Worship Guide - Seventh Sunday After Pentecost

Worship Guide

July 16, 2023

Seventh Sunday After Pentecost


Creating Disciples of Jesus who Transform the World






Minister: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

People: And also with you!



Special Music: Charles


Centering Words:

When you allow God’s word to shed light along your garden paths, you prepare the soil of your life to produce beautiful, healthy growth. May you see the light of God, feel the warmth of the son, and hear the Spirit in the music of the wind.


*Call to Worship:

Leader: Come in from busy, summertime days to this place of worship.

People: We come to connect with God’s word.

Leader: Come in from the stress of everyday life into the light of knowledge.

People: We come as seekers of truth.

Leader: Come into worship with offerings of praise.

People: We come to hear the word and respond!

Leader: Let us pray.


ALL: Loving God, gather us into this moment of reverence, celebration, and growth. As your sons and daughters, we long for renewed faith and meaning in our lives. Christ’s Parable of the Sower lights our path, with its images of rocky ground, tangled thorns, and green shoots. May the light of your word illuminate our way and become the joy of our hearts! Amen.


Hymn: Hymn of Promise”


In the bulb there is a flower;

in the seed, an apple tree;

In cocoons, a hidden promise:

butterflies will soon be free!

In the cold and snow of winter

there’s a spring that waits to be,

Unrevealed until its season,

something God alone can see.


There’s a song in every silence,

seeking word and melody;

There’s a dawn in every darkness,

bringing hope to you and me.

From the past will come the future;

what it holds, a mystery,

Unrevealed until its season,

something God alone can see.


In our end is our beginning;

in our time, infinity;

In our doubt there is believing;

in our life, eternity,

In our death, a resurrection;

at the last, a victory,

Unrevealed until its season,

something God alone can see




Words of Assurance


Be assured that it’s never too late! The God of Love, and Christ the storyteller, remind us to listen, understand, and act.

Prepare your hearts as garden beds for God’s seeds of joy and hope. Receive God’s grace today and every day.

Thanks be to God. Amen


*Old Testament Reading: Genesis 25:19-34


19 These are the descendants of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham was the father of Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, sister of Laban the Aramean. 21 Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived. 22 The children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is to be this way, why do I live?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 And the Lord said to her,

“Two nations are in your womb,

and two peoples born of you shall be divided;

the one shall be stronger than the other,

the elder shall serve the younger.”

24 When her time to give birth was at hand, there were twins in her womb. 25 The first came out red, all his body like a hairy mantle; so they named him Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came out, with his hand gripping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

27 When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, living in tents. 28 Isaac loved Esau, because he was fond of game; but Rebekah loved Jacob.

29 Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. 30 Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stuff, for I am famished (Therefore he was called Edom.) 31 Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.” 32 Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” 33 Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank, and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.




Time with Young Friends: “Jesus Loves Me”


Children’s Message: “Hangry”


Hymn: “Open My Eyes, That I May See”


Open my eyes, that I may see

glimpses of truth thou hast for me;

place in my hands the wonderful key

that shall unclasp and set me free.


Silently now I wait for thee,

ready my God, thy will to see.

Open my eyes, illumine me,

Spirit divine!


Open my ears, that I may hear

voices of truth thou sendest clear;

and while the wave notes fall on my ear,

everything false will disappear.


Silently now I wait for thee,

ready my God, thy will to see.

Open my ears, illumine me,

Spirit divine!


Open my mouth, and let me bear,

gladly the warm truth everywhere;

open my heart and let me prepare

love with thy children thus to share.


Silently now I wait for thee,

ready my God, thy will to see.

Open my heart, illumine me,

Spirit divine!


Sermon: “Seeds in the Dirt” Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23


1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 Let anyone with ears listen!”

18 “Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”




Prayers of the People Joys and concerns

Silent Prayer, Pastoral Prayer




Invitation, Prayer of Confession and Pardon:

    Christ our Lord invites to his table

       all who love him,

who earnestly repent of their sin

and seek to live in peace with one another.

Therefore, let us confess our sin before God

and one another.


Merciful God,

we confess that we have not loved you

with our whole hearts.

We have failed to be an obedient church.

We have not done your will,

we have broken your law,

we have rebelled against your love,

we have not loved our neighbors,

and we have not heard the

cry of the needy.

Forgive us, we pray.

Free us for joyful obedience,

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Hear the good news:

Christ died for us while we were yet sinners;

that proves God's love toward us.

In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!


In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.

Glory to God. Amen


 The Great Thanksgiving  


   The Lord be with you

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts

We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God

It is right to give our thanks and praise.


It is right, and a good and joyful thing,

always and everywhere

to give thanks to you,

Father Almighty, creator of

heaven and earth.

You formed us in your image and

breathed into us the breath of life.

When we turned away, and our love failed,

your love remained steadfast.

You delivered us from captivity,

made covenant to be our sovereign God,

and spoke to us through your prophets.


And so,

with your people on earth

and all the company of heaven

we praise your name and join their unending hymn:


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord,

God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes

in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.


Holy are you, and blessed is your Son

Jesus Christ.

Your Spirit anointed him

to preach good news to the poor,

to proclaim release to the captives

and recovering of sight to the blind,

to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

and to announce that the time had come

when you would save your people.

He healed the sick, fed the hungry,

and ate with sinners.

By the baptism of his suffering,

death, and resurrection,

you gave birth to your church,

delivered us from slavery to sin and death,

and made with us a new covenant

by water and the Spirit.


When the Lord Jesus ascended,

he promised to be with us always,

in the power of your Word and Holy Spirit.


On the night in which he gave himself up for us, he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:


"Take, eat; this my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."


When the supper was over, he took the cup,

gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said:


"Drink from this all of you;

this is my blood of the new covenant,

poured out for you and for many

for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this, as often as you drink it

in remembrance of me."


And so,

in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,

we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving

as a holy and living sacrifice,

in union with Christ's offering for us,

as we proclaim the mystery of faith


Christ has died;

Christ is risen;

Christ will come again.


Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here,

and on these gifts of bread and wine.

Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ,

that we may be for the world the body of Christ,

redeemed by his blood.

    By your Spirit make us one with Christ,

one with each other,

and one in ministry to all the world,

until Christ comes in final victory,

and we feast at his heavenly banquet.


Through your Son Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church,

all honor and glory is yours, almighty Father,

    now and forever. Amen


And now with the confidence of children of God, let us pray:


Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever.



Sharing of the Cup and Loaf


Moment of Prayer and Meditation


Prayer of Thanks


Eternal God, we give you thanks

for this holy mystery

    in which you have given yourself to us.

Grant that we may go into the world

    in the strength of your Spirit,

    to give ourselves to others,

in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.





Hymn: “Wonderful Words of Life”


Sing them over again to me,

wonderful words of life;

let me more of their beauty see,

wonderful words of life;

words of life and beauty,

teach me faith and duty.

Beautiful words, wonderful words,

wonderful words of life.

Beautiful words, wonderful words,

wonderful words of life.


Christ the blessed one gives to all,

wonderful words of life;

sinner, listen to the loving call,

wonderful words of life;

all so freely given,

wooing us to heaven.

Beautiful words, wonderful words,

wonderful words of life.

Beautiful words, wonderful words,

wonderful words of life.


Sweetly echo the gospel call,

wonderful words of life;

offer pardon and peace to all,

wonderful words of life;

Jesus, only Savior,

sanctify forever.

Beautiful words, wonderful words,

wonderful words of life.

Beautiful words, wonderful words,

wonderful words of life.