Thank you to Pastor Vince Marolla, who was the Guest Pastor for Worship Service!
Order of Worship for Sunday, August 22, 2021:
Prelude: “How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings,”- Liddle. Vocal Soloist, Miriam Anderson
In today’s gospel many people take offense at Jesus’ invitation to eat his flesh and drink his blood; even many of Jesus’ disciples peel off. This is the backdrop in John’s gospel for Peter’s confession of faith. “To whom can we go?” asks Peter, in words we sometimes sing just before the gospel is read. “You have the words of eternal life.” In order to take such a stand, as Peter and Joshua did, Paul tells us to arm ourselves with the word of God. We pray in the Spirit that we might be bold ambassadors of the gospel.
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 758- “You Are the Way,” all 4 verses.
Prayer of the Day
Holy God, your word feeds your people with life that is eternal. Direct our choices and preserve us in your truth, that, renouncing what is false and evil, we may live in you, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
First Reading: Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18
In the Near East, covenant means “agreement” or “alliance.” It describes relationships and is the primary word used to characterize the relationship between God and Israel. By delivering Israel, God has already begun the relationship. Joshua calls upon the people to respond.
1Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God. 2aAnd Joshua said to all the people, 14“Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
16Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; 17for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; 18and the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”
Second Reading: Ephesians 6:10-20
Like a general giving a rousing speech to troops before battle, this letter closes by calling on Christians to be equipped for spiritual warfare against evil. The full armor of God includes truth, righteousness, peace, faith, the gift of salvation, and the word of God inspired by the Spirit.
10Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. 19Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.
Gospel: John 6:56-69
The “hard saying” that offends Jesus’ disciples is his claim that his followers must eat his flesh and drink his blood. The followers who return to their old lives know something about how odd this sounds. Simon Peter, on the other hand, knows something about the scarcity of living, gracious words. He asks the most important question: “To whom shall we go?”
Jesus said, 56“Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” 59He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.
60When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” 61But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? 62Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64But among you there are some who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. 65And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.”
66Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. 67So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” 68Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
Sermon: Pastor Vince Marolla
Hymn of the Day: ELW 810- “O Jesus, I Have Promised.”
Prayers of Intercession
Made children and heirs of God’s promise, we pray for the church, the world, and all in need.
God of courage, bless all leaders of your church. Make them ready to proclaim the gospel of peace and strengthen them to preach your loving word. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
God of creation, bless fields and orchards. Protect the land from drought and bring life-giving rain to support growth. Instruct your people in wise treatment of the world you have provided for all your creatures. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
God of community, bless all who seek justice between nations and peoples. Give guidance to bridge-builders, heal divisions, and inspire cooperation in times of crisis, disaster, and war. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
God of compassion, bless all who are in any need. Accompany all who are lonely and feeling abandoned and remind them of your abiding presence. Accompany all who are persecuted and exploited and open us to their cries. Come quickly to help all who are sick and suffering especially Alivia DeWitt; Maddi Codvelli; Bill and Virginia Thorpe; Richard Hotchkiss; Marijane Cook; Nancy and Bob Bosco; Charysse and Adean Heritage; Randy McIntyre; Karen Bemowski; Marilyn Hubbard; Helen Schubert; Barb Martin; Jadyn, Sarah, and P.J. Esping; Deb Schafer 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.
God of change, bless our transitions. Guide all who are embarking on new stages of life such as a new job, new school, or new community. Sustain enduring friendships and kindle new relationships and interests. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
God of comfort, bless all who mourn the deaths of their beloved ones. We give you thanks for the saints who have gone before us. Renew our confidence in your promise of resurrection and life in the world to come. 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 Hymn: ELW 312- “Jesus, Come! For We Invite You.”
Communion Hymn: ELW 522- “As We Gather at Your Table.”
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 620- “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds,” – vs. 1, 2, 3, & 5.
Go in peace. Christ is with you.
Thanks be to God.
Postlude: Blessed Assurance- arr. Carlson.
FACEBOOK link to August 22, 2021 Worship Service:
Image credits: Joshua 24, biblepub.com; Be Strong in the Lord Ephesians, johndobbs.com; and Moonrise Over the Parish House (August 13, 2021, St. Joe’s Coffeehouse), Therese Guise.
Vocalist: Miriam Anderson
Music Director/ Pianist/ Organist: Pam Edwards
“How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings.” Contributors: Samuel Liddle, Lani Smith (One License #1014023). Tune: © 1995 Lorenz Publishing Company, a division of The Lorenz Corporation (Admin. by Music Services) Text: © 1995 Lorenz Publishing Company, a division of The Lorenz Corporation (Admin. by Music Services)
“You Are the Way.” Text: George W. Doane, 1799 – 1859, alt.. Music: Psalter, Edinburgh, 1615. Public domain.
“O Jesus, I Have Promised.” Text: John E. Bode, 1816 – 1874, alt. Music: Neuvermehrtes Gesangbuch, Meiningen, 1693. Public domain.
“Jesus, Come! For We Invite You.” Text: Christopher Idle, b. 1938. Music: Harold Friedell, 1905 – 1958. Text copyright 1982 Jubilate Hymns, admin. Hope Publishing Company. Music copyright 1957, 1985 H. W. Gray, admin. CPP/ Belwin. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“As We Gather at Your Table.” Text: Carl P. Daw Jr., B. 1944. Music: Oude en Nieuwe Hollantse Boerenlities en Contradansen, 1710; arr. Julius Rontgen, 1855 – 1932. Text copyright 1989 Hope Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds.” Text: John Newton, 1725 – 1807, alt.. Music: Alexander R. Reinagle, 1799 – 1877. Public domain.
“Blessed Assurance,” arr. J. Bert Carlson- One License #97198. Tune settings copyright 1998, 2001. 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.