Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
July 12, 2020
Opening Ourselves to Worship
Call to Worship (People’s response in bold.)
Leader: Come, let us worship the Lord our God
People: For the Lord is our God, and we are the Lord's people.
Leader: As we wait upon the Lord, let us open our ears,
People: That we might both hear and follow the word of the Lord.
Leader: As we wait upon the Lord, let us open our eyes,
People: That we might both see and perceive the will of the Lord.
Leader: As we wait upon the Lord, let us open our hearts.
People: That we might understand with our hearts, offer God our brokenness, and turn to the Lord for healing.
Opening Hymn: Come Ye Thankful People, Come
Invitation to Confession
The Scriptures are filled with stories of people just like us: those who are broken in body and spirit, men who grieved, women who questioned, siblings who did not get along, parents who chose favorites. God’s word of grace is meant for people just like us. There is no need for pretense before God. Let us confess our brokenness and go to God in prayer.
Prayer of Confession
Patient and persistent God, we come, polished and presentable, to worship, as if we knew what to expect, as if this were a safe and predictable place, as if we could simply observe. Holy One, forgive our tepid expectations. In the mystery of your love, overshadow us. Plant the seeds of your gospel in each of our hearts until we bloom and spill with your passion to serve in a world that is wasting. Amen.
Assurance of Forgiveness
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The Spirit of God dwells in you. If you hear nothing else today, hear these words: Jesus Christ died for us while we were still sinners, and that proves God’s love for us. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!
People: In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven! Glory to God! Amen
Hearing God’s Word
Prayer for Illumination
God of Life, by the power of your Spirit come to us now. Plow our hearts with your living Word until we who are broken become fertile with your love, for we long to bear fruit in a world that is wasting. We pray in the name of Jesus, whose charge we bear. Amen.
Epistle Lesson: Romans 8:1-11
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit[a] of life in Christ Jesus has set you[b] free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin,[c] he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.[d]5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit[e] set their minds on the things of the Spirit.[f] 6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit[g] is life and peace. 7 For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.9 But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit,[h] since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit[i] is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ[j] from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through[k] his Spirit that dwells in you.
The Children’s Time to Lead Us
Gospel Lesson: Matthew 13:1-9; 18-23
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 Let anyone with ears[a] listen!”18 “Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away.[a] 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
Leader: This is the Word of God for the People of God. People: Thanks be to God.
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
Holy God, we were yours before we drew breath, and still we will be yours when the pulse of life ceases. In every fragile, reckless moment, we belong to you. We thank you for the gift of life. May the love we have received spill gratitude from our hearts. May the wounds we carry open our hearts to the needs of others. May we recognize in your mercy the faithfulness that judges and redeems every human bond. We lift to you now all that seems irreconcilable:
in our families [silence]
in our schools and workplaces [silence]
in our nation [silence]
in your church [silence]
in your world [silence]
We pray for those we identify as leaders in every sphere of life and for all whose decisions weigh heavily on others. [silence]
Even so, Lord, give us the courage to name ourselves as those whose responsibility is great. Teach us to act, to tend the world you love:
to sow more than we reap,
to heal more than we wound,
to make room for others as you made room for us.
Redeeming God, stake your claim upon us now, until we hear your gospel echo in each stranger’s story and see your image reflected on every wounded face, for we pray in the name of Jesus, who unsettles our lives for the sake of your love. 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
Holy God, you relieve us from the burden of our guilt, heal us from our brokenness, and save us from the loneliness that isolates us from others and from you. With our offerings, we pledge our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness in the spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Closing Hymn: Blessed Assurance
Thank you for joining us in worship today.
Today’s worship is compiled and adapted from Worship Elements: July 12, 2020 on MinistryMatters.com, & Feasting on the Word Worship Companion: Year A, Volume 2, Proper 10.
Rev. Lorrin Radzik, Senior Pastor, Rockport UMC
Father David Radzik, Rector, St. Thomas Church, Berea
Recordings of Blessed Assurance and Come, Ye Thankful People, Come from Discipleship Ministries. Recording of Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior from Kira Seaton, Minister of Music at St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
Permission to print and podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI with license #20417540