Sunday 24 September, 2017 – Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 20), Year A

Here are the resources you need for this Sunday. Please feel free to choose what is suitable for your congregation’s needs. You will notice that the orders of service are available in different formats: choose the “pdf” format if you want something that is ready to print and photocopy, the “doc” or “rtf” format if you wish to change the formatting yourself or the “ppt” format if you use PowerPoint.

Altar colour: Green

Bible readings:
Note: There are two sets of first readings (with accompanying Psalms) given for the Sundays after Pentecost: (a) a semi-continuous set, and (b) a set related thematically to the gospels (as in the earlier form of the lectionary). It is intended that either one of these two sets be used throughout and that they not be mixed.
FIRST READING (a) Exodus 16:2-15 Bread from heaven in the desert
OR (b) Jonah 3:10- 4:11 Jonah is angered by God’s mercy
PSALM (a) Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45
OR (b) Psalm 145:1-8 *For musical settings of these Psalms, please see the song suggestions below*
SECOND READING Philippians 1:21-30 Living for Christ
GOSPEL Matthew 20:1-16 The workers in the vineyard

Notes on the readings:
EXODUS 16:2-15: Privations of desert life brought the people to the verge of desperation. Hence their outcry against Moses and Aaron. However, God had clearly shown both his miraculous presence and his deliverance previously. Thus their complaint was really against him and his practical teaching aimed at testing their obedience and developing their faith and trust. Even so, the Lord again showed his presence by the display of his glory and his loving mercy by the provision of quail and manna. The people were to learn that it is God who sustains life, not the pride and strength latent in human endeavour. Hence the detailed instructions concerning the gathering and use of this heaven-sent food. The miraculous provision of daily food would continue until the time the people would enter Canaan.

JONAH 3:10 – 4:11: Jonah and God had two vastly different reactions to Nineveh’s repentance. God never changes in himself – yet he changes his mind about judgment when people repent. Jonah had tried to flee to Tarshish because he feared Nineveh would repent! We need to remember that Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian empire, would be a rod of iron politically to break Israel. Hence Jonah’s wish to see it destroyed even after he had preached repentance. What self-righteousness! He forgets that he himself was spared by God after his wilful disobedience and three days in the big fish. God still patiently teaches him, however, through the lesson of the vine and gourd that God’s people need unquestioningly to go with God’s gracious disposition to forgive those to whom he wills to show mercy regardless of the seeming injustice.

PHILIPPIANS 1:21-30: Paul has two wonderful possibilities before him, which makes it difficult for him to choose. To work on with the gospel, experiencing Christ’s wonderful closeness, or to ‘break camp’, so to speak, and to go into the immediate presence of his Lord in heaven. He knows that he must work on. He encourages the Philippian Christians, then, similarly to work on with the gospel, experiencing the joy of Christian life, and receiving the reality of joy from God’s hand amidst suffering from unbelievers.

MATTHEW 20:1-16: Sometimes the Scriptures talk about heaven as a final ‘reward’. Other times salvation is taught to be strictly undeserved and solely received as a gift of God. In this parable Jesus shows that God owes no individual person anything. No matter what the extent of personal service, it is God who determines ‘rewards’ essentially according to his own grace and all-knowing counsel. He gives only in grace, otherwise nobody would receive eternal salvation in the Kingdom.

Sermons:
Lay-readers please note: the linked sermons have not been edited for general use. As part of your preparations, keep in mind that they have been written for specific people in a specific context, and for this reason the issues they address or the examples they use may not be entirely suitable for people in your congregation. If you feel this is the case, you may need to make minor adjustments or find another sermon
Based on gospel: Pr Roger Atze ; edited for lay reading sermon – matt 20v1-16 – year a – pentecost 14 ; Pr Andrew Brook ; edited for lay reading sermon – matt 20 1-16 – year a – proper 20 ; NEW edited for lay reading sermon – matt 20 1-16 – year a – proper 20
Based on Jonah reading: Pr Vince Gerhardy

Opening sentences:
If I live, it will be for Christ;
and if I die, I will gain even more.  (Phil 1:21 CEV)

