Welcome to worship on this Sunday, September 27. This month’s theme is Learning to Love Our Enemies and today’s theme is Learning to Love the Enemy Within. Watch by Zoom on Sunday at 9:30 am or right here anytime.
Jesus’ parable about two sons who don’t do what they say reveals surprises in the reign of God. In the story from Ezekiel the people claim the ways of the Lord are unfair, while God offers repentance and new life. Nourished by the broken bread and shared cup, we offer our lives for the sake of our needy world. Welcome!
Prelude – Piano Duos with Paul Swenson and Rick Rykken
Song – Dearest Jesus, At Your Word – Worship 520
1 Dearest Jesus, at your word
we have come again to hear you;
let our thoughts and hearts be stirred
and in glowing faith be near you
as the promises here given
draw us wholly up to heaven.
2 All our knowledge, sense, and sight
lie in deepest darkness shrouded
till your Spirit breaks the night,
filling us with light unclouded.
All good thoughts and all good living
come but by your gracious giving.
3 Radiance of God’s glory bright,
Light of light from God proceeding,
Jesus, send your blessed light;
help our hearing, speaking, heeding,
that our prayers and songs may please you,
as with grateful hearts we praise you.
4 Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
praise to you and adoration!
Grant us what we need the most:
all your gospel’s consolation
while we here on earth await you,
till in heav’n with praise we greet you.
Text: Tobias Clausnitzer, 1619-1684, sts. 1-3; Gesangbuch, Berlin, 1707, st. 4; tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1827-1878, adapt.
Prayer of the Day
God of love, giver of life, you know our frailties and failings. Give us your grace to overcome them, keep us from those things that harm us, and guide us in the way of salvation, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
A reading from Ezek. 18: 1, 25-32
1The word of the Lord came to me:
…you say, “The way of the Lord is unfair.” Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair? 26When the righteous turn away from their righteousness and commit iniquity, they shall die for it; for the iniquity that they have committed they shall die. 27Again, when the wicked turn away from the wickedness they have committed and do what is lawful and right, they shall save their life. 28Because they considered and turned away from all the transgressions that they had committed, they shall surely live; they shall not die. 29Yet the house of Israel says, “The way of the Lord is unfair.” O house of Israel, are my ways unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair?
Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel! For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord God. Turn, then, and live.
Word of God, word of Life. Thanks be to God.
Children’s Time – Pastor Joy
Alleluia Worship 175
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel: Matthew 21:23-32
A reading from Matthew:
23When [Jesus] entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” 27So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
28“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. 31Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.”
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
Message – Pastor Joy McDonald Coltvet
Song – Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service – Worship 712
1 Lord, whose love in humble service
bore the weight of human need,
who upon the cross, forsaken,
worked your mercy’s perfect deed:
we, your servants, bring the worship
not of voice alone, but heart;
consecrating to your purpose
ev’ry gift which you impart.
2 Still your children wander homeless;
still the hungry cry for bread;
still the captives long for freedom;
still in grief we mourn our dead.
As you, Lord, in deep compassion
healed the sick and freed the soul,
by your Spirit send your power
to our world to make it whole.
3 As we worship, grant us vision,
till your love’s revealing light
in its height and depth and greatness
dawns upon our quickened sight,
making known the needs and burdens
your compassion bids us bear,
stirring us to ardent service,
your abundant life to share.
4 Called by worship to your service,
forth in your dear name we go,
to the child, the youth, the aged,
love in living deeds to show;
hope and health, good will and comfort,
counsel, aid and peace we give,
that your servants, Lord, in freedom
may your mercy know and live.
Text: Albert F. Bayly, 1901-1984
Text © 1961 Oxford University Press
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. Amen.
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.
In all the world, give your church unity. Inspire all the baptized with the mind of Christ. Where the church is powerful and where it struggles, shape us with humility and obedience so that your love may be at work in us. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Your Son took on all of bodily life in our world, even to death. Preserve and keep your creation, O God. Mend and redeem places that are polluted and damaged, so that all of creation confesses you as Lord. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Turn the nations toward life. Where our ways are unfair, give us new hearts and new spirits. Where sin permeates our cultures and institutions, change our minds and teach us to trust your authority. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Our lives are yours, O God. Relieve the suffering of those who are ill in body, mind, or spirit. Defend the lives and welfare of children who are abused or neglected, hungry or exploited, bullied or lonely. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Turn this congregation away from our own interests toward the interests of others. Fill us with your compassion and sympathy. Bless ministries of care in our community (especially those we think of now………………………………………………..); make us into signs of your mercy and justice for our neighbors. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Thank you for those who have gone into the kingdom ahead of us—likely and unlikely, obedient and slow to learn. By their witness, teach us to confess Jesus Christ as Lord in life and in death. 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 – Natalia Peterson
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
Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit,
bless you and lead you into the way of truth and life. Amen
Song – Hallelujah! We Sing Your Praises – Worship 535
Haleluya! Pelo tsa rona
Haleluya! Pelo tsa rona,
Di thabile kaofela.
Haleluya! Pelo tsa rona,
Di thabile kaofela.
Hallelujah! We sing your praises,
all our hearts are filled with gladness.
Hallelujah! We sing your praises,
all our hearts are filled with gladness. Repeat
1 Christ the Lord to us said:
I am wine, I am bread,
I am wine, I am bread,
give to all who thirst and hunger. Refrain
2 Now he sends us all out,
strong in faith, free of doubt,
strong in faith, free of doubt.
Tell to all the joyful gospel. Refrain
Text: South African, tr. Freedom Is Coming, 1984
English text © 1984 Utryck, admin. Walton Music Corp.
Go in peace. Remember the poor. Thanks be to God.
Postlude – Piano Duos with Paul Swenson and Rick Rykken