"Blessed are they that hear the Word of God, and keep it." (Luke 11:28)
Holy Communion is celebrated the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month and special services as announced.
In keeping with His teaching that whoever takes the body and blood "unworthily" (that is, in unbelief) receives it to his harm rather than to his good, Jesus of Nazareth invites to the Sacrament all who:
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP, September 24, 2017
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Christ’s compassion and pardon embrace, console, and encourage believers. Sinners will abandon wickedness, confess transgressions, and will receive the Lord’s forgiveness. Prisoners of the faith will remain steadfast in conflict, enduring hardship, and yet will be confident in the Gospel of Christ. God’s kingdom is revealed to us by a continuum of generous, undeserved grace for all those who seek Christ, call upon His name, and believe in Him.
OLD TESTAMENT: Isaiah 55:6–9 “Seek the Lord.”
6 “Seek the
Lord while he may be found;
Psalm 27:1–9 “The Lord is my light and my salvation.”
The Lord Is My Light and My Salvation
1 The Lord
is my light and my salvation;
2 When evildoers assail me
3 Though an army encamp against me,
4 One thing have I asked of the
5 For he will hide me in his shelter
6 And now my head shall be lifted up
7 Hear, O
Lord, when I cry aloud;
EPISTLE: Philippians 1:12–14, 19–30 “To live is Christ, to die is gain.”
The Advance of the Gospel
12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. 29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
HOLY GOSPEL: Matthew 20:1–16 Parable of the vineyard laborers
Laborers in the Vineyard
1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ 5 So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ 8 And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ 9 And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12 saying, ‘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.’ 13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last.”
Altar for Easter. April 16, 2017
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