October 4, 2020—18th Sunday After Pentecost
World Communion Sunday
* Call to worship
The heavens are telling the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the Creator’s handiwork.
They have no speech, they use no words,
yet their witness goes our through all the earth.
Let us join the chorus of creation;
let us raise our voices in resounding praise.
Let the words of our mouths
and the songs of our hearts
be pleasing to the Lord!
* Hymn 263 Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
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.
God of the Covenant, long ago you gave us the law to guide us in the ways of righteousness. When we wandered, you called prophets to beckon us toward faithfulness. In the fullness of time, you sent your Son to heal our brokenness and draw us close to you. But, time and time again, we reject your gift of grace. We bow before the false gods of our world and forget your command to serve the least of these. We fill our days with self-serving agendas or trivial tasks and neglect to nurture our relationship with you.
Forgive us, Lord. Come to us again, we pray, and set us on right paths. Root out habits that separate us from you and sow within us seeds of mercy and love so that we might produce the fruits of your kingdom.
God refuses to give up on us. God restores us. God sent the only Son to save us. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God through Christ Jesus our Lord. Friends, believe the good news, through Jesus Christ we are forgiven! Thanks be to God!
Prayer for illumination
Your law, O Lord, is perfect. Your commandments clear, your decrees sure. You do not leave us in the dark to guess your will, but instead send the light no darkness can overcome to reveal your way and illumine our understanding. Send you Spirit so that we will have the ears to hear what you are saying to your church. Amen.
Scripture Matthew 21:33-46
“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. Finally, he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.” So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.”
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures:
‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’?
“Therefore, I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.”
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.
Expressions of gratitude for Mark Emery
Sharing of Joys and Concerns
Lord in your mercy, or Lord, in thanksgiving,
Hear our prayer.
Prayers of the People
Knowing Jesus Christ surpasses all else. Knowing and being known by Jesus Christ reorders our priorities and shapes all our actions. Recognizing this truth, we give our offerings with joy and in thanksgiving for God’s outpouring of goodness and mercy to us.
Gracious God, you create and call us, feed and sustain us, forgive and redeem us. We can never return to you that which you deserve. We pray to honor and glorify you with these gifts and with our entire lives. We present these offerings as a tangible way of showing our love for and loyalty to you. As tenants in your vineyard we rejoice in being called to work with you in sharing your abundant harvest with the entire world you so love. Amen.
Invitation to the Lord’s Table
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.
. . .
Therefore, with all creation we sing your praise:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is the one who comes your name. Hosanna in the highest.
. . .
Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
. . .
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. They 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.
Breaking of the Bread
Communion of the People
Prayer after Communion
Thank you, gracious God, for giving us bread for the journey of these forty days. As we travel on through the wilderness, help us to share your grace with others and draw us ever closer to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
* Hymn 268 God Who Stretched the Spangled Heavens
* Charge and Benediction
* Please stand if you’re able
Mrs. Gail Miller, Organist; Ruling Elder Carol Robb, Worship Leader; Rev. Phyllis Zoon, Pastor