NINETEENTH SUNDAY after PENTECOST
October 8th, 2023
The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor
+ NINETEENTH SUNDAY after PENTECOST +
Welcome to Grace Lutheran Church. We are happy that you have joined us for worship; and we pray that this hour of praise and thanksgiving will be a blessing to you as Christ reveals his love for you and assures you of his presence in your life. Guests and visitors, please honor us by signing our Guest Book located 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. The fellowship of this morning continues with a Coffee Hour/Fellowship Hour following worship. Do join us 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
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. We ask this in the Name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
+ THE ORDER of CELEBRATING +
With One Voice Setting
INVOCATION & 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.
Let us confess our sins to God our Father, that we may be forgiven and restored.
+ 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 wine press 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!
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.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Lord God, heavenly Father, you show perpetual loving kindness to us your servants. Because we cannot rely on our own abilities, help us to trust in your abiding grace and live according to your Word; 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 Isaiah 5:1-7
[The prophet sings a sad, parable-like song about the relationship between God and Israel. Israel is likened to a promising vineyard that now must be destroyed. Despite God’s loving care, Israel has brought forth “wild grapes’ of injustice and distress where fine grapes of justice and righteousness were expected. Having failed to uphold the covenant, Israel will bear the Lord’s judgment.]
Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it out and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a water tower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; he expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it? When I expected it to yield grapes, why did it
yield wild grapes? And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove the hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and it shall be overgrown with briars and thorns, I will command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his pleasant planting; he expected justice, but saw bloodshed; righteousness, but heard a cry!
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
SECOND LESSON Philippians 3:4b-14
[Paul has warned the Philippians about Christian leaders who may have impressive credentials but do not witness to the gospel of Christ. Now he offers his own list of credentials, only to reject them all in favor of what he considers truly significant.]
[Paul writes:] If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews, as to the law, a Pharisee, as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. Yet whatever gains I had these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power his resurrection and the sharing of his suffering by becoming like him in his death if somehow, I may attain the resurrection of the dead.
Not that I have already attained this or have already reached the goal, but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own, but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal of the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God!
HOLY GOSPEL Matthew 20:1-16 Please stand
The gospel according to Matthew, the 20th chapter. Glory to you, O Lord.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Give the glory and the honor to the Lord!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Give the glory and the honor to the Lord!
[Jesus tells a parable to the religious leaders who are plotting his death, revealing that their plans will ironically bring about the fulfillment of Scripture.]
[Jesus said to the people:] “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest had come, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect the produce. But the tenants seized his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants, more than the first, and they treated them in the same way. Finally, he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir, come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.’
So, they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce of the vineyard at the harvest time.”
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’?
Therefore, I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. Then one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard this parable, they realized that he was speaking about them. They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
SERMON THE KING IS COMING Psalm 24:7–10 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
OFFERING is brought forward
Gracious God, with great joy we bring before you a portion of what you first gave us and with these gifts our very lives. Teach us patience and hope as we care for all those in need until the coming of your Son, 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 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
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
May the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen and preserve you in the true faith to life everlasting. Peace ☩ be with you. Amen
PRAYER of THANKSGIVING
We thank you, O God, that you have strengthened our hearts through this feast of life and salvation. Be the light for our path, that we may do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with you, now and forever. Amen
+ With Great Boldness … 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.
LAST WEEK TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT – Grace will be celebrating its’ 75th Anniversary with a Special Anniversary Worship Service on Sunday, October 15th at 10:00 AM. After the service there will be a catered Anniversary Luncheon. If you’d like to attend the luncheon, today is the last day to reserve your spot. Sign up at the back tale.
AUTHOR BIO – 2023 LUTHERAN WOMEN in MISSION SUNDAY – Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Gray, Jr. serves as director of LCMS Black Ministry, serving predominantly black communities and ministering to African-Americans, African immigrants and other native Black populations. He provides leadership and direction for LCMS districts, congregations, schools and related organizations as they minister to minority groups in their communities across the country.
This Week at Grace
October 9th – October 15th
Tuesday, October 10th @ 10:00 AM – Women’s Bible Study
Wednesday, October 11th @ 9:30 AM – Bible Study at Starbucks
7:00 PM – Choir Practice
Saturday, October 14th @ 8:00 AM – Men’s Bible Study/Breakfast
Sunday, October 15th @ 8:45 AM – Bible Study
9:00 AM – Sunday School
10:00 AM – Anniversary Worship Celebration
11:15 AM – Anniversary Luncheon