16 Pentecost Sept 17


Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless God's holy name.

   Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all God's benefits—

who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases;

who redeems your life from the grave and crowns you with steadfast love and mercy;  

   who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like an eagle's.

O LORD, you provide vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.

   You made known your ways to Moses and your works to the children of Israel.

LORD, you are full of compassion and mercy, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love;  

   you will not always accuse us, nor will you keep your anger forever.

You have not dealt with us according to our sins, nor repaid us according to our iniquities.

   For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is your steadfast love for those who fear you.

As far as the east is from the west, so far have you removed our transgressions from us.

   As a father has compassion for his children, so you have compassion for those who fear you, O LORD.   

GATHERING SONG All Creatures, Worship God Most High!”  #835


Blessed be God,

the one who forms us,

☩ Jesus who bears the cross,

the Spirit who makes our joy complete.


Let us bow before God in humility,

confessing our sin.

    Silence is kept for reflection.

Steadfast and faithful God,

you have revealed the ways of justice,

yet we fail to follow you.

We are overwhelmed

by the world’s violence and suffering.

We are afraid to risk what we have

for the sake of others.

For the harm we have caused,

known and unknown, forgive us.

For the unjust demands we place on others

and your creation, forgive us.

For the ways we turn away

from you and our neighbor, forgive us.

Lead us back to you

and set us on the right path;

in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

Beloved in Christ,

God’s justice stretches beyond all understanding.

God’s compassion is beyond compare.

In Jesus, God is always making a new way for us.

In ☩ Christ, you are already and always forgiven.



Let us pray. O Lord God, merciful judge, you are the inexhaustible fountain of forgiveness. Replace our hearts of stone with hearts that love and adore you, that we may delight in doing your will, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.


THE FIRST LESSON: Genesis 50:15–21

Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, "What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?" So they approached Joseph, saying, "Your father gave this instruction before he died, `Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.’ Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father." Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, "We are here as your slaves." But Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones." In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.

Word of God, word of life. Thanks be to God.


THE SECOND LESSON: Romans 14:1–12                                 

Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions.  Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables.  Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them.  Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds.  Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honor of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God.

We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves.  If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.  For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.  For it is written,

"As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God."

 So then, each of us will be accountable to God.        

Word of God, word of life.  Thanks be to God.


GOSPEL SONG  “Dearest Jesus, at Your Word”    #520

THE GOSPEL FOR THE DAY: Matthew 18:21–35

The holy gospel according to Saint Matthew. Glory to you, O Lord.

Then Peter came and said to him, "Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?"  Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.

For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, 'Pay what you owe.' Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?' And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart."

The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.


SERMON            “How Often?”              Pastor Phil Wold

HYMN OF THE DAY    “Our Father, We Have Wandered”         #606


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.





 The peace of Christ be with you always. And also with you.


Let us pray. Blessed are you, O God, maker of all things. 

Through your goodness you have blessed us with these gifts: 

  our selves, our time, and our possessions. 

Use us, and what we have gathered, in feeding the world with your love, 

  through the one who gave himself for us, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.



  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 “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee”     #836


Go in peace. God is at work in you. Thanks be to God.



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