Posts Tagged ‘Parables’

Preparation for Worship

  • Something green. Christian worship has different seasons throughout the year. We are in the season after Pentecost. The color green represents this time communicating growth and discipleship. Add some green to your worship area with cloth, paper, or plants.
  • Two candles. Our worship begins with the light of two candles: one represents Christ’s humanity and the other represents Christ’s divinity.
  • Something to eat and drink to celebrate communion. The type of food and drink does not matter for they are merely symbols which help us celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

The Worship of God

Invitation. Today’s gospel reading gives testimony to the often hidden and subtle power of the Realm of God at work in our lives and world. The parables tell that the reality of God’s realm is at work now, and we are called to decide if this is the realm in which we choose to live.

Light two candles in recognition of Christ’s presence.  In our practice, one candle represents Jesus’ divinity and the other Jesus’ humanity.

Gathering for Worship

Passing the Peace
Say to one another, “May the Peace of Christ be with you.”
Respond by saying, “And also with you.”

Piano Prelude

Psalm 105:1-5a

Give thanks to the Lord;
call upon his name;
make his deeds known to all people!

Sing to God;
sing praises to the Lord;
dwell on all his wondrous works!

Give praise to God’s holy name!
Let the hearts rejoice of all those seeking the Lord!

Pursue the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always!

Remember the wondrous works he has done,
all his marvelous works, and the justice he declared—

Opening Prayer
Eternal God, we come to offer this time of worship to you. Help us to so focus our thoughts on you, that we experience afresh your grace, mercy, and love as fresh gifts in our lives. We praise you for blessing us in this way and for revealing your love in Jesus Christ. With his endless love flowing through us, and the Holy Spirit guiding us, may our love for you and all you created never cease.

God, source of loving kindness and strength, we worship you.
Jesus, foundation of our faith, we worship you.
Holy Spirit, ground of our very being, we worship you.
Amen

Songs and Psalms of Praise and Prayer

Song of Praise
Hope of the World

Hope of the world, O Christ of great compassion:
speak to our fearful hearts by conflict rent;
save us, your people, from consuming passion,
who by our own false hopes and aims are spent.

Hope of the world, God’s gift from highest heaven,
bringing to hungry souls the bread of life:
still let your Spirit unto us be given
to heal earth’s wounds and end her bitter strife.

Hope of the world, afoot on dusty highways,
showing to wandering souls the path of light:
walk now beside us, lest the tempting byways
lure us away from you to endless night.

Hope of the world, who by your cross did save us
from death and dark despair, from sin and guilt:
we render back the love your mercy gave us;
take now our lives and use them as you will.

Hope of the world, O Christ, o’er death victorious,
who by this sign did conquer grief and pain:
we would be faithful to your gospel glorious;
you are our Lord, and you forever reign!

A Reading from the New Testament
Romans 8:26-39

In the same way, the Spirit comes to help our weakness. We don’t know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans. The one who searches hearts knows how the Spirit thinks, because he pleads for the saints, consistent with God’s will. We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose. We know this because God knew them in advance, and he decided in advance that they would be conformed to the image of his Son. That way his Son would be the first of many brothers and sisters. Those who God decided in advance would be conformed to his Son, he also called. Those whom he called, he also made righteous. Those whom he made righteous, he also glorified.

So what are we going to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He didn’t spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. Won’t he also freely give us all things with him?

Who will bring a charge against God’s elect people? It is God who acquits them. Who is going to convict them? It is Christ Jesus who died, even more, who was raised, and who also is at God’s right side. It is Christ Jesus who also pleads our case for us.

Who will separate us from Christ’s love? Will we be separated by trouble, or distress, or harassment, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

We are being put to death all day long for your sake.
We are treated like sheep for slaughter.

But in all these things we win a sweeping victory through the one who loved us. I’m convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers or height or depth, or any other thing that is created.

Prayer for Others
Pause after each paragraph to give voice to prayers as prompted. [Additionally, if you would like our church family to pray for someone or something in particular this week, email the request to tonya@cullowheebaptist.com.]

Merciful God, who shelters us and guides us, we give you thanks for….

God who comforts, receive those who are fearful and lonely….

God whose love is steadfast, be refuge for the ill, the dying, and those who care about them.…

God of righteousness, we ask for your wisdom and ways of justice to prevail in our community, this nation, your world….

God who seeks our trust, grow us and guide us in your ways that are life-giving in your world. Amen.

Prayer in Song
Come, Dearest Lord

Come, dearest Lord, descend and dwell
By faith and love in ev’ry breast;
Then shall we know, and taste, and feel
The joys that cannot be expressed.

Come, fill our hearts with inward strength,
Make our enlarged souls posess,
And learn the height, and breadth, and length
Of thine unmeasurable grace.

Now to the God whose pow’r can do
More than our thoughts or wishes know,
Be everlasting honors done
By all the church, through Christ his Son.

Celebrating Communion

A Reading from the Gospels
Mark 14:22-24 
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”

Share what you have to eat. Before eating, have someone say,
“This food represents the body of Christ. As we eat, we remember Jesus.”

Share what you have to drink. Before drinking, have someone say,
“This drink represents the covenant Christ made with us that our sins will be forgiven. As we drink, we remember Jesus.”

Prayer of Thanksgiving. Dear God, thank you for your abounding compassionate love. Thank you for guiding and leading us through these difficult times. Thank you for always being with us. Amen.

Song of Faith
Amazing Grace (NEW BRITAIN)

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I am found,
was blind but now I see.

The Gospel Reading

A Reading from the Gospels
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-50

Parable of the mustard seed
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and planted in his field. It’s the smallest of all seeds. But when it’s grown, it’s the largest of all vegetable plants. It becomes a tree so that the birds in the sky come and nest in its branches.”

Parable of the yeast
“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast, which a woman took and hid in a bushel of wheat flour until the yeast had worked its way through all the dough.”

Parable of the treasure
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure that somebody hid in a field, which someone else found and covered up. Full of joy, the finder sold everything and bought that field.

Parable of the merchant
The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. When he found one very precious pearl, he went and sold all that he owned and bought it.

