~ SERVICE OF THE WORD ~

October 18, 2020 / 20th Sunday After Pentecost

Harvest Home

PRAYER IN PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP

Creator God, all good gifts around us are sent from heaven above. You make all things and give us the earth and its bounty, the seasons, the rain, the sun and the wind. Make us thankful people with generous hearts, ready to share your goodness and love with all creation; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

PRELUDE MUSIC

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GREETING & CALL TO WORSHIP

Good morning and welcome to our service on this 20th Sunday of the Pentecost season! Today is Harvest Home, a service of thanksgiving historically celebrated by German congregations in Pennsylvania to thank God for the bounty of the harvest. We come together before our God to worship with thankfulness for all that we have received! 

GATHERING HYMN 

"Come, Ye Thankful People, Come"

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PSALM OF THE DAY

Psalm 99

The Lord is king; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!

     The Lord is great is Zion; he is exalted over all the peoples.

Let them praise your great and awesome name.

     Mighty King, lover of justice, you have established equity; you have executed justice                        and righteousness in Jacob.

Extol the Lord our God; worship at his footstool!

     Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel was also among those who called on his            name. 

They cried to the Lord, and he answered them.

     He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud; they kept his decrees, and the statutes he gave them. 

O Lord our God, you answered them; you were a forgiving God to them, but an avenger of their            wrongdoings.

Extol the Lord our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the Lord our God is holy. 

CALL TO CONFESSION

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sin, God, who is faithful and just, will hear us, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  Come, let us confess our sins before God and one another…

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Almighty God, we confess that the bounty you have given us is spoiled by our selfishness. We have failed to love you or your creation. We have failed to see you in our daily work, or in those who share it with us. We have taken for granted those who serve us through the gifts of their labor. We are sorry for our failures, which have been hurtful to us as well as to others. Release us from our guilt so that we can step into the future unafraid, and, strengthened by your abiding love, follow in the footsteps of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

God provides every blessing in abundance, including forgiveness.  He purges our sin and gathers us as a forgiven people. Friends, believe the Good News of the Gospel: in Jesus Christ, we are all forgiven. Thanks be to God!

ACT OF PRAISE

"Glory Be To The Father"

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OLD TESTAMENT READING     

Leviticus 26: 3-5 – A Bountiful Harvest

If you follow my statutes and keep my commandments and observe them faithfully, I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Your threshing shall overtake the vintage, and the vintage shall overtake the sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and live securely in your land.

 

NEW TESTAMENT READING    

2 Corinthians 9: 6-15 – Sharing Abundantly

The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. As it is written, “He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God. Through the testing of this ministry you glorify God by your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ and by the generosity of your sharing with them and with all others, while they long for you and pray for you because of the surpassing grace of God that he has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

 

GOSPEL READING                                                                                                                              

Matthew 9:35-38 – Laborers For The Harvest

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

HYMN

"For The Beauty Of The Earth"

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MEDITATION

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH 

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, 

     Creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,

     He was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

     Born of the Virgin Mary,

     Suffered under Pontius Pilate,

     Was crucified, died, and was buried;

     He descended to the dead.

     On the third day he rose again;

     He ascended into heaven,

     He is seated at the right hand of the Father,

     And he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

     The holy catholic Church,

     The communion of saints,

     The forgiveness of sins,

     The resurrection of the body

     And the life everlasting. Amen.

MORNING PRAYER & LORD'S PRAYER

Creator God, we thank you for your promise that while the earth endures, seed-time and harvest, summer and winter, day and night shall not fail. We thank you for the reliability of this good earth, and for the variety of the seasons. We thank you for allowing us the dignity of sharing in the work of your harvest. 

 

Out of the seas and from the earth, we receive your provision for all our needs. We thank you for the skills in harvesting the earth's resources that people have passed from one generation to another. We pray for farmers and agricultural workers, for packers, distributors, and those engaged in research to safeguard crops against disease. You have so ordered our lives that we depend upon each other. Enable us by your grace to remember that we are all your children.

 

At harvest time, make us grateful also for all we have received from the spiritual labor of others who have sown the seeds of faith, hope and love in our lives. We pray for those areas of the world where there is disaster, drought and starvation of body and spirit. By your grace, touch the hearts of all who live in comfortable plenty, and make us wise stewards of your gifts.

 

We give thanks to you, Almighty God, for making us worthy of the fruits which the earth has produced. Bless all food and resources, O Lord, as the crown of the year, and let them be for the satisfying of those most in need among your people. We offer ourselves to your service, asking that, through us, others may receive a rich harvest of love, joy, and peace.

 

Bless us, your servants, and pour upon us your mercy and grace, that we may know your will in all things, and inherit that which is in heaven. Bring to fruition, the work of your kingdom and make us part of that joyful harvest in which your loving purpose is completed.

 

We ask these things through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who taught us to pray saying…Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy 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. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen. 

OFFERING

Paul tells us “those who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and those who sows bountifully will reap bountifully. Each must give as you have made up your mind, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Please stand as we present our offerings and join together in singing God’s praise…

"Doxology"

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OFFERING PRAYER & FOOD DEDICATION

Let us pray…Lord of all to you we raise these our humble gifts with praise. Even in difficult times, God provides for us in bountiful ways. As followers of Christ, we acknowledge the importance of sharing our bounty with others. Let us now dedicate this harvest to those in greatest need…Let us give thanks to God for the gifts so freely bestowed upon us. For the beauty and bounty of creation, in earth and sky and sea,

     We thank you, Lord and share our bounty.

For our daily food, our homes, families, and friends, who keep us physically and spiritually nourished,

     We thank you, Lord and share our bounty.

For sharing the loaves and fishes, for your examples of feeding the hungry,

     We thank you, Lord and share our bounty.

For sharing yourself in the bread and wine, for calling us all to your table,

     We thank you, Lord and share our bounty.

For minds to think, hearts to love, and hands to serve, for those in our church and community who work to end poverty and hunger,

     We thank you, Lord and share our bounty.

For our food pantry here in Schuylkill Haven and those throughout our world, for neighbors and strangers that give people hope,

     We thank you, Lord and share our bounty.

We know that the harvest is great and the laborers are few. Give us the hunger to feed and heal this world. 

Accept this food we bring that it may provide nourishment and hope to others, so that one day we may all break bread together as your children. Amen.

 

PARTING HYMN

"O, Zion Haste"

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COMMISSION & BENEDICTION

And now go from this place and be a blessing to all you meet…pray often, be kind, give thanks, do good, practice peace, encourage others, and be joyful in all you do until we meet again!

THREE-FOLD AMEN

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POSTLUDE  

"Postlude On St. George's Windsor" 

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