Welcome to worship with Christ on Capitol Hill. Today is God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday and we continue with the theme Forgiving Our Enemies – this week, Learning When God Transforms Evil into Good. Why do we judge one another? Why is it so hard to forgive? Jesus’ challenge that we forgive seventy-seven times reveals God’s boundless mercy and Jesus’ hopes for us. When we hear the words of forgiveness in worship and sign ourselves with the cross, we are renewed in baptism to be signs of reconciliation in the world. Watch on Zoom at 9:30 am or right here anytime.
September 13 – God’s Work, Our Hands
Prelude – Piano Duo, Rick Rykken and Paul Swenson
Welcome – Learning to Love Our Enemies
Learning When God Transforms Evil into Good
In today’s second reading Paul questions why we judge one another, since we all stand before the judgment of God. Yet we do sin against one another, and Jesus’ challenge that we forgive seventy-seven times reveals God’s boundless mercy. When we hear the words of forgiveness in worship and sign ourselves with the cross, we are renewed in baptism to be signs of reconciliation in the world.
Song – ELW 664 Heaven is singing for joy/El cielo canta alegría
1 Heaven is singing for joy, alleluia,
for in your life and mine
is shining the glory of God.
2 Heaven is singing for joy, alleluia,
for your life and mine
unite in the love of our God. Refrain
3 Heaven is singing for joy, alleluia,
for your life and mine
will always bear witness to God. Refrain
1 El cielo canta alegría, ¡aleluya!,
porque en tu vida y la mía brilla la gloria de Dios.
2 El cielo canta alegría, ¡aleluya!,
porque a tu vida y la mía
las une el amor de Dios. Estribillo
3 El cielo canta alegría, ¡aleluya!,
porque tu vida y la mía
proclamarán al Señor. Estribillo
Text: Pablo Sosa, b. 1933
Text © Pablo Sosa
Prayer of the Day
O Lord God, merciful judge, you are the inexhaustible fountain of forgiveness. Replace our hearts of stone with hearts that love and adore you, that we may delight in doing your will, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
First Reading: Genesis 50:15-21
A reading from Genesis
5Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, “What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?” 16So they approached Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this instruction before he died, 17‘Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.’ Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, “We are here as your slaves.” 19But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? 20Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. 21So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.
Word of God, word of Life. Thanks be to God.
Solo – Two Thousand Years by Billy Joel, Natalia Peterson
Children’s Time – open hands
Alleluia Worship 175
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35
The gospel is from Matthew:
21Peter came and said to [Jesus], “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” 22Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.
23“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. 26So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave hMatthim the debt. 28But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. 31When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ 34And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. 35So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
Message – Pastor Joy
Song – ELW 605 Forgive our sins as we forgive
1 “Forgive our sins as we forgive,”
you taught us, Lord, to pray;
but you alone can grant us grace
to live the words we say.
2 How can your pardon reach and bless
the unforgiving heart
that broods on wrongs and will not let
old bitterness depart?
3 In blazing light your cross reveals
the truth we dimly knew:how trifling others’ debts to us;how great our debt to you!
4 Lord, cleanse the depths within our souls
and bid resentment cease;
then, by your mercy reconciled,
our lives will spread your peace.
Text: Rosamond E. Herklots, 1905-1987, alt.
Text © Oxford University Press 1969
Confession and Forgiveness
All may make the sign of the cross, the sign marked at baptism, as the presiding minister begins.
Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God,
who creates, redeems, and sustains us and all of creation.
Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.
Silence is kept for reflection.
Faithful God, have mercy on us. We confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves. We turn from your loving embrace and go our own ways. We pass judgment on one another before examining ourselves. We place our own needs before those of our neighbors. We keep your gift of salvation to ourselves. Make us humble, cast away our transgressions, and turn us again to life in you through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
God hears the cries of all who call out in need, and through his death and resurrection, Christ has made us his own. Hear the truth that God proclaims: Your sins are forgiven in the name of ☩ Jesus Christ. Led by the Holy Spirit, live in freedom and newness to do God’s work in the world. Amen.
Prayers of the People
Drawn together in the compassion of God, we pray for the church, the world, and all those in need.
A brief silence.
You welcome us when we are weak in faith. Uphold your church throughout the world; make it a place of welcome. Strengthen faith through Bible studies and Sunday schools, confirmation classes and youth ministries. Nurture new ministries of education and growth. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
The heights of the heavens show us the vastness of your steadfast love. Have compassion on your creation. Where human selfishness has brought ruin and destruction, we look to you to heal, renew, and redeem your world. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Make your ways known to the nations. Speak kindness to our bitter grudges. Settle our hearts when we want to settle accounts with violence. Bless our leaders with patience and wisdom. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Bring healing and justice wherever harm is dealt. Provide vindication for all who are oppressed. Free victims of human trafficking and forced labor; deliver all who are bound by debt. Feed all who hunger, and guard refugees fleeing famine, poverty, and war. We pray for those who need healing, especially those we think of now…………………………….. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Teach us to forgive. Remind us that you do not always accuse us. Keep us still when we are tempted to pass judgment and argue over opinions. Make this congregation a community of mercy for one another and for all our neighbors. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Whether we live or whether we die, we are yours. We thank you for those who have showed us faithfulness, for the knees that taught us how to bow to you and the tongues that taught us to praise you. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
All these things and whatever else you see that we need, we entrust to your mercy; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Johm riab sua.