Parable of the net
The kingdom of heaven is like a net that people threw into the lake and gathered all kinds of fish. When it was full, they pulled it to the shore, where they sat down and put the good fish together into containers. But the bad fish they threw away. That’s the way it will be at the end of the present age. The angels will go out and separate the evil people from the righteous people, and will throw the evil ones into a burning furnace. People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth.

Reflection on the Gospel from Tonya

Listen to the reflection and/or read below.

Today we enter into a parable laden passage from Matthew’s gospel. Jesus has taken common everyday experiences and fashioned them into stories to help us understand the mysterious works of God. The first two parables this morning are told to a crowd of people interested in what Jesus has to say. A small mustard seed is planted in a field and becomes a tree so large that birds can nest in it. A bit of yeast is worked into 50 pounds of flour and the dough rises to feed the neighborhood. Both stories offer the crowd hope and encouragement in God. A little bit of God goes a long way. God’s goodness might seem small but it is more than sufficient. God is more than able to permeate all of life, to bring change, and help one rise.

Maybe it was getting dark, maybe it was time to eat, for whatever reason, Jesus leaves the crowd and goes into a house along with his disciples. Inside with his close companions, he tells a few more parables offering more hope and encouragement. First a story about a hidden treasure that brings great joy to the one who discovers it. So great is the treasure that everything is sold so the field in which the treasure is buried can be bought. The second story is about a merchant who discovers the most beautiful pearl ever seen. The merchant sells everything so the fine white jewel can be bought. It is easy to see that the disciples are like the treasurer hunter and merchant.  They have left everything behind to follow Jesus. They have found the Treasure, Jesus, and have left everything to be with him. They have seen the Pearl, Jesus, and have set everything aside to follow him. 

The third story Jesus tells is a fishing tale. I would imagine this context probably meant more to the disciples than stories of buried treasure and pearls. A handful of the disciples had once been fishermen. They knew firsthand what it was like to cast a net out over the water and draw a catch of fish up into the boat. As the fish are removed from the net, they would be separated. Keep the edible fish, the kosher ones–like trout, mahimahi, flouder, cod, and sardines to name a few. Toss away the non-edible ones, the non-kosher ones–the eels, the sharks, the swordfish, and the dolphins. They didn’t have all these kinds of fish in the Sea of Galilee, but you get the idea. Put the good fish in the basket and toss out the bad fish. 

Then Jesus goes on to say that this is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come from heaven and sort through the catch of fish. But they don’t toss the bad fish back into the sea because this is the end of the age. Instead, they toss the bad fish into a fiery furnace accompanied by weeping and gnashing teeth.  

It would be quite easy and maybe preferable to skip these verses in Matthew about fire, weeping, and gnashing teeth. These types of Bible verses seem to fuel the fires of judgment against others who are not like us. However, here at CBC we are not that kind of faith community which labels people as good or bad, in or out, heaven or hell bound. We have all seen how the good news of Jesus has been distorted by such labeling and finger pointing and judgement all in the name of Jesus. Judging others isn’t our calling. 

These types of verses are also excellent fodder for preachers who like to dish out “turn or burn” sermons. These stories have been used throughout the years to plant fear in the hearts of everyone, including believers, so that people might act good instead of bad. If you are bad, you will be tossed away, into the fire, where you with weep and gnash your teeth. Leading people to fear God isn’t our calling.

These types of verses have also been used to motivate Christians to witness and to give money to support evangelical mission work.  They have been used to guilt us into witnessing.  If we don’t share God’s love now, today, with everyone, there will be people who will spend eternity burning, crying, and gnashing their teeth. Our actions or lack of actions are not saving. It is God’s grace that saves us not someone else’s witness. 
Convincing and coercing people to live the way of Jesus is not our calling. 

Here at CBC we answer the call of God to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ so that God might be honored and glorified. How many have already been told by the world that they are “bad,” or not good enough? How many have already been tossed out, cast away, pushed aside, and all in the name of Jesus? And now to hear Jesus use those same words in his parable, well, how in the world does that square up with “For God so loved the world….”  I know, I know, I have heard it explained so many times. Some say, it’s God’s corrective punitive love. God loves us enough to punish us so that we will do the right thing. That seems like hog wash. Honestly, I do believe that God is abundantly more creative and wiser than to make us afraid so that we might learn to love and trust. Any relationship that uses fear to produce love and trust, that’s a relationship from which you should run. Think about it this way.  If you were afraid of the teacher, you didn’t misbehave. Right? Did you ever hear Jesus say, “I came that they might learn how to behave”?  No. Jesus said, “I came so that they might live.” God’s goal for us is to know God’s constant abiding never-fading love for us, and that we share that same love with others and all of creation. 

So, do we just get a pen out and strike through these verses from Matthew’s gospel? We could use a black sharpie marker, but it would bleed through to the other side of the page and mark out even more verses. We could use that handy little white out rolling thing, but it would leave the thin pages of my bible encrusted. 

The focus of all these parables is the kingdom of heaven. Let’s remove the imperial language Our Anabaptist ancestors were persecuted under imperial law. So let’s go with “reign of God” instead The starting point for all of these parables is the reign of God. The reign of God began in the ministry of Christ. It has not yet fully been revealed, but we pray for it. It is not yet fully here, but the Spirit is always present and already working towards it. Christ helps us put aside those other-worldly views of life like an after-life refuge or eternal damnation. We have this hope given to us in Jesus Christ of the reign of God already here in the present, here and now, already with us. So how does this fishing net parable help us understand God’s reign here and now?  All of the above ideas about how this parable has been used, I still refute. 

