Blessings to you, today, siblings in Christ!
Special thanks and praise for the choir leadership for the prelude today!
And thank you to Brittany for her song leadership this morning.
Pastor Chris Lee
Order of Worship for Sunday, September 5, 2021:
Prelude: TFF 147 “We Shall Not Be Moved,” ; Senior Choir.
James tells us to stop showing favoritism in the assembly, treating the rich visitor with more honor than the poor one. Jesus himself seems to show partiality in his first response to the Syrophoenician woman in today’s gospel. Was he testing her faith in saying Gentiles don’t deserve the goods meant for God’s children? Or was he speaking out of his human worldview, but transcended those limits when she took him by surprise with her reply? Either way, the story tells us that God shows no partiality. Everyone who brings a need to Jesus is received with equal honor as a child and heir.
Confession and Forgiveness
Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God whose teaching is life, whose presence is sure, and whose love is endless.
Let us confess our sins to the one who welcomes us with an open heart.
God our comforter:
like lost sheep, we have gone astray. We gaze upon abundance and see scarcity. We turn our faces away from injustice and oppression. We exploit the earth with our apathy and greed. Free us from our sin, gracious God. Listen when we call out to you for help. Lead us by your love to love our neighbors as ourselves.
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. By the gift of grace in ☩ Christ Jesus, God makes you righteous. Receive with glad hearts the forgiveness of all your sins.
Opening Hymn: ELW 519- “Open Your Ears, O Faithful People,” both verses.
Prayer of the Day
Gracious God, throughout the ages you transform sickness into health and death into life. Open us to the power of your presence, and make us a people ready to proclaim your promises to the whole world, through Jesus Christ, our healer and Lord.
First Reading: Isaiah 35:4-7a
These verses are a word of hope to the exiles in Babylon. Isaiah 34 portrays God’s vengeance on Edom, Israel’s age-old enemy, which makes the path from Babylon to Zion safe for the exiles’ return. The desert itself will flow with water to give drink to the returning exiles.
4Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
He will come and save you.”
5Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6then the lame shall leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
7athe burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water.
Second Reading: James 2:1-17
Faithful Christians do not show partiality to the rich and powerful of the world, especially at the expense of the poor and weak. Likewise, faith does not pay mere lip service to God’s will. Instead, a living Christian faith expresses itself in acts of compassion and mercy for those in need.
1My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? 2For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, 3and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” 4have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? 5Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? 6But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? 7Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?
8You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 9But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. [11For the one who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery but if you murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.]
14What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
Gospel: Mark 7:24-37
In Mark’s gospel, encounters with women usually signify turning points in Jesus’ ministry. Here, a conversation with a Syrophoenician woman marks the beginning of his mission to the Gentiles.
24[Jesus] set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice,25but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. 26Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” 28But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.” 30So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
31Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. 34Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
Sermon: Pastor Chris Lee
Hymn of the Day: ELW 776- “What God Ordains is Good Indeed,” verses 1, 2, & 4.
Prayers of Intercession
Made children and heirs of God’s promise, we pray for the church, the world, and all in need.
Holy One, you bring your people together in worship. Enliven your church. Guide all evangelists, preachers, prophets, and missionaries who seek to share your love through word and deed. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
You provide water for thirsty ground and sunshine to feed hungry plants. Bless all who advocate for healthy forests, unpolluted air, and clean waterways. Inspire all people to show care for the world you have made. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
You show no partiality. Increase justice in all nations. Encourage leaders and governments to work with one another for the good of our common world. Especially as we celebrate Labor Day, unite us in seeking the health, safety, and dignity of all. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
You accompany those who are most in need. Shelter all fleeing violence or persecution, protect any who are in danger, and sustain them through uncertain and unstable times especially those dealing with natural disasters. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
We pray for all who are in need. Come quickly to help all who are sick and suffering especially Shelley Collis; Barbara Witt; Barb Martin; Karl, Linda, and Creed Kasselman; Sarah, Jadyn, and P.J. Esping; Deb Schafer; Alivia DeWitt; Bill and Virginia Thorpe; Richard Hotchkiss; Marijane Cook; Nancy and Bob Bosco; Charysse and Adean Heritage and Family; Randy McIntyre; Karen Bemowski; Marilyn Hubbard; Helen Schubert, Art Renfro Jr.; Bonnie Sellers; and all those we name before you aloud or in our hearts. Give them tangible signs of your steadfast love. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
You support the work of your disciples. Continue to nurture the leadership and ministries of this congregation. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
You embrace all who have died in the faith and brought them into your glorious presence. We thank you for their example and rejoice in their lives. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Receive these prayers, O God, and those in our hearts known only to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Lord’s Prayer
Communion: ELW 612- “Healer of Our Every Ill.”
Communion: ELW 617- “We Come to You for Healing, Lord.”
Prayer after Communion
Jesus, Bread of life, we receive from your table more than we could ever ask. As you nourish us in this meal we have received, strengthen us to love the world with your own life. In your name we pray.
The blessing of God, who provides for us, feeds us, and journeys with us, ☩ be upon you now and forever.
Sending Hymn: ELW 722- “O Christ, Your Heart, Compassionate,”all 4 verses.
Go in peace. Christ is with you.
Thanks be to God.
Postlude: ELW 726- “Light Dawns On a Weary World.”
Facebook link to Worship Service September 5, 2021:
Image credits: Deaf Man Healed, crossroadsinitiative.com and James 2 blogspot.com
Brittany Anderson, Vocalist
Pam Edwards: Music Director/ Pianist-Organist
“We Shall Not Be Moved.” Text: African American spiritual. Music: African American spiritual. Public domain.
“Open Your Ears, O Faithful People.” Text: Hasidic traditional; Willard F. Jabusch, b. 1930, English version. Music: Hasidic tune. Text copyright 1966, 1982 Willard F. Jabusch, admin. OCP Publications. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“What God Ordains is Good Indeed.” Text: Samuel Rodigast, 1649 – 1708; tr. Martin A. Seltz, b. 1951. Music: Severus Gastorius, 1646 – 1682. Text copyright 2000 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“Healer of Our Every Ill.” Text: Marty Haugen, b. 1950. Music: Marty Haugen. Text and music copyright 1987 GIA Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“We Come to You for Healing, Lord.” Text: Herman G. Stuempfle Jr., b. 1923. Music: Hugh Wilson, 1764 – 1824. Text copyright 2002 GIA Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“O Christ, Your Heart, Compassionate.” Text: Herman G. Stuempfle Jr., b. 1923. Music: German melody, 18th cent.; adapt. X.L. Hartig, Melodien zum Mainzer Gesangbuche, 1833. Text copyright 2000 GIA Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“Light Dawns On a Weary World.” Text: Mary Louise Bringle, b. 1953. Music: William P. Rowan, b. 1951. Text copyright 2002 GIA Publications, Inc.. Music copyright 2000 William P. Rowan, admin. GIA Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2021 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.