Order of Worship for September 13, 2020
Prelude: ELW 642- “Ubi Caritas et amor.” (Where True Charity and Love Abide). Brittany & Miriam Anderson, vocalists. Pam Edwards, piano.
Confession and Forgiveness
Opening Hymn: ELW 834- “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise,” all verses. Brittany & Miriam Anderson, vocalists. Pam Edwards, pipe organ.
Prayer of the Day:
O Lord God, merciful judge, you are the inexhaustible fountain of forgiveness. Replace our hearts of stone with hearts that love and adore you, that we may delight in doing your will, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
First Reading: Genesis 50:15-21
After Jacob’s death the brothers of Joseph begged for forgiveness for the crime they had done against him. You intended to do me harm, Joseph said, but God used this as an opportunity to do good and save many lives.
15Realizing 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?” 16So they approached Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this instruction before he died, 17‘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. 18Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, “We are here as your slaves.” 19But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? 20Even 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. 21So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.
Second Reading: Romans 14:1-12
This Christian community has significant struggles with diversity. Here Paul helps us understand that despite different practices in worship and personal piety, we do not judge one another. All Christians belong to the Lord Jesus Christ who died for all of us and will judge each of us.
1Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions. 2Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. 3Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. 4Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
5Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. 6Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honor of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God.
7We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. 8If 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. 9For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
10Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11For it is written,
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall give praise to God.”
12So then, each of us will be accountable to God.
Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35
When Peter asks about the limits of forgiveness, Jesus responds with a parable that suggests human forgiveness should mirror the unlimited mercy of God.
21Peter came and said to [Jesus], “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” 22Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.
23“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25and, 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. 26So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 28But 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.’ 29Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. 31When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ 34And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. 35So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Sermon: Pastor Chris Lee
Hymn of the Day: ELW 606- “Our Father, We Have Wandered.” Brittany & Miriam Anderson, vocalists. Pam Edwards, pump organ.
The Lord’s Prayer
Sending Hymn: ELW 665- “Rise, Shine, You People!” all verses. Brittany & Miriam Anderson, vocalists. Pam Edwards, pipe organ.
Image credits: Free images: Forgiveness, ziongwinner.blogspot.com and The Practice of Forgiveness, ministrymatters.com
“Ubi Caritas et amor.” (Where True Charity and Love Abide). Text: Latin antiphon, 9th century.; Taize Community; tr. With One Voice. Music: Jacques Berthier, 1923 – 1994. Text and music copyright 1979 Les Presses de Taize, admin, GIA Publications, Inc.. Tr. copyright 1995 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise.” Text: Walter Chalmers Smith, 1824 – 1908, alt. Music: Welsh traditional; arr. John Roberts, 1807 – 1876. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“Our Father, We Have Wandered.” Text: Kevin Nichols, 1929 – 2006. Music: Hans Leo Hassler, 1564 – 1612; arr. Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685 – 1750. Text copyright 1981 International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc.. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“Rise, Shine, You People!” Text: Ronald A. Klug, b. 1939, alt. Music: Dale Wood, 1934 – 2003. Text and music copyright 1974 Augsburg Publishing House. All rights reserved. Permission to 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.