Orders of service:
After Pentecost Sunday Word & Prayer ( pdf / doc / ppt )
Sunday Word and Prayer – Time after Pentecost 2 (pdf / doc / ppt ) A more generic form of the order above allowing for weekly variations in psalms and prayers.
Service of the Word (pdf / rtf / ppt)
Morning Praise (pdf / rtf / ppt)
Service without communion (pdf / doc / ppt)
Service orders with holy communion
Service with communion (page 6) (pdf / doc / ppt )
Alternative form A (page 58) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Sing the Feast (Chataway) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Simplified Spoken (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Service with Five Songs of Faith (pdf / rtf/ ppt)

Prayer of the Day (Collect): Choose one of the following
Traditional
Lord, grant your people grace
to avoid the contamination of the devil,
and to follow you, the only Lord,
with pure hearts and minds;
through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

OR, modernised traditional
Lord, help your people
to avoid all contamination of the devil,
and to follow you, the only Lord,
with pure hearts and minds.
We ask this through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

OR, alternative
(Let us pray for a willingness to serve others. [silence])
Almighty and merciful Father,
your Son Jesus Christ has taught us
that what we do for those in need
we also do for him.
As he became the servant of all,
help us to be a servant to others.
For he lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

OR, new
(Let us pray for the gift of generosity. [silence])
Loving and righteous God,
you are far more generous to us,
and to all who work in your kingdom,
than we desire or deserve.
Make us generous to others
as you have been to us.
We ask this through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

ALLELUIA VERSE (after the second reading)(Matt 20:1,16)
Alleluia, alleluia.
(Jesus said:) The kingdom of heaven is like this:
the last will be first, and the first will be last.
Alleluia.

Prayer after the gospel
This is the gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
Lord Jesus, thank you for your generosity,
far beyond what we deserve.
Teach us to be thankful, and not envious of others.
Amen.

Offering Prayer:
Lord, thank you for being so generous
and merciful to us.
Help us to remember what Christ has done for us,
and to give ourselves in love and service
as a response to his love.
Amen.

Prayer of the Church/ General Prayer: Prayer of the Church- Proper 20A

Resources for services with Holy Communion

SEASONAL PREFACE
It is indeed right and good,
Lord God, holy Father,
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(On this day)*
he overcame death by his resurrection
and opened up for us
the way to eternal life with you.
And so, with angels and archangels,
and with all the company of heaven,
we adore and praise your glorious name:

* The words ‘on this day’ are used only on Sundays.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
See the service order for a standard post-communion prayer. Alternatively, use the third prayer of the day (as listed above) at this point. It may be modified as follows.

Almighty and merciful Father,
thank you that your Son Jesus Christ
has served us at his own table.
As he became the servant of all,
help us to be a servant to others.
For he lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

BEFORE THE BLESSING
The following verses (based on Phil 1:27, NRSV) may be said before the blessing:

Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ,
standing firm in one spirit,
striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel.

DISMISSAL
Go in peace. Serve the Lord with a merciful and generous spirit.
Thanks be to God. 
OR  In the name of Christ. Amen.

Visual images for the day: His Word in Pictures

Song/Hymn suggestions: * =  Modernised version available (please click here to go to the Modernised hymns page) ;G3, G4 . . . =  Guitar chords available in the Music Package 3, 4 . . .; GS =  Guitar chords in the Supplement to LH
First reading (a) : Exodus 16:2-15
LHS
290    O Bread of life from heaven* G3
294    O God, unseen yet ever near* G5
347    Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah G5
373    Lord, speak to me, that I may speak* G5
393    O God of Bethel, by whose hand*
407    If thou but suffer God to guide thee* G6
568    O Lord, whose bounteous hand again G9
AT
267    Bread of Heaven
353    Fill us, Lord
384    If we will trust in God to guide us
474    The bread of angels
TIS
83    Let us with a gladsome mind
520    Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendour
554    If we will trust in God to guide us
564    O God of Bethel, by whose hand
569    Guide me, O thou great Redeemer

First reading (b) : Jonah 3:10 – 4:11
LHS
305    Today Thy mercy calls us* G3
326    O how great is Thy compassion* G3
407    If thou but suffer God to guide thee* G6
822    God has spoken by his prophets G6
AT
384    If we will trust in God to guide us
537   Jonah’s lament
TIS
158    God has spoken by his prophets
554    If we will trust in God to guide us
674    Inspired by love and anger

