The congregation is invited to stand, as able, at those times marked with an *
Bold print, the community speaks as one. +, people may make the sign of the cross
Morning Prayer + 5th Sunday after Pentecost
To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind is to reflect God’s mercy in responding to one’s neighbor. That mercy found its most profound expression in the “gospel that has come to you”—namely the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That gospel mercy comes to us again today: at the font, at the altar, and from the pulpit. It is very near to you.
NOTES ABOUT WORSHIP TODAY
This morning’s order of service is Morning Prayer. The Christian discipline of daily prayer goes back to the ancient Church practices, as well as the set times of prayer in Judaism. At morning prayer, we give thanks for the gift of new life in Christ and seek God’s grace for the day ahead. The Thanksgiving for Baptism highlights our common baptismal patter of daily prayer, with its rhythm of dying and rising with Christ. Also, the services of daily prayer in community may be led by any baptized member. For more on the importance of Daily Prayer and the Presbyterian understanding and practice, see the Book of Order’s Directory for Worship, W-5.0102.
Today’s ordering is a version of Morning Song from the 1906 Presbyterian Book of Common Worship where the hymns move us into the presence of God in praise and worship and open us up to hear the Word and then be sent.
Ordinarily, an offering is not received during Daily Prayer. Hence, the ushers will be in the Narthex (great entrance hall) to collect any tithes or offerings.
PRELUDE: The Word is Very Near to You- P. F. Tillen
WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
As a matter of hospitality, we invite everyone to fill out information in the red fellowship pad found on each pew at the center aisle and pass it down so everyone may be greeted by name during the passing of the peace. Written announcements can be found at the back of the bulletin.
*OPENING SENTENCES AND PRAYER OF THE DAY (Lk 10:25–37)
We serve the Creator, who loves us into life.
We follow Christ, who loves us unto death.
We listen for the Spirit, who loves us into
We worship God, whose love knows no
Give your church, O God,
the grace to serve you with courage,
that our lives may be a witness to your compassion
and our actions a testimony to your mercy.
Though Jesus Christ our Lord,
by the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.
*GATHERING HYMNS # 665 As Morning Dawns (verses 1 & 3)
# 377 I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light (verses 1 & 2)
# 771 What is the World Like? (verses 1 & 3)
THANKSGIVING FOR BAPTISM
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
O Lord our God, we give you thanks
that through the gift of our baptism
you have poured out your grace upon us
and claimed us as your beloved people.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
help us to love and serve you always
and to love and serve one another;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
Friends, let us remember your baptism and be thankful.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
REAFFIRMATION OF FAITH
With the whole church, let us confess our faith.
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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 to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and 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.
The peace of Christ be with you. And also with you.
The people may exchange with one another, by words and gesture, signs of peace
ALL SING # 853 We Are Marching in the Light of God
THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION (Ps. 90:14)
Satisfy us with your love in the morning,
and we will live this day in joy and praise.
creator of the world
and giver of all good,
we thank you for the earth, our home,
and for the gift of life.
We praise you for your love in Jesus Christ,
who came to heal this broken world,
who died rejected on the cross,
and rose triumphant from the dead.
Because he lives, we live to praise you, our God forever.
Gracious God, who called us from death to life,
we give ourselves to you;
and with the church through all ages
we thank you for your saving love
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Joining our voices with God’s people around the world, let us offer our prayers for those in need.
A brief silence.
For the church, steadfast and faithful in its mission to proclaim redemption through Christ Jesus; for all ministers of the gospel who proclaim that the word is near, let us pray.
Have mercy, O God.
For areas affected by drought or storms; for livestock and fields; for ranchers and farmers; and for all stewards of the earth, that as God’s goodness is revealed in creation, we act with justice toward all creatures, let us pray.
Have mercy, O God.
For lawyers and advocates; for local, regional, and national governments; and for peace throughout the world, that God send gracious and upright leaders to govern with mercy and truth, let us pray.
Have mercy, O God.
For those who feel ashamed; for those who find it difficult to trust; for the bereaved and sick (especially), that God provide compassionate and loving caregivers to all who suffer, let us pray.
Have mercy, O God.
For the members of the body of Christ in this place; for those who do good works in our midst; for those who are visiting and those who are absent, that the Holy Spirit guide all the journeys of our lives, let us pray.
Have mercy, O God.
Here other intercessions may be offered.
For our ancestors who have inspired us by their lives of faith, that thankful for their witness, we can confidently proclaim our salvation. This week we commemorate Nickodemus of the Holy Mountain; Vladimir of Russia; John Meister Eckhart; Clement of Ochrid; Fredrick of Uetrich Mother Elizabeth of Russia; Arsenisu the Great; Bartholomay de las Casas; the prophet Elijah, let us pray.
Have mercy, O God.
Merciful God, you hear the prayers of your people even before they are spoken. We commend these and all our prayers to you, trusting in your abundant mercy; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord., who taught us to pray:
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 debts,
as we forgive our debtors;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom
and the power
and the glory, forever.
PRAYER OF ILLUMINATION # 458 Thy Word is a Lamp Unto My Feet
FIRST READING: Deuteronomy 30:9-14
Moses calls the people who are about to enter the promised land to renew the covenant God made with their ancestors. Through this covenant God gives life and asks for obedience. God’s commandment is neither burdensome nor too far off, but dwells in the people’s own hearts.
