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Sermon and Worship Resources
17th Sunday after Pentecost

World Communion Sunday
Sermon and Worship Resources

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"Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into
the kingdom of God ahead of you. Matthew 21:31

Texts & Discussion:
Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32
Psalm 25:1-9
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:23-32


This Week's Themes:

God, our Provider
Lived-Out Discipleship
A Call to Active Faith

World Communion


Prayer of Ignatius of Loyola

Teach us, good Lord,
to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest;
to labor and not to ask for any reward,
   except that of knowing that we do your will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Call to Worship for World Communion Sunday
Leader:            Today we gather around God's table from near and far
People:            We are the People of God!
Leader:             Though we differ in language, custom, and tradition
People:            We are brothers and sisters in Christ!
Leader:             For there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism
People:            We are One in God's Spirit!
Leader:             We are one and together we remember our Lord Jesus
People:            For we are the people of Redemption!
Leader:             He gave himself up for us, so we could be
                        reconciled to God.
People:            Come, let us worship the God of our Salvation!

Opening Hymn:
Lift Every Voice and Sing
The Church's One foundation
Christian People Raise Your Song
O God of Every Nation
This is the Feast of Victory


Children's Messages:


Sermon Excerpt:

Changing the Scaffolding
all lessons, esp Ezek. 18:1-4,25-32; Mt. 21:28-32

by Bishop Susan Russell

....Our is a church that believes that the essential quality of God is love; so what have we to fear? "Nothing can separate us from the love of God" the scripture assures us. Even our mistakes. Even when we get it "wrong."

"Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; remember me according to our love and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord." Words from the Psalm this morning. Words of hope and encouragement to anyone who’s ever needed a second chance. God forever offers us a second; and a third; and a fourth; a seven-times-seventieth. Our job is to trust God enough to take it!

That, I believe, is Jesus’ message in the story about the two sons in today’s Gospel of Matthew, Jesus said: A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, "Son, go work in the vineyard today." And he answered , "I will not"; but afterward he repented and went." It doesn’t say how long afterward. It doesn’t say why he changed his mind. But he did. As Maya Angelou once told a woman who had come to her for spiritual direction, agonizing over past mistakes and decisions: "You did then what you knew how to do. When you knew better, you did better." Like the first son in the parable, she had a second chance and took it.

This is a church for people who are looking for second - third - fourth chances. People who have been turned off by the rhetoric of judgment and exclusion and are looking for the Gospel of love and mercy. People who are looking for a church that has relevance for the lives they live and a community to support their journey into faith. That’s what kind of church this is.

What else can we tell about this church from our lessons today? It’s a church that inherits a tradition of challenging the tradition. Sound confusing? Let’s look at Ezekiel for a moment. "The Word of the Lord came to me again: "What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The fathers have eaten 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." ...

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