Worship Theme for Sunday, September 17

Themes of mercy and forgiveness are heard to meditate on:

In Paul’s letter to the Romans he questions why we judge one another, since we all stand before the judgement of God.  Yet we do sin against one another, and Jesus challenge that we forgive seventy-seven times reveals God’s boundless mercy.  When we hear the words of forgiveness in worship and sign ourselves with the cross, we are renewed in baptism to be signs of reconciliation in the world.

Scripture passages: Genesis 50:15-21; Psalm 103:1-13; Romans 14:1-12: Matthew 18:21-35

“O Lord God, merciful judge, you are the inexhaustible fountain of forgiveness. Replace our hearts of stone with hearts that love and adore you, that we may delight in doing your will, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen

Worship Theme for Sunday, September 10

Conflict is a part of relationships and life in community. Jesus’ words from the Gospel of Matthew are often used in situations having to do with church discipline. The prophet Ezekiel tells of warning the wicked to turn from their ways, and the Apostle Paul reminds us in his letter to the early church in Rome that love is the fulfillment of the law. In worship we gather in the name of Christ, assured that he is present among us with gifts of peace and reconciliation.

Lessons for the day: Ezekiel 33:7-11, Psalm 119:33-40, Romans 13:8-14, Matthew 18:15-20

“O Lord God, enliven and preserve your church with your perpetual mercy. Without your help, we mortals will fail; remove far from us everything that is harmful, and lead us toward all that gives life and salvation, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen”

Scriptural Theme for Sunday, September 3

The Prophet Jeremiah speaks of the incurable wound of his suffering, yet finds in God’s words the delight of his heart. In the gospel lesson, when Peter doesn’t grasp Jesus’ words about suffering, Jesus tells the disciples they will find their lives in losing them. Such sacrificial love is described in the second lesson by Paul when he urges us to associate with the lowly and not repay evil with evil.  We gather together as a worshiping community that we might offer ourselves for the sake of our suffering world.

Jeremiah 15:15-21; Psalm 26:1-8; Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 16:21-28

“O God, we thank you for your Son, who chose the path of suffering for the sake of the world. Humble us by his example, point us to the path of obedience, and give us strength to follow your commands, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen”

Scriptural Theme for Sunday Worship August 27

The Prophet Isaiah bids God’s people to look to their spiritual ancestors as the rock from which they were hewn. Jesus declares that the church will be built on the rock of Peter’s bold confession of faith. The Apostle Paul urges us to not be conformed to this world, but to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, using our individual gifts to build up the body of Christ. God’s word of reconciliation and mercy are keys to the church’s mission.

Scripture lessons: Isaiah 51:1-6; Psalm 138; Romans 12:1-8; Matthew 16:13-20

“O God, with all your faithful followers of every age, we praise you, the rock of our life. Be our strong foundation and form us into the body of your Son, that we may gladly minister to all the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen”

Scriptural Theme for Sunday August 20

In gathering as a worshipping community around God’s Word and Christ’s meal we receive strength to be signs of comfort, healing, and justice for those in need.

Scripture readings: Isaiah 56:1,6-8; Psalm 67; Romans 11:1-2,29-32; Matthew 15: 10-28

“God of all peoples, your arms reach out to embrace all those who call upon you. Teach us as disciples of your Son to love the world with compassion and constancy, that your name may be known throughout the earth, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen”

Scriptural Theme for Sunday Worship August 13

Amid storms of life, we gather this sunday to seek the calm presence of Christ that soothes our fears. The gospel lesson is from Matthew 14:22-33.  Matthew typically portrays Jesus’ disciples as people of “little faith” who fail despite their best intentions. In sunday story Jesus comes to the disciples when they are in trouble and sustains them in their time of fear and doubt.

Worship service starts at 9:45 am at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. This will be a casual, kids-friendly worship for all ages.

“O God our defender, storms rage around and within us and cause us to be afraid. Rescue your people from despair, deliver your sons and daughters from fear, and preserve us in the faith of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.” Amen

Scriptural Theme for Sunday Worship, August 6

We hear Jesus feeding the hungry multitude and reveals the abundance of God. Around the eucharistic table of bread and wine we remember all who are hungry or poor in our world today. As we share the bread of life, we are sent forth to give ourselves away as bread for the hungry.

Scripture readings: Isaiah 55:1-5, Psalm 145:8-9, Romans 9:1-5, Matthew 14:13-21

Glorious God, your generosity waters the world with goodness, and you cover creation with abundance. Awaken in us a hunger for the food that satisfies both body and spirit, and with this food fill all the starving world; through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen

Scriptural Theme for Sunday Worship, July 30

In today’s gospel Jesus offers everyday images that reveal the reign of God: a tree that becomes a sheltering home, yeast that penetrates and expands, a treasured pearl, a net that gains a great catch. Even as we seek the riches of God’s reign, the great surprise is that God’s grace finds us first.

Lessons:

I Kings 3:5-12

Psalm 119:129-136

Romans 8:26-39

Matthew 13: 31-33,44-52

Beloved and sovereign God, through the death and resurrection of your Son you bring us into your kingdom of justice and mercy. By your Spirit, give us your wisdom, that we may treasure the life that comes from Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen

Church Picnic

A Church picnic will be held this Sunday, July 30, at Pavilion #3, Kirby Park, Wilkes-Barre. A casual communion service will begin at Noon at the pavilion. The picnic itself will follow at 1:00 pm. The church will provide hamburgers, hot dogs, ice and water to drink. You are welcome to bring a side dish or dessert to share. There will be fun games for kids of all ages.  Come join in the fun and fellowship that we share as Christ’s body in the world.