Sunday Worship Service: 4 October 2020

Order of Worship for October 4, 2020

Prelude: ELW 796- “How Firm a Foundation,” Early American. Pam Edwards, pianist.

Confession and Forgiveness:

Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God,

who creates, redeems, and sustains us and all of creation.


Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.

Faithful God,

have mercy on us.

We confess that we are captive to sin

and cannot free ourselves.

We turn from your loving embrace

and go our own ways.

We pass judgment on one another

before examining ourselves.

We place our own needs before those of our neighbors.

We keep your gift of salvation to ourselves.

Make us humble, cast away our transgressions,

and turn us again to life in you

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

God hears the cries of all who call out in need,

and through his death and resurrection,

Christ has made us his own.

Hear the truth that God proclaims:

Your sins are forgiven in the name of ☩ Jesus Christ.

Led by the Holy Spirit, live in freedom and newness

to do God’s work in the world.


Opening Hymn: ELW 654- “The Church’s One Foundation,” verses 1 and 4.

Prayer of the Day:

Beloved God, from you come all things that are good. Lead us by the inspiration of your Spirit to know those things that are right, and by your merciful guidance, help us to do them, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.


First Reading: Isaiah 5:1-7

The prophet sings a sad, parable-like love song about the relationship between God and Israel. In this song Israel is compared to a promising vineyard. Despite God’s loving care, the vineyard that is Israel has brought forth “wild grapes” of injustice and distress, when fine grapes of justice and righteousness were expected.

1Let me sing for my beloved
  my love-song concerning his vineyard:
 My beloved had a vineyard
  on a very fertile hill.
2He dug it and cleared it of stones,
  and planted it with choice vines;
 he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
  and hewed out a wine vat in it;
 he expected it to yield grapes,
  but it yielded wild grapes.

3And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem
  and people of Judah,
 judge between me
  and my vineyard.
4What more was there to do for my vineyard
  that I have not done in it?
 When I expected it to yield grapes,
  why did it yield wild grapes?

5And now I will tell you
  what I will do to my vineyard.
 I will remove its hedge,
  and it shall be devoured;
 I will break down its wall,
  and it shall be trampled down.
6I will make it a waste;
  it shall not be pruned or hoed,
  and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns;
 I will also command the clouds
  that they rain no rain upon it.

7For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts
  is the house of Israel,
 and the people of Judah
  are his pleasant planting;
 he expected justice,
  but saw bloodshed;
  but heard a cry!

Psalm: Psalm 80:7-15

7Restore us, O God of hosts;
  let your face shine upon us, and we shall be saved.
8You have brought a vine out of Egypt;
  you cast out the nations and planted it.
9You cleared the ground for it;
  it took root and filled the land.
10The mountains were covered by its shadow
  and the towering cedar trees by its boughs. 
11You stretched out its tendrils to the sea
  and its branches to the river.
12Why have you broken down its wall,
  so that all who pass by pluck off its grapes?
13The wild boar of the forest has ravaged it,
  and the beasts of the field have grazed upon it.
14Turn now, O God of hosts,
  look down from heaven;
15behold and tend this vine;
  preserve what your right hand has planted. 

Second Reading: Philippians 3:4b-14

Paul reviews some of his supposed credentials, which no longer have any bearing in comparison to the right relationship he has been given through the death of Christ. The power of Christ’s resurrection motivates him to press on toward the ultimate goal, eternal life with Christ.

Paul writes: 4bIf anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.
7Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
12Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

Gospel: Matthew 21:33-46

Jesus tells a parable to the religious leaders who are plotting his death, revealing that their plans will, ironically, bring about the fulfillment of scripture.

Jesus said to the people: 33“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 34When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. 35But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. 37Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.’ 39So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.”
42Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures:
 ‘The stone that the builders rejected
  has become the cornerstone;
 this was the Lord’s doing,
  and it is amazing in our eyes’?
43Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. 44The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.”
45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 46They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.

Sermon: Pastor Chris Lee

Hymn of the Day: ELW 727- “Lord Christ, When First You Came to Earth,” verses 1 and 4.

Prayers of Intercession and Lord’s Prayer:

With confidence in God’s grace and mercy, let us pray for the church, the world, and all those in need.

Holy God, you call us to work for peace and justice in your vineyard. Refresh the church with your life, that we may bear fruit through work and service. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Thank you for the abundant harvest of the earth. Bless and care for those whose hands bring the fruits of the earth to the tables of all who hunger. May we be inspired by your servants who cared deeply for your creation especially Francis of Assisi, whom we commemorate today. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Curb the impulses of greed and pride that lead us to take advantage of others. Grant that world leaders especially President Trump, the World Health Organization, and the US Senate, seek the fruits of the kingdom for the good and welfare of all people. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Sustain all who suffer with the promise of new life. Assured of your presence, heal our pain and suffering, and equip us to embrace all bodies aching for wholeness of mind, body, and soul. We call to mind those who are struggling today especially Sky Stoutt, Jeanna LaRue, Louise Larson, Lauren Bloomquist, Dan Wolever, and Karen Bemowski. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

We pray for all managers in our community and for all who seek employment. Give hope and a future to those who lack meaningful work, those who have been marginalized or abused in the workplace, and those who desire new opportunities. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Thank you for the saints who teach us to live faithfully in your vineyard especially Bernice Wille, who was laid to rest on September 26th and Betty Westensee, who was laid to rest on October 2nd. May our chorus join theirs until our labor is complete. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Listen as we call on you, O God, and enfold in your loving arms all for whom we pray, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Lord’s Prayer

Communion Hymn: ELW 595- “Jesus Loves Me!,” instrumental.

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. Amen.

Sending Hymn: ELW 538- “The Lord Now Sends Us Forth,” (Enviado soy de Dios) all verses.

Postlude: ELW 538 The Lord Now Sends Us Forth, Anonymous, Central America.

Hymn leader: Mike McCalester

Worship from October 4, 2020

A beautiful sunny Sunday!Next week we will not be worshiping in person. Look for service to come to you via Facebook, email or website.Peace!

Posted by First Lutheran Church – Rock Island, IL on Sunday, October 4, 2020

Image credits:

Marten_van_Valckenborch_-_Parable_of_the_wicked_husbandmen-tenants and Yellow mum, by Therese Guise.

Music credits:

“How Firm a Foundation,” Early American. Pam Edwards, pianist. Text: J. Rippon, A Selection of Hymns, 1787. alt.. Music: Early American. Public domain.

“The Church’s One Foundation.” Text: Samuel J. Stone, 1839 – 1900. Music: Samuel S. Wesley, 1810 – 1876. Public domain.

“Lord Christ, When First You Came to Earth.” Text: W. Russell Bowie, 1882 – 1969, alt.. Music: Medieval European tune. Public domain.

“Jesus Loves Me!” Text: Anna B. Warner, 1820 – 1915, alt.. Music: William B. Bradbury, 1816 – 1868. Public domain.

“The Lord Now Sends Us Forth,” (Enviado soy de Dios). Text: Anonymous, Central American; tr. Gerhard M. Cartford, b. 1923. Music: Anonymous, Central America. English text copyright 1998 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Permission to print and podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

Sundays and 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.