Order of Service for Sunday, June 13, 2021:
Prelude: “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” -arr. by Carter.
Worship on June 27 will include a healing service. I hope this will provide an opportunity for those who may have been missing this type of service.
Pastor Chris Lee
The mustard seed becomes a great shrub that shelters the birds, recalling ancient images of the tree of life. We’d expect a cedar or a sequoia, but Jesus finds the power of God better imaged in a tiny, no-account seed. It’s not the way we expect divine activity to look. Yet the tree of life is here, in the cross around which we gather, the tree into which we are grafted through baptism, the true vine that nourishes us with its fruit in the cup we share. It may not appear all that impressive, but while nobody’s looking it grows with a power beyond our understanding.
Confession and Forgiveness
Blessed be the holy Trinity,☩ one God, the God of manna, the God of miracles, the God of mercy.
Drawn to Christ and seeking God’s abundance, let us confess our sin.
God, our provider,
help us. It is hard to believe there is enough to share. We question your ways when they differ from the ways of the world in which we live. We turn to our own understanding rather than trusting in you. We take offense at your teachings and your ways. Turn us again to you. Where else can we turn? Share with us the words of eternal life and feed us for life in the world.
Beloved people of God: in Jesus, the manna from heaven, you are fed and nourished. By Jesus, the worker of miracles, there is always more than enough. Through Jesus, ☩ the bread of life, you are shown God’s mercy: you are forgiven and loved into abundant life.
Opening Hymn: ELW 635- “We Walk by Faith,” verses 1, 3, & 4.
Prayer of the Day
O God, you are the tree of life, offering shelter to all the world. Graft us into yourself and nurture our growth, that we may bear your truth and love to those in need, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
First Reading: Ezekiel 17:22-24
Tree imagery is used in a messianic prophecy to tell how the Lord will choose someone from Judah’s royal family (the cedar tree) to reign over all creation. This tree will be planted on Mount Zion, the location of the holy temple.
22Thus says the Lord God:
I myself will take a sprig
from the lofty top of a cedar;
I will set it out.
I will break off a tender one
from the topmost of its young twigs;
I myself will plant it
on a high and lofty mountain.
23On the mountain height of Israel
I will plant it,
in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit,
and become a noble cedar.
Under it every kind of bird will live;
in the shade of its branches will nest
winged creatures of every kind.
24All the trees of the field shall know
that I am the Lord.
I bring low the high tree,
I make high the low tree;
I dry up the green tree
and make the dry tree flourish.
I the Lord have spoken;
I will accomplish it.
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:6-10-17
Paul encourages believers to live by faith and not by sight. We do not consider Jesus from a human perspective but through the eyes of faith, believing he died for all and was raised. All who are in Christ are now in God’s new creation.
6So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord—7for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.
11Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences. 12We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart. 13For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.
16From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
Gospel: Mark 4:26-34
Jesus frequently uses parables to teach ordinary people as they are able to hear and understand. Images of sowing and growing show the vitality of God’s kingdom.
26Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground,27and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”
30He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
33With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.
Sermon: Pastor Chris Lee
Hymn of the Day: ELW 690- “We Raise Our Hands to You, O Lord,” verses 1, 2, & 5.
Prayers of Intercession
Let us come before the triune God in prayer.
Holy God, you plant the seeds of faith in every nation. Enliven your church, so that the good news of your grace may root and grow throughout the world. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Creator, even the trees, shrubs, and flowers delight in your goodness. From the depths of the soil to the highest mountain, bring forth new plants. Restore growth to places suffering drought. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Judge of nations, we pray for our leaders and those in power. Grant them the ability to regard those under their charge with humility, dedicating their lives in service to others. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Divine comforter, you show compassion to those in need and provide relief to those who call on you. Bless all who suffer, especially people trapped in cycles of poverty and homelessness. We pray for those who are in any need especially Nancy and Bob Bosco; Charysse and Adean Heritage; Bonnie Neu; Becky and Bill Hall; Randy McIntyre; Karen Bemowski; Marilyn Hubbard; Nancy Johnson; Helen Schubert, Marijane Cook; Barbara Witt, and all those we name before you. Give them tangible signs of your steadfast love. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Sovereign God, this house of worship belongs to you. We give thanks and pray for our church musicians, especially Pam Edwards and Miriam Anderson. We dedicate to you the joyful noise that comes from this place; the cries of children, the melody of voice and instruments, and the songs from our hearts. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Eternal God, we give thanks for our ancestors in the faith who are now at home with you especially Joan Grace Anderson. We look forward to that day when we are reunited in your new creation. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
We lift our prayers to you, O God, trusting in your abiding grace.
The Lord’s Prayer
Prayer after Communion
Jesus, Bread of life, we have received from your table more than we could ever ask. As you nourish us in this meal we are about to receive, strengthen us to love the world with your own life. In your name we pray.
The blessing of the triune God, who provides for us, feeds us, and journeys with us, ☩ be upon you now and forever.
Sending Hymn: ELW 670- “Build Us Up, Lord,” both verses.
Even as we depart and receive the Body and Blood of Christ, given and shed for you, to strengthen us for the days ahead, remember you are the body of Christ raised up for the world.
Go in peace. Christ is with you.
Thanks be to God.
Postlude: ELW 663- “Spread, Oh, Spread, Almighty Word.”
Facebook link to Worship Service for June 13, 2021:
Image credits: Mustard Seed, dreamstime.com/Stock_Images/Images; First Evangelical Lutheran Chapel stained glass, Therese Guise; and Mustard tree, stock.adobe.com/free_clipart
“Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” -arr. by Carter. (One License #1004881) All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“We Walk by Faith.” Text: Henry Alford, 1810 – 1871, alt..Music: Marty Haugen, b. 1950. Music copyright 1984 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 Raise Our Hands to You, O Lord.” Text: Svein Ellingsen, b. 1929; tr. Hedwig T. Durnbaugh, b. 1929. Music: Trond Kverno, b. 1945. Tr. copyright Hedwig T. Durnbaugh. Music copyright 1978 Norsk Musikforlag. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“Build Us Up, Lord.” Text: Mark Glaeser, b. 1956, and Donna Hanna, b. 1952. Music: Mark Glaeser and Donna Hanna. Text and music copyright 2003 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“Spread, Oh, Spread, Almighty Word.” Text: Jonathan F. Bahnmaier, 1774 – 1841; tr. Lutheran Book of Worship, alt. Music: J.A. Freylinghausen, Geistreiches Gesangbuch, 1704. Text copyright 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship, admin. Augsburg Fortress. 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.