Pentecost +13, Proper 17A

Aug. 30

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Scripture  (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):

Exodus 3:1-15 or Jeremiah 15:15-21
Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c or Psalm 26:1-8
Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 16:21-28

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

15-Rejoice, you pure in heart

275-Christ is made the sure foundation

461-Lord, whose love through humble service

453-Called as partners in Christ’s service

609-Take my life

272-The Church’s one foundation

430-Lo, I am with you

665-Where cross the crowded ways of life

429-You satisfy the hungry heart

386-We come as guests invited

More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.   

Hymn of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2020, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Matthew 16:21-28

               From the day, at his intent,

               Jesus spoke of suffering,

               noting how the day will come

               when rejection overwhelm.

               Yet the answer in the crowd

               rings out: Never, Never, Lord!

               But Jesus spoke unto him:

               Get thou behind me Satan.

               Now follow after Jesus,

               learning well the way we go,

               how we turn aside from self,

               take the cross and follow more.

               Losing, saving: all is naught

               save in keeping to his way.

               Jesus lengthened trek along

               unto glory for our God.

               Gathered in the face of grief,

               unexpected yet so told,

               here we pause to see the day,

               how the coming kingdom reigns.    Suggested tune: Wie Schön Aus Der Tiefe (Heinlein)

Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:

Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent).  A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin.  Where practical, these may be offered here as well.  You may also want to visit   

This week:  Psalm of the day is not included in the hymnal.  See Call to Worship below.  

Concerning the Following Items: Except where otherwise noted, items are created or adapted by the editor.  If you are aware of source notations which are missing, please bring them to his attention.  No copyright infringement is intended, but is sure to happen.

Call to Worship   

(adapted from Psalm 105)

L: O give thanks to the Lord, call on God’s name, make God’s deeds known among the peoples.

P:  Sing to God, sing praises to God; tell of all God’s wonderful works.

L: Glory in God’s holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.

P:  Praise the Lord!


L: In the best and worst of times, we hear the call of faith to join in worship.

P: From deep within, we sense the need to offer praise and offer up our burdens.

L: Despite the circumstances we face, God desires to provide the very best for all of earth’s children.

P: So we come to the Table of Christ, where we find God’s provisions in abundance, satisfying the true hungers of our hearts.

OR  (from the United Church of Christ)

L: Be still and know that God is.

P:  God was, also, in the beginning.

L: And when all human striving has ceased, God will still be.

P:  From everlasting to everlasting, God is God, and alone is worthy to be worshiped.

OR (adapted from the UCC)

L: We are summoned here as children of God, who calls us each by name, and gathers us together in the one family of Jesus Christ.

P: From classroom and kitchen and carpool, we are called into God’s presence. Young and old and middle-aged, individuals and families, softspoken and outspoken, we hear our names being called to join in worship.

L: This house of worship is a place to pursue God’s vision for all people: unity and joy and faith, expressed through different gifts.

P: Praise the Lord!

OR from

L: Give thanks to the Lord!
P: We will sing God’s praises!
L: Seek the Lord and God’s strength.
P: We continually seek God’s presence in our lives.
L: Remember all the wonderful things that God has done.
P: Praise the Lord!

OR adapted from

L: How shall we get along with one anther in this world?
P: Our love should be genuine. We should hate what is evil and hold fast to what is good.
L: We should honor one another with kindness and compassion.
P: We should always be strong in our enthusiasm to serve God.
L: Come, let us joyfully worship God in all that we do.
P: Let us praise God in our words, our thoughts, and our actions.

OR adapted from

L: Have you heard God’s call in your life?
P: Sometimes we think we know what God wants us to do; but at other times things are not very clear.
L: Place your trust in the Lord. God is with you always.
P: It is a scary thing to do–to just place our trust in God alone.
L: God is with you. You will be safe.
P: Thanks be to God who watches over us and guides us.

OR from

L: We are standing on holy ground.

P: All those who have gone before us have witnessed to the love of God.

