EIGHTH SUNDAY after PENTECOST
July 23, 2023
The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor
+ EIGHTH SUNDAY after PENTECOST +
“Waiting for Harvest Sunday”
Welcome to all who have gathered to worship as we celebrate God’s continued presence in our lives and world. We pray that in this hour of worship, God would strengthen us through Word and Sacrament so that we might give witness to all he has promised in his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Guests and visitors, please honor us by signing our Guest Book in the entrance hall of the church as you leave this morning’s worship. If you have no church home of your own, we invite you to make Grace Lutheran Church the center of your worship, learning, fellowship, and service. After this morning’s worship, join us for a cup of coffee and let us become better acquainted with you as you get to know us better. Come to worship with us again and often!
AS WE GATHER The Seed - The Word
God said, “My Word that goes out from my mouth … will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it (Isaiah 55:11).” It is like rain that waters the earth and brings forth vegetation. It is so like the Sower who scatters seed indiscriminately. Our lives are like seeds sown in the earth. Even from what appears to be little, dormant, or dead, God promises a harvest.
Today we pray that the powerful Word of God will flourish in our midst, that we may hear the Word and understand it, and bring forth a bountiful harvest of the fruits of the Spirit in our lives for the glory of God and the building of his Kingdom.
PRAYER BEFORE WORSHIP
Lord, overtake our weakness with your power so that we may proclaim the saving Gospel to all nations. Remove from us all fear and doubt and move us toward those who have not heard the story of your love; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
+ THE ORDER of CELEBRATING +
Now the Feast and Celebration— Marty Haugen
[Remembering our baptism, we gather in the Name of the Triune God to confess our sins and receive the assurance of our forgiveness as his people.]
ORDER OF CONFESSION
In the Name of the Father and of the ☩ Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
From the Word which God has sown, a harvest will be gathered in.
How silently the growth occurs, how possible to go unseen.
“My Word shall not return to me empty,” says the Lord. “It shall accomplish the thing for which I sent it.”
If we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
So let the seed be sown.
+ A Brief Silence for Reflection +
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you—in our thinking, in our speaking, and in our doing. We deserve your wrath and punishment. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and let your light shine upon us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy Name.
“My Word shall accomplish the thing for which I sent it,” says the Lord. Like a grain of wheat buried in the earth; Jesus Christ was given into death for you. For his sake, your sins are forgiven in the Name of the Father and of the ☩ Son and of the Holy Spirit. By him we are redeemed and set at liberty.
Thanks be to God!
Forgiven and reconciled by God, let us be reconciled with one another and share the peace of the Lord as we greet each other.
THE PASSING OF PEACE
[The congregation is encouraged to share the peace of Christ and greet one another with the words, “The Lord’s peace be with you.” The response, “And also with you.”]
The love of God the Father, made known in Christ Jesus our Lord, and poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also, with you.
In peace, in peace,
For the Reign of God, and for peace throughout the world, for the unity of all.
For your people here, who have come to give you praise, for the strength to live your Word.
Help, save and defend us, O God. Amen
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Faithful God, you care for your children with firmness and compassion. By your Spirit nurture us who live in your kingdom, that we may be rooted in the way of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
+ WORD +
[Whenever we worship, God speaks, and we listen. We hear the Word of God read aloud in our midst, bringing us both God’s judgment and grace.]
FIRST LESSON Isaiah 55:10-13
[God’s word to Israel’s exiles is as sure and effective as never-failing precipitation. Their return to the Holy Land in a new exodus is cheered by singing mountains and by trees that clap their hands.]
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the Sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out of my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which in purpose and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the LORD a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
SECOND LESSON Romans 8:1-11
[There is no condemnation for those who live in Christ. God sent Christ to accomplish what the law was unable to do: condemn sin and free us from its death-dealing ways. The Spirit now empowers proper actions and values in our lives and give us the promise of resurrected life.]
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. 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, he condemned sin in the flesh, 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. 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 set their minds of the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason, the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Lord to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.
HOLY GOSPEL Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
The gospel according to Matthew, the 13th chapter. Glory to you, O Lord.
