Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
August 30, 2020
Opening Ourselves to Worship
Call to Worship (People’s response in bold.)
Leader: We give thanks to God with our whole heart.
People: We give thanks for God’s steadfast love and faithfulness!
Leader: Though high above all things, God sees the lowly.
People: Even when we are in deep trouble, God makes us live again. The love of God lasts forever!
Opening Hymn: Blessed Assurance
Invitation to Confession
Prayer of Confession
Merciful God, we confess that we have conformed our lives to the ways of the world and not the ways of your kingdom. We think of ourselves too highly and regard others as lowly. We exalt possessions and power, when you alone are to be exalted. We let conflicts prevail over grace and divisions over harmony. Have mercy upon us, we pray. Forgive and transform us, that we may be holy and acceptable to you, discerning and doing your will. Through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
Assurance of Forgiveness
The steadfast love of the Lord never ends. When we call out to God, God answers and saves us with a strong and outstretched hand. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven and helped to live in grace! In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven, and helped to live in grace. Glory to God! Amen.
Hearing God’s Word
Prayer for Illumination
Even from a place of exile, from a position of despair, we trust, O God, in your power: to return and restore us, to enliven and empower us, to soothe and to save us. You can turn a desert into Eden, sorrow into joy, and silence into singing. The heavens may vanish above and the earth dissolve underneath, but your salvation is forever. We wait for you, O God, attentive and hopeful, for with you, deliverance is always possible. By the power of the Holy Spirit, renew our minds and hearts so we may discern your will and respond in faith. In Christ, we pray. Amen.
Epistle Lesson: Isaiah 51:1-6
The Children’s Time to Lead Us
Gospel Lesson: Matthew 16:13-18
Sermon: Rev. Dr. Tim Morrison
Affirmation of Faith: The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick 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.
Transforming Our Lives & the World
Prayers of the People
Steadfast God, your love and faithfulness are with us always. We give thanks that with you there is no end to our hope. By your power, all exiles will come to an end; all things will be restored. Therefore we pray with confidence to you who are above all things, knowing that you take notice of those who are bent low; that your strong arm takes hold of those who are in the midst of trouble.
To anyone in despair, send your deliverance swiftly. For those longing for home, return them, we pray, to a place of safety and love.
For anyone estranged from another, we pray that reconciliation may be accomplished
or that an ending may become the pathway to a new beginning.
Loving God, you promise comfort to the one in sorrow and help to the one in trouble. Lift us all up so we can see your salvation. Help us and help the nations learn your justice
and to practice it. Silence the deafening drumbeat of war so we may learn a song of thanksgiving. Before the world wears out like a garment, before we turn your Eden into a waste place, correct our habits. We desire to be better caretakers of the garden of the Lord.
We thank you for the gift of the church and for the varied gifts and perspectives
you place among us. Help us to welcome the diversity of your design in ways that enlarge our witness in the world. We thank you especially for Jesus Christ, who has called us to be his body in the world, and we pray all things in his name. Amen.
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. Amen.
Invitation to Generosity
Prayer of Dedication
Gracious God, we thank you for the measure of faith you have given to each of us. Increase in us generosity, compassion, and prophetic courage so we may continue to be your body in and for the world. With thanksgiving, we pray in the name of Christ. Amen.
Closing Hymn: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
Permission to print and podcast/stream the music (not in public domain) is obtained from CCLI with license #20417540