17th Sunday after Pentecost
September 24, 2023 + 10:00am
Zion Lutheran Church
Lexington, South Carolina
+ SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST +
CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
Blessed be God, the one who forms us, + Jesus who bears the cross, the Spirit who makes our joy complete. Amen.
Let us bow before God in humility, confessing our sin.
We kneel. Silence is kept for confession and meditation.
Steadfast and faithful God, you have revealed the ways of justice, yet we fail to follow you. We are overwhelmed by the world’s violence and suffering. We are afraid to risk what we have for the sake of others. For the harm we have caused, known and unknown, forgive us. For the unjust demands we place on others and your creation, forgive us. For the ways we turn away from you and our neighbor, forgive us. Lead us back to you and set us on the right path; in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.
Beloved in Christ, God’s justice stretches beyond all understanding. God’s compassion is beyond compare. In Jesus, God is always making a new way for us. In + Christ, you are already and always forgiven. Amen.
SHARING OF THE PEACE
The peace of the Lord be with you always. And also with you.
We stand. We share a sign of Christ’s peace with one another.
GATHERING HYMN # 695 As Saints of Old
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. And also with you.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Almighty and eternal God, you show perpetual lovingkindness to us your servants. Because we cannot rely on our own abilities, grant us your merciful judgment, and train us to embody the generosity of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Preschool and elementary aged children are invited forward to the chancel steps for a special message. Following the Children’s Message, children are invited to Children’s Church - a special time of learning led by adult teachers. Children will return before Holy Communion
FIRST READING Jonah 3:10-4:11
When God saw what the people of Ninevah did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.
4:1But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. 2He prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. 3And now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” 4And the Lord said, “Is it right for you to be angry?” 5Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, waiting to see what would become of the city.
6The Lord God appointed a bush, and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush. 7But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the bush, so that it withered. 8When the sun rose, God prepared a sultry east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint and asked that he might die. He said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”
9But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?” And he said, “Yes, angry enough to die.” 10Then the Lord said, “You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labor and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?”
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
1I will exalt you, my God and king, and bless your name forever and ever.
2Every day will I bless you and praise your name forever and ever.
3Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised! There is no end to your greatness.
4One generation shall praise your works to another
and shall declare your power.
5I will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty
and all your marvelous works.
6They shall tell of the might of your wondrous acts,
and I will recount your greatness.
7They shall publish the remembrance of your great goodness;
they shall sing joyfully of your righteousness.
8The Lord is gracious and full of compassion,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
SECOND READING Philippians 1:21-30
For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. 23I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; 24but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, 26so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.
27Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, 28and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. 29For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well—30since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
GOSPEL READING Matthew 20:1-16
The Holy Gospel according to Matthew. Glory to you, O Lord.
Jesus said to the disciples: “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 3When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; 4and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. 5When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. 6And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ 7They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ 8When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ 9When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. 10Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. 11And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
The Word of God for the people of God. Praise to you, O Christ.
HOMILY Pastor Kathleen Miko
HYMN OF THE DAY # 588 There's a Wideness in God's Mercy
Living together in trust and hope, let us confess our faith.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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 to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
Each petition ends: Merciful God, receive our prayer.
TITHES AND OFFERINGS
We share our gifts for those in need and for the church’s mission.
For more information on giving go to zionlexsc.com/giving.
OFFERTORY HYMN # 884 Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, ye heav'nly host; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
God of power, God of plenty, all things belong to you. We bring your gifts to the table, that all might be fed. Form us into the body of your Beloved, Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places offer thanks and praise. . . we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
Holy, mighty, and merciful Lord, heaven and earth are full of your glory . . . with you and the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, now and forever. Amen
Let us pray as Jesus has taught us:
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
INVITATION TO COMMUNION
Jesus invites you to this table. Come, eat and live.
LAMB OF GOD
DISTRIBUTION OF COMMUNION
Christ welcomes you to this feast of the baptized!
We receive communion at the front of the center aisle.
You may come forward in two lines to receive the bread from the ministers.
After receiving bread, move to the left or right to receive wine which an assisting minister will place into your hand. Place your used cup in the basket and return to your seat via the side aisle.
MUSIC DURING COMMUNION
May the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace. Amen.
PrAyer after Communion
Blessed be your name, O God, for we have feasted on your Word, Christ Jesus, the joy and delight of our hearts. Strengthened by this food, send us to gather the world to your banquet, where none are left out and all are satisfied. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
The God of glory, + Jesus Christ, name above all names, and the Spirit who lives in you, bless you now and forever. Amen.
SENDING HYMN # 668 O Zion, Haste
Go in peace. God is at work in you. Thanks be to God.
Following worship all are invited to a time of Fellowship in the narthex/lobby.
Go to ZionLexsc.com for updates and ministry opportunities.
Go to zionlexsc.com/giving for ways to give to support the ministry of Zion Lutheran Church.
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