September 24, 2023 † 11:00 AM
17th Sunday after Pentecost †
Whether this is your first time with us or your one thousand and first, we are glad that the Spirit has drawn you here today! Visitors are invited to sign the Guest Book near the front doors of the church and take home a welcome brochure to learn more about us.
The late arriving workers based on Matthew 20:1-16
Image by JESUS MAFA
GATHERING Great is the Lord
Great is the Lord, He is holy and just; by His power we trust in His love
Great is the Lord, He is faithful and true; by His mercy He proves He is love
Great is the Lord, and worthy of glory, great is the Lord and worthy of praise
Great is the Lord, now lift up your voice, now lift up your voice
Great is the Lord, great is the Lord
Great are You Lord, and worthy of glory; great are you Lord, and worthy of praise
Great are You Lord, I lift up my voice; I lift up my voice
Great are You Lord, great are You Lord.
CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
All may make the sign of the cross, the sign that is marked at baptism, as the presiding minister begins.
Blessed be God,
the one who forms us,
☩ Jesus who bears the cross,
the Spirit who makes our joy complete.
Let us come before God in humility, confessing our sin.
Silence is kept for reflection.
Steadfast and faithful God,
you have revealed the ways of justice, yet we fail to follow you.
We are overwhelmed by the world’s violence and suffering.
We are afraid to risk what we have for the sake of others.
For the harm we have caused, known and unknown, forgive us.
For the unjust demands we place on ourselves, on others, and on your creation, forgive us.
For the ways we turn away from you and our neighbor, forgive us.
Lead us back to you and set us on the right path;
in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Beloved in Christ,
God’s justice stretches beyond all understanding.
God’s compassion is beyond compare.
In Jesus, God is always making a new way for us.
In ☩ Christ, you are already and always forgiven.
CONGREGATION SONG Give Thanks
Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ His Son
And now let the weak say I am strong, let the poor say I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us
Give thanks, give thanks!
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Let us pray Almighty and eternal God, you show perpetual lovingkindness to us your servants. Because we cannot rely on our own abilities, grant us your merciful judgment, and train us to embody the generosity of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song
FIRST READING Exodus 16:2-15
Faced with hunger in the wilderness, the Israelites longed for life back in Egypt and wished they had never left. Then God miraculously and graciously gave them quails and manna to eat.
A reading from Exodus.
2The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
4Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. 5On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.” 6So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?” 8And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.”
9Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, ‘Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.’ ” 10And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11The Lord spoke to Moses and said, 12“I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’ ”
13In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.”
Word of God, word of life. Thanks be to God.
CHILDREN’S MESSAGE Pastor Jeff
GOSPEL Matthew 20:1-16
Jesus tells a parable about God’s generosity, challenging the common assumption that God rewards people according to what they have earned or deserve.
The Holy Gospel according to Matthew.
Jesus said to the disciples: 1“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 3When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; 4and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. 5When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. 6And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ 7They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ 8When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ 9When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. 10Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. 11And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
SERMON Pastor Jeff
CONGREGATION SONG Take My Life that I May Be
Take my life that I may be; consecrated, Lord to Thee
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise
Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee
Take my voice and let it soar, always only for my Lord
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from Thee
Take my will and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by
the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died,
and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and
he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
O, Lord Hear My Prayer Berthier
O Lord, hear my prayer, O Lord, hear my prayer: when I call answer me.
O Lord, hear my prayer, O Lord, hear my prayer, come and listen to me.
Remembering God’s faithful and generous work, we pray for the church, creation, and the needs of our neighbors.
God who is patient and merciful, teach your church to invite and value all. Lead us to cultivate and nurture the challenging blessing of community. Inspire your church to choose justice and compassion over judgment.
God who sends the wind and the sun, you know every worm and bush by name. Help us remember that even the humblest parts of creation are precious to you. Show us how best to heal the earth and care for its creatures.
God who is ready to release the captives, impart your compassionate wisdom and humility to legislators, judges, members of the military, law enforcement or first responders. Give them courage to serve their communities and build systems that liberate.
