September 27, 2020— 17th Sunday After Pentecost
* Call to worship
Listen, O people, to holy teaching;
tune your ears to hear God’s word.
We gather to proclaim our sacred story,
to tell of God’s wondrous deeds.
Come, O people, into holy space
to worship the Lord, our sustainer and guide.
Let us turn to God in prayer and praise.
* Hymn 220 All People That on Earth Do Dwell
Confession and Assurance
The grace of God overflows for us through Christ Jesus who came into the world to save sinners. Trusting in God’s grace, let us confess our sin.
Loving Lord, you desire that we have the same mind as Christ and imitate his compassionate service. But our minds are fixed on attitudes and ambitions that draw us away from you. We labor for ourselves and attend to the needs of a precious few before considering how our time and talents could bless the world. We look up to the rich and famous and overlook the lowly rather than affirming the dignity of all.
Transform us, we pray. By your grace, give us the same mind and the same love as our Lord Jesus Christ, and work within us until our actions bear witness to the faith our tongues confess.
The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Jesus Christ came not for the righteous, but to save sinners. Therefore, we can believe the good news that we are in fact forgiven and even now made new creations in Christ.
Thanks be to God!
Prayer for illumination
Lord, what does it profit us to gain the whole world and lose our souls? In the din of demands and distractions, send your Spirit to help us discern your Word and your will. Grant us ears to hear and faith to obey your teachings that offer life and life abundant. In Christ’s name we pray, amen.
From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.”
The Lord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
When he 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?” Jesus 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. Did 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?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” So 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.
“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which 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.For 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.
* Affirmation of Faith Philippians 2:5-11
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.
Therefore, God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess to the glory of God:
Jesus Christ is Lord! Amen.
Sharing of Joys and Concerns
Lord in your mercy, or Lord, in thanksgiving,
Hear our prayer.
Prayers of the People
The 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 debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
With what shall we come before the Lord? What do we have to give to our Lord who emptied himself, humbled himself to the point ot death, death on a cross, for the sake of the world? While we can never repay God for all God has done for us, we are invited, privileged even, to offer in gratitude gifts that represent our joy, loyalty and love. Let us worship as we give.
As a sign of our desire to be faithful, to hear and heed your teachings, we offer you these gifts, Lord of all. We recognize that all we have comes from you and that you hold nothing back from us. In joyful thanksgiving we give you these earthly resources, trusting that you will use them for your divine purposes. Bless this offering. May it bear witness to our love for you and your love for the world. Amen.
* Hymn 306 Fairest Lord Jesus
* Charge and Benediction
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you now and remain with you always.
* Please stand if you’re able