[In Matthew’s gospel, both Jesus and his disciples “sow the seed” of God’s word by proclaiming the good news that “the Kingdom of heaven is near.” Now, in a memorable parable, Jesus explains why this good news produces different results in those who hear.]
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 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. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!”
“Hear then the parable of the sower. 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. As for what was sown on the rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arrive on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. 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. 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.”
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to You, O Christ.
SERMON Rooted in Christ Pr. Josh Text: The Gospel Lesson
We believe in one God,
the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
and of all things visible and invisible.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
begotten from his Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God,
begotten, not made,
being on one substance with the Father,
by whom all things were made;
who for us and for our salvation came down from heaven
and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary
and was made man;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.
he suffered and was buried.
and the third ay he rose again according to the Scriptures
And ascended into heaven
and sits at the right of the Father.
And he will come again with glory to judge both the living and
the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
The Lord and giver of life,
Who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and
glorified, who spoke by the prophets.
We believe in one Holy Christian and Apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life ☩ of the world to come. Amen
PRAYERS of THE CHURCH
+ MEAL +
[As the first-fruit offerings of all that we are and have, are gathered, The Lord’s Table is prepared to celebrate “The Feast that knows no end” instituted by Christ our Lord for the strengthening of our faith and the assurance of our forgiveness.]
God of all creation, all that we have comes from your hand. We bring what you have already given us—bread and wine for your table, and the gifts of all that we are and have for the work of your Kingdom. Most of all we give you thanks for your greatest gift to us in Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
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 call 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.
Remembering, therefore, his preaching and healing, his dying
and rising, and his promise to come again, we await the day
when all the universe will rejoice in his life-giving light.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
By your Holy Spirit, bless us and this meal, that refreshed by it
we might be light for the world.
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
Now in the words of our Lord, we are bold to pray …
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.
[We come to The Sacrament sincerely believing in the real presence of Christ and that in the eating and drinking of the bread and wine of The Sacrament we receive the true body and blood of our Lord for our forgiveness, salvation, and strength for Christian life and witness.]
May the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen and preserve you steadfast in the true faith to life everlasting. Amen
+ SENDING +
[Strengthened in faith and empowered for service, we leave with thanksgiving and the Lord’s blessing.]
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Cultivate and nourish us, O God, that we may be good soil. Let the presence of Christ in word and sacrament, planted in us now, bring forth rich and beautiful fruit for the life of the world; through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord. Amen
DISMISSAL Go in peace. Serve the Lord. Thanks be to God!
+ With Great Joy … Tell Everyone What He Has Done! +
THE PRESENCE of CHRIST is celebrated in The Lord’s Supper. He comes to us in a real and present way with his life-giving body and blood in the bread and wine of The Sacrament to assure us of our forgiveness and to strengthen us in faith and service. All who trust and believe the words “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins” are welcome. Come, receive Christ’s presence in the meal prepared for you. Enjoy his presence. Children are encouraged to come forward with their parents and/or grandparents and receive a blessing.
WEEKEND OF FELLOWSHIP - Zion Lutheran Church, LCMS has invited us for a weekend of fellowship and worship at their annual camping trip to Lakeview, Oregon, September 1st through the 4th of 2023. If interested, contact Zion Lutheran Church at (541) 884-6793.
UPDATED PHONE DIRECTORY – The revised Grace Church Directory is now available! These will not be sent out electronically, so make sure to pick up your copy. (Copies will be mailed to our homebound members.) These will be made available every Sunday.
SUNDAY, JULY 30TH – Please note: due to our upcoming, Outdoor Worship & Potluck at the Lake, there will be no onsite church service here at Grace, no ZOOM streaming, or Worship CDs available. All will resume again next Sunday, August 6th, 2023.
THIS WEEK AT A GLANCE
July 24th – July 30th
Monday, July 24th @
SOU Campus Ministries/Engage Summer Project Training (Fireside Room)
Sunday, July 30th @ 10:00 AM
Outdoor Worship & Potluck at the Lake
Emigrant Lake Park