August 30, 2020— 13th Sunday After Pentecost
Welcome and Announcements Rev. Phyllis Zoon
* Call to worship (Psalm 105:1-6)
O give thanks to the Lord, call on God’s name,
make known God’s deeds among the peoples.
Sing to the Lord, sing praises to God;
tell of all God’s wonderful works.
Glory in God’s holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
Seek the LORD and God’s strength;
seek God’s presence continually.
Remember the wonderful works the Lord has done, God’s miracles, and the judgments the Lord uttered,
O offspring of God’s servant Abraham,
children of Jacob, the Lord’s chosen ones.
Confession and Assurance
Siblings in Christ, we have not always walked with integrity or trusted the Lord without wavering. Our love of God and neighbor has lacked zeal and at times we have done the very things we hate. We need God’s grace, God’s mercy and God’s transforming power. Confident in God’s promise to be with us always, we boldly confess our sin and seek to be made new in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Lord, you instruct us to hate what is evil and hold fast to that which is good. You tell us to love genuinely, ardently, fully. You teach us to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice, and yet we neglect those who suffer and resent the successes of others. We fail to honor one another and fall easily into judgment, anger and revenge. In your abundant mercy, break our hearts of stone and put a new and right spirit within us. Grant us the eyes to see our own sin and the strength of character to be gentle with others. Do not let our Christian witness be tarnished by our inability to admit our mistakes, make amends and alter our ways. Forgive us, Lord, and set us free to follow you more closely, even to the cross. Amen.
We seek the Lord’s strength and presence, knowing that those who seek will find. We believe that Jesus came to save sinners. We rejoice in the truth that we are forgiven and made new, freed to live a new life in Christ. Thanks be to God!
Prayer for illumination
I AM, you call out to us by name, wanting to speak to us, to instruct and send us. Help us to notice your near presence, so that we will stop to listen for your voice. In your goodness, grant us yet again a holy encounter that transforms us and, in turn, relieves the suffering of your people. Amen.
Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.” But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’“ God also said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’: This is my name forever, and this my title for all generations.
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? “For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
Affirmation of Faith (from “A Brief Statement of Faith)
In life and in death we belong to God. Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel, whom alone we worship and serve.
We trust in God, whom Jesus called Abba Father. In sovereign love God created the world good and makes everyone equally in God’s image, male and female, of every race and people, to live as one community.
But we rebel against God; we hide from our Creator. Ignoring God’s commandments, we violate the image of God in others and ourselves, accept lies as truth, exploit neighbor and nature, and threaten death to the planet entrusted to our care. We deserve God’s condemnation. Yet God acts with justice and mercy to redeem creation. In everlasting love, the God of Abraham and Sarah chose a covenant people to bless all families of the earth. Hearing their cry, God delivered the children of Israel from the house of bondage.
Loving us still, God makes us heirs with Christ of the covenant. Like a mother who will not forsake her nursing child, like a father who runs to welcome the prodigal home, God is faithful still. With believers in every time and place, we rejoice that nothing in life or in death can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Sharing of Joys and Concerns
Lord in your mercy, or Lord, in thanksgiving,
Hear our prayer.
Prayers of the People and The Lord’s Prayer
Freely we have received, freely let us give. With joyous and generous hearts, let us offer to God a portion of what God has entrusted to us. Let us worship as we give!
Receive these gifts, gracious God, bless them and distribute them in ways that reveal to the world your loving kindness and steadfast love. In a season of great upheaval and much uncertainty, may the giving of our resources and the sharing of our lives bring hope, comfort and relief to those most in need of good news. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
* Charge and Benediction
What does the Lord require of you? Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with your God.
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.