Second reading: Philippians 1:21-30
LHS
101    Jesus lives! thy terrors now* G5
305    Today Thy mercy calls us* G3
340    Be thou faithful unto death* G8
341    Jesus, lead Thou on* G3
352    Fight the good fight* G4
365    With the Lord thy task begin
383    O Lord, who hast my place assigned
AT
276    Into your death
TIS
202    I know that my Redeemer
372    Jesus lives! your terrors now
442    All praise to our redeeming Lord
468    We are your people
594    Fight the good fight with all your might

Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16
LHS
234    Facing a task unfinished G4
326    O how great is Thy compassion* G3
329    By grace I’m saved
334    Lord, ’tis not that I did choose Thee* G3
346    Forth in Thy name, O Lord, I go G5
377    Take my life, and let it be* G6
870    Lord of all hopefulness G6
AT
405    Lord of all hopefulness
TIS
571    Forth in your name, O Lord, I go
599    Take my life, and let it be
613    Lord of all hopefulness

PSALM 105
TIS 66, O give thanks to God, is a version of Psalm 105:1-11.

The following metrical paraphrase of Psalm 105:1-6,37-45 by David Schütz is sung to the tune of ‘Trust and obey’, LHS 877. If reproducing this version, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm.

O give thanks to the Lord,
as you call on his name,
and make known all his deeds to the world.
Sing your praises to him,
as you tell what he’s done,
as you glory in his holy name.

Let the hearts of all those
who approach him rejoice.
Seek the Lord and his strength at his throne.
And remember his works
and the judgments he gave,
O you chosen of Abraham’s line.

God brought Israel out
with much silver and gold,
and not one of their many tribes fell.
The Egyptians were glad
when they went from their land,
for they’d learnt to fear Israel’s God.

The Lord spread out a cloud
to protect them by day,
and at night they were led by a fire.
When they asked, the Lord gave
them their food from the sky,
sending birds in their thousands to eat.

The Lord opened the rock,
and the water gushed out;
and it flowed like a stream on the sand.
He remembered his word
and the promise he made
that his people would have their own land.

So he brought Israel out,
they went singing with joy,
and he gave them the wealth of their foes.
Now they had their own land
as a gift from the Lord,
that his laws may be kept for all time.

Music Resources Vol. 3– Psalm settings: Psalm 105 p177

PSALM 145
TIS 89, O Lord, you are my God and King, is a paraphrase of Psalm 145:1-7,9-12. The following paraphrase of Psalm 145:1-8 by David Schütz may be sung to various tunes, including Quam dilecta (LH 503) and St Cecilia (LH 416). If reproducing this version, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm.

I praise you, God and King,
I bless your holy name,
forever every day,
I bless your name always.

Great is the Lord our God,
and greatly to be praised,
his greatness is beyond
all human power to know.

And every age will tell
each other of your works,
and everyone declare
the mighty things you do.

And I will meditate
upon your wondrous works,
the beauty of your face,
the splendour of your ways.

Your awesome deeds are told
and I declare you great!
We know your righteousness;
we sing and celebrate!

For gracious is the Lord,
and he is merciful,
he’s slow to show his wrath,
abounds in steadfast love.

Music Resources Vol. 3– Psalm settings: Psalm 145 p236

OTHER HELPFUL WEBSITES FOR CHURCH MUSIC
While the LCA does not necessarily endorse the content of these websites, you may find them helpful in your worship planning.
Small Church Music: You can download mp3 and midi files of popular hymn tunes from this site.
Together to Celebrate: lectionary based song and hymn suggestions from a variety of sources.
Singing from the Lectionary: has song and hymn suggestions based on the RCL from other hymnals.
Song Select: you can search for more contemporary songs by theme. If your congregation has a paid subscription you can also download sheet music.
Hymns Without Words: mp3 downloads of hymn tunes.
Song and Hymn Index. Contains all the indexes of the LHS and AT books in one Excel file. Download the file (zip file) here.
Metrical Psalms by Dale Schoening : Psalms set to well known hymn tunes.
Keyboard Accompaniments for Together in Song – CDs are available for purchase through ACR. CD 1 & 2 ; CD 3 & 4.

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