Return to site

Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost - Homily: "Clean Hands" by Pr. Jim


“With Unwashed Hands” Sunday

29 August 2021


Welcome to Grace Lutheran Church. We are happy that you have joined us for worship this morning. May all present grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in a love and desire to serve him. If you are a guest or visitor and have not done so already, please honor us by signing our Guest Book in the entrance hall of the church as you leave. If you have no church home of your own in the area, we invite you to make Grace Lutheran Church the center of your worship, learning, fellowship, and service. Pastor Jim or this morning’s lay assistant will be happy to answer any questions you may have concerning our parish. Come to worship with us again and often!

AS WE GATHER   More Than Enough

Jesus protests against human customs being given the weight of divine law, while the essence of God’s law is ignored. True uncleanness comes not from external things, but from the intentions of the human heart. Last week Jesus told us “the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (John 6:63). Now James says God has given us birth by the word of truth. We who were washed in water and the word when we were born in the font return to it every Sunday to ask God to create in us clean hearts.


O God, you see how busy we are with many things. In this hour of worship and prayer, give us rest from all that would cause us to be anxious. Turn us to listen to you as you come to us in Word and Sacrament, assuring us of that peace which passes all understanding. We ask this in the Name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.




Today we focus on our daily lives, lives of labor for the Lord. The Lord has sanctified honest labor as aGod-pleasing endeavor. As with all our gifts and talents, we use our labor to give glory to God. Today’s Gospel reminds us that even “religious” tasks do not please God if they are done for our own glory and not his. The First Lesson reminds us of what it is that constitutes national greatness: the presence of God and his Word. With perspectives in order, the Second Lesson shows us how to approach the work God gives us to do.

PRELUDE Peaceful Prelude—Teresa Wilhelmi withTatsiana Ascheichyk, Piano


In the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Turn to me and be saved,” says the Lord. “For I am God and there is no other.”

If we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins

and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Today we consider what the Lord commands, and how we respond to it.

+ A Brief Silence for Reflection & Self-examination +

Most merciful God, we confess that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves. From our hearts come evil intentions. We are defiled by sin and

are unable to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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.

For your sake Jesus Christ obeyed the will of God perfectly, even unto death. For

his sake and by his authority, I declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins,

in the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirt. Amen.



The grace of our Risen Savior, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

be with you all.

                 And also with you.

NOW THE FEAST  Refrain:    Now the feast and celebration,

All of creation sings for joy

to the God of life and love and freedom:

praise and glory forevermore!

  1. Now is the feast of the Lamb once slain,

whose blood has freed and united us to

be one great people of God.   Refrain

  1. Power and riches, wisdom and might,

all honor and glory to Christ forever.  Refrain

  1. For God has come to dwell with us, to make

us people of God; to make all things new.  Refrain

O God our strength, without you we are weak and wayward creatures.

Protect us from all dangers that attack us from the outside, and cleanse

us from all evil that arises from within ourselves, that we may be preserved through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

FIRST LESSON Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9

[The Israelites believed the law was a divine gift that provided guidelines for living out the covenant. Moses commands the people to obey the law and to neither add to it nor subtract from it. The Israelites are also to teach the law to their children and their children’s children.]

So now, Israel, give heed to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. You must neither add anything to what I command you nor take away anything from it, but keep the commandments of the Lord your God with which I am charging you.

You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes,

will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!’ For what other great nation has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is whenever we call to him? And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today? But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children.

The word of the Lord.

                 Thanks be to God!

PSALM 15 (Read responsively)

LORD, who may dwell in your tabernacle? Who may abide upon your holy hill?

Whoever leads a blameless life and does what

is right, who speaks the truth from his heart,

There is no guile upon his tongue; he does no evil to his

friend; he does not heap contempt upon his neighbor.

In his sight the wicked is rejected, but he honors

those who fear the LORD.

He has sworn to do no wrong and does not take back

his word.

He does not give his money in hope of gain, nor

does he take a bribe against the innocent.

Whoever does these things shall never be overthrown.

    LORD, who may dwell in your tabernacle?

SECOND LESSON James 1:17-27

[The letter of James was intended to provide first century Christians with instruction in godly behavior. Here Christians are encouraged to listen carefully and to act on what they hear, especially by caring for those least able to care for themselves.]

Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. In fulfilment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. Therefore

rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.

But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.

If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God!

SPECIAL MUSIC Jesus Saves—R. Kevin Boesiger

GOSPEL Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

The Holy Gospel according to Mark, the 7th chapter.

Glory to you, O Lord.

[Mark’s gospel depicts Jesus as challenging traditional ways in which religious people determine what is pure or impure. For Jesus, the observance of religious practices cannot become a substitute for godly works or deeds that spring from a faithful heart.]

Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?’ He said to them, ‘Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,

“This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.

HYMN Oh, That the Lord Would Guide My Ways LSB 707

HOMILY - Clean Hands—Pr. Jim Text: The Gospel Lesson

APOSTOLIC 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, died and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven

and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

From thence 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.


As children and heirs of God’s promise, let us pray for The Church, the world, and all in need.

We pray for The Church, that it is a safe haven for all who seek your presence. Fill it with pastors, deacons and deaconesses, teachers and leaders who echo your gracious and loving welcome. Guide the members of our call committee by the power of your Spirit as they prepare to interview a new list of potential candidates for the pastoral office of our parish. Keep us mindful that you hear our prayers and will at length provide us with a tenured pastor to join us in serving our community and seeking the lost. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the whole of creation, that plants and animals have the habitat and resources to thrive and flourish. Inspire us to protect all that you entrusted to us and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come. Protect all firefighters and first responders who are working in dangerous environments as they seek to control and manage further devastation cause by the current raging wildfires. Sustain those who are displaced and home-less, together with the families of those who are deployed to fight the forest fires. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all in positions of authority. Raise up wise and discerning leaders in federal, state, and local governments and guide them to seek the benefit of every person at home and abroad. Watch over all who are involved in the withdrawal of our troops, diplomats and citizens from Afghanistan, together with the evacuation and relocation of Afghani people who supported our armed forces. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all who are in need and cry out for help. Feed those who are hungry, reassure those who are despairing, and accompany those who need your touch this day, especially those who are suffering COVID-19 and its variants. Be close to the hearts of all who are lonely or homebound, especially Sharon, Richard & Doris, Bonnie, Vernia, Elma, Marguerite, and those we name on our hearts that they may be assured of your presence through our prayers and care for them. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We give thanks for all those who have gone before us who showed us how to honor you with our hearts and lives. Inspire us by their example and renew our faith, trusting that we will be united with them in your eternal presence at the feast which knows no end. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Receive the prayers, O God, and those in our hearts known only to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



Heavenly Father, in Christ you have raised us to new life. Receive what

we have to offer, that others might know that life through the gifts you

give us to use and to share in the Name of your Son, Jesus Christ, our

Savior and Lord. Amen.


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.

Blessed are you, O holy God: You are the Life and Light of all.

By your powerful word you created all things.

Through the prophets you called your people

to be a light to the nations

Blessed are you for Jesus, your Son.

He is your Light, shining in our darkness

And revealing to us your mercy and might.


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 which is given

for you. Do this in 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 in remembrance of me.

By your Spirit bless us and this meal, that refreshed with

this heavenly food, we may be light for the world, revealing

The brilliance of your Son.

Amen. Come, Holy Spirit.

Through him all glory and honor are yours, Almighty Father, with

the Holy Spirit, in your holy Church, both now and forever. 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 and ever. Amen.


The peace of the Lord be with you always. And also with you.

Distribution Music - Now We Remain



O God of love, you bind us to yourself in this sacrament, and strengthen us through this meal for service to the world. Guide us by your Spirit that we

may forever give witness to the Name of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Life. We

ask this in his Name. Amen.


SONG Thanks Be to You(Join in singing)

  1. Praise to you, O God of mercy: Thanks be to you forever!

Raising high the weak and lowly: Thanks be to you forever!

  1. From of old you loved and sought us: Thanks be to you forever!

Truth and justice you have taught us: Thanks be to you forever!

Strong is your faithfulness, strong is your love,

Rememb’ring your covenant of love with us.

  1. Praise to you, O God of mercy: Thanks be to you forever!

Raising high the weak and lowly: Thanks be to you forever!

Thanks be to you forever!


Go in peace. Serve the Lord.

                 Thanks be to God!

+ With Great Boldness … Tell Everyone What He Has Done! +

All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!