Order of Worship: (Click on each blue arrow to expand/collapse each section.)
Scroll video to 0:43.
Scroll video to 1:57.
In the name of God, who makes a way in the wilderness, walks with us, and guides us in our pilgrimage. Amen.
Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.
Holy One, we confess that we have wandered far from you: we have not trusted your promises, we have ignored your prophets in our own day, we have squandered our inheritance of grace, we have failed to recognize you in our midst. Have mercy on us! Forgive us and turn us again to you. Teach us to follow in your ways, assure us again of your love, and help us to love our neighbor. Amen.
Rejoice in this good news: Beloved in Christ, the Word draws near to you, and all who call out to God shall be saved. In Jesus, God comes to you again and again and gathers you under wings of love. In ☩ Jesus’ name, your sins are forgiven. God journeys with you and teaches you how to live in love. Amen.
Scroll video to 3:21.
Come, thou Fount of ev’ry blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace; streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise. While the hope of endless glory fills my heart with joy and love, teach me ever to adore thee; may I still thy goodness prove.
Here I raise my Ebenezer: “Hither by thy help I’ve come”; and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger, wand’ring from the fold of God; he, to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood.
Oh, to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be; let that grace now like a fetter bind my wand’ring heart to thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it; prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.
Scroll video to 5:59.
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.
Scroll video to 6:09.
Let us pray. God of compassion, you welcome the wayward, and you embrace us all with your mercy. By our baptism clothe us with garments of your grace, and feed us at the table of your love, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Scroll video to 6:38.
By celebrating the Passover and eating the produce of the promised land instead of the miraculous manna that had sustained them in the desert, the Israelites symbolically bring their forty years of wilderness wandering to an end at Gilgal.
9The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt.” And so that place is called Gilgal to this day.
10While the Israelites were camped in Gilgal they kept the passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho. 11On the day after the passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. 12The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.
Scroll video to 7:34.
Happy are they whose transgressions are forgiven,
and whose sin is put away!
Happy are they to whom the Lord imputes no guilt,
and in whose spirit there is no guile!
While I held my tongue, my bones withered away,
because of my groaning all day long.
For your hand was heavy upon me day and night;
my moisture was dried up as in the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and did not conceal my guilt.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” Then you forgave me the guilt of my sin.
Therefore all the faithful will make their prayers to you in time of trouble;
when the great waters overflow, they shall not reach them.
You are my hiding-place; you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go;
I will guide you with my eye.
Do not be like horse or mule, which have no understanding;
who must be fitted with bit and bridle, or else they will not stay near you.”
Great are the tribulations of the wicked;
but mercy embraces those who trust in the Lord.
Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the Lord;
shout for joy, all who are true of heart.
Scroll video to 9:13.
One way to describe the gospel is the promise that in Christ everything is transformed into newness. All mistakes, all deliberate sins, all old history is reconciled with Christ’s resurrection. This is Paul’s strong message to the congregation in the city of Corinth.
16From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Scroll video to 10:36.
Scroll video to 11:03.
Jesus tells a parable about a son who ponders his father’s love only after he has spurned it. The grace he receives is beyond his hopes. That same grace is a crisis for an older brother who believes it is his obedience that has earned his place in the father’s home.
1Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to [Jesus.] 2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
3So he told them this parable:
11b“There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. 14When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. 17But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.” ’ 20So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.
25“Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ 28Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ 31Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’ ”
Scroll video to 14:33.
Scroll video to 26:05.
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, like the wideness of the sea; there’s a kindness in God’s justice which is more than liberty. There is no place where earth’s sorrows are more felt than up in heav’n. There is no place where earth’s failings have such kindly judgment giv’n.
For the love of God is broader than the measures of our mind; and the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind. But we make this love too narrow by false limits of our own; and we magnify its strictness with a zeal God will not own.
’Tis not all we owe to Jesus; it is something more than all: greater good because of evil, larger mercy through the fall. Make our love, O God, more faithful; let us take you at your word, and our lives will be thanksgiving for the goodness of the Lord.
Scroll video to 28:56.
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.
Scroll video to 29:50.
Scroll video to 33:17.
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.
It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, almighty and merciful God, through our Savior Jesus Christ. You call your people to cleanse their hearts and prepare with joy for the paschal feast, that, renewed in the gift of baptism, we may come to the fullness of your grace. And so, with all the choirs of angels, with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, Lord God of pow’r and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.
Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.
Lord, remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray. 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.
Here is food and drink for the journey. Take and be filled.
Pastor or anyone offering Holy Communion to another: The body of Christ, given for you.
The blood of Christ, shed for you.
Scroll video to 36:34.
The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace. Amen.
Let us pray. Blessed Jesus, in this rich meal of grace, you have fed us with your body, the bread of life. Now send us forth to bear your life-giving hope to a world in need.
Scroll video to 37:01.
You are children of God, anointed with the oil of gladness and strengthened for the journey. Almighty God, motherly, majestic, and mighty, ☩ bless you this day and always. Amen.
Scroll video to 37:22.
Go in peace. Jesus meets you on the way. Thanks be to God.
Scroll video to 37:32.
What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul! What wondrous love is this, O my soul! What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul, to bear the dreadful curse for my soul?
To God and to the Lamb I will sing, I will sing; to God and to the Lamb I will sing; to God and to the Lamb, who is the great I Am, while millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing, while millions join the theme, I will sing.
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on; and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on; and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing God’s love for me, and through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on; and through eternity I’ll sing on.
Worship Leaders: Pastor Colleen Cox, Donnasue Thompson
Music: Deb Jenks (organ), 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.