The peace of Christ be with you all. And also with you.
Offering – Piano Duo, Rick Rykken and Paul Swenson
Blessed are you, O God, maker of all things. You have set before us these gifts of your good creation. Prepare us for your heavenly banquet, nourish us with this rich food and drink, and send us forth to set tables in the midst of a suffering world, through the bread of life, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is indeed right that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to God who is the giver of all good things and who revealed this abundance again with feeding the multitudes, who loved to the point of death and who beyond death, was raised from the dead and appeared to many, breaking bread with them in their homes, so that we might believe.
Remember, beloved ones… how in the night in which he was betrayed our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it and gave it to his disciples saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.
Again, after supper, Jesus took the cup, gave thanks and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.
O God of resurrection and new life: pour out your Holy Spirit on us and on the gifts of bread and cup. Bless this feast. Grace our tables with your presence. Reveal yourself to us in the sharing of the bread. Raise us up as the body of Christ for the world. Breathe new life into us. Send us forth, burning with justice, peace, and love.
With your holy ones in all times and places, we praise you, O God, blessed and holy Trinity, now and forever. Amen.
Invitation to Communion
Come to the banquet table where Christ gives himself as food and drink.
Now, if you are gathered with others, when the music begins, please share with one another first the bread and then the cup with the words,
The body of Christ, given for you.
The blood of Christ, poured out for you.
If you are by yourself, I offer this invitation…
Receive the body of Christ, given for you.
Receive the blood of Christ, poured out for you.
And if for any reason you will not receive Communion bread & cup today, a blessing for you…
May God fill you up with the Holy Spirit and give you all that you need.
Communion Song – By Your Hand You Feed Your People – Worship 469
1 By your hand you feed your people, food of angels, heaven’s bread.
For these gifts we did not labor, by your grace have we been fed:
Christ’s own body, blessed and broken, cup o’er flowing, life outpoured, given as a living token of your world redeemed, restored.
2 In this meal we taste your sweetness, bread for hunger, wine of peace.
Holy word and holy wisdom satisfy our deepest needs. Refrain
3 Send us now with faith and courage to the hungry, lost, bereaved.
In our living and our dying, we become what we receive: Refrain
Text: Susan R. Briehl, b. 1952
Text © 2002 GIA Publications, Inc., 7404 S. Mason Ave., Chicago, IL 60638. www.giamusic.com. 800.442.3358. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Prayer after Communion
We give you thanks, gracious God, that you have once again fed us with food beyond compare, the body and blood of Christ. Lead us from this place, nourished and forgiven, into your beloved vineyard to wipe away the tears of all who hunger and thirst, guided by the example of the same Jesus Christ and led by the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
Cambodian Lord’s Prayer
Mothering God, Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you and lead you into the way of truth and life. Amen
Song – Rise, shine, you people! Worship 665
1 Rise, shine, you people! Christ the Lord has entered
our human story; God in him is centered.
He comes to us, by death and sin surrounded,
with grace unbounded.
2 See how he sends the pow’rs of evil reeling;
he brings us freedom, light and life and healing.
All men and women, who by guilt are driven,
now are forgiven.
3 Come, celebrate; your banners high unfurling,
your songs and prayers against the darkness hurling.
To all the world go out and tell the story
of Jesus’ glory.
4 Tell how the Father sent the Son to save us
Tell of the Son, who life and freedom gave us.
Tell how the Spirit calls from ev’ry nation
God’s new creation.
Text: Ronald A. Klug, b. 1939, alt.
Text © 1974 Augsburg Publishing House, admin. Augsburg Fortress.
Go in peace. Remember the poor. Thanks be to God.
Postlude – Piano Duo, Rick Rykken and Paul Swenson
Camel Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash
Pharoah Photo by Daniel H. Tong on Unsplash
Camels Photo by Simon Berger on Unsplash
Spices Photo by Marion Botella on Unsplash
Lentils Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash
Crying Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash
Embrace Photo by Josue Escoto on Unsplash
Hawk Photo by Mauro Pilon on Unsplash
Foot Photo by vijay s on Unsplash
Forgiveness Photo by Felix Koutchinski on Unsplash
Fist Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash
Eye Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash
Coins Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash
Drowning Photo by Ian on Unsplash