Sunday 19 November, 2017 – Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 28), Year A

2nd last Sunday of the Church Year

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) Judges 4:1-7 Deborah, one of the judges
OR (b) Zephaniah 1:7,12-18 The day of the Lord is near
PSALM (a) Psalm 123
OR (b) Psalm 90:1-8 (9-11) 12 *For musical settings of these Psalms, please see the song suggestions below*
SECOND READING 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 Be ready for the Lord’s coming
GOSPEL Matthew 25:14-30 The parable of the talents

Notes on the readings:
JUDGES 4:1-7: For two to three hundred years after the entry into Canaan, the tribes of Israel had no formal unified government. Despite God’s warnings through Moses and Joshua, there were periodic dalliances with the cultic idol worship of surrounding peoples. At those times the surrounding kings with the advantage of iron-age weaponry were able to either capture, control or harass portions of the nation. The judges were charismatic-like leaders whom God raised both to recall Israel to repentant faithfulness and to lead the tribes into liberating military victory, often miraculously. Deborah was one such judge. In this account she not only acted as an arbitrating judge, but assumed a role of prophetic leadership to instigate military action.

ZEPHANIAH 1:7,12-18: Zephaniah was addressing people at a time when either idol worship as such, or a compromise of true worship with idol worship, prevailed in Judah. As if that were not bad enough, general economic prosperity afforded the rich an opportunity to exploit the poor. Coupled with this kind of dishonesty was a spiritual laziness which sought to fob God off. Zephaniah’s stark and vivid predictions of destruction and devastation, both to Jerusalem and to the whole world, seek to awaken people to the sure catastrophic detail with which the Lord will seek the individual sinner out. It is only a God who loves passionately who can react with such ‘jealousy’ to his people’s treacherous infidelity.

1 THESSALONIANS 5:1-11: Human nature has always blurred the edges between God’s will for properly fulfilled human living under his love and wilful human love for living against his will.  The second coming of our Lord Jesus points up the urgency of keenly observing this distinction. If one wishes to live in the enjoyment of darkness (sin), there can be no justified surprise when caught as by a thief in the night. Christians are therefore called on to strengthen and encourage one another to live in the light. God’s essential will is that we should be saved!

MATTHEW 25:14-30: All believers are given abilities and opportunities by God to carry out his work in the Kingdom. Some are given more outstanding gifts (talents) and some are given perhaps simpler gifts (yet important to God) (1 talent). In the parable the two who were given five talents and two talents respectively each bring back double what they were given. Even though the one brought back more than twice the amount of the other, they are both rewarded equally. God’s reward is purely of grace, therefore, but it is apportioned according to their faithfulness, which was equal. The man who hid his talent lacked trust and faithfulness. Any return he might have brought would have averted the Lord’s rejection.

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 Psalm 123: edited for lay reading sermon – psalm 123 – year a – 2nd last sunday
Based on second reading: Pr Vince GerhardyPr Roger Atze; NEW edited for lay reading sermon – 1 thess 5 1-11 – year a – proper 28
Based on gospel reading: Pr Tim StringerPr Vince Gerhardy ; edited for lay reading sermon – matt 25 14-30 – year a – proper 28

Opening sentences:
Be silent in the presence of the Lord God;
for the day of the Lord is at hand. 
(Zeph 1:7 NKJV)

Since we belong to the day, let us be sober,
and put on the breastplate of faith and love,
and for a helmet the hope of salvation.  (1 Thess 5:8 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,
so rule and govern our hearts and minds
by your Holy Spirit
that, being mindful of the end of all things
and the day of your just judgment,
we may be stirred up to holiness of living,
and dwell with you forever;
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
Lord God,
govern our hearts by your Holy Spirit.
Make us mindful of the end of all things
and the day of your just judgment.
Stir us up to lead holy lives,
and let us live with you forever.
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, another traditional, modernised
Almighty God,
we cannot trust in our own goodness,
so deal with us,
not according to the severity of your judgment,
but according to 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, new (revised alternative)
(Let us pray to be ready for Christ’s return. [silence])
Help us, Lord Jesus Christ,
to wait for you,
to wish for you,
and to watch for you,
so that when you come again
you will find us ready.
For you live and reign
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

ALLELUIA VERSE (after the second reading)
Alleluia, alleluia.
But you are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief;
for you are all children of light and children of the day. (1 Thess 5:4,5 NRSV)

Prayer after the gospel
This is the gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
Thank you, Lord Jesus,
for entrusting each of us with various gifts.
Help us to be faithful servants.

Offering Prayer:
Thank you, Lord,
for all the gifts you have entrusted to us.
Help us to remember
that all we have comes from you
and is to be used to serve you.
Make us faithful and trustworthy servants,
always ready for your return.

