Blessings and Peace to you today.
Pastor Chris Lee
Order of Service for Sunday, September 4, 2022
Lectionary 23, Year C
Prelude: “The Gift of Love,” arr. Carter
Called to contemplate the cost of discipleship, we might be helped by translating Paul’s request to Philemon into our prayer of the day: Refresh my heart in Christ. Strengthened by the company and forgiveness of Christ in holy communion and recalling God’s grace in remembrance of baptism, we can be strengthened in this hour to “choose life”—to choose life in God as our own.
Confession and Forgiveness
Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, who is eager to forgive and who loves us beyond our days.
Dear friends, together let us acknowledge our failure to love this world as Jesus does.
God of mercy and forgiveness,
we confess that sin still has a hold on us. We have harmed your good creation. We have failed to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with you. Turn us in a new direction. Show us the path that leads to life. Be our refuge and strength on the journey, through Jesus Christ, our redeemer and friend.
Beloved of God:
your sins are forgiven ☩ and you are made whole. God points the way to new life in Christ, who meets us on the road. Journey now in God’s abiding love through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Opening: ELW 660- “Lift High the Cross.”
Hymn of Praise
Prayer of the Day
Direct us, O Lord God, in all our doings with your continual help, that in all our works, begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy name; and finally, by your mercy, bring us to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
First Reading: Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Moses speaks to the Israelites, who are about to enter the land promised to their ancestors. In this passage, he lays out the stark choice before them: choose life by loving and obeying the Lord; or choose death by following other gods.
15See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. 16If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess. 17But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, 18I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. 19I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, 20loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
Psalm: Psalm 1
They are like trees planted by streams of water. (Ps. 1:3)
1Happy are they who have not walked in the counsel of the wicked,
nor lingered in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seats of the scornful!
2Their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and they meditate on God’s teaching day and night.
3They are like trees planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither;
everything they do shall prosper.
4It is not so with the wicked;
they are like chaff which the wind blows away.
5Therefore the wicked shall not stand upright when judgment comes,
nor the sinner in the council of the righteous.
6For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked shall be destroyed.
Second Reading: Philemon 1-21
While Paul was in prison, he was aided by Onesimus, a man who had run away from Philemon, a slaveowner and a Christian friend of Paul. Paul told Onesimus to return to Philemon and encouraged Philemon to receive Onesimus back as a Christian brother.
1Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our dear friend and co-worker, 2to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:
3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4When I remember you in my prayers, I always thank my God 5because I hear of your love for all the saints and your faith toward the Lord Jesus. 6I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective when you perceive all the good that we may do for Christ. 7I have indeed received much joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, my brother.
8For this reason, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do your duty, 9yet I would rather appeal to you on the basis of love—and I, Paul, do this as an old man, and now also as a prisoner of Christ Jesus. 10I am appealing to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I have become during my imprisonment. 11Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful both to you and to me. 12I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to you. 13I wanted to keep him with me, so that he might be of service to me in your place during my imprisonment for the gospel; 14but I preferred to do nothing without your consent, in order that your good deed might be voluntary and not something forced. 15Perhaps this is the reason he was separated from you for a while, so that you might have him back forever, 16no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a beloved brother—especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
17So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18If he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand: I will repay it. I say nothing about your owing me even your own self. 20Yes, brother, let me have this benefit from you in the Lord! Refresh my heart in Christ. 21Confident of your obedience, I am writing to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.
Gospel: Luke 14:25-33
Jesus speaks frankly about the costs of discipleship. Those who follow him should know from the outset that completing the course of discipleship will finally mean renouncing all other allegiances.
25Now large crowds were traveling with Jesus; and he turned and said to them, 26“Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. 27Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, 30saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. 33So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.”
Sermon: Pastor Chris Lee
Hymn of the Day: ELW 808- “Lord Jesus, You Shall Be My Song.”
Prayers of Intercession
As scattered grains of wheat are gathered together into one bread, so let us gather our prayers for the church, those in need, and all of God’s good creation.
