Sunday, September 20, 2020

Order of Worship - Sunday, September 20

 The livestream may be found here.



The color green, used for the vestments and paraments in the season after Pentecost, represents growth and life in the Holy Spirit.


OLD TESTAMENT: After a brief detour in the belly of the whale, the prophet Jonah obeyed God and preached his message of God’s judgment upon the city of Nineveh. However, Jonah became angry when Nineveh believed his message, turning from evil towards God, and God changed his mind about bringing disaster upon the city. Just like Peter in last week’s Gospel lesson, Jonah has a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of God. In an object lesson, God tries to get through to Jonah (and to us).


NEW TESTAMENT: Paul writes the letter to the Philippians from prison; he is writing to a congregation who is also facing persecution. By his example, Paul shows how they are to suffer for Christ. For Paul, belief in Christ is inseparable from suffering for him. Not all are called to be jailed or martyred for Christ, but all are called to suffer for him. In Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes that ‘Christ-suffering’ is both the call of God which summons us away from our attachments to the world, and the bearing of the sins of the world by forgiving them in Christ.


GOSPEL: Soon after telling the disciples how hard it will be to enter the kingdom of heaven, Jesus tells a parable which seems to say that it’s easy. But it is indeed a hard road to stop comparing oneself to others, to reject envy, and to rejoice in the grace given to brothers and sisters. It is in refusing to bear the neighbor and insisting upon one’s own rights that the workers who were first become last.









Preparation for Worship

Upon reaching your place, you may wish to read Psalm 84 in silence:


1 How dear to me is your dwelling, O | Lord of hosts!*

                My soul has a desire and longing for the courts of the Lord;

                my heart and my flesh rejoice in the | living God.

2 The sparrow has found her a house

and the swallow a nest where she may | lay her young,*

                by the side of your altars, O Lord of hosts,

my King | and my God.

3 Happy are they who dwell | in your house!*

                They will always be | praising you.

4 Happy are the people whose strength | is in you,*

                whose hearts are set on the | pilgrims' way.

5 Those who go through the desolate valley

will find it a | place of springs,*

                for the early rains have covered it with | pools of water.

6 They will climb from | height to height,*

                and the God of gods will reveal him- | self in Zion.

7 Lord God of hosts, | hear my prayer;*

                hearken, O | God of Jacob.

8 Behold our defend- | er, O God;*

                and look upon the face of | your anointed.

9 For one day in your courts

is better than a thousand in | my own room,*

                and to stand at the threshold of the house of my God

                than to dwell in the tents | of the wicked.

10 For the Lord God is both | sun and shield;*

                he will give | grace and glory;

11 no good thing will the | Lord withhold*

                from those who walk | with integrity.

12 O | Lord of hosts,*

                happy are they who put their | trust in you!


You may pray the following prayers:


Holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God: hear our prayer and send your holy angel from heaven to guard, protect, visit, and defend all those who assemble together in this house; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Most gracious God, incline your merciful ears to our prayers and enlighten our hearts by the grace of your Holy Spirit, that we may approach your Holy Mysteries with believing hearts and love you with an everlasting love.


OPENING MUSIC                                           Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

Alec Wyton

Please meditate on the text of the hymn as it is played:


1              Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing

                my great Redeemer’s praise,

                the glories of my God and King,

                the triumphs of his grace!


2              My gracious Master and my God,

                assist me to proclaim,

                to spread through all the earth abroad

                the honors of your name.


3              The name of Jesus charms our fears

                and bids our sorrows cease,

                sings music in the sinner’s ears,

                brings life and health and peace.


4             He breaks the pow’r of canceled sin;

                he sets the pris’ner free.

                His blood can make the foulest clean;

                his blood avails for me.


5              To God all glory, praise, and love

                be now and ever giv’n

                by saints below and saints above,

                the church in earth and heav’n.


Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788, alt.


















The sign of the cross may be made by all in remembrance of their Baptism.


In the name of the Father, and of the X Son, and of the Holy Spirit.



Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.



If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

(1 John 1:8-9)


Silence for reflection and self-examination.


Most merciful God,

we confess that we are in bondage to sin

and cannot free ourselves.

We have sinned against you

in thought, word, and deed,

by what we have done

and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart;

we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

Forgive us, renew us, and lead us,

so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways,

to the glory of your holy name. Amen


In the mercy of Almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for you, and for his sake the Father forgives you all your sins. To those who believe in Jesus Christ he gives the power to become the children of God and bestows and them the Holy Spirit.








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.

(2 Corinthians 13:13)



In peace, let us pray to the Lord.                                 Lord, have mercy.

For the peace from above,

and for our salvation, let us pray to the Lord.       Lord, have mercy.

For the peace of the whole world,

for the well-being of the Church of God,

and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.    Lord, have mercy.



