NOTE: Due to technical issues, the service will not be live-streamed this morning. We are sorry.
Chinese Christian Martyrs of the 19th and 20th centuries
For [those] who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise,
with healing in its wings.
THE TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Patience and perseverance until the end of the age
The color green, used for the vestments and paraments in the season after Pentecost, symbolizes growth and life in the Holy Spirit.
FIRST READING: The last chapter of the prophetic book of Malachi is also the last chapter of the Old Testament. Although worship of ‘sun gods’ was prevalent in the ancient near east, the God of Israel is not among these. Rather, the day when God acts is compared to a sunrise, bringing retribution to the wicked and healing to God’s people. But for Christians, Jesus, ‘the light of the world,’ is the one who heals and saves:
Christ, whose glory fills the skies, Christ, the true and only light;
Sun of righteousness, arise; Triumph o’er the shades of night.
Dayspring from on high, be near! Daystar, in my heart appear!
LBW 265, st. 1
SECOND READING: The second letter of Paul to the Thessalonians was meant to address confusion among believers. Some had told them that ‘the day of the Lord’ had already arrived (2:2). One of the effects of this was that people stopped working to sustain themselves because they believed that God was making such investment in the future unnecessary. Paul commands them to change their behavior, pointing to his own example of manual labor to support his apostolic ministry. While waiting for the day of the Lord, we are not to be idle but actively work to support ourselves and bless others.
GOSPEL: Jesus tells his disciples about the necessity for watchfulness and discernment among signs of the judgment of the world. They can be distracted by false security (the greatness of the Temple) political enthusiasm and conspiracy theories (going after false Messiahs) and anxiety about persecution. Jesus calls them to endure, trusting that God will vindicate his chosen ones despite all of the turmoil and clamor of the world that is passing away.
OPENING MUSIC O Holy Spirit, Enter In - J. C. Bach; Phillip Gehring
If You but Trust in God to Guide You - Georg Bohm
F. W. Marpurg
J. S. Bach
BRIEF ORDER FOR CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
The sign of the cross may be made by all in remembrance of their Baptism.
Blessed be God: Father, X Son, and Holy Spirit;
And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever. Amen
Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Let us confess our sins in the presence of God and of one another.
Silence for reflection and self-examination.
I confess to God Almighty, before the whole company of heaven, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned in thought, word, and deed by my fault, by my own fault, by my own most grievous fault; wherefore I pray God Almighty to have mercy on me, forgive me all my sins, and bring me to everlasting life. Amen
The almighty and merciful Lord grant you pardon, forgiveness,
and remission of all your sins. Amen
I confess to God Almighty, before the whole company of heaven,
and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned in thought,
word, and deed by my fault, by my own fault, by my own most
grievous fault; wherefore I pray God Almighty to have mercy on
me, forgive me all my sins, and bring me to everlasting life. Amen
The almighty and merciful Lord grant you pardon, forgiveness, and remission of all your sins. Amen
THE HOLY COMMUNION
I will go to the altar of God;
the God of my joy and gladness.
We include in the online order of worship all hymns which are in the public domain. Texts which are copyrighted may not be included in the online order of worship. If you need a copy of the hymnals for your home use, please contact us so that we may provide you with one. Thank you!
WHymn Green LBW 453 If You but Trust in God to Guide You
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
HYMN OF PRAISE
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
who was, and who is, and who is to come;
stir up within us a longing for your kingdom.
Steady our hearts in time of trial,
and grant us patient endurance
until the sun of justice dawns.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
God remembers his mercy and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
Let us hear the Word of the Lord. Psalm 98:4a
First READING Malachi 4:1-2a
1See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2aBut for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
1 Sing to the Lord | a new song,*
for he has done | marvelous things.
2 With his right hand and his | holy arm*
has he won for him- | self the victory.
3 The Lord has made | known his victory;*
his righteousness has he openly shown
in the sight | of the nations.
4 He remembers his mercy and faithfulness to the | house of Israel,*
and all the ends of the earth
have seen the victory | of our God.
5 Shout with joy to the Lord, | all you lands;*
lift up your voice, re- | joice, and sing.
6 Sing to the Lord | with the harp,*
with the harp and the | voice of song.
7 With trumpets and the sound | of the horn*
shout with joy before the | king, the Lord.
8 Let the sea make a noise and all | that is in it,*
the lands and those who | dwell therein.
9 Let the rivers | clap their hands,*
and let the hills ring out with joy before the Lord,
when he comes to | judge the earth.
10 In righteousness shall he | judge the world*
and the peo- | ples with equity.
SECOND READING 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13
6Now we command you, beloved, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from believers who are living in idleness and not according to the tradition that they received from us. 7For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, 8and we did not eat anyone’s bread without paying for it; but with toil and labor we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you. 9This was not because we do not have that right, but in order to give you an example to imitate. 10For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat. 11For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. 12Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. 13Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
VERSE Revelation 22:20 Setting by Paul D. Weber
Alleluia. The Lord says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! Alleluia.
Gospel Luke 21:5-19
The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
Glory to you, O Lord.
5When some were speaking about the temple, how it was
adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, [Jesus] said, 6“As
for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be
left upon another; all will be thrown down.”
7They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” 8And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them.
9“When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” 10Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 11there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.
12“But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. 13This will give you an opportunity to testify. 14So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; 15for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. 16You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17You will be hated by all because of my name. 18But not a hair of your head will perish. 19By your endurance you will gain your souls.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
WHYMN OF THE DAY
Green LBW 459 O Holy Spirit, Enter In
1 O Holy Spirit, enter in,
and in our hearts your work begin,
and make our hearts your dwelling.
Sun of the soul, O Light divine,
around and in us brightly shine,
your strength in us upwelling.
