The 18th Sunday after Pentecost
St. John’s & Emmanuel Ev. Lutheran Churches
Mecan & Montello, WI
October 3, 2020
4:30pm St. John’s Outdoor
October 4, 2020
10:00am St. John’s
✠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 Update Plans (Updated Sept. 2020. bulletin page 13) 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
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. Amen.
OPENING HYMN 420 God Moves in a Mysterious Way
*Indoors: sung by soloist. Outdoors: sung by congregation.
Words: public domain. Music: public domain. Setting: Elfred Bloedel @1993 Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A- 722228. All rights reserved.
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: Lord God, you call us to work in your kingdom and leave no one standing idle. Help us to order our lives by your wisdom and to serve you in willing obedience; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
✠ T H E W O R D ✠
The Lord Jesus speaks to us in Scripture reading, preaching and song.
OLD TESTAMENT LESSON Isaiah 55:6-9 NIV
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
PSALM OF THE DAY 27
*For your personal devotion at home.
The Lord is my light and my salvation—of whom shall I be afraid, of whom shall I be afraid?
Hear my voice when I call, O LORD;*
be merciful to me and answer me.
Do not hide your face from me,*
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,*
O God my Savior.
Though my father and mother forsake me,*
the LORD will receive me.
I am still confident of this:*
I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;*
be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
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 Philippians 1:18b-27 NIV (today’s sermon text)
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me. Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel.
VERSE OF THE DAY 2 Corinthians 12:9a NIV
M: Alleluia. My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Alleluia.
GOSPEL LESSON Matthew 20:1-16 NIV
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
“About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.
“He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’
“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’
“The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. ‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’
“But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Please be seated.
HYMN 756 We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight
*Indoors: sung by soloist. Outdoors: sung by congregation.
Words: Henry Alford, © 1810-1871, alt. Music: SHANTI (86.86)Marty Haugen, b.1950@1984, 2006 GIA Publications Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A-722228. All rights reserved.
SERMONETTE Philippians 1: 18b-27 NIV
“Is God Fair?”
*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 OF THE CHURCH & INTERCESSORY PRAYERS
*Read by pastor. Intercessory prayers listed on page 11.
*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. Amen.
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 390:1, 5, 6 Salvation unto Us Has Come
*Indoors: sung by soloist. Outdoors: sung by congregation.
✠ A N N O U N C E M E N T S ✠
October 4 – October 10
|St. John’s Worship
|Elders meeting in St. John’s gym
|Bible Study at Emmanuel
|St. John’s Outdoor Worship
Next week’s theme:- October 11, 2020 19th Sunday after Pentecost “Repent and Turn from Evil Ways”
|Emmanuel Worship with communion
|St. John’s Worship with communion
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Montello & Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Mecan
Worship Updates – September 2020
- Saturdays @ 4:30 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend our outdoor service!
- Last outdoor service – October 24th
- Sunday @ 8:00 am Emmanuel sanctuary (Emmanuel members)
- Sunday @ 10:00 am St. John’s sanctuary (St. John’s members 55 and older)
- Online worship services continue found at www.stjohnsmontello.org
Groups should be 50 or less indoors. 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.
Providing a safe worship experience is a high priority for the leaders in our congregations. Christ’s love also compels us to consider the needs of others before our own. In humility we want to protect the health and safety of our bodies and of others. Because the virus continues to spread, and because of the science regarding singing and speaking, the following policies will be continued:
- Please use the hand sanitizer upon arrival at the worship service.
- Masks will be worn at all indoor services. Masks are available at both churches.
- Designated seating will be provided indoors to provide for social distancing.
- Please bring lawn chairs for the outdoor service.
- Services will be shortened to a length of approximately 40 minutes.
- The congregation is asked to not sing. A soloist will sing the hymns and any liturgical responses.
- Continuous communion will be practiced on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays/Sundays of each month. 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.
Question or Concerns? Contact your Elders or Pastor
Emmanuel Elders: Darrell Buchholz (608) 215-7871, Wayne Stelter (608) 369-1790
St. John’s Elders: Jerre Duerr (608) 697-8706, Jay Eisermann (608) 297-8171,
James Wachholz (608) 369-4006 – Pastor Pete Zietlow (608) 408-7830
Making the Most of Our Time of Grace
The Eighteenth Sunday of Pentecost
God’s Word for Today
The lyrics to a popular Christian song exclaim, “Everything I need, I already have!” Through faith in Christ Jesus, we know that we are members of His saved family and that heaven is ours. But not everyone in our insecure world today enjoys that confidence and conviction. May we use our time of grace here on earth wisely by exposing others to the love of Jesus, too.
First Lesson (Isaiah 55: 6-9)
1. What urgency do you sense in the words “while He may be found” and “while He is near”?
2. How are God’s thoughts and ways higher than man’s?
Second Lesson (Philippians 1: 18b-27)
3. Whom did Paul credit for sustaining him during his time of imprisonment?
4. How are the words “to live is Christ and to die is gain” a win-win situation in Paul’s mind?
5. What is Paul’s warning to the Philippians in verse 27?
Gospel (Matthew 20: 1-16)
6. How is the world’s system of justice different from God’s?
7. Explain the seeming contradiction that “the last will be first and the first last”?
1. This was their time of grace. Salvation was close at hand in the Word that was being preached to them. The opportunity for repentance was still being held out to them. Indeed, for God’s chosen people, there was no time like the present.
2. Man’s thoughts and ways are inherently evil and lead to eternal destruction; the Lord’s are good, righteous, and holy and lead to everlasting life. Whereas the weight of man’s sins seems unpardonable, yet God in His mercy forgives them all.
3. Paul, first of all, was leaning heavily on the powerful, persistent prayers of the Philippians, whose petitions were serving to further advance the Gospel in his absence. Secondly, the ministration of the Holy Spirit in his heart gave him the strength and willingness both to endure the present tribulation and to rejoice in the knowledge that he could do all things through Christ, who gave him the strength.
4. Through Paul’s work, which entailed a good deal of hard, physical labor, as well as by the near-death experiences he encountered, Christ was highly exalted. It made no difference to Paul if this happened by his life or by his eventual death. If he lived, he would have the opportunity to grow more in the knowledge and likeness of Christ day by day. If he died, through Christ all his hopes and expectations would be fulfilled.
5. Paul’s hope was that the Philippians would lead lives that would in no way bring shame or disgrace on the message of the Gospel. This called for standing together firmly in one spirit. It called for solidarity and unity of faith in the face of attack. It called for firmness and constancy in the midst of temptation.
6. In temporal, worldly affairs, whatever a person accomplishes and merits will be credited to him as a matter of just reward. But in the kingdom of God, all are justified solely by the grace of God. Whether we labor diligently in God’s vineyard all our lives or heed God’s call in the eleventh hour of life, the resulting salvation in the same.
7. Unfortunately, there are those who are full of vain self-conceit who believe themselves to be the first before God, and for that very reason, in their woefully inadequate state, are the last. Conversely, those who are subservient and sincerely humble, assuming a meek attitude of heart, will be first where it counts – in the eyes of God.
|St. John’s Altar CommitteeOctober 2020