For this holy house,

and for all who offer here their worship and praise,

let us pray to the Lord.                                                   Lord, have mercy.

Help, save, comfort and defend us, gracious Lord.                       Amen




Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.         

(Luke 2:14)

Lord God, heavenly king, almighty God and Father:

                We worship you, we give you thanks,

we praise you for your glory.

                Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God:

                You take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.

                You are seated at the right hand of the Father;

receive our prayer.

                For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,

                you alone are the Most High,

                Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God the Father. Amen





The Lord be with you.

  And also with you.


God most high, your ways are not our ways,

for your kindness is lavished equally upon all.

  Teach us to welcome your mercy towards others,

  even as we hope to receive mercy ourselves.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit;

one God, now and forever.



I will ponder the glorious splendor of your majesty

and all your marvelous works.

  Let us hear the Word of the Lord.                                                  Psalm 145: 5




First READING                                                                       Jonah 3:10—4:11


10When God saw what [the people of Nineveh] did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.
4:1But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. 2He prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. 3And now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” 4And the Lord said, “Is it right for you to be angry?” 5Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, waiting to see what would become of the city.
6The Lord God appointed a bush, and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush. 7But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the bush, so that it withered. 8When the sun rose, God prepared a sultry east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint and asked that he might die. He said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”

9But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?” And he said, “Yes, angry enough to die.” 10Then the Lord said, “You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labor and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?”


The Word of the Lord.                                                                                                  

  Thanks be to God.


PSALM 145: 1-8

The psalm is read responsively between the pastor and the people.


1 I will exalt you, O | God my King,*

                and bless your name forev- | er and ever.

2 Every day | will I bless you*

                and praise your name forev- | er and ever.

3 Great is the Lord and greatly | to be praised;*

                there is no end | to his greatness.

4 One generation shall praise your works | to another*

                and shall de- | clare your power.

5 I will ponder the glorious splendor | of your majesty*

                and all your | marvelous works.

6 They shall speak of the might of your | wondrous acts,*

                and I will tell | of your greatness.

7 They shall publish the remembrance of | your great goodness;*

                they shall sing of your | righteous deeds.

8 The Lord is gracious and full | of compassion,*

                slow to anger and | of great kindness.


SECOND READING                                                           Philippians 1:21-30


21For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. 23I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; 24but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, 26so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.
27Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, 28and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. 29For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well—30since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.


The Word of the Lord.                                                  

  Thanks be to God.




Alleluia. Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ;

  strive side by side for the faith of the Gospel.  Alleluia.

                                                         Philippians 1: 27


Gospel                                                                                     Matthew 20: 1-16


The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.

  Glory to you, O Lord.


[Jesus said to the disciples:] 1“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 3When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; 4and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. 5When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. 6And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ 7They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ 8When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ 9When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. 10Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. 11And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”


The Gospel of the Lord.                                

  Praise to you, O Christ.





HYMN OF THE DAY                                                        Lord of All Hopefulness


Please meditate on the text of the hymn as it is played.


1              Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,

                whose trust, ever child-like, no cares could destroy:

                be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,

                your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.


2              Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,

whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe:

be there at our labors, and give us, we pray,

your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.


3              Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,

                your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace:

                be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,

                your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.


4             Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,

                whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm:

                be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,

                your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.


Text: Jan Struther, 1901-1953

Text © Oxford University Press 1931.








The pastor and people confess the faith of the Church in the words of the Apostles’ Creed.


I believe in God, the Father almighty,

                creator of heaven and earth.


I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.

                He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit

                                and born of the virgin Mary.

                He suffered under Pontius Pilate,

                                was crucified, died, and was buried.

                He descended into hell.

                On the third day he rose again.

                He ascended into heaven,

                                and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

                He will come again 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




Made one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray to the Father for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.


A brief silence is kept.


Father in heaven, lead the Church to stand with brothers and sisters, to reject envy and jealousy, to let go of that which would keep us from you, and to forgive others in Jesus’ name. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Strengthen this congregation to live our lives in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ, standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the Gospel. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Lead our Congress, our President, our judges, and all in authority in wisdom and righteousness. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


We pray for the peace of the world. Convert and restrain those who would do evil, and bring all leaders and peoples to holy fear and righteous deeds. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Be with the members of this nation’s armed forces, especially those deployed overseas and those aiding with relief efforts at home. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Come to the aid of all who are threatened or displaced by fire and flood; earthquake, lightning, and storm; epidemic, drought and famine. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


With thanksgiving for mercies given, we pray your blessing upon all in need. Lift up those we now name before you:


The People may offer silent or spoken intercessions and thanksgivings.


Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


We give thanks for the faithful departed, especially those dear to us who rest in you. Lead us in our discipleship, that we may join them when all suffering is at an end. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Into your hands, Father, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your steadfast love, through Jesus Christ our Lord.