L: We are challenged to be people of loving service

P: Lord, open our hearts and spirits to accept the call to serve you by helping others.

OR from

L: We gather as a community of compassion and hope.

P: Jesus calls us to care for each other tenderly and willingly.

L: By this caring and sharing we will be known as followers of Jesus.

P: By our example others may be led to lives of peace.

L: Lord, open our hearts and minds this day to your word.

P: Teach us to serve you with all our gifts and talents. 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

Most Holy God, we await the touch of your Spirit with eagerness.  We ask that you enter the lives of each one of us today, refreshing and renewing and healing us with the power of your loving Spirit, that we may live with purpose and enthusiasm and courage after the manner of Jesus our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)


O God, your desire has always been that each of your children might be made whole, and live abundantly and freely in your presence. Center our hearts and minds that we may be prepared to receive the gifts you so freely give to all, and empower us to share with others from grateful hearts, so that all may know your love and gracious provisions. This we pray through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)


Gracious God, we gather this morning in this house of worship which, thanks to your love, is our home away from home. We come to add our human voices to the chorus of praise raised by your creation! We come as we are – distracted and weary, hopeful and open – know that you accept us and are ever mindful of our cares and joys. Still in us now the many voices that clamor for attention, that we might center ourselves upon you. Speak to us in word and melody and quiet, that we may be renewed in our faith and strengthened for your service. This we pray through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

OR (from

Through the ages, O God, you have called to us to follow. You led us to freedom, to hope and peace. Enter our hearts again today and lead us to your healing love that we might serve you joyfully in this world that you have loaned to us.  This we pray through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)


We are here, Lord. We come to be with your people, to join them in your praise, and to learn to live with them and with your world in peace. Give us your blessing, we pray, that as we seek to know your will for us, we may live lives worthy to be called “Christian”. Through your son Jesus, the Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

OR (from

Surprising God, you have an uncomfortable habit of showing up where we least expect you: in a burning bush, in the face of an enemy, in a livestock feed trough, on a rough wooden cross.  Turn our lives upside down with your radical love. Help us fully embrace your surprises, even as we revel in the joy of being fully embraced by your all-encompassing grace and mercy. We pray in the name of your most amazing surprise of all: your Son, Jesus Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

OR (from

From all our life’s pathways, you have called us to this place, O Lord. Be with us as we listen for your word and seek your ways. Guide our steps and guard our lives that we may serve you more effectively in this broken world.  This we pray through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

OR (from

Lord of summer sunshine and autumn harvest, be with us this day as we gather to encounter your word and your way for us. Remind us that we can place our trust in your eternal love.  Enable us to be more effective in our witness to that love by word and deed.  Guide our steps and pick us up when we falter. Dust us off and place us on the pathways of grace and service. These things we pray in Jesus’ name (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

Lord God, we give you thanks for all your gifts to us—for daily food, for health, for each breath we take, for freedom to choose, and for the gifts of your word, your power and your love. Our hearts are truly overwhelmed, O God, when we consider how you have entrusted so much to us. May we be worthy of that trust—may we be a people who are unafraid to live as fully and as richly as you want us to live.

Help us, O God, as followers of Jesus, to multiply all that you have given us, to risk spreading your word and perhaps see it misunderstood, to gamble by loving those whom others think worthy only of hate, to take chances by doing good to those who have not done good to us. Help us be faith filled and desire to increase your glory and your goodness in this world. Make us people who share in both word and deed that which you have given to us.

We pray for the church gathered today, both here and around the world, that it may encourage all of its members to discover, develop and use all their gifts, those of nature and those of grace.

We pray for those who are poor in body or in spirit, for those oppressed and heavy laden, for those sick or in despair.   Minister by your Spirit and by us, to all those for whom we have prayed, and help us walk faithfully in the path of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.


God of Sun and Moon, Star and Sky, your wonder is beyond our imagining. We thank you for the gift of this world we share, and for the common bonds that we share as your children.

