Today’s Readings and Hymns: (Click on each blue arrow to expand/collapse each section.)
[Moses said to the people:] 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.
Happy are they whose way is blameless,
who follow the teaching of the Lord!
Happy are they who observe your decrees
and seek you with all their hearts,
who never do any wrong,
but always walk in your ways.
You laid down your commandments,
that we should fully keep them.
Oh, that my ways were made so direct
that I might keep your statutes!
Then I should not be put to shame,
when I regard all your commandments.
I will thank you with a true heart,
when I have learned your righteous judgments.
I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me.
1Brothers and sisters, I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but rather as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready, 3for you are still of the flesh. For as long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving according to human inclinations? 4For when one says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely human?
5What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. 6I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. 9For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building.
[Jesus said to the disciples:] 21“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ 22But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. 23So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. 25Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. 26Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.
31“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33“Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ 34But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.”
Holy Spirit, ever dwelling in the holiest realms of light; Holy Spirit, ever brooding o’er a world of gloom and night; Holy Spirit, ever raising those of earth to thrones on high; living, life-imparting Spirit, you we praise and magnify.
Holy Spirit, ever living as the church’s very life; Holy Spirit, ever striving through us in a ceaseless strife; Holy Spirit, ever forming in the church the mind of Christ: you we praise with endless worship for your gifts and fruits unpriced.
Holy Spirit, ever working through the church’s ministry; quick’ning, strength’ning, and absolving, setting captive sinners free; Holy Spirit, ever binding age to age and soul to soul in communion never ending, you we worship and extol.
God, when human bonds are broken and we lack the love or skill to restore the hope of healing, give us grace and make us still.
Through that stillness, with your Spirit come into our world of stress, for the sake of Christ forgiving all the failures we confess.
You in us are bruised and broken: hear us as we seek release from the pain of earlier living; set us free and grant us peace.
Send us, God of new beginnings, humbly hopeful into life. Use us as a means of blessing: make us stronger, give us faith.
O Christ, our hope, our hearts’ desire, creation’s mighty Lord, redeemer of the fallen world, by holy love outpoured, by holy love outpoured:
How vast your mercy to accept the burden of our sin, and bow your head in cruel death to make us clean within, to make us clean within.
But now the bonds of death are burst, the ransom has been paid; you reign above at God’s right hand, in robes of light arrayed, in robes of light arrayed.
Oh, let your mighty love prevail to purge us of our pride, that we may stand before your throne by mercy purified, by mercy purified.
Worship Leaders: Pastor Colleen Cox, Jim Thompson
Music: Deb Jenks (organ and piano), Senior Choir
View and print the pre-reader’s version of this Sunday’s children’s bulletin: Pre-reader’s Version View and print the reader’s version of this Sunday’s children’s bulletin: Reader’s Version
The radio program Sing for Joy follows the weekly Sunday lectionary through music and reflection. To listen, click here: Sing for Joy. Program host Pastor Bruce Benson ties the biblical readings of the day with musical selections from a number of sources brought together by Dr. John Ferguson, retired professor of organ and church music. The program is produced by St. Olaf College.
Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE #A-730287. All rights reserved.