The peace of the Lord be with you always.

  And also with you.


The people exchange a sign of peace with the simple words, Peace be with you.



The Lord’s Table is prepared.






We do not presume to come to your table, O Lord,

trusting in our own righteousness,

but in your manifold and great mercies.

  We are not worthy to gather up the crumbs under your table.

But you are the same Lord whose property is always to have mercy.

  Grant us, therefore, O gracious Lord,

  so to eat the flesh of your dear son, Jesus Christ,

  and so to drink his blood,

  that we may evermore dwell in him and he in us.





The Great Thanksgiving begins with the Preface, leading into the Sanctus:


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 him thanks and praise.


  It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places offer thanks and praise to you, O Lord, holy Father, through Christ our Lord:

  Through him your goodness to humankind overflows, and the message of repentance and forgiveness is preached to the ends of the earth;

that all may rejoice in his salvation and be united in the one Spirit.

  And so 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 power 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!                                                    (Isaiah 6:3, Matthew 21:9)

The pastor leads the people in praying the Eucharistic canon:


We praise and thank you, O God,

           for in your infinite goodness you have created us

           to receive and rejoice in your love and mercy. 


In the fullness of time and according to your purposes

           you sent your beloved Son,

           our Lord Jesus Christ, born of Mary. 


He came to proclaim the Kingdom;

           He healed the sick and numbered Himself among sinners;

           He poured Himself out in death,               

           giving His life as our ransom and our righteousness.


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.


Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

                Christ has died.

                Christ is risen.

                Christ will come again.


Holy Father,

                as we remember our Lord's life and passion,

           His resurrection and ascension,

           we give you our thanks and bless your holy name. 


Because your Son has made us His fellow-servants,

           a holy priesthood, a people set apart, we pray:


Send now His life-giving Spirit

           upon this Bread of Life and this Cup of Blessing,

           that we and all who partake

           of Christ's body and blood

           may find our unity in Him

           and our lives defined by His cross,

           as we await His final coming as Lord of love.


Through Him, with Him, in Him,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father,

now and forever. 



In the presence of Christ, we pray to his Father using the words he gave us.


Christ is in our midst.

                By the power of the Spirit,

                we pray to his Father, saying:



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                               (Matthew 6:9-15)


We adore Christ with the words of the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God).


The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord;

  And you give them their food in due season.

                                                                                                      (Psalm 145: 16)


Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world;

  have mercy on us.                                                        

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world;              

  have mercy on us.                                        

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world;              

  Grant us peace.

(John 1:29, see also Luke 17:13)





Admission to the Sacrament is by invitation of the Lord, presented through the Church to those who are baptized.


They may receive the Lord’s Body and Blood who are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, who commune in their home churches, and who believe that Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, is truly present in, with, and under the forms of bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.


The communicants will be invited forward one family unit at a time. Please do not come forward until the pastor directs you to come forward, do not approach all the way to the table until the pastor has retreated,  and please do not remove your mask until you have reached the table with the elements on it.


 When the pastor says ‘The body of Christ, given for you,’ eat the bread. When the pastor says, ‘The blood of Christ, shed for you,’ drink the wine.  Please take the plate and the glass(es) and place them on the table that is indicated. Please put your mask on before returning to your seat.


Please meditate on the text of the hymn as it is played.


There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy


1              There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,

                like the wideness of the sea;

                there’s a kindness in his 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.


2              There is welcome for the sinner,

                and a promised grace made good;

                there is mercy with the Savior;

                there is healing in his blood.

                There is grace enough for thousands

                of new worlds as great as this;

                there is room for fresh creations

                in that upper home of bliss.




3              For the love of God is broader

                than the measures of our mind;

                and the heart of the eternal

                is most wonderfully kind.

                There is plentiful redemption

                in the blood that has been shed;

                there is joy for all the members

                in the sorrows of the head.


4             ’Tis not all we owe to Jesus;

                it is something more than all:

                greater good because of evil,

                larger mercy through the fall.

                If our love were but more simple,

                we should take him at his word;

                and our lives would be all sunshine

                in the sweetness of our Lord.


Text: Frederick W. Faber, 1814-1863


When all have received, the congregation stands at the direction of the pastor.


The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.    



Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;

your word has been fulfilled.

My own eyes have seen the salvation

which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

A light to reveal you to the nations

and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning, is now,

and will be forever. Amen                                       Song of Simeon (Luke 2:29-32)







Almighty Father, you gave your Son

both as a sacrifice for sin and a model of the godly life.

  Enable us to receive him always with thanksgiving,

  and to conform our lives to his;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.




The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.

The Lord look upon you with favor and X give you peace.

  Amen                                                                                                  (Numbers 6:24-26)



Go in peace. Serve the Lord.                                          

  Thanks be to God!


CLOSING MUSIC                                                       Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee