The 9th Sunday after Pentecost
August 2, 2020
Emmanuel & St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Churches
Mecan & Montello, WI
✠P R E P A R A T I O N F O R W O R S H I P ✠
We prepare ourselves to worship the one Savior God by expressing our humble repentance, offering our fervent prayers and singing our thankfulness of praise.
Please note: Worship Service Restart Plans (Bulletin pages 11, 12) Worship f.) Due to the recent increase of COVID-19 virus cases testing positive in our area, worshipers are kindly asked to maintain social distancing, refrain from singing, and wear masks that cover both mouth and nose. Thank you for your consideration.
PASTOR’S WELCOME, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND PRAYER BEFORE WORSHIP
M: O Lord – our Maker, Redeemer, and Comforter – we are assembled in your presence to hear your holy Word. We pray that you would open our hearts by your Holy Spirit, that through the preaching of your Word we may repent of our sins, believe in Jesus, and grow day by day in grace and holiness. Hear us for Jesus’ sake.
OPENING HYMN 181: 1-3 Come, Oh, Come, Life-Giving Spirit
*Sung by soloist.
M: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
CONFESSION & ABSOLUTION
M: We have come into the presence of God, who created us to love and serve him as his dear children. But we have disobeyed him and deserve only his wrath and punishment. Therefore, let us confess our sins to him and plead for his mercy.
C: Merciful Father in heaven, I am altogether sinful from birth. In countless ways I have sinned against you and do not deserve to be called your child. But trusting in Jesus, my Savior, I pray: Have mercy on me according to your unfailing love. Cleanse me from my sin, and take away my guilt.
M: God, our heavenly Father, has forgiven all your sins. By the perfect life and innocent death of our Lord, Jesus Christ, he has removed your guilt forever. You are his own dear child. May God give you strength to live according to his will.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
M: Grant us, Lord, the spirit to think and do what is right that we, who cannot do anything that is good without you, may by your help be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
✠ T H E W O R D ✠
The Lord Jesus speaks to us in Scripture reading, preaching and song.
OLD TESTAMENT LESSON Joel 3:12-16
Summary: The Lord calls his enemies to assemble and advance. Let them do what they will. He sits on his throne and he is the Judge. The forces of darkness are many, but their destruction is as sure as the fall of ripe grain before a sickle or grapes under a press. For those who trust in the Lord, he is their shelter and refuge.
“Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow– so great is their wickedness!” Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.
PSALM OF THE DAY 18
*For your personal devotion at home.
Refrain: The mighty Lord is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and by deliverer;*
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;*
he rescued me from my powerful enemy.
He brought me out into a spacious place;*
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning;*
my God turns my darkness into light.
You save the humble*
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
You give me your shield of victory,*
and your right hand sustains me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son*
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,*
is now, and will be forever. Amen.
SECOND LESSON Romans 8:26, 27 (today’s sermon text)
Summary: When God’s people are suffering, sometimes they don’t know what to pray. Here we have the gracious promise that God the Holy Spirit prays on our behalf! With such a perfect petition prayed for us, we can be sure that God’s good and gracious will is done!
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
VERSE OF THE DAY Isaiah 55:11b
M: Alleluia. My Word will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Alleluia.
GOSPEL LESSON Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Summary: In righteous zeal, Jesus’ followers have been tempted to destroy the enemies of God’s Church. In this parable Jesus shows why his church must never use the sword. First of all, we may destroy believers together with unbelievers. Secondly, judgment of the wicked belongs to God and his angels on the last Day.
Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
“The owner’s servants came to him and said, `Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
“`An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, `Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
“`No,’ he answered, `because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'”
Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
Please be seated.
HYMN 541: 1-4 Lord Jesus Christ, with Us Abide
*Sung by soloist.
SERMONETTE Romans 8: 26, 27
“A Helping Hand From Our Heavenly Hook-up”
- When our prayers are lacking
- When our prayers need direction
*For your personal devotion at home.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker or heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
PRAYER FOR BLESSINGS ON THE CHURCH & INTERCESSORY PRAYERS
*Intercessory prayers listed on page 10.
*Spoken by congregation.
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.
M: O Lord God, our heavenly Father, pour out the Holy Spirit on your faithful people. Keep us strong in your grace and truth, protect and comfort us in all temptation, and bestow on us your saving peace, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
M: Brothers and sisters, go in peace. Live in harmony with one another. Serve the Lord with gladness.
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
Then Lord look on you with favor and + give you peace.
CLOSING HYMN 541: 5-7 Lord Jesus Christ, with Us Abide!
*Sung by soloist.
