PLUMSTED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
September 13, 2020— 15th Sunday After Pentecost
Welcome and Announcements
* Call to Worship (Psalm 103:1-5)
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless God’s holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all God’s benefits —
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Confession and Pardon
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord will not always accuse,
nor will God be angered forever.
God does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
Trusting this promise, we boldly confess our sin to God and before one another.
Lord Christ, you declare: Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. You instruct us to forgive seventy-seven times, to remember God’s grace toward us and extend it to one another. Despite your clear word to refrain from judging others, we pronounce others guilty and unworthy of our compassion. We quarrel over opinions and sow division when you call us to cultivate relationships and demonstrate our unity in Christ. Instead of responding to your grace with gratitude, we attempt to limit the love you command us to share. Forgive our hard-heartedness. Expand our circles of concern. Enliven our communities with your boundary- breaking, reconciling Spirit. Amen.
For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is the Lord’s steadfast love toward those who fear God; as far as the east is from the west, so far the Lord removes our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion for his children, so the God has compassion for those who fear the Lord.
Friends, believe the good news, through Jesus Christ we are forgiven!
Prayer for Illumination
Lord, we come to this time overwhelmed with distractions, consumed with busyness, occupied by worries and unsure of what to do next. And yet, we are here, yearning for a word from you, wanting a sense of your presence, seeking your wisdom for this time and place. Send your Spirit to focus our attention and hone our hearing in order that we might hear what you are saying to your church. Amen.
Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, “What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?” So they approached Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this instruction before he died, ‘Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.’ Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, “We are here as your slaves.” But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.
Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Affirmation of Faith (Colossians 1:15-20)
Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible.
All things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
He is head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn of the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. 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
We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. Knowing this truth we hold nothing back from the God to whom we belong, offering with thanksgiving a portion of what God has entrusted us to steward.
Generous God, we worry that we cannot possibly give you what you deserve, that despite our desire to be faithful, we will fail and fall short. In your grace, you remind us that we need not, that we cannot, repay you for your mercy and goodness toward us, but that you accept and use whatever we offer in gratitude. Bless these gifts given as a symbol of our loyalty and love for you. Amen.
* Charge and Benediction
As God’s own, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness and patience, forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you, and crown all these things with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.