Bless us God, as we seek to find a way toward the peace you invite us to share. Guide us God as we walk that delicate line between being faithful to our own relationship with you, and yet remain understanding of those whose path is vastly different from our own. Remind us often that being faithful does not require that we close ourselves off from the faith of others.

Open our hearts, minds and spirits to people of every faith and culture. May the Mystery of your ways be the bridge that draws all of your people together in prayer for peace in our time.

We pray for those who are in special need of your grace and healing today. For those who live in fear of violence; for refugees everywhere; for political prisoners and for those who imprison them; God, we ask for peace.   For those who are grieving, or hungry, or in despair; for the lonely, and all who are ill or suffering, for any who struggle with addiction, and for all who live with chronic illness.

God, we trust in your power to be present with the suffering. We trust in your Spirit’s power to bring comfort, faith and strength where it is needed. We pray, bring your radical, scandalous peace into our midst, and touch us all with your love, for we ask it in the name of the One who calls us ever forward, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

OR from

Lord of hope, we come to you this day. We have followed many paths and the one of hope leads to this doorway.  Enter our hearts this day as we share our joys and concerns in prayer and in the actions and service that follows. We lift before you situations and people who are in need of your healing mercies and your peace. Help us to be those who would bring this peace to them. Let us be in prayer, lifting our concerns to God. Please share with us your concerns this morning. [Sharing of concerns]

Congregational Response: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

As our lives have encountered difficulties and concerns, so, too, are we blessed with great joys. We celebrate these moments of happiness and wonder with each other, lifting up joys and celebrations in this congregation this morning. Please share with us your joys and celebrations [Sharing of joys and celebrations]

Congregational Response: Lord, in your love, hear our praise!

Lord, bless all those whom we have named before you in our hearts and with our voices. Touch each life with the blessings and peace and mercy. Give us strength and empower us for the ministries of reconciliation, for it is in your name that we pray.

Prayers from Common Worship*


Almighty and everlasting God,

you are always more ready to hear than we to pray

and to give more than either we desire or deserve:

pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy,

forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid

and giving us those good things

   which we are not worthy to ask

but through the merits and mediation

of Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion

God of all mercy,

in this eucharist you have set aside our sins

and given us your healing:

grant that we who are made whole in Christ

may bring that healing to this broken world,

in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Additional Collect

God of constant mercy,

who sent your Son to save us:

remind us of your goodness,

increase your grace within us,

that our thankfulness may grow,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good

things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name; increase in

us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth

in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God

for ever and ever.  Amen.

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2020, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Matthew 16:21-28

            We follow on the unexpected way, O God,

                        and learn your gracious care

                        upon the journey of the cross,

                                    the trek to bear that cross with Christ.

                        For we have known of mystery,

                                    rebelled at words of suffering

                                                and known of ridicule.

                        So we, adoring, come to follow Jesus

                                    along the way the cross foreshadows.

Service of Table  

While all of our congregations navigate the Sacred Board in a different way, it seems, there are common elements in most, which are provided here.  We would love to hear if your congregation has variations to these elements which we might address in the future. 

Offertory / Invitation to Give

The apostle writes: “My sisters and brothers, I implore you by God’s mercy to offer your very selves to God; a living sacrifice, dedicated and fit for God’s acceptance, the worship offered by mind and heart. Adapt yourselves no longer to the pattern of this present world, but let your minds be remade and your whole nature be transformed. Then you will be able to discern the will of God, and know what is good, acceptable and perfect.”  In our offerings today, may we fully give ourselves to God to be remade as true people of praise.


God has made every provision for our lives on this earth, giving not only enough in creation to keep us alive, but to give us life that is abundant and rich with possibilities. How do we respond to such graciousness and love? May it be by offering not only what we feel obligated to give, but what God’s example has set for us, and what God’s Spirit inspires in us – the very first fruits, the very best of our lives and of our labors.

OR from

As God has blessed our lives with abundant love and gifts, let us bring our tithes and offerings to this place, seeking to help others, to offer comfort and hope. Let us receive our morning offering.

