We’ve come to worship God, who loved us before we were yet born, who knows us even better than we know ourselves, whose presence never leaves us, and whose love for us never ceases.
This is our God.
Let’s worship together!
Parable of the Sower
Confession & Words of Assurance
you plant each of us like seeds in the same field and together we are nourished and nurtured by the sun. We sway in the wind and are refreshed by the rain. We are blessed by the knowledge that you want us to grow towards what you call us to be.
When we deprive others of that same opportunity, when we want to uproot those whom we believe do not belong in our part of the field, when we label others as good or bad rather than accept them for who they are, when we are reluctant to acknowledge that we ourselves are a mixture of weeds and wheat, when we are afraid to look into the fields of our own lives to see what is growing there, forgive us.
Help us develop and grow the good in ourselves, in others and in the world. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen
We no longer need to live as slaves to our sinful natures. Sin has no claim on us anymore, because through the power of the Holy Spirit, we have put to death our old ways of acting and thinking. We have been given new life as God’s own children. So be at peace: your sins are forgiven! Thanks be to God!
Weeds among the Wheat
Matthew 1324 Jesus then told them this story:
The kingdom of heaven is like what happened when a farmer scattered good seed in a field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, an enemy came and scattered weed seeds in the field and then left.
26 When the plants came up and began to ripen, the farmer’s servants could see the weeds. 27 The servants came and asked, “Sir, didn’t you scatter good seed in your field? Where did these weeds come from?”
28 “An enemy did this,” he replied.
His servants then asked, “Do you want us to go out and pull up the weeds?”
29 “No!” he answered. “You might also pull up the wheat. 30 Leave the weeds alone until harvest time. Then I’ll tell my workers to gather the weeds and tie them up and burn them. But I’ll have them store the wheat in my barn.”
Jesus Explains the Story about the Weeds
36 After Jesus left the crowd and went inside, his disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the story about the weeds in the wheat field.”
37 Jesus answered:
The one who scattered the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seeds are the people who belong to the kingdom. The weed seeds are those who belong to the evil one, 39 and the one who scattered them is the devil. The harvest is the end of time, and angels are the ones who bring in the harvest.
40 Weeds are gathered and burned. That’s how it will be at the end of time. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom everyone who does wrong or causes others to sin. 42 Then he will throw them into a flaming furnace, where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain. 43 But everyone who has done right will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. If you have ears, pay attention!
Performed by Margaret Whisselle
Prayers of the People
(Please add your prayers aloud and in the comment in section below)
For most of us it is so easy to see the bad in others and struggle to see the bad in ourselves. For others it is far too easy to see the bad in ourselves and not recognize the good. Lord, help us remember that we are both good and bad intertwined, as is every other person on this planet.
We pray for those struggling with darkness in their souls that they wish to pull out, thinking that will solve their problems. So few of us know how to help, but we know You are always with us, showing us the value we bring to Your world. Help us be the hearers and supporters, and let us know when we are out of our depth and need support that only professionals can provide. You made all of us, Creator, and loving each other into health is our call as your co-creators.
We pray for those individuals and families that are being torn apart in other ways, those who have lost loved ones through virus and disease, and those who have lost loved ones through authoritarian violence and kidnapping. We seek justice. We seek empathy. We seek wisdom to know how to pick the good over the bad, the right over the wrong. Help us lead our nations back to You.
We pray for our national, regional and local leaders that they will be guided by Your wisdom as they try to return our countries to a sense of normalcy. We pray for those caught in working situations where Covid is again rearing its head and infecting the vulnerable. We pray for the caregivers who keep working in the face of challenges and exhaustion. We pray that those dismissive of these struggles will have their own epiphany and join their efforts to prevention and solution rather than denial.
Gathering all of these prayers along with those we have deep in our hearts, we pray the prayer that tradition has taught us:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Benediction & Commission
As you leave this time of worship
Wherever you go this week, know this: God knows you better than you know yourself.
No matter where you go or what you do, God is already there, surrounding you with mercy and guiding you with love.
So go with joy and confidence, knowing that God goes with you.