Sunday 12 November, 2017 – Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 27), 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) Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25 Israel promises to serve the Lord
OR (b) Amos 5:18-24 The day of the Lord
PSALM (a) Psalm 78:1-7
OR (b) Psalm 70*For musical settings of these Psalms, please see the song suggestions below*
SECOND READING 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Questions about the Lord’s coming
GOSPEL Matthew 25:1-13 Parable of the wise and foolish girls

Notes on the readings:
JOSHUA 24:1-3a,14-25: After the people of Israel had settled in Canaan, Joshua could see that their covenant made by God at Sinai needed renewal. On calling the people together at Shechem he offered them the choice of whom they would serve, the gods of the peoples surrounding them, or the Lord who had formed them as a nation and brought them to the land of promise. Unless obedience were given from a willing heart, it would not be meaningful or lasting. Joshua’s discouragement of their profession of willingness was to stop a shallow and false piety offering an easy and shallow commitment which would in time collapse. To ascribe the same power and majesty to the Baals of Canaan which belonged only to the God of Israel alone would be a sin that would bring destruction upon themselves. Their ultimate answer led to a renewed sealing of the covenant which God had made with them.

AMOS 5:18-24: Political peace had brought prosperity to Israel just at this time during the reign of King Jeroboam.  Prosperity brought ease, affluence, arrogance and consequential greed to succeed at the expense of the poor and underprivileged. Amos speaks some extremely sharp words of denunciation against the peoples’ comfortable assumption that they enjoyed God’s favour. The people also liked to believe that ‘the day of the Lord’ would reveal the Lord’s judgment against his enemies. They thought success indicated that God was on their side. Amos lists reasons here why the Lord God of Israel will certainly come at his own appointed time, but many who thought themselves friends would find out to their devastation they were actually his enemies. Herein is a great denunciation of hypocritical half-hearted forms of worship and service to the Lord. Right conduct is an act of true worship rather than simply the outward trappings.

1 THESSALONIANS 4:13-18: Paul here reassures new Christians who were worried that those who had died since he had first preached the gospel to them would not meet the Lord at his second coming. He states quite clearly that those who have died in faith will accompany Jesus when he comes to be joined by those who are still alive on the earth. Note that it is the word of the Lord which precipitates this great event. The sound of the trumpet of God could be describing the same exercise of power.

MATTHEW 25:1-13: In this parable the ‘bridegroom’ represents the Messiah and the ‘maidens’ represent professing Christians. That they all slumbered indicates the unexpectedness of the Lord’s coming. That the five who had no oil were shut out from the feast teaches that there is a proper time for spiritual preparedness which cannot be put off. The ‘wise’ were unable to share their oil not because they were selfish, but because it is an unalterable reality that each believer can only believe and act for him- or herself.

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 the second reading: Pr Vince Gerhardy; Pr Mark Greenthaner; edited for lay-reading sermon – 1 thess 4v13-18 – year a – 3rd last sunday
Based on the gospel reading:  Pr Tim Stringer ; edited for lay reading sermon – matt 25 1-13 – year a – proper 27

Opening sentences:
Choose this day whom you will serve,
but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.  
(Josh 24:15 NRSV)

Let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.  (Amos 5:24 NRSV)

The Lord himself, with a cry of command,
with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet,
will descend from heaven,
and the dead in Christ will rise first.  (1 Thess 4:16 NRSV)

At midnight there comes a shout:
Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!  
(cf Matt 25:6 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
Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people,
that they may richly bear the fruit of good works,
and receive your rich reward;
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
Stir up, Lord, the wills of your faithful people.
Help us richly bear the fruit of good works,
and give us your rich reward.
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 for vigilance. [silence])
Heavenly Father,
keep us watchful and alert
as we wait for the coming of your Son, our Lord.
When he stands at the door and knocks,
may he not find us asleep
in carelessness and sin,
but awake in hope and rejoicing,
so that we may live with you forever.
We ask this through Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, new
(Let us pray for faithfulness until Christ’s return. [silence])
Awaken us, Lord,
so that when your Son comes
we may be ready to receive him with joy
and serve you with clean hearts.
We ask this through 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)
Alleluia, alleluia.
Keep awake therefore,
for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. (Matt 24:42 NRSV)

Prayer after the gospel
This is the gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
Thank you, Lord Jesus,
for promising to return as the heavenly bridegroom.
Make us always watchful and ready.

Offering Prayer:
Thank you, Lord, for all your gifts,
and for giving us the privilege of serving you.
Help us to be alert and ready for your coming,
serving you faithfully and doing your will.

Prayer of the Church/ General Prayer: Prayer of the Church- Proper 27A

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.

Heavenly Father,
keep us watchful and alert
as we wait for the coming of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Help us to hear his voice
when he stands at the door and knocks,
so that he may come in to us
and eat with us.
For he lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Go in peace, watching and waiting for the Lord’s coming.
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): Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25
164    Love divine, all loves excelling G3
440    Sing praise to God who reigns above G3
454    Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim G6
587    O happy home, where Thou art loved the dearest G7
588    O blest the house, whate’er befall* G6
615    Who is on the Lord’s side?
261    From heav’n you came (The Servant King)
292    Because we bear your name
110    Sing praise to God who reigns above
215    You servants of God, your master proclaim
217    Love divine, all loves excelling
256    From heaven you came
581    Happy the home that welcomes you, Lord Jesus
686    Because we bear your name

First reading (b): Amos 5:18-24
314    Turn, Lord, Thine anger, and in mercy spare us G4
490    O Son of God, we wait for Thee* G3
332    We are sorry
446    Mercy
563    How long
160    Father all-loving
181    Come, O God of all
416    Great God, your Spirit
616    O day of God
690    Beauty for brokenness

Second reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
92    Christ the Lord is risen today (vv 4,5,6) (G, STJ 11)
95    He is risen, he is risen* G3
101    Jesus lives! thy terrors now* G5
103    I know that my Redeemer lives* G3
279    He that believes and is baptized* (alt tune 106, G3)
479    Jesus my Redeemer lives* G5
485    The day is surely drawing near* G5
486    Great God, what do I see and hear* G5
782    At the name of Jesus G7
854    Be still, my soul
150    Sing a new song
155    We believe
167    I am the Bread of Life
179    Come let us eat (v 4)
235    In your hand, my Saviour
268    Christ has died (Response)
123    Be still, my soul
216    Rejoice, the Lord is king (esp v 6)
231    At the name of Jesus
285    Your coming, Lord, to earth in Bethlehem
366    Jesus my Redeemer lives
370    Christ the Lord is risen today
372    Jesus lives! your terrors now
376    I know that my Redeemer lives
379    He is risen, he is risen!
479    They that believe and are baptized

Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13
287    Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness* (esp v 2) G5
487    Wake, awake for night is flying* G6
489    Rejoice, rejoice, believers* G4
85    Give me oil in my lamp
187    Help us, Lord, to wait for you
309    When the Lord returns
492   Bridegroom
266    Wake, awake for night is flying
280    When he comes back
503    Robe yourself, my soul, in gladness

TIS 41, Give ear, O my people, is a version of Psalm 78:1-4,12-16.

Music Resources Vol. 3- Psalm settings: Psalm 78 p126


Music Resources Vol. 3– Psalm settings: Psalm 70 p117

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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