You can watch today’s service here.
OPENING PRAYER LITANY: PSALM 90
Pastor: Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to another.
Peoples: Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
Pastor: Return, o Lord, and be gracious to your servants.
Peoples: Satisfy us by your steadfast love in the morning.
Pastor: We shall rejoice and be glad all our days.
Peoples: Show us the works of your hands
Pastor: and show our children your splendor.
Peoples: May the graciousness of the Lord our God be upon us!
CALL TO CONFESSION (Shelli Latham, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
Once, daunted by the challenges of faithfulness, Jesus’s disciples asked urgently, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For humans it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”
Trusting in God who longs to mend our broken places, let us turn to God in prayer.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION (Shelli Latham, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
Holy God, sometimes it hurts too much to look honestly at the world and ourselves. We grow tired of the constant bad news, so we put on a brave face and gloss over the ache of violence, sickness, disaster, and human callousness that plagues our globe. With those we are closest to, we sometimes pretend that we feel okay, that we are not worried, that we have a plan. We even lie to ourselves, not fully admitting the impact of our actions on one another or ourselves. Forgive us, O God, when we try to hide our hearts from you. Fuel our trust that we might approach you with our full selves— authentic in our gifts, and our fears, and our shortcomings. Give us the courage to walk together through the trials of life, rather than soldiering on alone. And help us to sense your faithful presence through the days when there feels like more shadow than sun.
Moment of silent prayer–people of God, what do you need to confess this week?
ASSURANCE OF PARDON (from Psalm 103:8, 11-12)
The Lord is compassionate and merciful, very patient, and full of faithful love. As high as heaven is above the earth, that’s how large God’s faithful love is for God’s children. As far as east is from west— that’s how far God has removed our sin from us. In Jesus Christ, we are all forgiven.
PRAYER FOR UNDERSTANDING (Hebrews 4:12)
Merciful God, your Word is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword. With your Word, draw us away from the easy road that leads to destruction and guide us into paths that lead to life abundant. Through your Word, help us to seek your truth and obey your will. In your Word, may we receive your voice. Amen.
FIRST SCRIPTURE READING
As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.” ’ He said to him, ‘Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.’ Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!’ And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were greatly astounded and said to one another, ‘Then who can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.’
Peter began to say to him, ‘Look, we have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.’
- Do these words of Jesus make you feel uncomfortable? Why or why not?
- What are your earthly treasures?
- What do you think treasures in heaven might be?
SECOND SCRIPTURE READING
Seek the Lord and live,
or God will break out against the house of Joseph like fire,
and it will devour Bethel, with no one to quench it.
Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood,
and bring righteousness to the ground!
The one who made the Pleiades and Orion,
and turns deep darkness into the morning,
and darkens the day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea,
and pours them out on the surface of the earth,
the Lord is God’s name,
who makes destruction flash out against the strong,
so that destruction comes upon the fortress.
They hate the one who reproves in the gate,
and they abhor the one who speaks the truth.
Therefore, because you trample on the poor
and take from them levies of grain,
you have built houses of hewn stone,
but you shall not live in them;
you have planted pleasant vineyards,
but you shall not drink their wine.
For I know how many are your transgressions,
and how great are your sins—
you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe,
and push aside the needy in the gate.
Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time;
for it is an evil time.
Seek good and not evil,
that you may live;
and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you,
just as you have said.
Hate evil and love good,
and establish justice in the gate;
it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts,
will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
You can listen to Pastor Leia’s sermon, “Justice in the Gate,” here.
HYMN The Lord Now Sends Us Forth
lyrics by José Aguir, 20th cent.; English trans. by Gerhard M. Cartford, 1998
music by Pedro Infante, 20th cent.; arr. Evangelical Lutheran Worship, 2006
English trans. © 1998 Augsburg Fortress
Music arr. © 1998 Augsburg Fortress
Used by Permission. ONE LICENSE # 738214-A
The Lord now sends us forth
with hands to serve and give;
to make of all the earth a better place to live.
The angels are not sent into our world of pain
to do what we were meant to do in Jesus’ name;
that falls to you and me and all who are made free.