Prayer of the Church/ General Prayer: Prayer of the Church- 2nd last (Proper 28A)

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.

Jesus said: The next time I drink the fruit of the vine
will be that day when I drink it new with you
in my Father’s kingdom.  (Matt 26:29)
(Thanks be to God.)
Come, everything is ready.

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

Lord Jesus Christ,
as we have proclaimed your death
by eating this bread and drinking this cup,
help us to wait for you,
to wish for you,
and to watch for you,
so that when you come again
you will find us ready.
For you live and reign
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Go in peace, doing the Lord’s work while it is day.
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): Judges 4:1-7
197    Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy word* G5
198    Let us, O Father, never be confounded G6
199    Christ, Thou strong guardian* G9
202    Help us to conquer, Thou Prince everliving* G3
205    Soldiers of the cross, arise G5
266    Victory song (Through our God we shall do valiantly)
436    Lord, keep us steadfast in your word
570    Soldiers of the cross, arise

First reading (b): Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18
485    The day is surely drawing near* G5
486    Great God, what do I see and hear* G6
490    O Son of God, we wait for thee* G3
302    Soon and very soon
309    When the Lord returns

Second reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
205    Soldiers of Christ, arise G5
206    Stand up, stand up for Jesus G6
338    Rise, my soul, to watch and pray G4
352    Fight the good fight with all thy might* G4
361    Let us ever walk with Jesus* G5
487    Wake, awake, for night is flying* G6
490    O Son of God, we wait for Thee* G3
187    Help us, Lord, to wait for you
300    Practise love (Everyone should be quick to listen)
313    Christ be our light (Longing for light)
485    Praying
266    Wake, awake, for night is flying
442    All praise to our redeeming Lord
478    I bind unto myself
570    Soldiers of Christ, arise
592    Stand up, stand up for Jesus
594    Fight the good fight with all thy might
642    This day God gives me
643    I want to walk as a child of the light

Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30
124    O Holy Spirit, enter Thou* G3
299    My God, accept my heart this day G5
367    O bring to the Lord thy tribute of praise* G6
373    Lord, speak to me that I may speak* G5
377    Take my life, and let it be* G6
792    They came, knew his name GS
855    Brother, let me be your servant GS
858    Make me a channel of your peace
95    Make me a channel of your peace
188    Reaching out with open arms
191    Brother, let me be your servant
265    For all your goodness, Lord
297    Let us talents and tongues employ
308    We are called to follow Jesus
358    Gift to the world (Offertory)
400    O Holy Spirit, enter in
485    My God, accept my heart this day
537    Let us talents and tongues employ
599    Take my life, and let it be
607    Make me a channel of your peace
650    Brother, sister, let me serve you
652    Come to us, creative Spirit

The following paraphrase by David Schütz of Psalm 123 may be sung to the tune Veni, Immanuel (LH 2, TIS 265) or Melita (LH 578, TIS 138) or another tune. 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 eyes,
to you, enthroned in heaven above.
As servants look up to their lord,
we lift our eyes to God the Lord,
until he turns his eyes t’ward us,
and shows his mercy and his love.

Have mercy on us, Lord, we pray,
for we are treated with contempt.
We’ve had more than our fill of scorn
from those who live in ease and pride.
O turn, O Lord, be merciful
for we have put our trust in you.

Music Resources Vol. 3- Psalm settings: Psalm 123 p212Psalm 123 p213

The hymn ‘O God, our help in ages past’ (LH 556, TIS 47) is a paraphrase of Psalm 90:1-6. The following paraphrase of Psalm 90:1-12 may be sung to any well-known tune, such as Hyfrydol (LH 349, TIS 233), Friend (LH 426), or Austria (LH 458, TIS 93). If reproducing this version, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm.

Lord, throughout all generations
you have been our dwelling place,
long before the birth of mountains,
long before the world was made,
you were God then, now and ever,
everlasting still the same,
but one word returns us mortals
back to dust from whence we came.

For a thousand years of history
are as nothing in your sight,
they’re like yesterday now passing,
like an hour in the night;
they are swept away on waking
like a dream at break of day,
they’re like grass that grows in morning,
and in evening fades away.

Lord, your angry indignation
has consumed us all with fear,
for our sin and our transgression
by your light has been made clear.
Lord, your wrath has been our burden,
as our short lives pass away.
All our lives are filled with suff’ring,
and our years end with a sigh.

We may live for seven decades –
if we’re strong, then maybe eight –
but their span is grief and sorrow
when they’re gone, we fade away.
Yet before your mighty anger,
should we not all be afraid?
So that we might have true wisdom,
teach us how to count our days.

Music Resources Vol. 3– Psalm settings: Psalm 90 p147

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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