Sunday 1 October, 2017 – Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 21), 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 17:1-7 God gives water from a rock
OR (b) Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32 Individual responsibility for sin
PSALM (a) Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
OR (b) Psalm 25:1-9 *For musical settings of these Psalms, please see the song suggestions below*
SECOND READING Philippians 2:1-13 The humility and exaltation of Christ
GOSPEL Matthew 21:23-32 Which son obeyed his father?

Notes on the readings:
EXODUS 17:1-7: God had shown his marvellous saving hand to the Israelites in their rescue at the Red Sea. He had also miraculously provided food daily with bread (manna) and quail. However, the pattern of grumbling, of unjust criticism of Moses and of God, together with the threat of rebellion, emerged again on this occasion when they reached a location without water. They did not stop even to think whether God was testing them. They rather put God to the test. God’s patience was abundantly demonstrated by his orders to Moses to strike the rock from which poured out water.

EZEKIEL 18:1-4,25-32: Jerusalem and Judah had experienced severe hardship through invasion, siege and exile. People became bitter. They tended to blame God for taking it out on them for their fathers’ sins. (‘The parents ate sour grapes, the childrens’ teeth were set on edge’.) What a dangerous sentiment! Individuals and the community could in this way duck their own responsibility. God directs Ezekiel here to make it clear that each person needs to repent of his/her own guilt. When that happens God forgives, regardless of guilt. Verses 30-32 issue one of the most powerful appeals in Scripture to turn from judgment, to be renewed in heart and spirit – and to live!

PHILIPPIANS 2:1-13: Christ Jesus laid aside his eternal right to equality with the Father to become a slave under the human lot of misery resulting from the fall into sin. He became obedient to the Father’s will even to bearing the punishment of death for the sins of all. Therefore, says St Paul, imitate the humility and service of Jesus in working the good pleasure of God through looking, not to your own interests, but the interests of others.

MATTHEW 21:23-32: The religious leaders from their stand-point of confirmed rejection here query Jesus’ authority to teach and work miracles. He answers their query and points to their hardheartedness through the story of the two sons. God will always turn from those who stubbornly shut him out of their lives, and will find others who can be constituted on a spiritual basis to produce fruits from their new life created in and through the Saviour.

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 Mark Greenthaner ; Pr Vince Gerhardy ; edited for lay-reading sermon – matt 21v23-32 – year a – pentecost 15
Based on second reading: edited for lay reading sermon – philip 2 1-5 – year a – proper 21 ; Pr Vince Gerhardy ; NEW edited for lay reading sermon – philippians 2 1-13 – year a – proper 21
Based on Ezekiel reading: Pr Roger Atze

Opening sentences:
Christ humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.  (Phil 2:8 NRSV)

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
O God, since without you
we are not able to please you:
Mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit
may in all things
direct and rule our hearts;
through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, modernised traditional
without you we are not able to please you.
Direct our hearts
by the working of your mercy.
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.

OR, alternative
(Let us pray to be faithful stewards of our possessions. [silence])
Loving Father,
you have so generously given us
all that we are
and all that we call our own.
Help us to serve you
by managing our possessions wisely,
so that they may not be a curse in our lives,
but an instrument for blessing.
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.

OR, new
(Let us pray for humility. [silence])
Merciful God,
give us the same attitude as Jesus,
who emptied himself
and was obedient to you
all the way to his death on the cross.
Make us eager to put others before ourselves,
and their needs before our own.
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.

ALLELUIA VERSE (after the second reading) (Phil 2:10,11 NRSV)
Alleluia, alleluia.
At the name of Jesus every knee should bend
and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Prayer after the gospel
This is the gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
Thank you, Lord Jesus,
for coming and acting with the authority of God.
Help us truly to obey you.

Offering Prayer:
Thank you, Lord, for all you have given us,
especially the gift of your Son.
Help us to accept his authority,
trust in him, and obey him.
Teach us to live our lives in service to you.

Prayer of the Church/ General Prayer: Prayer of the Church- Proper 21A

Resources for services with Holy Communion

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.

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.