Let’s remember that Jesus shared this story with the 12 disciples. Not with those who were interested or curious about Jesus, but with the 12 who were already committed, who had already invested all they had in Jesus. Jesus invites them to take a glimpse at the reign of God, where the bad is discarded and the good is gathered up. What a strong reminder that Jesus has come to call us to a way of life that is consistent with God’s reign. You cannot remove the idea of judgment from this passage, but you must see it in the light of God’s reign. God is just and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. What a blessing it is to know that the evil empires and individuals with whom we deal day in and day out do not have the final word. Jesus does not condemn evil deeds in order to frighten us into nonaction. Instead Jesus invites us to go ahead and start living in and under the reign of God. We anticipate the reign of God. We eagerly anticipate living in that full reality. We anticipate the ways of God, being the way everyone lives. We anticipate it. The reign of God–when everything, everything is made new. 2 Corinthians says, If anyone is in Christ, that one is a new creature. Look, everything has become new. (2 Cor. 5:17)  God’s great future for the world is coming. And it is what we anticipate, a future where evil is destroyed and God’s righteousness shines bright like the sun. 

Even though we are not in the season of Advent, this pandemic is teaching us how to really long for something–or in fact, many things. So therefore as much as you long for the day when the pandemic is laid to rest, long even more for the day when God’s reign is fully alive in the world. 

Questions for Reflection

■ If you were to write a parable about the reign of God, what object or image would you use?
■ In what ways has the past week been difficult? Which, if any of today’s parables helps you not to feel defeated from the week?
■ What are parts of the full reign of God that you really anticipate these days?

Prayer of Thanksgiving. Thank you God for constant love. Please help our church family grow deeper and deeper in your love. Amen.

Song of Faith
Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God
And His righteousness
And all these things shall be added unto you
Allelu Alleluia

Ask and it shall be given unto you
Seek and ye shall find
Knock and it shall be opened unto you
Allelu Alleluia

Sending
God’s riches, wisdom, and knowledge are so deep!
They are as mysterious as God’s judgments,
and they are as hard to track as God’s paths!
Who has known the Lord’s mind?
Or who has been the Lord’s mentor?
Or who has given the Lord a gift
and has been paid back by the Lord?
All things are from and through and for the Lord.
May the glory be to God forever. Amen.

Closing Song.  In our tradition, we close worship by singing the first verse of Blest Be the Tie.  Mindy starts us each week, and so she does today as well.

Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.
The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above. Amen.

Credits: The image is from https://www.pikist.com/free-photo-vccsr [retrieved July 25, 2020]. The Prelude is Andante written by Handel and played by Barbara on June 10, 2018 for worship. The Psalm is read by Dale, Jeff, Matthew, Wyatt and Jeffrey. The Opening Prayer was written by Moira Laidlaw. Hope of the World is set to the tune TORONTO composed by John W. Peterson (1954). The words were written by Georgia Elma Harkness (1974) who was the first woman to teach theology in an American seminary. The hymns are played by Tracy. Romans was written by Paul and is read by Dianne, AJ, Charlie, and Gary. Come, Dearest Lord was written by Isaac Watts and composed by James Kirby. Accompanied by Tonya, singers include Mindy, Laura, Ally, Elizabeth, Kendall, and Tonya. Amazing Grace is set to the tune NEW BRITAIN from the Virginia Harmony, 1831. The words were written by John Newton (1807). The song was played by Aidan. The gospel was read by Wren, Reason, Aiden, Addie, and Tonya. Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God was written and composed by Karen Lafferty. Tessa plays the flute. Blest be the Tie is set to the tune DENNIS which was composed by Johann G. Nageli (1836) and arranged by Lowell Mason (1872). The words were written by John Fawcett (1782). The hymn is sung by Mindy. All scripture passages are from the Common English Bible translation. Permission to podcast / stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE with license #A-724755. All rights reserved.  All writings have been used by permission from the posting sites or authors.  

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Preparation for Worship

  • Something green. Christian worship has different seasons throughout the year. We are in the season after Pentecost. The color green represents this time communicating growth and discipleship. Add some green to your worship area with cloth, paper, or plants.
  • Two candles. Our worship begins with the light of two candles: one represents Christ’s humanity and the other represents Christ’s divinity.
  • Something to eat and drink to celebrate communion. The type of food and drink does not matter for they are merely symbols which help us celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
  • Typically, each week we have the option to hear the scriptures being read by one another, but not this Sunday. (It’s just been too busy a week for us to get that together.)

The Worship of God

Invitation. In today’s gospel reading, Jesus provides another agricultural parable about the reign of God using the imagery of wheat and weeds. Both weeds and wheat grow together in the world and may look similar to one another, but in the end, they will be sorted and dealt with accordingly. Jesus highlights that this separation does not happen until the seeds have borne fruit. It is important to approach the text with caution, as it has the potential to harm and hurt by drawing lines between “insiders” and “outsiders.” There is mystery in how God plants, nurtures, and weeds to secure a harvest of promise, and we are invited into hope-filled trust in God.

Light two candles in recognition of Christ’s presence.  In our practice, one candle represents Jesus’ divinity and the other Jesus’ humanity.

Gathering for Worship

Passing the Peace
Say to one another, “May the Peace of Christ be with you.”
Respond by saying, “And also with you.”

Call to Worship
O God, you know us inside and out, through and through.
           You search us out and lay your hand upon us.
You know what we are going to say even before we speak.
          We praise you, O God, for the wonderful knowledge
that whoever we are and wherever we go, you are with us.

Opening Prayer
God of all generations, as the author of the Psalm acknowledged your creative presence in such an intimate and personal way, so we affirm your presence with us in an even more wonderful and personal way – in the relationship established through Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit. We praise and thank you, O God, for reaching out to us and touching our lives in this way. We turn towards you in gratitude seeking to love as we have been loved and pray that this time of worship will be a worthy offering of praise and thanksgiving for the way you lay your guiding hand on our lives. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Songs and Psalms of Praise and Prayer

Song of Praise
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heav’n to earth come down!
Fix in us your humble dwelling,
All your faithful mercies crown:
Jesus, source of all compassion,
Love unbounded, love all pure;
Visit us with your salvation,
Let your love in us endure.

Breathe, O breathe your loving Spirit
Into ev’ry troubled breast;
Let us all in you inherit,
Let us find the promised rest:
Take away the love of sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its Beginning,
set our hearts at liberty.

Come, almighty to deliver,
Let us all your life receive;
Suddenly return, and never,
Nevermore your temples leave.
Lord, we would be always blessing,
Serve you as your hosts above,
Pray and praise you without ceasing,
Glory in your precious love.

(pause for key change in accompaniment)

Finish, then, your new creation,
Pure and spotless, gracious Lord:
Let us see your great salvation
Perfectly in you restored.
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heav’n we take our place,
Till we sing before the almighty,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.

A Reading from the Psalms
Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24

Lord, you have examined me.
You know me.
You know when I sit down and when I stand up.
Even from far away, you comprehend my plans.
You study my traveling and resting.
You are thoroughly familiar with all my ways.
There isn’t a word on my tongue, Lord,
that you don’t already know completely.
You surround me—front and back.
You put your hand on me.
That kind of knowledge is too much for me;
it’s so high above me that I can’t reach it.

Where could I go to get away from your spirit?
Where could I go to escape your presence?
If I went up to heaven, you would be there.
If I went down to the grave, you would be there too!
If I could fly on the wings of dawn,
stopping to rest only on the far side of the ocean—
even there your hand would guide me;
even there your strong hand would hold me tight!
If I said, “The darkness will definitely hide me;
the light will become night around me,”
even then the darkness isn’t too dark for you!
Nighttime would shine bright as day,
because darkness is the same as light to you!

Examine me, God! Look at my heart!
Put me to the test! Know my anxious thoughts!
Look to see if there is any idolatrous way in me,
then lead me on the eternal path!

Prayer for Others
Pause after each paragraph to give voice to prayers as prompted. [Additionally, if you would like our church family to pray for someone or something in particular this week, email the request to tonya@cullowheebaptist.com.]

Merciful God, who shelters us and guides us, we give you thanks for….

God who comforts, receive those who are fearful and lonely….

God whose love is steadfast, be refuge for the ill, the dying, and those who care about them.…

God of righteousness, we ask for your wisdom and ways of justice to prevail in our community, this nation, your world….

God who seeks our trust, grow us and guide us in your ways that are life-giving in your world. Amen.

Prayer in Song
When I’m Afflicted, Poor, and Low

When I’m afflicted, poor, and low, and light and peace depart,
my God beholds my heavy woe, and bears me on his heart.
I waited patient for the Lord, he bowed to hear my cry;
He saw me resting on his word, and brought salvation nigh.

He raised me from a horrid pit, where mourning long I lay,
and from my bonds released my feet, deep bonds of miry clay.
Firm on a rock he made me stand, and taught my cheerful tongue
to praise the wonders of his hand, in a new thankful song.

How many are thy thoughts of love! Thy mercies, Lord, how great!
We have not words nor hours enough, their numbers to repeat.
When I’m afflicted, poor, and low, and light and peace depart,
my God beholds my heavy woe, and bears me on his heart.

Celebrating Communion

A Reading from the Gospels
Mark 14:22-24 
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”

Share what you have to eat. Before eating, have someone say,
“This food represents the body of Christ. As we eat, we remember Jesus.”

Share what you have to drink. Before drinking, have someone say,
“This drink represents the covenant Christ made with us that our sins will be forgiven. As we drink, we remember Jesus.”

Prayer of Thanksgiving. Dear God, thank you for your abounding compassionate love. Thank you for guiding and leading us through these difficult times. Thank you for always being with us. Amen.

Song of Faith
Amazing Grace (NEW BRITAIN)

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I am found,
was blind but now I see.

The Gospel Reading

A Reading from the Gospels
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like someone who planted good seed in his field. While people were sleeping, an enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat and went away. When the stalks sprouted and bore grain, then the weeds also appeared. The servants of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Master, didn’t you plant good seed in your field? Then how is it that it has weeds?’ “‘An enemy has done this,’ he answered. “The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them?’ “But the landowner said, ‘No, because if you gather the weeds, you’ll pull up the wheat along with them. Let both grow side by side until the harvest. And at harvesttime I’ll say to the harvesters, “First gather the weeds and tie them together in bundles to be burned. But bring the wheat into my barn.'”

Jesus left the crowds and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” Jesus replied, “The one who plants the good seed is the Human One. The field is the world. And the good seeds are the followers of the kingdom. But the weeds are the followers of the evil one. The enemy who planted them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the present age. The harvesters are the angels. Just as people gather weeds and burn them in the fire, so it will be at the end of the present age. The Human One will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that cause people to fall away and all people who sin. He will throw them into a burning furnace. People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Those who have ears should hear.”

Reflection on the Gospel from Jeffrey

Listen to Jeffrey’s reflection, “Both Weeds and Wheat” and/or read below.

Just about anyone who reads the things Jesus says in the four Gospels will recognize how often he talked about growing things in gardens or orchards. In fact, he uses agricultural metaphors in his parables and teachings so much that if someone were to tell me tomorrow that Jesus was not really a carpenter at all but a farmer, it would make so much more sense to me. I cannot remember a single thing Jesus mentioned about building something other than the kingdom of God, and there he was speaking metaphorically. Yet when it comes to farming, he knows his stuff. For example, Jesus talks about how to plow a straight line in a field in Luke 9:62. He discusses pruning vines in John 15:2. Jesus knows when to expect a fig tree to produce its fruit in Mark 11:22ff. And last week, in the Gospel reading for Tonya’s sermon, Jesus discussed sowing seeds in a field. It is not surprising, then, that this week’s parable from Matthew 13 also carries on the farming theme except this time Jesus takes on the weeds and the wheat. He moves the conversation from seeds to harvest. 

Parables are never intended to be straightforward analogies. Something is always unexpected in a parable so that the listeners, or in our case the readers, are brought up short by the surprise. It was a way to remember the story—the sensational component of the parable helped folks remember it and so re-tell it. As we move from seeds to weeds with Jesus now discussing the growing season and harvest, Jesus’ audience recognizes that he’s talking about God’s perspective on humanity rather than best farming practices. You don’t ignore the weeds if you are a good farmer. But if you are a God whose mercy is deeply rooted in the ground of grace, you do. Thus while Jesus uses yet another agricultural metaphor, he’s making a point about our relationship to the Gospel, and God’s tendency toward mercy. Let me see if I can explain what I mean. 

As I read this parable of Jesus, it seems to express one element of our human condition plus two applications for the Church. In brief the first point is that none of us have it all right. And the two practicalities for the Church are that the church is not solely holy, thus it is right to suspend our own judgment of others knowing that only God does so justly. 

It is too simplistic to say that two kinds of people exist—one that is good and right, and another that is evil and unjust. In reality, we are mixtures of all these things even within our own selves. Sorting out a balance of these traits takes wisdom. Recognizing and purging the evil and unjust we choose and emphasizing more and more the good and right within our capacity is to mature as a person and grow in faith as a disciple of Jesus.  I’m not the kind of theologian who thinks that all humans are born “totally depraved.” I argue against the Augustinian idea that Original Sin means that we are all sinners from the time we are born and thus are only deserving of punishment and death. Instead of repeating Augustine ad nauseum, I am closer to the Christian version of human sin often attributed to Pelagius that grows out of Genesis 1—that we are all born in “the image of God” as a “very good” part of God’s good creation. Our sin is an inevitability but also a series of choices. None of us are without sin, but sin is not the “normal” human condition. Thus it is part of the truth of the Gospel that Jesus exemplifies for us all the human possibility of obedience and righteousness. To live like Jesus in the hope of God’s world as God intended us to be within a holy community of forgiveness is the point of all his teachings, including these parables in Matthew 13.  

If we ever wonder why all those annoying people, or even evil people, are not just zapped by God and taken away so that the rest of us, who clearly don’t deserve death by divine lightning strike, can go on making the world a better place, Jesus warns us that the targeted guilty may be standing right next to us, or it may not even be another person. No matter how wise we are, it is impossible to know who is deserving of life, and it is an act of human arrogance to the point of blasphemy to think that we can choose it for them.  

Lest we forget, Jesus is also talking about the congregation of the church in this parable. It is not difficult to imagine that every congregation has some weedy Christians among the wheaty ones.  I remember going with Tonya to a conference one year and a workshop for ministers was titled, “Ministry To and With Difficult Church Members.” I can honestly tell you that we did not feel the need to attend that one! At the same time, like every pastor I know, examples of church members who have not represented well the Gospel of Jesus, or the grace of God, or the hope of salvation lived among a holy gathering of Spirit-led people are part of the reality of the lived church. We are, nevertheless, together with our faults and failings, the body of Christ on earth. It is no wonder that we are called to follow God rather than obey the church, for sometimes we, the church, get it all wrong. Even with this reality, the purpose of the church is to include all of us, weeds and wheat, and let both grow in the same field, sharing the nutrients of the soil of the Gospel. To pull out the weeds is to threaten the wheat. Even to distinguish which one I am, weed or wheat, may change from time to time. It is hard, it turns out, for humans to know the difference in either ourselves or each other. In this way, Jesus is not calling us out for our sin, nor puffing us up for our holiness, but giving all of us permission to take a sigh of relief that judging the sins of others in the congregation of the church is not our job. 

Even in the early days of the church, apparently during Matthew’s time around 80 CE in Antioch, these words were already necessary for they are part of what the gospel writer wanted that congregation to hear from Jesus. The church of Jesus’ followers by this time already diversified. The first followers of Jesus (fifty years before Matthew was written) were mostly Jews who heard and saw Jesus, witnessed the resurrection, and believed Jesus to be the Messiah. The congregation for whom Matthew was collecting the things Jesus said and did lived miles away from Jerusalem in Antioch, a huge city with a heavy Greek influence. Matthew’s church included both Jewish and Gentile followers of Jesus. They almost surely were cautious and perhaps afraid since the Romans had destroyed the Jewish temple in Jerusalem a few years before this was written. It is even likely that they no longer knew anyone alive who actually had seen or heard Jesus. But they also needed to hear that the church did not demand perfection among its followers. The church was not just for Jews, not just for the perfect, not only for the holy-like-Jesus ones. As it turns out, Jesus is easing the task of the congregation. It is not the responsibility of the church to weed out people, but to harvest us all. 

The weeding, or as Jesus explains it, the judgement before God, is left to God alone. While we have too often had “the judgement of God” wielded like a weapon of our impending destruction, here the idea that God judges both the weedy and the wheaty is hopeful and encouraging. The great Old Testament theologian Walter Brueggemann wrote convincingly that the image of God as just judge is one of the most important parts of the Hebrew scriptures. It is not hard to imagine, then, that when Jesus mentions God judging, the people of God are to find relief in his words. God will always judge rightly whereas our judgement will always prove imperfect. God knows the heart’s true condition whereas we flinch at the pain of the wounds we sometimes cause each other. God sees the good or evil inside whereas we judge only what we know and hear and feel.   

These words of Jesus at the end of the parable are not doom and gloom, but goodness and truth. They do not signal an everlasting spiritual warfare of demonic and angelic powers hovering over our heads seeking to infiltrate and influence us for either good or bad. Such fanciful imaginations are informed more by the movies we see and the myths that we inherit than they are by the good news of these words of Jesus. I am convinced, that Jesus wants us even today to hear that we can go on and try to love and forgive each other. We can build a church that is always incomplete and imperfect without the need to eradicate all who err among us. Instead we love all who come and care and commit to the Gospel as best we can, and we take seriously the call to forgive one another, as we want others to forgive us, and as we have known forgiveness from God. After all, the unlovely often are those who need to experience genuine love; the crass and unkind are those who need to receive grace unmerited; the mistaken are those who need to feel forgiven by the people of the church in order to recognize the real forgiveness of God. 

In this we find perfection in love, and humility in spirit as the way to be the body of Christ as the church. Let God be God and make good and just judgement. But let the church be bold and fearless in community. Let her attempt more than just what’s comfortable and convenient even if sometimes we make mistakes. We are all in God’s harvest, brother weed and sister wheat, and only God knows the difference.  

Questions for Reflection

■ Who are some of the most important people to you that you have known because you were in church together?
■ How are being created as “good” and choosing to do what is right different?
■ What personal characteristics do we need to develop to get along with difficult people?

Prayer of Thanksgiving. Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s love and ask God to help our church family grow deeper and deeper in love.

Song of Faith
Come Ye Thankful People Come

Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God’s own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field,
fruit as praise to God we yield;
wheat and tares together sown
are to joy or sorrow grown;
first the blade and then the ear,
then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we
wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come,
and shall take the harvest home;
from the field shall in that day
all offenses purge away,
giving angels charge at last
in the fire the tares to cast;
but the fruitful ears to store
in the garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come,
bring thy final harvest home;
gather thou thy people in,
free from sorrow, free from sin,
there, forever purified,
in thy presence to abide;
come, with all thine angels, come,

Sending
Go into this week knowing God’s hand is upon you,
blessing you and nurturing the life of Jesus within you
through the energy and power of the Holy Spirit.

Closing Song.  In our tradition, we close worship by singing the first verse of Blest Be the Tie.  Mindy starts us each week, and so she does today as well.

Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.
The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above. Amen.

Credits: The Call to Worship, Opening Prayer, and Sending were written by Moira Laidlaw. Love Dinive, All Loves Excelling is set to the tune BEECHER composed by John Zundel and named after his pastor, Henry Ward Beecher. The words were written by Charles Wesley. The hymns are played by Tracy with his friend John. The words to When I’m Afflicted, Poor, and Low are based on Psalm 40. Words were written by Isaac Wyatts and composed by William Bradly Roberts. The CBC Social Distance choir this week includes Mindy, Ally, Tonya, Elizabeth, and Laura accompanied by Tracy on the piano and Tessa on the flute. Amazing Grace is set to the tune NEW BRITAIN from the Virginia Harmony, 1831. The words were written by John Newton (1807). The song was played by Aidan. Come Ye Thankful People Come is set to the tune ST. GEORGE’S WINDSOR and composed by George J. Elvey. The words were written by Henry Alford (1844). Blest be the Tie is set to the tune DENNIS which was composed by Johann G. Nageli (1836) and arranged by Lowell Mason (1872). The words were written by John Fawcett (1782). The hymn is sung by Mindy. Permission to podcast / stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE with license #A-724755. All rights reserved.  All writings have been used by permission from the posting sites or authors.  

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Preparation for Worship. For today’s worship, you will need 2 candles, one to represent Christ’s humanity and one to represent Christ’s divinity. To celebrate communion, have some food and drink to share. The type of food and drink does not matter for they are merely symbols which help us celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We are in what we call “Ordinary Time,” the season after Pentecost. The color green represents this time communicating growth and discipleship. Add some green to your worship area with cloth, paper, or greenery.


The Worship of God

Invitation. Jesus’ parable of the sower highlights God’s generous and surprising, disruptive, ways. The gospel reading today is one of three agriculturally based stories about the reign of God, In this parable, the harvest reaped from seeds sown on varying types of soil illustrates the number of ways people experience receiving God’s word. The seed is sown generously among all people. Despite the tensions and struggles among those who received the word, the work of God’s realm will yield a harvest.

Light two candles in recognition of Christ’s presence.  In our practice, one candle represents Jesus’ divinity and the other Jesus’ humanity.

Gathering for Worship

Passing the Peace
Say to one another, “May the Peace of Christ be with you.”
Respond by saying, “And also with you.”

Call to Worship
We bring our hopes and fears,
our struggles and our lives as they are,
into the presence of the one
who leaves the doors and futures
open to gracious possibilities.
God’s word lights the path before us.
May this time of worship
empower us to make faithful choices.
God’s word lights the paths before us.
May this time of worship renew and restore
our relationships with God and each other.
God’s word lights the paths before us.
Come, let us worship.

Opening Prayer
Abundant God,
use our senses to open our hearts and minds
to the richness of scriptures.
Help us to receive the gifts you sow
so graciously and freely in our lives,
and inspire us to share such bounty
generously with our neighbours. Amen.

Songs and Psalms of Praise and Prayer

Song of Praise
Another Sabbath Day Has Come

Another Sabbath day has come,
Another week is o’er;
And we, a grateful, happy throng,
Are gathered here once more.

We meet to sing of Jesus’ love,
And bow to Him in prayer,
We meet to read His holy Word,
And learn our duty there.

Oh, may the seed thus early sown
Spring up on goodly ground,
And in our hearts, our souls and lives
May fruit of grace abound.

Immortal fruit, that yet shall bloom
In paradise above,
Where we, with those now gone before,
Shall sing redeeming love.

A Reading from the Psalms
Psalm 65:9-13

You visit the earth and make it abundant,
enriching it greatly by God’s stream, full of water.
You provide people with grain because that is what you’ve decided.
Drenching the earth’s furrows, leveling its ridges,
you soften it with rain showers;
you bless its growth.
You crown the year with your goodness;
your paths overflow with rich food.
Even the desert pastures drip with it,
and the hills are dressed in pure joy.
The meadowlands are covered with flocks,
the valleys decked out in grain—
they shout for joy;
they break out in song!

Prayer for Others
Pause after each paragraph to give voice to prayers as prompted.

God of each, God of all:
we pray for our families,
those with whom we are drawn together
by birth or by marriage or by adoption.

We pray for our friends and neighbours,
those with whom we are drawn together
by common places of work or learning,
by common aspirations and values.

We pray for our fellow citizens,
those with whom we are drawn together
by birthplace and nation,
by regional ties and societal traditions.

We pray for those who are part of this community
and in the whole Christian Church,
those with whom we are drawn together
by a common faith and uncommon grace.

We pray for those who are fashioned in your image,
with whom we are drawn together in one family.

Thank you Lord for hearing our prayers. Amen.

Song of Praise
There is Much in the World

There is much in the world that can call forth our praise.
You have made it all.
As our song now takes up sights and sounds of the earth,
all voices shall be one.
For the sound of the rain, for the fierce rushing waves,
for water quiet and cool;
we give praise and thanks, in each droplet we see,
all of your love for us.

For the warmth of a fire, for a blaze through the sky,
for orange and yellow sparks, we give praise and thanks.
In each flicker we see, all of your love for us.
For the green of the earth, for the rich, leafy trees;
for air that’s fresh and clean;
we give praise and thanks,
through each breath and each glimpse,
we see your love for us.

Celebrating Communion

A Reading from the Gospels
Mark 14:22-24 
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”

Share what you have to eat. Before eating, have someone say,
“This food represents the body of Christ. As we eat, we remember Jesus.”

Share what you have to drink. Before drinking, have someone say,
“This drink represents the covenant Christ made with us that our sins will be forgiven. As we drink, we remember Jesus.”

Prayer of Thanksgiving. Dear God, thank you for your abounding compassionate love. Thank you for guiding and leading us through these difficult times. Thank you for always being with us. Amen.

Song of Faith
Amazing Grace (NEW BRITAIN

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I am found,
was blind but now I see.

The Gospel Reading

A Reading from the Gospels
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Listen to the passage and/or read below.

That day Jesus went out of the house and sat down beside the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he climbed into a boat and sat down. The whole crowd was standing on the shore. 3 He said many things to them in parables: “A farmer went out to scatter seed. 4 As he was scattering seed, some fell on the path, and birds came and ate it. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground where the soil was shallow. They sprouted immediately because the soil wasn’t deep. 6 But when the sun came up, it scorched the plants, and they dried up because they had no roots. 7 Other seed fell among thorny plants. The thorny plants grew and choked them. 8 Other seed fell on good soil and bore fruit, in one case a yield of one hundred to one, in another case a yield of sixty to one, and in another case a yield of thirty to one. 9 Everyone who has ears should pay attention.”

18 “Consider then the parable of the farmer. 19 Whenever people hear the word about the kingdom and don’t understand it, the evil one comes and carries off what was planted in their hearts. This is the seed that was sown on the path. 20 As for the seed that was spread on rocky ground, this refers to people who hear the word and immediately receive it joyfully. 21 Because they have no roots, they last for only a little while. When they experience distress or abuse because of the word, they immediately fall away. 22 As for the seed that was spread among thorny plants, this refers to those who hear the word, but the worries of this life and the false appeal of wealth choke the word, and it bears no fruit. 23 As for what was planted on good soil, this refers to those who hear and understand, and bear fruit and produce—in one case a yield of one hundred to one, in another case a yield of sixty to one, and in another case a yield of thirty to one.”

Reflection on the Gospel from Tonya

Listen to Tonya’s reflection and/or read below.

In western culture, Friday the 13th is a day of bad luck. Tuesday the 13th is a bad luck in Greece. Even in Afghanistan some believe the number 39 is cursed because 39 is three 13’s.  Today and the next two Sundays, we will be looking at the teachings of Jesus from the 13th chapter of Matthew. The beginning of the chapter is anything but bad luck. The chapter is packed full of stories told by Jesus. Stories to strengthen, stretch, and shore up our faith in God. Stories that help us understand the love of God more fully, the depth and breadth of God’s love for humanity and the world.  

Today’s story is about a sower. Not a “sewer,” like someone who sews masks or a dress, but a “sower,” like someone who sows seeds to grow plants. Jesus is out at the lake today. Wouldn’t we all love to be there with him. Sitting on the shore, an eager crowd starts to gather and it becomes so big that Jesus has to get into a boat and float out a little into the water so he can have some breathing room. He sits down in the boat to teach while the crowd stands on the shore. I regret that the translation of the passage in our Home Worship Guide leaves out the first recorded word Jesus says. We have been using the Common English Bible translation this summer. Each of the church’s children have been given a copy and the translation lends itself so well to being read out loud. But the translation left out the first word Jesus said, “Listen!”  Matthew even adds an exclamation point after the word. Makes sense. Jesus is out in a boat out on the water teaching people standing on the shore. He had to get their attention somehow. So he shouts out to them, “Listen!”  It is an invitation.

Then Jesus tells his first story. A farmer goes out to scatter seeds. Notice that the farmer scatters seeds everywhere. Seeds are tossed onto the path where people walk. Seeds are scattered on the rocky ground where people usually don’t walk because it hurts your feet. Seeds are even thrown in and among the weeds and thorns. And as we would normally expect seeds are scattered on good soil too. My first reaction is what kind of farmer is this? Who wastes seeds on places where they cannot sprout and grow? It is either a not so smart farmer, or perhaps it is an overly optimistic farmer. And then the great realization, only God would do such a crazy thing, scatter seeds anywhere and everywhere, seeing potential in all spaces for life-giving abundance. It really makes sense, doesn’t it? Jesus doesn’t tell them or us who the farmer is but we do know what this farmer is like. A generous farmer who sees potential in all places. 

Later one, Jesus tells his disciples that the seeds represent the word about the kingdom of God. Those seeds are all the things that make up what we call the Christ-like way of living . A way of life that’s defined by the Creator and is characterized by those fruits named in Galatians chapter 5: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. And that just the beginning, It is a way of life that professes God’s love, that loves the stranger and welcomes the neighbor. A way of living molded and shaped by the Creator’s love for everyone, a way of living that is characterized by sincere humility and active love. A way of living that favors life, humility, awareness, and never plays favorites. If it did play favorites the seeds would only have been scattered in the most loved places, or the places where they had the most potential to grow. Thus we have no right as followers of the way of Jesus Christ, as Christians, to deem who is worthy of wasting God’s love on and who is not. No matter what. So we are invited to scatter the word through seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, just to name a few, we scatter those seeds on everyone, everywhere. We don’t waste time trying to figure out if the ground is good or not, if the person is good or not. We just do it by living the way of Jesus Christ at all times.