We pray for the church around the world and for the mission of the gospel. Refresh the hearts of your people, deepen our understanding of every good thing we share, and strengthen our partnerships in the faith. God of grace,
hear our prayer.
For the well-being of the earth and all its creatures: for trees and forests, for all that will yield fruit this season, and for streams and other bodies of water. God of grace,
hear our prayer.
For the nations and those in authority: for the elected leaders of our towns, states, and country, and for international organizations. Grant wisdom to those who govern and raise up citizens who make decisions in the best interest of their neighbors. God of grace,
hear our prayer.
For all in need: for those who suffer from disease, who struggle with homelessness or food insecurity, for those whose family life is difficult, and for all in this community who need your care especially Kim Engels; Krisan Koble; Joyce Anderson; Jeanna LaRue; Karen Bemowski; Nan Hibbs; Julie Peters; Kenneth Bobb; Andrea Bobb; Richard Mowery; Melvin Neu; Gary Berg; Bruce and Sandy Wright; Julie Prenatt; Sheri Stoutt; Richard Hotchkiss; Randy McIntyre; Marilyn Hubbard; and all those we name before you now, aloud or in our hearts… .
God of grace,
hear our prayer.
For this community of faith: for all our labors—begun, continued, and ended in you—that they glorify your holy name. Bless your people with the strength to live into their many vocations for the sake of the world. God of grace,
hear our prayer.
We give thanks for the saints who now rest from their labors especially Peter Claver, priest and missionary. Give us faith, like them, to love you with all our hearts, and by your mercy, bring us to everlasting life. God of grace,
hear our prayer.
Gathered together in the sweet communion of the Holy Spirit, gracious God, we offer these and all our prayers to you; through Jesus Christ, our Savior.
The Lord’s Prayer
ACS 1082- “O God You Search Me.”
ELW 757- “All My Hope on God is Founded.”
Prayer after Communion
God of the abundant table, you have refreshed our hearts in this meal with bread for the journey. Give us your grace on the road that we might serve our neighbors with joy; for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
God, who gives life to all things and frees us from despair, bless you with truth and peace. And may the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, guide you always in faith, hope, and love.
Sending: ELW 802- “Let Us Ever Walk With Jesus.”
Go in peace, with Christ beside you.
Thanks be to God.
Postlude: “Simple Gifts,” arr. Carter
Facebook link for Sunday, September 4, 2022 Worship Service:
Image credits: Photos by Therese Guise
Music and other credits:
Assisting Minister: Brittany Anderson
Lector: Sylvia Martin
Music Director/ Pianist/ Organist: Pam Edwards
“The Gift of Love.” Music – ©1972, 1995 Hope Publishing Company. Contributors: Hal Hopson, Arr. John Carter. (One License #9269) All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“Lift High the Cross.” Text: Gregory W. Kitchin, 1827 – 1912; rev. Michael R. Newbolt, 1874 – 1956. Music: Sydney H. Nicholson, 1875 – 1947. Text and music copyright 1974 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.
“Lord Jesus, You Shall Be My Song.” (Jesus, je voudrais te chanter) Text: Les Petites Soeurs de Jesus and L’Arche Community; tr. Stephen Somerville, b. 1931. Music: Les Petites Soeurs de Jesus and L’Arche Community. Text and music copyright Les Petites Soeurs de Jesus. Tr. copyright 1970 Stephen Somerville. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“O God You Search Me.” Words and Music – ©1992 OCP. Contributors: Bernadette Farrell. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“All My Hope on God is Founded.” Text: Joachim Neander, 1650 – 1680; para. Robert Bridges, 1844 – 1930, alt. Music: Herbert Howells, 1892 – 1983. Music copyright 1968 Novello & Co., Ltd., London. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“Let Us Ever Walk With Jesus.” Text: Sigismund von Birken, 1626 – 1681; tr. Lutheran Book of Worship, alt. Music: Georg G. Boltze, 18th cent.. 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.
“Simple Gifts,” arr. Carter Words and Music – ©1987 Hope Publishing Company. Contributors: John Carter (One License #105799) 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 2022 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.