Welcome to ICYMI Worship! ICYMI stands for In Case You Missed It; our ICYMI series will give you a brief snapshot of worship each week so that you can worship in your home, on the road, or wherever life takes you.
At Cross of Christ, our basic worship order is based on worship patterns from Hebrew traditions and biblical accounts of the earliest Christians:
We GATHER with songs and prayer,
We HEAR God’s word,
We SHARE a meal of bread and wine,
We are SENT into the world to love and serve. Let us know how this format works for you.
Today is the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Our Gathering song at our Traditional service is As We Gather at Your Table
This week’s readings are:
15 Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, “What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?” 16 So they approached Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this instruction before he died, 17 ‘Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.’ Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, “We are here as your slaves.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? 20 Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. 21 So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.
1-2 O my soul, bless God.
From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
don’t forget a single blessing!
3-5 He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.
6-18 God makes everything come out right;
he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
God feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
keeps in mind that we’re made of mud.
Men and women don’t live very long;
like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
leaving nothing to show they were here.
God’s love, though, is ever and always,
eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children
as they follow his Covenant ways
and remember to do whatever he said.
14 Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.
2-4 For instance, a person who has been around for a while might well be convinced that he can eat anything on the table, while another, with a different background, might assume he should only be a vegetarian and eat accordingly. But since both are guests at Christ’s table, wouldn’t it be terribly rude if they fell to criticizing what the other ate or didn’t eat? God, after all, invited them both to the table. Do you have any business crossing people off the guest list or interfering with God’s welcome? If there are corrections to be made or manners to be learned, God can handle that without your help.
5 Or, say, one person thinks that some days should be set aside as holy and another thinks that each day is pretty much like any other. There are good reasons either way. So, each person is free to follow the convictions of conscience.
6-9 What’s important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it for God’s sake; if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank God for prime rib; if you’re a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory of God and thank God for broccoli. None of us are permitted to insist on our own way in these matters. It’s God we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other. That’s why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other.
10-12 So where does that leave you when you criticize a brother? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a sister? I’d say it leaves you looking pretty silly—or worse. Eventually, we’re all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren’t going to improve your position there one bit. Read it for yourself in Scripture:
“As I live and breathe,” God says,
“every knee will bow before me;
Every tongue will tell the honest truth
that I and only I am God.”
So tend to your knitting. You’ve got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God.
This week’s Gospel text is from Matthew 18:21-35
21 Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.
23 “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25 and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. 26 So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. 31 When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32 Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. 35 So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Pastor Dave’s Sermon Snapshot: “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Forgiveness”
Building on last Sunday’s theme on the Lord’s instructions to the Church for dealing with conflict and striving for reconciliation, today we consider the question of how much we are called to forgive, and what it means to ask the Lord to “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Jesus’ message is clear – we who have been forgiven much (limitlessly) are to act in kind toward others. This isn’t easy, but our acts and attitudes of grace-giving not only heal brokenness in our relationship, but bears witness to others on how living for Christ sets God’s people apart in a world much more interested in revenge and retribution than reconciliation.
Kids’ Time: Sorry is More Than a Game
Jesus wants us to learn to get along, which doesn’t mean we will always agree with each other, but it does mean we shouldn’t fight, or hurt one another, or be mean. When we do – or when others do such to us – Jesus shows us how to restore our relationships.
Our Hymn of the Day in our Traditional service is Lord Forgive Our Sins As We Forgive
Prayers of the People – 9/17/17
Open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we pray for the church, the world, and all of God’s creation. Each petition will end, “Lord, in your mercy” to which the congregation responds, “Hear our prayer.” We observe a brief time of silence for preparation.
Gracious God, we pray for your people, the Church universal. May we be united in our gratitude for your grace, and in response be marked by a spirit of grace-giving. Help us to forgive, as we have been forgiven. Help us seek forgiveness when we are in error. This week we especially ask your blessings upon our Inter-Faith Covenant partner congregation St. Louis Catholic Church, and Father Gary Zender. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Creator God, you spoke light into being, you separated the waters, you formed the dry land, you breathed life into all living creatures. Protect and enliven the creation you so love, and make us willing partners in its care. Heal lands and people, homes and businesses, institutions and agencies impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma and by wildfires in the Pacific Northwest. Bless all who are responding to these crises with care, compassion, and courage. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Healing God, calm the anxiety of those who are afraid, who suffer under crushing debt, who are unemployed, or who are battling addiction. Reassure those who are lonely, impatient, brokenhearted, homebound, hospitalized, or ill. We especially pray for those among us who have asked for public prayers: Anna Bero, Judy Giseburt, Phyllis Hahn, Claire Huehnerhoff, Mary Mehlum, Iris Schiffer, Vernette Rae, Corinne Riemer and Marilyn Van Brero. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Welcoming God, we pray for this assembly; for our guests and visitors, for newcomers to this community, for those who are certain and those who doubt, for families preparing for baptism, for young people beginning a new year of faith development, and for all who seek you in this place. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Comforting God, we remember and give thanks for the faithful of every age who did not live to themselves but lived to you, including St. Matthew the Apostle whose Feast Day is September 21, and Hildegard, Abbess of Bingen, teacher, scientist, artist and theologian of the church on her Feast Day today. We remember all who this week entrusted loved ones into your eternal care, especially Mark, Emily, and the family of of our dear sister Cheryl Buettemeier, and Julie Hockett and all others who mourn the death of Julie’s Aunt Bea Darlington. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Into your hands, gracious God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting the power of Christ and the gifts of the Spirit.
