PLUMSTED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
November 8, 2020— 23rd Sunday After Pentecost
Welcome and Announcements
* Call to worship
Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
that our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their children; we will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and God’s might, and the wonders that the Lord has done.
* Hymn 457 I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art
Confession and Assurance
Despite God’s clear commandments to us and gracious covenant with us, we often choose to serve the lesser gods of this world. In acknowledgment of our idolatry and failings, resting on the promise of God’s mercy and forgiveness, we confess our sin to God and before one another.
Loving God, as we examine our life together, our impulses and actions, we see all too clearly that our choices do not reflect your commandments. We fail to love you and we neglect to love our neighbors. You tell us to be ready to meet you at any moment, to stay awake to your presence and prepared to do your will. We remain distracted or complacent, disillusioned or paralyzed. We ask for your wisdom. Focus our attention on our Savior that we might see your vision for this world. Forgive our past mistakes so that we will be free to be the salt and light you call and create us to be. Amen.
Be pleased, O God, to deliver me.
O Lord, make haste to help me!
Friends, believe the good news,
through Jesus Christ we are forgiven!
Thanks be to God! Amen.
Prayer for illumination
Alpha and Omega, you are our beginning and our end, nothing in this life or in this world is absent of your love, presence and power. As we quiet our minds and look to set our worries aside even if for a moment, send your Spirit. Give us wisdom. Instruct us. Shape us. Guide us. Send us. May your Word read and proclaimed be embodied in our actions. Amen.
Alas for you who desire the day of the Lord! Why do you want the day of the Lord? It is darkness, not light; as if someone fled from a lion, and was met by a bear; or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall, and was bitten by a snake. Is not the day of the Lord darkness, not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?
I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream.
Matthew 25:1-13“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept.
But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’
But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’
And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut.
Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
* Affirmation of Faith from A Declaration of Faith
God has not taken his people out of the world, but has sent them into the world
to worship God there and serve all humankind. We worship God in the world by standing before the Lord in behalf of all people. Our cries for help and our songs of praise are never for ourselves alone. Worship is no retreat from the world; it is part of our mission.
We serve humankind by discerning what God is doing in the world and joining God in that work. We risk disagreement and error when we try to say what God is doing here and now. But we find guidance in God’s deeds in the past and in God’s promises for the future, as they are witnessed to in Scripture. We affirm that the Lord is at work, especially in events and movements that free people by the gospel and advance justice, compassion and peace.
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.
We commit to serving God. All other loyalties are penultimate. As a sign of our desire to follow Jesus Christ, we give to God a portion of what God has entrusted us to steward.
Almighty God, when our fear of tomorrow threatens to overwhelm us, help us to remember that we serve you and you are omnipotent, loving and abounding in steadfast kindness. As we offer you these gifts, we ask for the wisdom to fill our lamps with the oil that enables us to be the light of the world. May this offering enable others to know your near and good presence. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
* Hymn 11 O Lord, How Shall I Meet You?
* Charge and Benediction
* Please stand if you’re able