Loving Father,
you have so generously given us
all that we are
and all that we call our own.
Above all else,
you have given us your Son,
whose body and blood
we have received in this sacrament.
Help us to serve you
by managing our possessions wisely,
so that they may not be a curse in our lives,
but an instrument for blessing.
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.

The following verses (based on Phil 2:1,2 NRSV) may be said before the blessing.

If there is any encouragement in Christ,
any consolation from love,
any sharing in the Spirit,
any compassion and sympathy,
let us be of the same mind,
having the same love,
being in full accord and of one mind.

Go in peace as God’s children to do his will.
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 17:1-7
347    Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah G5
339    In you, O Lord, I found refuge
353    Fill us, Lord
483    Is the Lord with us, or not?
520    Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendour
569    Guide me, O thou great Redeemer

First reading (b) : Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32
302    Sinners, turn: why will you die?
319    Before Thee, God, who knowest all
364    A new heart, Lord* G4
331    Turn to me with all your heart
269    Create in us
354    Change my heart
357    Give us hearts to know you, Lord
559    A new heart, Lord, create in me
577    Come let us to the Lord our God
712    Create in us a clean heart, O God

Second reading: Philippians 2:1-13
62    My song is love unknown G5 (alt tune A8, G8)
67    And can it be, that I should gain (alt tune TIS 209)
90    Christ the Lord is risen again G8
159    O for a thousand tongues to sing* G5
166    All hail the power of Jesus’ name G8
169    The head that once was crowned with thorns G5
174    All praise to Thee, for Thou, O King divine G7
454    Ye servants of God, your master proclaim G6
782    At the name of Jesus G7
789    My Lord, you wore no royal crown G6
794    What wondrous love is this GS
26    He is Lord
50    I will sing
139    Christ humbled himself
145    What wondrous love is this
157    Jesus, name above all names
261    From heaven you came
363    Jesus is greater
370    You are glorious
554    Jesus, you’re the one
671   Christ is Lord of all
99    God, we praise you, God, we bless you
178    Praise the God who changes places
202    I know that my Redeemer
209    And can it be, that I should gain
210    O for a thousand tongues to sing
214    My heart is full of Christ, and longs
215    You servants of God
216    Rejoice, the Lord is King
224    All hail the power of Jesus’ name
225    My heart and voice I raise
231    At the name of Jesus
247    Let all be one in mind and heart
256    From heaven you came, helpless babe
305    Let earth and heaven combine
341    My song is love unknown
365    Christ the Lord is risen again
378    The head that once was crowned with thorns
422    Come, Holy Spirit, come
448    Blest are the pure in heart
609    May the mind of Christ my Saviour
622    Holy Father, God of might
721    He became poor
746    The heavens shall declare

Gospel: Matthew 21:23-32
311    O faithful God, we worship Thee
317    Jesus sinners doth receive* G5
394    God is love: let heaven adore Him G9
329    This kingdom
153    God is love, let heav’n adore him
259    Among us and before us


Music Resources Vol. 3– Psalm settings: Psalm 78 p125

TIS 14, O Lord, make me know your ways, is a version of Psalm 25:1,4-5,8-10,14.

Alternatively, the following paraphrase of Psalm 25:1-10 by David Schütz may be sung to the tune ‘Die Sach ist dein’, LH 228. If reproducing this version, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm.

To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
My God, in you I trust;
Do not let me be put to shame;
don’t let my foes rejoice.
Do not let those who wait for you
be disappointed in their hope.
Let them be disappointed who
have openly rejected you.
Show me your ways,
O Lord, teach me your paths.

Teach me and lead me in your truth,
my Saviour and my God;
I wait for you the whole day long,
do not forget me, Lord.
Be mindful of your mercy, Lord,
and of your steadfast love of old.
Forget and wipe away my sins
according to your steadfast love.
Remember me,
Lord, for your goodness’ sake.

The Lord, my God, is good and just,
therefore he shows the way
to sinners who return to him
and those with humble hearts.
He shows the humble what is right,
and teaches them to know his will.
The paths of God are steadfast love
and faithfulness for those who keep
his covenant
and listen to his word.

Music Resources Vol. 3– Psalm settings: Psalm 25 p41 , Psalm 25 p42 , Psalm 25 p43

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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