The Communion song at our Traditional service is Ubi Caritas
On the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me. Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.
All are welcome to receive Christ’s Body and Blood in the Bread and Wine of the Eucharist.
And because there’s always something going on, the Announcements!
INSTALLATION OF ARK STAFF – Today during both services, teachers and staff of Cross of Christ’s Ark Early Learning Center will be installed for this academic year. Each year, the Ark serves about 35 children and their families, sharing the love of Jesus Christ with them as they grow physically, emotionally, academically and spiritually. In its 25th year, the ministry of the Ark enables Cross of Christ to connect with our community as we share, serve and welcome little ones in the name of the Lord. Blessings Ark teachers, directors, and staff!
ADULT FAITH FORMATION – Today we continue a Reformation-themed series, guided by Martin Luther’s Small Catechism (a copy of which will be provided to those who attend). Our focus this morning will be the parts of the 10 Commandments focused on our “horizontal relationships.” Pastor Dave leads the discussion, from 10:15 to 10:55 am, in the Library. Please join us as together we “grow in faith!”
CHILDREN’S FAITH FORMATION – We invite kids ages 4-10 to join us in the Youth Room at 10:15 am. Our program is designed for children to be able to participate whenever they’re here, so drop-ins are welcome.
CHERYL BUETTEMEIER MEMORIAL – The Cross of Christ community is invited to a Service of Thanksgiving and Celebration of Life on Saturday, September 30, 1 pm, followed by a dessert and coffee reception in the Fellowship Hall. Those willing to help with the reception by bringing items, serving, setting up and/or cleaning up following should contact Special Services Reception Committee Chair Gale Hill via email at email@example.com. Please continue to hold husband Mark and daughter Emily, and the entire Buettemeier family, friends, work colleagues, and fellow church members in your prayers during this time.
LECTORS NEEDED! – Reading from God’s Word in worship is a central part of Lutheran worship. Hearing the lessons read by many different voices ads both variety and vitality to our services. Lately we’ve had lots of openings for lectors. Would you be willing to read on an upcoming Sunday? Please go to our website www.crossofchristbellevue.org and click on the “Volunteer” tab to sign up. Thank you.
NEW COORDINATOR OF CARING MINISTRIES – Pastor Judy Brennan has begun her work with us, supporting our lay Caring Ministry leaders and volunteers, and working with Pastor Dave, to provide care for our members in need. Next Sunday, Pastor Judy will be officially installed in both worship services. If you haven’t met her yet, be sure to do so next week – she’s excited to get to know us, and we are looking forward to working with her!
GRIEF GROUP WEDNESDAY – is open to anyone on a journey from loss to healing. Pastor Dave facilitates the conversations, from 10 to 11 am, in the Gathering Room. Light refreshments and a warm welcome are offered to all. This month’s theme is “Grief Touches Grief.”
COUNCIL RETREAT SATURDAY – Please be in prayer for Council Members, Core Team Leaders, and Pastor Dave as they gather at his home this Saturday afternoon for their Annual Retreat. Much of the focus of the retreat is on prayer, planning, and priority setting.
LUTHERANS RESPONDING TO VICTIMS OF HURRICANES – Lutheran Disaster Response and its affiliates are collaborating with community leaders, government officials, and other non-profit agencies to respond to the massive needs – both immediate and long-term – created by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The ELCA and Lutheran Disaster Response/Relief have a long history of caring for people impacted by natural disasters both domestically and abroad. Gifts to Lutheran Disaster Response, designated for “Hurricane Response – United States” will be used entirely for these disasters. To learn more please visit the ELCA website at www.elca.org.
NATIONAL LUTHERAN CHOIR IN WASHINGTON – presenting a community-wide evening of singing in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. “Jesus Christ: Yesterday, Today and Forever” is a musical program celebrating a rich treasury of music – from early hymns to new works – expressing the journey of the Lutheran Church. Under the direction of Dr. David Cherwien, the 64-voice National Lutheran Choir is in concert at 7:30 pm on Friday, September 29, at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle. The concert is free and open to the public. Info at: www.saintmarks.org. A freewill offering will be received to support Compass Housing Alliance and Imagine Housing. Fellow Lutheran and travel guru Rick Steves has agreed to match the offering at this event up to $20,000.
CONGREGATIONS FOR THE HOMELESS FUNDRAISING LUNCHEON – You are invited to the 8th Annual CFH Luncheon Thursday, October 5, 11 am to 1 pm, Bellevue Presbyterian Church. This year’s theme is “Homelessness to Housed – Transforming Lives.” Jon Fine, President and CEO of United Way of King County, is the keynote speaker. Luncheon and parking are complimentary, but please bring a giving spirit. The suggested minimum donation is $150, but all gifts are appreciated. If attending and wanting to be seated with fellow members, please list Cross of Christ as the Table Captain. To learn more, RSVP online, or make a donation, visit www.cfhomeless.org. Any questions please contact Nadine Bentsen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our sending song in our Mosaic service is God of Justice
By God’s grace, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we are called to
Grow in Faith
Share the Gospel
Serve others, and
Thanks be to God!