Order of Worship: (Click on each blue arrow to expand/collapse each section.)
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Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, the God of manna, the God of miracles, the God of mercy. Amen.
Drawn to Christ and seeking God’s abundance, let us confess our sin.
God, our provider, help us. It is hard to believe there is enough to share. We question your ways when they differ from the ways of the world in which we live. We turn to our own understanding rather than trusting in you. We take offense at your teachings and your ways. Turn us again to you. Where else can we turn? Share with us the words of eternal life and feed us for life in the world. Amen.
Beloved people of God: in Jesus, the manna from heaven, you are fed and nourished. By Jesus, the worker of miracles, there is always more than enough. Through Jesus, ☩ the bread of life, you are shown God’s mercy: you are forgiven and loved into abundant life. Amen.
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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.
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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.
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Let us pray. O God, you are the tree of life, offering shelter to all the world. Graft us into yourself and nurture our growth, that we may bear your truth and love to those in need, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
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Tree imagery (a cedar tree) is used in a messianic prophecy to tell how the Lord will choose someone from Judah’s royal family to reign over all creation. This tree will be planted on Mount Zion, the location of the holy temple.
Thus says the Lord God:
I myself will take a sprig
from the lofty top of a cedar;
I will set it out.
I will break off a tender one
from the topmost of its young twigs;
I myself will plant it
on a high and lofty mountain.
On the mountain height of Israel
I will plant it,
in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit,
and become a noble cedar.
Under it every kind of bird will live;
in the shade of its branches will nest
winged creatures of every kind.
All the trees of the field shall know
that I am the Lord.
I bring low the high tree,
I make high the low tree;
I dry up the green tree
and make the dry tree flourish.
I the Lord have spoken;
I will accomplish it.
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It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praise to your name, O Most High;
to herald your love in the morning
and your faithfulness at night;
on the psaltery, and on the lyre,
and to the melody of the harp.
For you have made me glad by your acts, O Lord;
and I shout for joy because of the works of your hands.
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
and shall spread abroad like a cedar of Lebanon.
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
shall flourish in the courts of our God;
they shall still bear fruit in old age;
they shall be green and succulent;
that they may show how upright the Lord is,
my rock, in whom there is no injustice.
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Paul encourages believers to live by faith and not by sight. We do not consider Jesus from a human perspective but through the eyes of faith, believing he died for all and was raised. All who are in Christ are now in God’s new creation.
6So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord—7for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil....
14For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.
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!
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Jesus frequently uses parables to teach ordinary people as they are able to hear and understand. Images of sowing and growing show the vitality of God’s kingdom.
26[Jesus] said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”
30He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
33With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.
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A Sower came from ancient hills and cast good seed abroad: his field, ten thousand human hearts, his seed the word of God. And some who listened would not hear, and some who heard forgot. But some received in fertile soil the truth the Sower taught.
A Sower walked throughout the land and, everywhere he trod, he sowed his life because he was himself the Seed of God. But then, atop a barren hill, beneath a darkening sky, they threw God’s Seed on stony ground and left it there to die.
The Seed was buried deep in death beneath a blood-red sky, and deeper still was buried hope for those who watched him die. But then, in Joseph’s garden fair, as dawn broke o’er the land, the Seed, from three days’ silent sleep, awoke at God’s command!
O Christ, you come among us still, the Sower and the Seed. As once you sowed the truth of God in glowing word and deed, implant your Word in waiting hearts, and let it there take hold, until it bears in fruitful lives a harvest hundredfold.
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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.
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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; who on this day overcame death and the grave, and by his glorious resurrection opened to us the way of everlasting life. 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, 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.
Christ has set the table with more than enough for all. Come!
Pastor or anyone offering Holy Communion to another: The body of Christ, given for you.
The blood of Christ, shed for you.
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The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace. Amen.
Let us pray. Jesus, Bread of life, we have received from your table more than we could ever ask. As you have nourished us in this meal, now strengthen us to love the world with your own life. In your name we pray. Amen.
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The blessing of God, who provides for us, feeds us, and journeys with us, ☩ be upon you now and forever. Amen.
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Go in peace. You are the body of Christ. Thanks be to God.
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Sent forth by God’s blessing, our true faith confessing, the people of God from this dwelling take leave. The supper is ended. Oh, now be extended the fruits of this service in all who believe. The seed of Christ’s teaching, receptive souls reaching, shall blossom in action for God and for all. Your grace shall incite us, your love shall unite us to work for your kingdom and answer your call.
With praise and thanksgiving to God ever-living, the tasks of our ev’ryday life we will face— our faith ever sharing, in love ever caring, embracing God’s children, the whole human race. With your feast you feed us, with your light now lead us; unite us as one in this life that we share. Then may all the living with praise and thanksgiving give honor to Christ and his name that we bear.
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Worship Leaders: Pastor Colleen Cox, Linda Sepeda
Music: Deb Jenks (piano and organ), Deb and Tim Jenks (vocalists)
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
Sing for Joy is a radio program that follows the weekly Sunday lectionary through music and reflection. The weekly scriptures are listed. Program host Pastor Bruce Benson ties together the readings of the day and the musical selections that have been provided from a number of sources by music advisor Dr. John Ferguson. The program is produced by St. Olaf College.