I forgot to include Dan Wolever in the spoken prayers this week, but he is in the written prayers below.
Grace and Peace to you, this week! I look forward to our outdoor worship again next Sunday, August 2. We will gather under the oaks by the swingset, rather than in the sunny back yard. More information on that will be coming Monday.
Pastor Chris Lee
Order of Worship for July 26, 2020
Prelude: “Be Thou My Vision,” arr. Melody Bober. Pam Edwards, pianist.
Confession and Forgiveness
Opening: ELW 771, “God, Who Stretched the Spangled Heavens,” all 3 verses. Brittany Anderson & Miriam Anderson, vocalists. Pam Edwards, pianist.
Prayer of the Day
Readings: Mike McCalester
First Reading: 1 Kings 3:5-12
Because Solomon did not ask for long life, riches, or the defeat of his enemies, God gave him what he asked for: wisdom to govern the people well.
5At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask what I should give you.” 6And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant my father David, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you; and you have kept for him this great and steadfast love, and have given him a son to sit on his throne today. 7And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. 9Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?”
10It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you.”
Second Reading: Romans 8:26-39
These words celebrate the depth of God’s actions for us. Through Christ’s death for us and the activity of the Spirit praying for us, we are fused to God’s love poured out in Jesus Christ. Nothing, not even death itself, is able to separate us from such incredible divine love.
26The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
28We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. 29For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. 30And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
31What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? 33Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. 35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all day long;
we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Gospel: Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
Throughout Matthew’s gospel, Jesus and his disciples proclaim the good news that “the kingdom of heaven is near!” Here, Jesus offers several brief parables that explore the implications of this announcement for people’s lives.
31[Jesus] put before [the crowds] another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field;32it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
33He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”
44“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; 46on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
47“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; 48when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. 49So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51“Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” 52And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
Sermon: Pastor Chris Lee
Hymn of the Day: ELW 775, “Jesus, Priceless Treasure,” all 3 verses. Brittany Anderson & Miriam Anderson, vocalists. Pam Edwards, pump organ.
Prayers: Mike McCalester
Confident of your care and helped by the Holy Spirit, we pray for the church, the world, and all who are in need.
A brief silence.
Merciful God, your reign is revealed to us in common things: a mustard shrub, a woman baking bread, a fishing net. Help your church witness to the surprising yet common ways you encounter us in daily life. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
When your word is opened, it gives light and understanding. Increase our understanding and awe of your creation; guide the work of scientists and researchers. Treasuring the earth, may we live as grateful and healing caretakers of our home. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
As the birds of the air nest in branches of trees, gather the nations of the world into the welcoming shade of your merciful reign. Direct leaders of nations to build trust with each other and walk in the way of peace. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Your Spirit helps us in our weakness and intercedes for the saints according to your will. Help us when we do not know how to pray. Give comfort to the dying, refuge to the weary, justice to those who are oppressed, and healing to the sick especially Werner Steinbeck, Ami Tucker, Dan Wolever and Grace Gustafson. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
You show us steadfast love and direct us to ask of you what we need. Help this congregation ask boldly for what is most needed, not only for ourselves but for our neighbors. Refresh us with new dreams of being your people in this place and time. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
In you our lives are never lost. Strengthen us by the inspiring witness of your people in all times and places. Embolden our witness now and one day gather us with all your saints in light. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
In the certain hope that nothing can separate us from your love, we offer these prayers to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Sending: ELW 547, “Sent Forth By God’s Blessing,” both verses. Brittany Anderson & Miriam Anderson, vocalists. Pam Edwards, pipe organ.
Image credits: Free images: Mustard flower with seeds, depositphotos.com; First Evangelical Lutheran swingset, photo by Therese Guise; Sourdough from theinspiredhome.com; and Mustard Tree, clipart-library.com
“Be Thou My Vision,” arr. Melody Bober. Used with permission. This arrangement copyright 2000 The FJH Music Company Inc.. International Copyright Secured. Made in the U.S.A.. All Rights Reserved. From Expressively Yours, arr. by Melody Bober.
“God, Who Stretched the Spangled Heavens.” Text: Catherine Cameron, b. 1927. Music: W. Walker, Southern Harmony, 1835. Text copyright 1967 Hope Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Permission for podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“Jesus, Priceless Treasure.” Text: Johann Franck, 1618 – 1677; tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1827 – 1878, alt.. Music: Johann Cruger, 1598 – 1662; arr. hymnal version. Arr. copyright 2006 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Permission for podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“Sent Forth By God’s Blessing.” Text: Omer Westendorf, 1916 – 1997, alt.. Music: Welsh folk tune. Text copyright 1964 World Library Publications. All rights reserved. Permission for podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 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. Reprinted/ streamed with permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS006904. Duplication in any form is prohibited without permission or valid license from the copyright administrator.