9The LORD your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all your undertakings, in the fruit of your body, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your soil. For the LORD will again take delight in prospering you, just as he delighted in prospering your ancestors, 10when you obey the LORD your God by observing his commandments and decrees that are written in this book of the law, because you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
11Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. 12It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?” 13Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?” 14No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
PSALM 25 Lord, I Gladly Trust
SECOND READING: Colossians 1:1-14
The letter to the Colossians was written to warn its readers of various false teachings. The first part of the letter is an expression of thanks for the faith, hope, and love that mark this community, including a prayer for strength and courage from Paul.
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
3In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 4for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel 6that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. 7This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, 8and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
9For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. 11May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
GOSPEL: Luke 10:25-37
Jesus is challenged to explain what is involved in obeying the greatest commandment. Jesus tells a parable rich in surprises: those expected to show pity display hard hearts while the lowly give and receive unexpected and lavish mercy.
25Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” 27He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”
29But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ 36Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
*HYMN They Asked, “Who’s My Neighbor”?
*SENDING HYMN # 203 Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us With Your Love (verses 1 & 4)
*BLESSING & DISMISSAL
POSTLUDE: Jesu, Jesu– hymntune CHEREPONI, Ghanaian folk song, setting by Bradley Sowash
NOTES: Order of service and content is in accord with the Presbyterian Church’s Directory for Worship. Prayers are from the online Glory to God Hymnal site (http://hymnal.pcusastore.com), Sundays and Seasons (Year C), the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship (2018), and informed by the order of the 1906 Book of Common Worship. Commemoration of Saints is from the 2018 Book of Common Worship, starting on pg 1145.
Calendar of Commemorations:
14 – Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain (c. 1749–1809) Nicodemus arrived at the monastery on the Holy Mountain of Athos at the age of twenty-six. Shortly thereafter he was entrusted with the editing of the manuscript of the Philokalia, a collection of Christian writings from the time of Constantine, for which he wrote an introduction. He went on to edit other sacred writings, as well as writing numerous theological pieces. He knew the Scriptures by heart and could quote chapter and verse.
15 – Vladimir of Russia (965–1015) Vladimir fought his way to become King of Russia, and was notorious for being a cruel and barbarous warrior. In negotiating an alliance with the Byzantine emperor, he was to marry the emperor’s Christian sister, Anne, so he had to be baptized. He took his new religion seriously and reformed his own life, accomplishing much for the good of society, building schools, caring for the poor, and supporting the work of various missions. Vladimir’s conversion marks the beginning of Christianity in Russia.
16 – John “Meister” Eckhart (c. 1260 – c. 1327) Eckhart was a popular Dominican preacher and a profound mystic who emphasized the importance of an inner awareness of the presence of God. From such a sense of God in the soul, good works would inevitably follow. He was accused of heresy and brought to trial, but he died before his teachings were condemned. Nevertheless, his influence has revived in modern times and he has been admired by many, including Thomas Merton (see December 10).
17 – Clement of Ochrid (d. 916) A disciple of Cyril and Methodius (see February 14), he was the first in Bulgaria to teach, write, and lead worship in the Slavonic language. He and his companions were opposed by German missionaries, who complained that the divine services should not be conducted in Slavonic. The pope agreed and prohibited the use of the native language in worship. Clement and the others were brought to trial, imprisoned, and tortured. He was ransomed and ultimately went to Bulgaria, where he created schools for adults and children, and became Bishop of Ochrid.
18 – Frederick of Utrecht (d. 838) Frederick was the grandson of the king of the Frisians. He became a priest and was well known for his piety and wisdom. As Bishop of Utrecht, he reformed the diocese and sent missionaries to the pagans to the north. He reproached Empress Judith for immorality, thus incurring her wrath. When he was stabbed to death by two assassins, some thought they were hired by the empress; it is more likely that they represented people who resented his missionary efforts.
18 – Mother Elizabeth of Russia (1864–1918) Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna of Russia was the wife of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia. The Grand Duchess was a Protestant. When she became a convert to the Orthodox faith of her own volition, it brought her and her husband great happiness, but drew a negative reaction from her family. After the assassination of her husband, she became a nun, gave away all her jewels, sold all her luxurious possessions, and founded a convent dedicated to serving the poor. In 1918 she and other aristocrats were exiled by the communist government to Alapayevsk, where they sang church hymns on their way to being thrown down a mineshaft, followed by explosives.
19 – Arsenius the Great (d. c. 449) Arsenius was a deacon of the church in Rome. Born of a prominent family, he was a man of great virtue. Summoned by the emperor, he was given the thankless task of educating the two royal sons, which he did for ten years. Finally he fled to the desert of Skete in Egypt and became a hermit monk. He died there at the age of ninety-five.
20 – Bartolomé de las Casas (1474–1566) A Spanish colonist in the New World, Bartolomé knew Christopher Columbus and edited his journal. Troubled by the way natives were treated, he became a Dominican priest. He was a strong activist for the human rights of natives and is considered by many to be the father of anti-imperialism and antiracism. He attempted to set up a utopian colony on the coast of Venezuela, but failed because of the prevailing opposition to his ideals. He continued to struggle against slavery and discrimination against natives in Spanish colonies.
20 – Elijah (9th century B.C.) One of the major prophets, Elijah spoke out for the Lord against the sins of King Ahab and his wife Jezebel—in particular their worship of the god Baal. His garb of coarse camel’s hair with a leather girdle and his radical proclamations invite comparison with John the Baptist (see August 29), whom some saw as Elijah returning in advance of the coming of the Messiah (cf. Malachi 4:5–6).