September 20 16 Pentecost
GATHERING SONG "God of Grace, and God of Glory" ELW #705
CALL TO RECONCILIATION - PRAYER OF CONFESSION
We continue to believe that we must earn our way into God's heart.
But God's grace is given to each of us, for all of us, freely, unconditionally, always.
Let us open our lives to this mercy as we pray saying,
It seems we cannot decide, God of Glory.
We say we will live to serve others, but end up meeting only our needs.
We claim to live in a way that honors Christ, but we do not take him to work, school, home.
We believe that the gospel can transform lives, (at least, for those who need it – but surely, not us).
Forgive us, Presence of Peace.
Instead of grumblers, may we be ambassadors of grace.
Instead of continual complaining, may we carry compassion to the hurting.
Instead of whiners, may we be workers with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, to reach out and bring the kingdom of God to everyone we meet.
Silence is kept
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
This is the good news: there is no ranking in God's kingdom. God graces everyone with the same gifts: mercy, restoration, new life. God has kept the covenant. We have been forgiven, we have been made new people.
Thanks be to God. Amen.Lectionary Liturgies - (c) Thom M. Shuman
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Let us pray. Almighty and eternal God, you show perpetual loving kindness to us your servants. Because we cannot rely on our own abilities, grant us your merciful judgment, and train us to embody the generosity of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
SPECIAL MUSIC "O Day Full of Grace"
THE FIRST LESSON: Jonah 3:10--4:11
When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.
But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. He prayed to the LORD and said, "O LORD! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. And now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live." 4And the LORD said, "Is it right for you to be angry?" Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, waiting to see what would become of the city.
The Lord GOD appointed a bush, and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the bush, so that it withered. 8When the sun rose, God prepared a sultry east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint and asked that he might die. He said, "It is better for me to die than to live."
But God said to Jonah, "Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?" And he said, "Yes, angry enough to die." Then the LORD said, "You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labor and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?"
Word of God, word of life. Thanks be to God.
THE SECOND LESSON: Philippians 1:21-30
For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.
Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God's doing. For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well--since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
Word of God, word of life. Thanks be to God.
THE GOSPEL FOR THE DAY: Matthew 20:1-16
The holy gospel according to Saint Matthew. Glory to you, O Lord.
[Jesus said to the disciples:] "The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o'clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o'clock, he did the same. And about five o'clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, 'Why are you standing here idle all day?' They said to him, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard.' When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, 'Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.' When those hired about five o'clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, 'These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.' But he replied to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?' So the last will be first, and the first will be last."
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
SERMON Pastor Phil Wold
HYMN OF THE DAY "There's A Wideness in God's Mercy" ELW #588
THE APOSTLES’ CREED
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
THE PEACE IS SHARED
The peace of Christ be with you always. And also with you.
(Let us join the Church throughout the world, praying for God’s peace and justice to reign over all.)
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. AMEN
SENDING SONG "Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness" ELW #843
Go forth into the world to be lavishly and blindly generous, to give without expectation of return or reward, and to love others with the generous love of God. Thanks be to God.
Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness by Rusty Edwards
Praise the one who breaks the darkness
With a liberating light.
Praise the one who frees the prisoners,
Turning blindness into sight.
Praise the one who preached the Gospel,
Healing every dread disease,
Calming storms and feeding thousands
With the very bread of peace.
Praise the one who blessed the children
With a strong yet gentle word.
Praise the one who drove out demons
With a piercing two-edged sword.
Praise the one who brings cool water
To the desert's burning sand.
From this well comes living water,
Quenching thirst in every land.
Praise the one true love incarnate:
Christ who suffered in our place.
Jesus died and rose for many
That we may know God by grace.
Let us sing for joy and gladness,
Seeing what our God has done.
Praise the one redeeming glory,
Praise the One who makes us one.