Hope Lutheran Church

17th Sunday After Pentecost

September 27, 2020

Pre-Service Fellowship- 
Grab your cup of coffee and join us at 9:00 am. Feel free to begin posting your prayer requests in the comments as soon as worship begins.   (Congregational responses are in Bold)

~We Gather~

Greeting  (9:00 and chime)
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. And also with you.
Prayer of the Day
Let us pray. God of love, giver of life, you know our frailties and failings. Give us your grace to overcome them, keep us from those things that harm us, and guide us in the way of salvation, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

Confession and Forgiveness

Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God,
whose steadfast love is everlasting,
whose creates, redeems, and sustains us and all of creation.

Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.

Silence is kept for reflection.

Faithful God,
have mercy on us.
We confess that we are captive to sin
and cannot free ourselves.
We turn from your loving embrace
and go our own ways.
We pass judgement on one another
before examining ourselves.
We place our own needs before those of our neighbors.
We keep your gift of salvation to ourselves.
Make us humble, cast away our transgressions,
and turn us again to life in you
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

God hears the cries of all who call out in need,
and through his death and resurrection,
Christ has made us his own.
Hear the truth that God proclaims:
Your sins are forgiven in the name of ☩ Jesus Christ.
Led by the Holy Spirit, live in freedom and newness
to do God’s work in the world.

~We Learn~

Reading: Philippians 2:1-13
If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—
  even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
 Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Word of God, Word of Life, Thanks be to God.

Psalm  25:1-9

To you, O Lord,
  I lift up my soul.
My God, I put my trust in you; let me not be put to shame,
  nor let my enemies triumph over me.

 Let none who look to you be put to shame;
  rather let those be put to shame who are treacherous.
Show me your ways, O Lord,
  and teach me your paths. 

 Lead me in your truth and teach me,
  for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all the day long.
Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love,
  for they are from everlasting.

 Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions;
  remember me according to your steadfast love and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.
You are gracious and upright, O Lord;
  therefore you teach sinners in your way.

 You lead the lowly in justice
  and teach the lowly your way.

Gospel: Matthew 21:23-32
The holy gospel according to Matthew. Glory to you, O Lord.
When [Jesus] entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
  “What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.”

Word of God, Word of Life, Thanks be to God.

Sermon- “By Whose Authority?” by Deacon Margy

Hymn of the Day– “Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service”  ELW 712

Apostle’s 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.

~We Pray~

Prayers of Intercession

(Remember to post your prayers on the YouTube chat, so that others can also include them in prayer. Feel free to email Deacon Margy (mschmittajer@gmail.com) if you have private prayer requests.)

Drawn together in the compassion of God, we pray for the church, the world, and all those in need, responding to each petition with the words “Hear our laments, and receive our prayers.”

A brief silence.

Throughout the globe is the church: many assemblies are postponed by the virus, our songs quieted, our leaders searching for new ways forward. That you will continue to inspire all the baptized with the mind of Christ, we pray to you, faithful God.
Hear our laments, and receive our prayers.

Around us nature is strained: polar ice is melting, excessive rains ravage the land, fires consume forests, fields, and homes, and animals are deprived of habitat. That you will preserve and protect the earth, we pray to you, mighty God:
Hear our laments, and receive our prayers.

Around us is a needy world: governments allow injustice, violence threatens stability, people experience prejudice, reforms are thwarted, workers are unemployed, medical facilities are strained, children are abused. That you will save the people in all the nations of the world, we pray to you, compassionate God:
Hear our laments, and receive our prayers.

In our nation’s courts, we see justice delayed and justice denied. Yet we thank you for the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and for her passion for equality under the law. That you will uphold honest judges and insightful juries throughout our criminal justice system, and that you will assist our nation in its task of filling the Supreme Court, we pray to you, righteous God:
Hear our laments, and receive our prayers.

Around us are the sick: there is starvation, the virus continues, many persons receive no medical attention, our neighbors and dear ones are ill. That you will bless all ministries of care and will relieve the suffering of those who are ill in body, mind, or spirit, we pray to you, merciful God.
Hear our laments, and receive our prayers.

Nearby are needs of which we are unaware. That you will send your holy angels to uphold all who face personal troubles, we pray to you, benevolent God:
Hear our laments, and receive our prayers.

Inside many hearts there is both joy and sorrow. We pray now for ourselves:
That you will give us new hearts and a new spirit, we pray to you, loving God.
Hear our laments, and receive our prayers.

Before us lived countless of the faithful — the famous and the forgotten, our relatives and strangers. We lament their deaths, and we praise their witness. That we may confess Jesus Christ as Lord through our life and at our death, we pray to you, eternal God.
Hear our laments, and receive our prayers.

All these things and whatever else you see that we need, we entrust to your mercy; through Christ our Savior and Lord.

The peace of Christ is with you.  (share the peace with someone now- text, next to you, or comment in the chat box).

Please visit www.hoperiverside.org/give   to place your offering digitally. This link takes you directly to our tithe.ly giving page. It is a safe and secure church giving site, and all of your information will remain confidential. 

Thank you for supporting God’s work in the world.

Offering Prayer
Let us pray. God of abundance and growth, all creation is yours, and your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens. Water and word, wine and bread; these are signs of your abundant grace. Nourish us through these gifts, that we might proclaim your steadfast love in our communities and in the world, through Jesus Christ, our strength and our song, Amen.

Great Thanksgiving
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Words of Institution

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.

Gifts of God for the people of God

 ~We Are Sent~ 

Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. God the Creator ☩ Jesus, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, the comforter, bless you and keep you in eternal love. Amen.

Go in peace. Christ is with you.
Thanks be to God.

An Invitation to Grace

It is so easy and so tempting to build ourselves up at the expense of others. “I can’t imagine ever doing that.” “How can people live like that?” “Who would do such a thing?” At some point we all think or say these sorts of things. Like it or not, we use these words to comfort ourselves at the expense of others. These words are a reminder that all people stand in need of God’s grace.

Each of this day’s readings shows us this reality. In the parable of the two sons, Jesus invites us to choose between two sons when neither fully does the will of their father. Here Jesus makes the point that we are all equally in need of God’s grace. Ezekiel proclaims God’s invitation, “Turn, then, and live” (Ezek. 18:32). This is an invitation that extends to all people, from a God deeply desiring a loving and life-giving relationship with humanity.

In Philippians, we are reminded of Jesus’ act of grace on the cross, emptying himself, becoming sin so that all creation might be redeemed through him. In response, we discover a vision of the day in which all creation speaks with a unified voice, declaring Jesus Christ is Lord.

This is a day of confession and forgiveness. We confess our need for God, our distance from God, and our failures before God. In response, to our joy, we discover again the grace of God outpoured. All humans are in need of God’s grace; God extends grace to all, and one day we will confess that salvation as one people. All of today’s readings reveal the way in which all humans are equal in the eyes of God.

Theological Reflection

When public officials claim biblical authority for policies that do harm to the most vulnerable among us, how do Lutheran Christians respond? Jesus was shrewd in responding to the temple leaders who questioned the authority he claimed in cleansing the temple. Asking direct questions about power (who has it, where does it come from, and how is it maintained?) is essential in a church that is always reforming, always asking who gets to claim the authority to speak for God. Episcopal priest Eric Law and his ministry, the Kaleidoscope Institute, help congregations identify and address power dynamics in order to move toward more inclusive, just, and sustainable communities.

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