Order of Worship for September 20, 2020.
Prelude: ELW 659- “Will You Let Me Be Your Servant,” verses 1 & 3. Brittany and Miriam Anderson, vocalists. Pam Edwards, pianist.
Opening Hymn: ELW 733- “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” all verses.
Prayer of the Day
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.
First Reading: Jonah 3:10–4:11
After Jonah’s short sermon in 3:4, the Ninevites all repented and God decided to spare the city. Jonah objected to this and became even more angry when God ordered a worm to destroy a plant that was providing shade. The book ends with a question that challenges any who are not ready to forgive: You, Jonah, are all worked up about a bush, but shouldn’t I be concerned about a hundred and twenty thousand Ninevites?
10When God saw what [the people of Ninevah] did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.
4:1But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. 2He prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. 3And now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” 4And the Lord said, “Is it right for you to be angry?” 5Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, waiting to see what would become of the city.
6The Lord God appointed a bush, and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush. 7But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the bush, so that it withered. 8When the sun rose, God prepared a sultry east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint and asked that he might die. He said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”
9But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?” And he said, “Yes, angry enough to die.” 10Then the Lord said, “You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labor and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?”
Psalm: Psalm 145:1-8
The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Ps. 145:8)1I will exalt you, my | God and king,
and bless your name forever and ever.
2Every day will I bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.
3Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised!
There is no end to your greatness.
4One generation shall praise your works to another
and shall declare your power.
5I will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty
and all your marvelous works.
6They shall tell of the might of your wondrous acts,
and I will recount your greatness.
7They shall publish the remembrance of your great goodness;
they shall sing joyfully of your righteousness.
8The Lord is gracious and full of compassion,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Second Reading: Philippians 1:21-30
Paul writes to the Philippians from prison. Though he is uncertain about the outcome of his imprisonment, he is committed to the ministry of the gospel and calls on the Philippians to live lives that reflect and enhance the gospel mission.
21For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. 23I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; 24but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, 26so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.
27Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, 28and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. 29For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well—30since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
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.
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.”
Sermon: Pastor Chris Lee
Hymn of the Day: ELW 358- “Great God, Your Love Has Called Us,” all verses.
Prayers of Intercession
Drawn together in the compassion of God, we pray for the church, the world, and all those in need.
Generous God, you make the last first, and the first last. Where this gospel challenges the church, equip it for its works of service. Strengthen those who suffer for Christ (especially). Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Sun and wind, bushes and worms, cattle and great cities—nothing in creation is outside your concern, mighty God. In your mercy, tend to it all. Give us a spirit of generosity toward all you have made. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Where we find envy and create enemies, you provide enough for all. Bring peace to places of conflict and violence (especially). Inspire leaders with creativity and wisdom. Bless the work of negotiators, peacekeepers, and development workers. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Reveal yourself to all in need as you are gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, ready to relent from punishing. Accompany judges and lawyers, victims of crime and those serving sentences. Give fruitful labor and a livelihood to those seeking work. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Even beyond our expectations, you choose to give generously. Grant life, health, and courage to all who are in need (especially). Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
We praise you for the generations that have declared your power to us. Give us faithfulness to follow them, living for Christ, until you call us to join them in the joyful song around his throne. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
All these things and whatever else you see that we need, we entrust to your mercy; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer
Communion Hymn: “Prayer of St. Francis” (Make Me a Channel of Your Peace). Brittany Anderson, soloist. Pam Edwards, pianist.
Prayer after Communion
We give you thanks, gracious God,
that you have once again fed us with food beyond compare,
the body and blood of Christ.
Lead us from this place, nourished and forgiven,
into your beloved vineyard
to wipe away the tears of all who hunger and thirst,
guided by the example of the same Jesus Christ
and led by the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit,
bless you and lead you into the way of truth and life.
Sending Hymn: ELW 537- “On Our Way Rejoicing,” all verses.
Postlude: ELW 535- “Hallelujah! We Sing Your Praises,” South African. Song leaders: Brittany and Miriam Anderson. Pianist: Pam Edwards.
Announcements, not included in the video include: next week, September 27, worship will be provided online via email, Facebook and website. Thank you for your consistency in your giving despite us not meeting in person. Our fall Financial Stewardship will be beginning shortly. Look for information in the newsletter and mail soon. Gospel Animals will be part of our Celebration of 150 years of ministry as a congregation. Our celebrations are not able to happen as planned but we will be able to celebrate in different ways! Gospel Animals will be presented as a recorded Musical Dinner Theatre. DVD’s and a meal will be available for in-home entertainment! Reservation forms will be coming your way soon.
Image credits: God Sends Jonah to Nineveh, freebibleimages.org; Nineveh, mtnmovers.wordpress.com; and Jonah & the Whale, allthingsclipart.com
“Will You Let Me Be Your Servant.” Text: Richard Gillard, b. 1953. Music: Richard Gillard; arr. Betty Pulkingham, b. 1928. Text and music copyright 1977 Scripture In Song, admin. Integrity Music. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI with license #11114590.
“Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” Text: Thomas O. Chisholm, 1866 – 1960. Music: William M. Runyan, 1870 – 1957. Text and music copyright 1923, ren. 1951 Hope Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI with license #3373661.
“Great God, Your Love Has Called Us.” Text: Brian A. Wren, b. 1936. Music: Norman Cocker, 1889 – 1953. Text copyright 1977, rev. 1995 Hope Publishing Company. Music copyright Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Permission to print and podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“Prayer of St. Francis” (Make Me a Channel of Your Peace). Sebastian Temple. Words and Music – ©1967 OCP. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“On Our Way Rejoicing.” Text: John S.B. Monsell, 1811 – 1875, alt. Music: Frances R. Havergal, 1836 – 1879. Public domain.
“Hallelujah! We Sing Your Praises.” (Haleluya! Pelo tsa rona.)Text: South African; tr. Freedom Is Coming, 1984. Music: South African; arr. Freedom Is Coming. Tr. and arr. copyright 1984 Utryck, admin. Walton Music Corp.. 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.