Next week’s theme:
August 9, 2020 10th Sunday after Pentecost
“Wisdom from on High”
St. John’s Lutheran Church Montello & Emmanuel Lutheran Church Mecan
Updated Response to Worship Concerns Created by COVID-19
July 30, 2020
When will we worship? An outdoor Saturday service is being added to help members worship in a safe environment. This service will replace the Wednesday evening service.
- Saturdays @ 4:30 pm (Any St. John’s or Emmanuel members)-Beginning Saturday, August 15
- Sunday @ 8:00 am Emmanuel (Emmanuel members)
- Sunday @ 10:00 am St. John’s (St. John’s members 55 and older)
- Online worship services continue found at stjohnsmontello.org
Where will we worship? Groups should be 50 or less indoors. To provide safe worship experiences, the new Saturday worship service will be held outdoors when weather permits.
- Saturday @ 4:30 pm will be an outdoor service on the lawn behind the parking lot of St. John’s. In case of inclement weather, we will move to the sanctuary.
- Sunday @ 8:00 am at Emmanuel in the sanctuary
- Sunday @ 10:00 am at St. John’s in the sanctuary
How will we worship? Providing a safe worship experience is a high priority for the leaders in our congregations. Because the virus continues to spread, and because of the science regarding singing and speaking, the following policies will be continued and new ones enacted immediately:
- Please use the hand sanitizer upon arrival at the worship service.
- Masks will currently be optional at all services (see below**) Masks will be available.
- Designated seating will be provided indoors to provide for social distancing.
- Please bring lawn chairs for the outdoor service. Some seating and a canopy may be available.
- The congregation is asked to not sing for the time being.
- Services will be shortened to a length of approximately 40 minutes.
- A soloist will sing the hymns and any liturgical responses.
- Continuous communion will be practiced on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month. The Saturday before the 2nd and 4th Sundays will also include communion. Family units are encouraged to commune together.
- The congregations should exit the sanctuary from the back at the end of the service, taking all belongings including the bulletin along with them.
- The sanctuary will be cleaned and sanitized between services.
- **We will abide by any state or local mandates that may change any of these policies
As we hold firmly to the truths of scripture, we know that God continues to keep his promises to us. He has promised the wonderful spiritual blessings of forgiveness, life, and salvation. He has not, however, promised that things will always remain the same. In the words of our synod president, Mark Schroeder, “we recommit ourselves–as individuals, as congregations, and as a synod–to the mission that God has called us to carry out, trusting that he will bless us in that work.” Let us work together as we move forward as a congregation. Let us help, support, and encourage each other as we gather around God’s Word.
Final Judgment Belongs to God
The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost – A
God’s Word for Today
“Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” These words of our God place the responsibility for judgment—especially the final judgment—solely into the hands of God himself. Of course, to the person without Christ, that is a frightening notion, for none will escape the judgment of the Lord. But to God’s children, who still struggle daily with temptation and sin, these words are a sobering reminder of our evil nature but also an opportunity to remember that our good Savior has already borne that judgment for us.
First Lesson (Joel 3:12-16)
- Of what is the harvest a picture?
- While God has chastised his people for their wickedness, ultimately he would judge the heathen nation that oppressed them. What promise of grace does Joel proclaim?
Second Lesson (Romans 8:26-27)
- What assurance do Christians have, even in the worst of times?
- In what manner may we confidently assume our “unspeakable” petitions are prayed?
Gospel (Matthew 13:24-30,36-43)
- In the Parable of the Weeds, Jesus indicates that the sons of God will live along side the sons of evil until the end. How can we tell who’s who?
- How will God’s victory finally be seen by all?
- While a physical harvest of crops seems also to be coming, the symbolism here points to the judgment “harvest,” where God will bind up those who are against him and destroy them in eternal hellfire. Compare Revelation 14:14-20.
- God’s own people, also wicked, had already received punishment at the hands of the oppressors. But, faithful to his promises, the Lord also remembers his people and remains their refuge and stronghold (verse 16).
- Even in the worst of times, God is there to help. Sometimes our situation may be so severe that we don’t even know how or what to pray. When our own spirit fails, the Holy Spirit takes up our petitions for us and intimately shares our needs with our Father in heaven.
- Since the Holy Spirit is carrying it, and since he and the Father share a common deity, knowing even each other’s minds, our petitions will be conveyed perfectly, in accordance with God’s good will.
- Compare 1 John 3:10. We will look to outward actions and words as indication of who the believers and unbelievers are.
- While Satan and his evil army are given freedom in this world and even sometimes appear to have the upper hand, yet in the end—the final judgment—all those creatures found outside the family of Christ will be destroyed in everlasting fire, a fact of which Satan’s forces are keenly aware (1 Peter 3:18-20). God keep us strong in faith and in our walk with our Savior, and bring us at last to our heavenly inheritance!
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|St. John’s Altar CommitteeAugust 2020||Susan Brown&Jennie Utke|