Reader 1: When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.

Light the Christ candle.

Reader 2: What had happened? Did you hear the news? There has been a death! There has been a tragedy!

Reader 3: Jesus went to the Father with his grief, with his sadness. We too come into the Father’s presence today with whatever happened this week. With our triumphs and our tears, with our happiness and our hurt, with our laughing and our lament. We draw near.

Reader 1: Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sickness.

Pour water into the baptismal font.

Reader 2: Come close to us Jesus! Have compassion on us! We need your healing!

Reader 3: No matter what we bring with us to worship, Jesus has compassion and draws near to us. The love of the Father embraces us today. The healing of the Holy Spirit envelops us.

Reader 2: Come let us worship the Triune God!

Confession and Assurance (Matthew 14:15-21)

Reader 1: When Jesus saw that the crowd was hungry, he took five loaves of bread and two fish, he gave thanks to his Father, and then he fed the people.

Bring the bread to the communion table.

Reader 2: Holy Father, you are the God who feeds us, yet we forget to give you thanks. Instead, we take pride in our work, we celebrate our independence, we lie to ourselves that we are the ones who have done it all.

People of God: Lord, have mercy on us.

Reader 1: When Jesus fed the people, everyone was satisfied, and there were even twelve baskets of leftovers!

Bring the cup to the communion table.

Reader 2: Holy Father, you are the God who feeds us in abundance, yet we often live as if resources are scarce. We cling to our food, our things, and our money instead of sharing with our neighbors near and far.

People of God: Lord, have mercy on us.

Reader 3: Let us pray: Gracious Father, teach us to give thanks. Fill our hearts with gratitude for all that you have given us, and from that gratitude, enable us to share what you have given us with others. May we reflect your gracious abundance with everyone we encounter. Amen.

Reader 1: While we were still sinners, Jesus invited us to the table to feast. In his compassion, he gave his body and his blood for us. God grants us forgiveness and feeds us grace today! Amen!

Song Suggestions

"We Will Feast in the House of Zion" Moore and McCracken
"Hungry (Falling on My Knees)" Scott
"The Church of Christ, in Every Age" Green, GtG 320
"Give Thanks" Smith, LUYH 358, GtG 647, SSS 489
"Compassion Hymn" Getty and Townend
"The Table" Tomlin

Photo: Berthold Werner, Church of the Multiplication in Tabgha, mosaic: four loaves and two fish. Public Domain

Katy Matejka Kroondyk is a student at Western Theological Seminary and the Fitness Coordinator at Zeeland Recreation. She lives with her husband, Rev. Jeff Kroondyk, and their daughters, LillyAnn and Eliza, in Holland, MI.