In this story Jesus tells us more about the soil than the seed. Jesus describes four types of soil, each one representing a type of receptiveness to the word concerning living the way of Jesus. Jesus invites all to listen, but the word is received differently. First in the story, there are those who hear about living the way of Jesus and it is like the seed thrown on the path. The word is not understand and evil comes and takes it away. They don’t understand, not because they are not smart, but because their hearts are dull. They have insensitive, calloused hearts. They put up walls and refuse to let the word of love come in even through a crack. Next, Jesus says there are some who hear the word about living the way of God, they listen, like what they hear, and eagerly start to follow. But like the seeds sown on the rocky soil where the seed cannot take root and grow, the decision is short-lived in their lives. Trouble comes along, things are harder than they had expected, they suffer because of living the way of God, so they give up. The effort wasn’t worth it to them. Thirdly, there are others who hear about living the way of Jesus and it is like the seed thrown among the weeds and thorns. Living like God is in charge is crowded out by worries and concerns. Living the way of Jesus becomes last in line to pursuing wealth and success. They pay more attention to the worries or success of the world than to living like they live in the kingdom. Now the one who hears, takes the word in, and lives it, they are like seeds sown on good soil. They bear fruit in amazing quantities. 

Jesus goes further than just telling us that things won’t happen if we are not the right kind of soil. Truly we won’t bear fruit if all these other things get in the way. It does matter what kind of soil you are. It matters if you have a huge wall put up against things and your heart is callous. It does matter if you give up easily on living the way of Jesus when the going gets tough. It does matter if you are easily distracted by the cares of the world. Jesus looks back to the prophet Isaiah, chapter 6, especially verses 9 and 10 to help us get it. Reversing the negative, I’m going to summarize those verses for us and get right to the point. It takes eyes to see, ears to hear, a compassionate heart, and a willingness to change. And with those things shaping who we are, the Lord will heal us. The soil isn’t doomed. You are  not doomed.

Your callous heart can change. Your weak knees and gumption against injustice can change. Your worries can be put in perspective. You see, God will keep scattering those seeds of God’s way of living in your life because God loves you. Your heart might be hard right now, and that’s okay for God’s heart is soft and compassionate and caring, for you and the world. Your determination might be wavering right now, it’s okay. For God is constant, always with you, no matter what. Your anxiety, worries, and concerns may be crowding out all other things, it’s okay, God is with you. Please, please, don’t think that you have to be the right kind of soil for God to love you and spend time on and with you. God will not abandon you. God will keep scattering those seeds in our lives. And as we are able, we listen and hear that God loves us, we look and see God’s love, our hearts are open, and we feel the presence of God, and we start making changes to the hard soil, the rocky, ground, and the thorns and weeds. Take care of yourself. May you recognize the love God has for you and the world. May you hear the voice of God shepherding, consoling, and calling you. May you feel that love of God in your very heart down to your bones. We all serve and worship the same God, but we are all in different walks of our lives. And when we are stumbling, we have God and others standing with us, beside us. 

God will heal. God will make things good. For that’s what the kingdom of God is about. We try to bring the kingdom of God here on earth as it is in heaven, but it is a long and imperfect journey. But we are on the journey together and God is with us. Don’t let the world’s false expectations pressure you to be strong and courageous because you are Christian. That’s mallarky.  God loves us and that’s what matters the most. We answer that love not by repressing pain, anger, doubt, worries, and fear or by being cheerful, happy, in control, and on top of things at all times. No, we answer the love of God for us by learning to accept that love and by sharing the love of God with others. That’s what it means to bear fruit. These are weird times. But don’t give up. We cannot worship together. I cannot give you a hug. But I can constantly remind us all that God is always present with each and every one of us and God’s presence and love is greater than any human display of that love. May we rest in the knowledge that we have been graced and gifted with the most amazing — God loves you. 

Questions for Reflection

■ What are the different obstacles that restrict growth?
■ What are the qualities of good soil?
■ What are the basic things needed for faith to grow?

Life with God requires a willingness to disrupt norms and to have our lives disrupted by God.
■ What parts of our lives need disruption to serve God better?
■ How might the church disrupt unjust practices that society normalizes?
■ How can we live lives in the Spirit that respond to the needs of the world while resisting the ease and allure of the status quo?

Prayer of Thanksgiving. Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s love and ask God to help our church family grow deeper and deeper in love.

Song of Faith
For the Fruit of All Creation

For the fruit of all creation,
thanks be to God;
for the gifts of every nation,
thanks be to God;
for the ploughing, sowing, reaping,
silent growth while we are sleeping,
future needs in earth’s safe-keeping,
thanks be to God.

In the just reward of labour,
God’s will is done;
in the help we give our neighbour,
God’s will is done;
in our world-wide task of caring
for the hungry and despairing,
in the harvests we are sharing,
God’s will is done.

For the harvests of the Spirit,
thanks be to God;
for the good we all inherit,
thanks be to God;
for the wonders that astound us,
for the truths that still confound us,
most of all that love has found us,
thanks be to God.

Sending
Remember this:
the Spirit of God is your life, and
the same Spirit who raised Jesus Christ from the dead,
also lives in you,
giving life to your bodies and souls.
Go about your day with joy and confidence,
knowing that God is at work within you.
Romans 8:10-11

Closing Song.  In our tradition, we close worship by singing the first verse of Blest Be the Tie.  Mindy starts us each week, and so she does today as well.

Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.
The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above. Amen.

Credits: The Call to Worship and Opening Prayer are from Seasons of the Spirit™ SeasonsFUSION Pentecost 1 2020. Copyright © Wood Lake Publishing Inc. 2019. Another Sabbath Day Has Come is set to the tune LAND OF REST an American folk tune. The words were written by Fanny Crosby. The Psalm was read by Cindy and Reny. Amazing Grace is set to the tune NEW BRITAIN from the Virginia Harmony, 1831. The words were written by John Newton (1807). The song was played by Aidan. There is Much in the World was composed by Carson Cooman. The piano was played by Tracy. Choral singers include Ally, Elizabeth, Zane, Mindy, Kendall, and Tonya. The gospel was written by Matthew and read by Alizabeth, Sandy and Ron. For the Fruit of All Creation is set to the tune AR HYD Y NOS, a Welsh Melody and words were written by Fred Pratt Green. Blest be the Tie is set to the tune DENNIS which was composed by Johann G. Nageli (1836) and arranged by Lowell Mason (1872). The words were written by John Fawcett (1782). The hymn is sung by Mindy. Permission to podcast / stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE with license #A-724755. All rights reserved.  All writings have been used by permission from the posting sites or authors.  

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