Help us, O Lord, we pray, to do your will today. (repeat)
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE (Shelli Latham, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
God of our joyful days and our aching days, we give thanks that we can trust you with the heaviest parts of our hearts, and so we bring to you the burdens of our complicated world, and we ask you to lighten the load. Yet, even in the midst of an avalanche of challenging news, we spot the sliver of moon in the night, and so our prayer of longing is punctuated by gratitude. Hear both, our cries for relief and our warbling song of joy, O God.
Sometimes our words of lament get stuck in our throats, but we yearn for a better world — one that brings to life your plans for wholeness and well-being to fulfillment for all. Heal our warring madness, and teach us the ways of peace with our global neighbors, within our polarized society, and in our local communities. Breathe life into the lungs of those who are trampled down. Turn the hearts of oppressors. And stir our compassion and energies when indifference sets in for other people’s struggle. We raise to you the cries of those who may be feeling forsaken: those longing for relief from natural disaster, women and girls in societies which limit their opportunity and access to power, refugees who long for welcome and safety, overburdened healthcare workers, and all who wonder if someone — anyone — will take notice of their pain and extend comfort and hope.
Thank you for small signs of kindness and possibility in days that are bleak — the red bird perched on a bare branch, one hand brushing another in kindness, the familiar tunes of favorite hymns, the smell of baking bread. Sometimes our words of lament get stuck in our throats, and so, O God, we carve out this silence for our hearts to speak to yours, to trust you with our wounds, our dreams long buried, our yearnings for those most dear and the fractures in our relationships, Listen to our thoughts and our silence, O God.
Thank you for small signs of possibility and fresh hope that sparkle amidst the fog of ache — laughter that surprises us, children’s imaginations, a perfect crisp apple, the first promising notes of a song we know by heart.
We are grateful that you hear our prayers whether we are brimming with joy, seething with anger, crying out for justice, or sighing with grief.
Hear us now, as we turn to the reliable words of the prayer for all our days, the one that Jesus taught us to pray, saying,…
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 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. Amen.
MORNING OFFERING (Shelli Latham, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
Even in the midst of our darkest days and deepest longings, we are assured of the presence of God. In gratitude for our God who is big enough to hold our loving praise and our cries of woe, let us offer signs of our thanks with the gifts of our time, talent, and treasure.
If you are able to, please consider mailing your offerings to the church (210 Smith Street) or dropping them off in the mail slot. Alternatively, if you visit peoples presbyterian dot org, you’ll find a donate button at the top of the page that will link you directly to a secure page where you could make a donation online. We appreciate the generosity of the Peoples family as we live out our faith in MISSION and ministry.
PRAYER OF DEDICATION (Shelli Latham, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
Gracious God, all that we have is yours. Accept these gifts — signs of our gratitude — as we return them to you. Show us how to use them that they may point to your abiding love, which is our eternal hope. Amen.
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH (FROM The Heidelberg Catechism, question 1)
What is your only comfort in life and in death?
That I am not my own,
body and soul,
in life and in death—
to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.
He also watches over me in such a way
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven;
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.
HYMN Lord, Speak to Me That I May Speak
lyrics by Frances Ridley Havergal, 1872
music by Robert Schumann, 1839
In living echoes of your tone.
As you have sought, so let me seek
Your erring children, lost and lone.
The wand’ring and the wav’ring feet.
Oh, feed me, Lord, that I may feed
Your hungry ones with manna sweet.3 Oh, teach me, Lord, that I may teach
The precious truths which you impart.
And wing my words that they may reach
The hidden depths of many a heart.4 Oh, fill me with your fullness, Lord,
Until my very hearts o’erflows
In kindling thought and glowing word,
Your love to tell, your praise to show.
5 Oh, use me, Lord, use even me,
Just as you will, and when, and where
Until your blessed face I see,
Your rest, your joy, your glory share.
CHARGE AND BENEDICTION
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May God’s countenance be lifted upon you and give you peace.
From wherever you are, serve the Lord: Creator, Son, and Holy Spirit.