8th SUNDAY after Pentecost

July 26, 2020

As Solomon prays for wisdom, we seek to more deeply know the treasures of faith. In today’s gospel Jesus offers everyday images that reveal to us the reign of God: a tree that becomes a sheltering home, yeast that penetrates and expands, a treasured pearl, a net that gains a great catch. Even as we seek the riches of God’s reign, the great surprise is that God’s grace finds us first!

GATHERING          The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God

CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS

In the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  

Amen.

God of all mercy and consolation, come to the help of your people, turning us from our sin to live for you alone. Give us the power of your Holy Spirit that we may confess our sin, receive your forgiveness, and grow into the fullness of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.

Silence for reflection

Gracious God,

have mercy on us. We confess that we have turned from you and given ourselves into the power of sin. We are truly sorry and humbly repent. In your compassion forgive us our sins, known and unknown, things we have done and things we have failed to do. Turn us again to you, and uphold us by your Spirit, so that we may live and serve you in newness of life through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

God, who is rich in mercy, loved us even when we were dead in sin, and made us alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved. In the name of ☩ Jesus Christ, your sins are forgiven. Almighty God strengthen you with power through the Holy Spirit, that Christ may live in your hearts through faith.

Amen.

HYMN                       “Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun”         ELW #557

Public Domain

GREETING

The grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

And also with you.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Let us pray.      

Beloved and sovereign God, through the death and resurrection of your Son you bring us into your kingdom of justice and mercy. By your Spirit, give us your wisdom, that we may treasure the life that comes from Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Amen.

WORD               God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song

FIRST READING            1 Kings 3:5 – 12

A reading from the First book of Kings:

5At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask what I should give you.” 6And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant my father David, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you; and you have kept for him this great and steadfast love, and have given him a son to sit on his throne today. 7And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. 9Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?”
10It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you.”

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

PSALMODY            Psalm 119:129 – 136

129Your decrees are wonderful;
 therefore my soul keeps them.
 130The unfolding of your words gives light;
 it imparts understanding to the simple.
 131With open mouth I pant,
 because I long for your commandments.
 132Turn to me and be gracious to me,
 as is your custom toward those who love your name.
 133Keep my steps steady according to your promise,
 and never let iniquity have dominion over me.
 134Redeem me from human oppression,
 that I may keep your precepts.
 135Make your face shine upon your servant,
 and teach me your statutes.
 136My eyes shed streams of tears
 because your law is not kept.

SECOND READING       Romans 8:26 – 39

A reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans:

[Paul writes:] 26The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
28We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. 29For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. 30And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

31What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? 33Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. 35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written,
 “For your sake we are being killed all day long;
  we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Alleluia!  Lord, to whom shall we go?

You have the words of eternal life.  Alleluia!

GOSPEL READING                Matthew 13:31 – 33, 44 – 52

The Holy Gospel according to St. Mathew, the 13th chapter.

Glory to you, O Lord.

24[Jesus] put before [the crowds] still other parables: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field;32it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
33He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”

44“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; 46on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
47“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; 48when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. 49So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51“Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” 52And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.  

SERMON                                                                  The Rev. Leslie M. Richard

HYMN OF THE DAY      “Jesus, the Very Thought of You”         ELW #754

Public Domain

PROFESSION OF FAITH                Apostles’ Creed

God has made us his people through our Baptism into Christ. Living together in trust and hope, we confess our faith.

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.

He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit

and born of the virgin Mary.

He 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,

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again 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

OFFERING

         Those who wish to make an offering to St. Matthew may use the green GIVE button on the website: www.stmattspringfield.org, or mail it to St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 400 Lynbrooke Rd., Springfield, PA 19064

         Those who wish to make an offering to Grace may use the green GIVE button on the website: https://gracebroomall.org, or mail it to
Grace Lutheran Church, 2191 West Chester Pike, Broomall, PA  19008

THE PEACE

The peace of Christ be with you always.

And also with you.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH

Confident of your care and helped by the Holy Spirit, we pray for the church, the world, and all who are in need.

A brief silence.

Merciful God, your reign is revealed to us in common things: a mustard shrub, a woman baking bread, a fishing net.  Help your church witness to the surprising yet common ways you encounter us in daily life.  Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

When your word is opened, it gives light and understanding.  Increase our understanding and awe of your creation; guide the work of scientists and researchers especially those searching for a cure to the Covid-19 virus.  Treasuring the earth, may we live as grateful and healing caretakers of our home.  Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Gather the world into the welcoming shade of your merciful reign.  Direct leaders of nations to build trust with each other and walk in the way of peace.  Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Your Spirit helps us in our weakness and intercedes for the saints according to your will. Help us when we do not know how to pray.  Give comfort to the dying, refuge to the weary, justice to those who are oppressed, and healing to the sick (especially).  Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

In you our lives are never lost. Strengthen us by the inspiring witness of your people in all times and places.  Embolden our witness now and one day gather us with all your saints in light.  Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

In the certain hope that nothing can separate us from your love, we offer these prayers to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER

Lord, remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray,

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.

BENEDICTION

Almighty God, Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you now and forever.

Amen. 

HYMN                       “Jesus Shall Reign”                            ELW #434

Public Domain

DISMISSAL

Go in peace. Serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God!

From Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2007 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.  Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #23793 and OneLicense A-701163

July 26, 2020 Worship Service