God who saves, direct your people who wander from you in times of despair or fear. Protect the rights of those who are oppressed or incarcerated, and shield your children from disasters. Encourage all who are sick or in pain, especially Carolyn, Paul, Michael, Maria, Bill, Mary, Charlie, Vontavian, Jim Sr., Barbara, Hazel, Benjamin, Gina, Garrett, Hope, and all those affected by addiction or mental illness.
God who is slow to anger, assure us of the goodness of Jesus so that we have the same confidence as Paul in prison. Help us to see your abundance poured out through our diverse vocations, in service to the community in this congregation and beyond its doors.
God who wipes away all tears, we give thanks for those you have called to the kingdom of heaven. Along with Joe Taxiera, we remember his wife Phyllis with our altar flowers. Just as she is united with you, we know we are united with all the saints in your spirit, holding us firm as we labor in this life and look to the life to come.
Remember us according to your steadfast love as we offer these and the prayers of our heart, trusting in your compassion made known through Jesus Christ. Amen.
The peace of Christ be with you all. And also with you.
GIFTS Your Love Never Fails Newsboys
(Gifts may be made online via debit or credit card using the QR code at the end of this bulletin)
God feeds us with the presence of Jesus Christ
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.
SANCTUS Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy, holy, holy Lord; Lord God of power and might
Heaven and earth are full of Your glory, hosanna in the highest
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
THANKSGIVING AT THE TABLE
Welcoming God, you call us home to your table.
As we gather, we tell the stories of our family of faith, remembering how their journeys with you connect to our own, joining together with creation in a reflection of grace and courage.
We remember how your Spirit spoke through the prophets, blazing a trail toward liberation and new life. We remember how faithful leaders nurtured the gifts of their communities, always seeking to understand and share your Word. We remember how you sent your beloved Son to live among us, and through his death and resurrection, claimed us as beloved children too.
In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;
broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.
Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying:
This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the
forgiveness of sin.
Do this for the remembrance of me.
And so we remember. Grant that in telling of this sacred story, in the breaking of bread and
the communion with one another, we are opened to your Spirit. Bring us to share this holy meal, to encounter your love face-to-face. Amen.
Let us pray as Jesus taught us, each in the words or language of our choice.
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 trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen
INVITATION TO COMMUNION
Bring your full, authentic selves to the grace of this table; for here, God promises to meet you with the fullness of love!
We believe that he is truly present in this sacrament.
Come to the front, where bread is placed in your hand (you can request a gluten-free wafer),
and where you receive wine by taking a cup from the tray
(the cups in the center contain white grape juice).
If you do not wish to commune, you are welcome to come forward and receive a blessing.
If you need to receive communion in your seat, simply notify an usher.
No one is too young to receive this sacrament, though some families wish to give their children some instruction before they take their first communion. If a young child accompanies you, please indicate to the pastor whether they should receive bread or a blessing.
COMMUNION SONG The Table Chris Tomlin
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord’s face shine upon you with grace and mercy.
The Lord look upon you with favor and ☩ give you peace. Amen.
SENDING He is Exalted
He is exalted, the King is exalted on high; I will praise Him
He is exalted, forever exalted and I will praise His name
He is the Lord, forever His truth shall reign
Heaven and earth rejoice in His holy name
He is exalted, the King is exalted on high
He is exalted, the King is exalted on high!
Go in peace. Proclaim God’s love! Thanks be to God!
Thank you to those who helped with worship today:
Worship Assistant Stephanie
Ushers Pam & Josh
New Direction Praise Team Randy Gomez, Michelle Grim Kati, Lawrence Kati,
Linda Frederico & Sam Augustus
Altar Care Holly & Linda
From Sundays and Seasons.com. © 2022 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #27028. New Revised Standard Version Bible, ©1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. CCLI#1313879. OneLicense # A-716488 September 24th – Band-led 17th Pentecost.docx
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