In your radiance
life from heaven
now is given
gift of gifts beyond all knowing.
2 Left to ourselves, we surely stray;
oh, lead us on the narrow way,
with wisest counsel guide us;
and give us steadfastness, that we
may follow you forever free,
no matter who derides us.
Gently heal those
hearts now broken;
give some token
you are near us,
whom we trust to light and cheer us.
3 O mighty Rock, O Source of life,
let your good Word in doubt and strife
be in us strongly burning,
that we be faithful unto death
and live in love and holy faith,
from you true wisdom learning.
Lord, your mercy
on us shower;
by your power
we will cherish all your blessing.
Text: Michael Schirmer, 1606-1673; tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1827-1878, adapt.
CONFESSION OF FAITH 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
PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH
Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.
That your Church, being always mindful of the end of all things and the day of judgment, may be stirred up to love and good deeds as we await the dawning of the day of righteousness; Lord, in your mercy.
hear our prayer.
That our faith family may be renewed in our witness to your healing power manifested in Jesus; Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
That our nation would be sustained, our world comforted, and people everywhere live in safety, peace, and freedom. Bless those elected to office this past Tuesday. Give them humility, courage, wisdom, and integrity; Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
That the cries of all in need would be heard and answered with signs of your grace. We name all for whom we pray before you:
The pastor reads the names on the prayer list.
The congregation may offer silent and spoken intercessions.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
We thank you for the faithful of every time and place who have gone before us, living through times of plenty and want, peace and war, awaiting the day when evil is no more and your healing is known to all who have trusted in you. Bring us, with them, to that day of victory, and until then, never allow us to weary in doing what is right. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Into your hands, Father, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The peace of the Lord be with you always.
And also with you.
The people exchange the sign of peace with the simple words, Peace be with you.
The Lord’s Table is prepared.
OFFERTORY Revelation 11:17; 14:7 Setting by David Schack
We give thanks, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, that you have taken your great power and begun to reign. Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of judgment has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the fountains for water.
PRAYER OF PREPARATION
Hear us, O Lord Jesus Christ, from your dwelling place,
from the glorious throne of your kingdom, and come and cleanse us.
You are seated on high with the Father,
and you dwell also with us here, although unseen.
By your mighty hand render us worthy to receive in holy communion
your spotless body and your precious blood.
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. He is the Sun of Righteousness who brings healing in his wings, in this deceitful world the sure sign of your Truth; the just judge who will vindicate his holy ones and leave neither root nor branch to those who do evil. And so, with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
The pastor leads the people in praying the Eucharistic canon:
Lord, you are holy indeed.
All creation gives you thanks and praise.
In the wonder of your love for us,
you created life through your Word made flesh,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
From every time and place
you gather a people to yourself,
so that those you claim as your own
may glorify your wondrous grace and mercy.
As we now gather this Table to celebrate the Supper of your Son,
we ask that by the power of your Spirit
these gifts of bread and wine may be for us
the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
That same Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed,
took bread; when he had given thanks,
he broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said;
Take and eat, for this is my body, which is given for you.
Do this for my remembrance.
When supper had ended, he took the cup;
when he had given thanks, he gave it to them and said:
All of you, drink from this,
for this cup is my blood of the new covenant,
shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this for my remembrance.
Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
Mighty Lord, Gracious Father:
As we call to mind the death your Son endured for us,
his glorious resurrection and ascension,
and his promise to come again,
we offer you our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.
Grant that we who gather for this holy supper
may be filled with the Holy Spirit,
united in Christ as his living body in the world,
awaiting the world to come where his love will be fulfilled.
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
This is the bread that comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.
Lord, give us this bread always.
John 6:33, 34
We adore Christ, present in bread and wine.
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 Call - Text/ George Herbert, 1593-1633; Music/ K. Lee Scott
Come, my way, my truth, my life:
such a way as gives breath;
such a truth as ends all strife;
such a life as killeth death.
Come, my light, my feast, my strength:
such a light as shows a feast;
such a feast as mends in length;
such a strength as makes his guest.
Come, my joy, my love, my heart:
such a joy as none can move;
such a love as none can part;
such a heart as joys in love.
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.
We give you thanks, almighty God,
that you have refreshed us through the healing power of this gift of life;
and we pray that in your mercy
you would strengthen us through this gift,
in faith toward you and in fervent love toward one another;
for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR THE FAITH FAMILY
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
WCLOSING HYMN Green LBW 263 Abide with Us, Our Savior
1 Abide with us, our Savior,
nor let your mercy cease;
from Satan’s might defend us,
and grant our souls release.
2 Abide with us, our Savior,
sustain us by your word;
that we with all your people
to life may be restored.
3 Abide among us always,
Lord, with your faithfulness;
O Jesus, leave us never,
but help us in distress.
4 Abide with us, our Savior,
O Light of endless light,
bestow on us your blessings,
and save us by your might.
Text: Josua Stegmann, 1588-1632; tr. unknown, sts. 1-2, 4; F. W. Detterer, st. 3; alt.
Go in peace. Serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
From Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2022 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #20540.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Prayer of the Day from Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language: Norwich, UK: Canterbury Press, 2001.
Additional material from Foretaste of
the Feast to Come: Devotions on Holy Communion, by Philip Pfatteicher, copyright
1987 Augsburg Publishing House.
Eucharistic Canon reprinted by permission from A Little Book of Canons, Rod L. Ronneberg, STS, copyright 1997 and 2010.
Chinese Martyrs, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=57230 [retrieved November 8, 2022]. Original source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chinesemartyrs-htm_sm.jpg.
Agnus Day appears with the permission of www.agnusday.org
St Stephen Lutheran Church
55 Forsythe Road
Pittsburgh PA 15220
Saturday Evening Worship – 6:30 pm
Sunday Morning Worship – 10:30 am