July 26, 2020: The Eighth Sunday After Pentecost

Prelude: “Largo” – Ellen Jane Lorenz

The Opening Hymn: Softly and Tenderly

Lyrics:

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, Calling for you and for me; See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching, Watching for you and for me.
Come home, come home, You who are weary, come home; Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, Calling, O sinner, come home!
Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading, Pleading for you and for me? Why should we linger and heed not His mercies, Mercies for you and for me?
Come home, come home, You who are weary, come home; Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, Calling, O sinner, come home!
O for the wonderful love He has promised, Promised for you and for me! Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon, Pardon for you and for me.
Come home, come home, You who are weary, come home; Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, Calling, O sinner, come home!
Come home, come home, You who are weary, come home; Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, Calling, O sinner, come home.  Come home!

Leader: Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
People: And blessed be God’s kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

God of all power and love, we give thanks for your unfailing presence and the hope you provide in times of uncertainty and loss. Send your Holy Spirit to enkindle in us your holy fire. Revive us to live as Christ’s body in the world: a people who pray, worship, learn, break bread, share life, heal neighbors, bear good news, seek justice, rest and grow in the Spirit. Wherever and however we gather, unite us in common prayer and send us in common mission, that we and the whole creation might be restored and renewed, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria

Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Leader: Let us pray.

The Collect of the Day
All together
O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lessons

1 Kings 3:5-12
At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask what I should give you.” And 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. And 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. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Give 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?”

It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. God 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, I 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.
People: Thanks be to God.

Psalm 119:129-136

129 Your decrees are wonderful; * therefore I obey them with all my heart.

130 When your word goes forth it gives light; * it gives understanding to the simple.

131 I open my mouth and pant; *I long for your commandments.

132 Turn to me in mercy, *as you always do to those who love your Name.

133 Steady my footsteps in your word; *let no iniquity have dominion over me.

134 Rescue me from those who oppress me, *and I will keep your commandments.

135 Let your countenance shine upon your servant *and teach me your statutes.

136 My eyes shed streams of tears, *because people do not keep your law.

Romans 8:26-39
The 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. And 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.

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For 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. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He 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? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who 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. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 

As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor 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.
People: Thanks be to God.

The Gospel Hymn: If thou but trust in God to guide thee

Lyrics:
If thou but trust in God to Guide thee, And hope in him through all thy ways, He’ll give thee strength whate’er betide thee, And bear thee through the evil days. Who trusts in God’s unchanging love Builds on a rock that naught can move. Sing, pray and keep his ways unswerving; So do thine own part faithfully, And trust his word, though undeserving; Thou yet shalt find it true for thee; God never yet forsook in need The soul that trusted him indeed.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew [13:31-33,44-52]

People: Glory to you, Lord Christ.

Jesus put before the crowds another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it 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.”

He 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.”

“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.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” And 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.
People: Praise to you, Lord Christ.

A Message from:  The Reverend Lois Keen

Interlude: “A Ground in G” – Henry Purcell

The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Prayers of the People

Litany during a Pandemic

God the Father, Have mercy upon us.

God the Son, Have mercy upon us.

God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy upon us.

Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy upon us.

Spare us, good Lord, spare your people, whom you have redeemed with your most precious blood, and by your mercy preserve us through this crisis, and for ever. Spare us, good Lord.

From all evil and wickedness, from disease and illness, especially this coronavirus, Good Lord, deliver us.

From all ignorance and apathy and from all willingness to engage in activities that could harm others, Good Lord, deliver us.

From all blindness of heart, from pride and a sense of invincibility, Good Lord, deliver us.

We your children beseech you to hear us, O Lord God, to look upon this world struck by pandemic, and drive from us this disease. We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please you to strengthen the weak, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please you to give health and comfort to all who are already stricken with illness, We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please you to give patience and grace to all those who are in quarantine or who fear that they have already contracted the virus, We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please you to surround with your love those who are fearful or overcome with anxiety and worry, We beseech you to hear us, Good Lord.

That it may please you to give wisdom and stamina to all who are working on tests, vaccines, and treatments, We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please you to uphold, strengthen, and protect all those who are treating and ministering to the sick, We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.

That is may please you to give to your people a heart to love their neighbor and to look after those who are most vulnerable. We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please you to support, help, and comfort those who are concerned about finances and employment, We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please you to help students whose schools are closed grow in wisdom and knowledge and to give their teachers creativity and perseverance, We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please you to heal the sick, lift up the stricken and east their breathing, We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please you to receive into your bosom those who have died and embrace those who are grieving, We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.

Son of God, we beseech you to hear us. Son of God, we beseech you to hear us.

O Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, Have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, Have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, Grant us your peace.

[Litany by Fr. Rick, Rector of St. Mark’s, Basking Ridge, NJ, adapted. Used with permission.]

Let us pray for our own needs and those of others, praying especially for Deirdre, Becky, Chris, Nicole, Laura, Mary, Joseph, Tammy, Roger, Sue, Eileen, Doris, David and Cindi, give them courage and hope in their troubles, and bring them the joy of your salvation.

Almighty and eternal God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth: Mercifully accept the prayers of your people, and strengthen us to do your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Together we pray
Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated to you; and then use us, we pray, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
Silence may be kept.

All together
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

The Leader says:
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen

The Peace
The Leader says to the people: The peace of the Lord is always with you.
People: And also with you.

Offertory Sentence
Through Christ let us continually offer to God the sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his Name. But do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:15,16)

The Closing Hymn: Spread, O spread, thou mighty word

Lyrics:

Spread, O spread, thou mighty word, spread the kingdom of the Lord,
that to earth’s remotest bound all may heed the joyful sound;
Word of how the Father’s will made the world, and keeps it, still;
how his only Son he gave, earth from sin and death to save.
Word of how the Savior’s love earth’s sore burden doth remove;
how forever, in its need, through his death the world is freed;
Word of how the Spirit came bringing peace in Jesus’ name;
how his neverfailing love guides us on to heaven above.
Word of life, most pure and strong, word for which the nations long,
spread abroad, until from night all the world awakes to light.

The Blessing
The Peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God.  And the blessing of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be with us all today and always. Amen.

Postlude: “Sonatina in F: Allegretto” – Johann Baptist Wanhall

Thank you for sharing your time with us today for this remote worship. May the blessing of the Lord be with you now and forever.

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