Offertory Prayer

We dedicate this money as one evidence of our stewardship, loving God.  Our silver and gold have no value except as they are invested according to your purposes.  Our lives gain value as we give our time and talents in loving service.  Use all that we have and give to build the community you intend, through Christ our Lord.


By your grace, O God, you have provided abundantly for us. May these offerings from that abundance bring forth fullness of life for your children here and around the world, for the sake of Christ our Lord. Amen.

OR (from

Dear God, we offer you now these gifts.  Take our money and use it to bring comfort to those in need.  Take our service and use it to bring justice to those who are oppressed.  Take our witness and use it to bring good news to those who hunger for hope. Take our lives and use them for our very salvation.  We pray through Jesus Christ, the one whom we follow even to the cross. Amen.

OR from

Lord of all mercy and compassion, bless these gifts lovingly offered and all the people here. Help us to use these gifts for ministries of hope through our church and into our community, nation and world.

Invitation to the Table

As we hear the call of Jesus for us to follow in the way of discipleship, may we remember that this journey of life involves a cross.  Here, at his Table, we are starkly reminded of his suffering and death, and of his victory of life.  As we break the bread and drink the cup, his body and his blood, may we be healed by his sacrificial love and recreated to serve God in all the days ahead.


God is the great provider. From earth’s bounty we receive this bread, worked by human hands, and brought to us to be offered as our spiritual food; and this wine, made by human labor to be brought to this Table as our spiritual drink. All of this is God’s doing, and not just for us, but for all the world. Christ himself invites us to receive with thanksgiving the blessings of God’s hand. Let us come near the Table he has spread with joy and gratitude.

Prayer of Thanksgiving (Prayers for Bread and Cup)

(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)

As we consider the call of Jesus to follow in the way of discipleship, O God, we remember that this way of life involves a cross.  Here, at his Table, we are starkly reminded of his suffering and death, and of his victory of life.  As we break the bread and drink the cup which you have provided, we pray that your Holy Spirit would be on us and upon these gifts which we offer in union with Christ’s sacrifice for us.  May they be for us his body and his blood, so that we who are healed by his sacrificial love may be made new to serve you in fullness of life.

OR  adapted from William Flewelling’s prayer at Epiphany

We rejoice, O God, that you have come to us, revealing yourself in Jesus Christ our Lord.  In thankful adoration, Lord, we listen to your Beloved Son.  In joy we turn to meet the fullness of your presence borne upon us.  In expectation, Lord, we long to learn your searching Holy Spirit in our lives.

Your Word reveals in us your coming.  And we hear your speaking plainly now over bread our Jesus took and blessed and broke for us [[saying:  This is my body.]]

We taste your presence spoken in the cup of wine he blessed, [[saying: This is my blood of the new covenant.]]

Come now, Lord our God, to feed us that we might find within our hearts and, more, within our shared communion your revealing unity in us as in Jesus Christ our Lord.


Holy One, you speak to us in silence, yet all languages interpret you. Because you call us into this community, we are able to become a gift to one another. We pray for your Holy Spirit to descend upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that in sharing them we may discern your presence which becomes our life. We thank you for your anointed one, Jesus, who through his life, crucifixion, death and resurrection lived fully the promise of redemptive wholeness that is available to all who would obey your creating will. We celebrate his gifts, we rejoice in your presence, loving God, now and always, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Conclusion:  Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.

If not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’


Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service.  Visit to learn more.

Rev. Tim Graves offers Liturgy Bits with valuable, culturally sensitive and creatively contemplative works, well worth your time.

You may also want to visit Worship Connection at, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.

Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University. 

Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2019.  Calendar for 2020

Sun 1 Dec 2019. CW* Almanac and Lectionary 2019-20. Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary. for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2019. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2019 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries

using Almanac Maker. compilation © Simon Kershaw 2019 Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010-2019.

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

NOTE:  We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday.  We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary.  Send your comments or content here.

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