EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
October 1, 2023
The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor
+ EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST +
“Obedience in Action”
A warm welcome to all who worship with us this morning. Today we gather around Word and Sacrament through which God equips, directs, and supports his people in the mission and ministry of his Kingdom. All that God has promised in his Son, Jesus Christ, comes together by the power of the Spirit as we worship. 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!
PRAYER BEFORE WORSHIP
O God, you see how anxious and occupied 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 and come to us in Word and Sacrament, assuring us of that peace that passes all understanding; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
+ THE ORDER OF CELEBRATING +
LSB Divine Service 4
+ GATHERING +
[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 Please Stand
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.
We have been called to work in God’s vineyard, to share in God’s harvest, to
give God what belongs to God.
“My Word shall not return to me empty,” says the Lord. “It shall accomplish the thing for which I sent it.”
But we are reluctant to obey, to do the Father’s will.
+ A Brief Silence for Reflection +
Lord of the living harvest, we confess that we have sinned. In our thinking, speaking, doing—proper fruit has not been borne. Your final harvest fills our hearts with fear. For the sake of Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive our disobedience and hypocrisy, that we may serve you faithfully. Amen
As the One who trod the winepress alone, Jesus Christ poured out his life for you. In him there is forgiveness, life, and resurrection from the dead. By him we are redeemed and set at liberty in the Name of the Father and of the ☩ Son and of the Holy Spirit. Our God has turned to us, and we shall live.
Thanks be to God!
Forgiven and reconciled by God, let us be reconciled with one another and share the
peace of the Lord.
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.”]
GLORIA IN EXCELSIS
PRAYER OF THE DAY
O God, we thank you for your Son who chose the path of suffering for the sake of the world. Humble us by his example, point us to the path of obedience, and give us strength to follow his commands; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and 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.]
PRAYER OF THE DAY
God of love, you know our frailties and failings. Give us your grace to overcome them; keep us from those things that harm us; and guide us in the way of salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
FIRST LESSON Ezekiel 18:1-4. 25-32
[The prophet Ezekiel challenges an old proverb that would see the exile as punishment for the sins of the exiles’ ancestors. Rather, he says, God insists that individuals are responsible for their own sin and their own repentance.]
The word of the LORD came to me “What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The parents have earth sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? As I live, says the LORD GOD, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Now that all lives are mine, the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins shall die …
“Yet you say, ‘The way of the LORD is unfair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair? When the righteous turn away from their righteousness and commit iniquity, they shall die for it; for the iniquity that they have committed they shall die. Again, when the wicked turn away from the wickedness they have committed and do what is lawful and right, they shall save their life. Because they considered their transgressions that they had committed, they shall surely live, they shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the LORD is unfair.’ O house of Israel, are my ways unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair?
Therefore, I will judge you, O house of Israel, all of you according to your ways, says the LORD GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, otherwise iniquity will be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the LORD GOD. Turn, then, and live.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
SECOND LESSON Philippians 2 :1-4, 14-18
[As part of a call to harmony rather than self-seeking, Paul exhorts the Philippians to shine like lights in the world by sharing the love of Christ as they serve others in his Name.]
If there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his or her own interests, but also the interests of others….
Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise, you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God!
HOLY GOSPEL Matthew 21:23-32
The gospel according to Matthew, the 21st chapter. Glory to you, O Lord.
[After driving the moneychangers out of the temple (21:12), Jesus heals the sick and begins teaching there. Those activities are challenged by the religious leaders, who are supposed to be in charge of the temple.]
When [Jesus] entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, “Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” So, they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
“What do you think? A man had two sons, he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second son and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you; the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.”
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
SERMON Single Mindedness Pr. Josh
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 Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life ☩ everlasting. 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.]
OFFERINGS are brought forward
Gracious God, you open your hand, filling our lives with all good things and renewing the face of the earth. We offer these gifts in thanksgiving for all that we have received from your bounty. Accept them for the sake of him who offered himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING Please Stand
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.
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 his life and death, his resurrection and ascension, and his
command to love one another, we pray for his coming again.
Come, Lord Jesus, live in us that we may live in you.
Send now, we pray, your Spirit, that all of your promises may come to us
and your while creation.
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 …
THE LORD’S PRAYER
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.
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
Living God, we have feasted on your Word, Christ Jesus, the joy and delight of our hearts. Strengthen us by this food and send us to gather the world to your banquet, where none are left out and all are satisfied. We pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen
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.
NEW BIBLE STUDY - Our newest study will be on the book of Daniel. We will have two sessions available. One at Starbucks (corner of Ashland and Walker Streets) on Wednesdays at 9:30 AM and of course the Sunday morning bible study, which starts at 8:45 AM.
CELEBRATION OF LIFE – The Celebration of Life Service for Karen Gisclon will be held on Friday, October 6th, 2023 at 11:00 AM here at Grace. A reception will follow the service.
GRACE’S 75TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION – We are truly blessed to be celebrating Grace’s upcoming 75th Anniversary! In honor of our 75th, there will be a special Anniversary Worship Service on Sunday, October 15th. A catered lunch and anniversary celebration will be held afterwards. Please plan on joining us for this special celebration! More information will be forthcoming.
FEEDBACK WANTED – Don’t forget to jot down your top three favorite Christian songs and let us know what you want to see in the Grace Connections Newsletter. Feedback forms are on the back table. Deposit your completed forms into the “Feedback” box also on the back table.
PICK UP YOUR COPY – Grace’s October Calendar and the Portal’s of Prayer booklet are now available. Pick up your copies on the back table.
This Week at Grace
October 2nd – October 8th
Tuesday, October 3rd @ 10:00 AM – Women’s Bible Study
12:30 PM – Lay Ministry Meeting
Wednesday, October 4th @ 9:30 AM – Bible Study @ Starbucks
7:00 PM – Choir
Friday, October 6th, 2023 @ 11:00 AM – Celebration of Life Service – Karen Gisclon
Sunday, October 8th, 2023 @ 8:45 AM – Bible Study
9:00 AM – Sunday School
10:00 AM – Worship
11:00 AM – Coffee Connection