The Celebration of the Gospel
August 20, 2017 —11th Sunday after Pentecost
“Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good.”
— Genesis 50.20
________We Gather as the Body of Christ______
PRELUDE Kyrie Eleison Franz Schubert, arr: Rick Parks
[As we listen to the music we quiet our minds and bodies,
listen for our hearts’ deepest desires,
and become present to the Holy One who is lovingly present for us.]
* CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: God of love, you create us and claim us; you love us and guide us.
All: We praise you and we worship you.
Beloved Christ, you heal us and forgive us; you teach us and lead us.
We thank you and we follow you.
Holy Spirit, you unite us and transform us; you empower us and shine in us.
We open our heart to you and we live by your grace. Alleluia!
* SONG Give to the Winds Thy Fears Blue hymnal # 129
____________We Attend to the Word__________
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Pastor: The grace of God is with you.
Congregation: And also with you.
Trusting in God’s tender mercy, let us confess our sin to God with one another.
God of love, help us to see ourselves with the eyes of love,
to see all that is in us that is loving,
and all that is not loving.
By the grace you show us in Christ,
forgive us, heal us, and perfect your love in us.
SILENT PRAYER … THE WORD OF GRACE
RESPONSE On Eagle’s Wings Blue hymnal # 143
Spirit of Love, you come to us in many ways. Open our hearts to see you before us. Open our ears to hear your voice. Open our hearts to receive your love and to bear your love to all, in the name and the grace of Christ. Amen.
OLD TESTAMENT Genesis 50.15-21
[Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and he was taken to Egypt, but he became an important administrator there, in charge of the food supplies. Suffering from a famine, his brothers came to Egypt for food, not recognizing him. He revealed himself to them. Now he does not blame them for selling him into slavery, but says that it is all a part of God’s plan to provide for his family as “a remnant on earth.”]
Joseph’s brothers said, “What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?” So they approached Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this instruction before he died, ‘Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.’ Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.”
Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, “We are here as your slaves.” But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as God is doing today. So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.
PSALTER Psalm 133
[A song celebrating how good it is when we live in harmony with one another.]
How very good and pleasant it is
when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down over the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Holy One ordained this blessing:
GOSPEL Matthew 15.21-28
[A Canaanite (pagan) woman seeks healing for her daughter from Jesus. At first he rejects her, calling her a dog—a racial slur. But in response to her tenacious quest, he grants her wish.]
Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
SONG Open My Eyes Steve G-H
Open my eyes, O God of grace,
to see you here in every face,
you in the poor, the stranger, the foe,
bidding me learn and love and grow.
Humbly, my God, I look for you,
ready, with love, your will to do.
Open my eyes […ears/ heart…]; illumine me, Spirit divine.
Open my ears to hear your voice
leading with grace in every choice.
You come in need that I cannot hide,
so that your love will be my guide.
Open my heart to freely care,
your undefended love to share.
Open my arms; release all my fear;
and in my love you will appear.
THE WORD IN SONG
Shall We Gather at the River Robert Lowry Arr. David Ruder (Karen & Sebastian Quist, handbells)
THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
[Anyone who wishes may share a prayer concern at the microphone.]
THE PRAYER OF JESUS
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. Amen.
SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST
______We Are Sent in Ministry to the World_____
OFFERING OUR GIFTS O Love That Will Not Let Me Go Albert Peace, arr: Susan Caudill
* OFFERING SONG Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow Blue hymnal #94
Gracious God, we give you our lives, symbolized in these gifts. Receive them with love, bless them with grace and use them according to your will. Open our hearts that we may hear you calling to us to love, for the sake of the healing of the world, in the name of Christ. Amen.
THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD
* SONG Dear Lord, Lead Me Day by Day Blue hymnal # 411
* THE BLESSING AND SENDING FORTH
RESPONSE We stand and sing to our neighbors:
May the grace and peace of Christ be with you my friends.
Go and share the love of God, love that never ends.
POSTLUDE I’ll Fly Away Albert Brumley, arr: Mark Hayes
[During the postlude there are people ready to pray with you at the candles in the corners.]