Joining God in Palm Harbor and the World.

Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017 – 14th Sunday after Pentecost With Prayers & Readings in anticipation of Hurricane Irma

By the Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

OPENING – Psalm 57:1-5

Antiphon: 5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.    Let your glory be over all the earth.

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,    for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,    until the destroying storms pass by. 2 I cry to God Most High,    to God who fulfils his purpose for me. 3 He will send from heaven and save me,    he will put to shame those who trample on me. God will send forth his steadfast love and his faithfulness. Glory to the Father, and to the Son,  and to the Holy Spirit;as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

PRAYER OF THE DAYFor Pentecost 14: O Lord God, enliven and preserve your church with your perpetual mercy. Without your help, we mortals will fail; remove far from us everything that is harmful, and lead us toward all that gives life and salvation, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

Bishop Marcus Lohrmann’s Prayer for the Florida-Bahamas Synod: Gracious Lord Jesus who in the midst of the storm cried out, “Peace, be still!”, we pray for the calming of Hurricane Irma and for the protection of all who are in danger. We pray for those who will place their own lives at risk for the sake of others who are in need. We pray for all in leadership positions in our communities, cities, states and nation that they may demonstrate courage and compassion as they seek to fulfill their responsibilities of providing care for those who seek guidance and relief. And, O Lord, in the midst of our own fears, by your Holy Spirit, grant us the gifts of faith, hope, and love and enfold us in your peace. Amen.

WORD

Readings for Pentecost 14: Ezekiel 33:7-11

7So you, mortal, I have made a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. 8If I say to the wicked, “O wicked ones, you shall surely die,” and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but their blood I will require at your hand. 9But if you warn the wicked to turn from their ways, and they do not turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but you will have saved your life.  10Now you, mortal, say to the house of Israel, Thus you have said: “Our transgressions and our sins weigh upon us, and we waste away because of them; how then can we live?” 11Say to them, As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?

Psalm 119:33-40

Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, and I will observe it to the end. 34Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. 35Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. 36Turn my heart to your decrees, and not to selfish gain. 37Turn my eyes from looking at vanities; give me life in your ways. 38Confirm to your servant your promise, which is for those who fear you. 39Turn away the disgrace that I dread, for your ordinances are good. 40See, I have longed for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life.

Romans 13:8-14

8Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. 11Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; 12the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; 13let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Matthew 18:15-20

Jesus said to the disciples: 15“If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. 16But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

Readings in Preparation for a Storm: Isaiah 41:5-15

5 The coastlands have seen and are afraid, the ends of the earth tremble; they have drawn near and come. 6 Each one helps the other,
saying to one another, ‘Take courage!’ 7 The artisan encourages the goldsmith, and the one who smooths with the hammer encourages the one who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, ‘It is good’; and they fasten it with nails so that it cannot be moved. 8 But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; 9 you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, ‘You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off ’; 10 do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

Psalm 107:1-3, 25-32

1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;    for his steadfast love endures for ever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,    those he redeemed from trouble 3 and gathered in from the lands,    from the east and from the west,    from the north and from the south.25 For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,    which lifted up the waves of the sea. 26 They mounted up to heaven, they went down to the depths;    their courage melted away in their calamity; 27 they reeled and staggered like drunkards,    and were at their wits’ end. 28 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,    and he brought them out from their distress; 29 he made the storm be still,    and the waves of the sea were hushed. 30 Then they were glad because they had quiet,    and he brought them to their desired haven. 31 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,    for his wonderful works to humankind. 32 Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,    and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

Romans 8:31-39

31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? 33Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.* 35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written,
‘For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’ 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Luke 8:22-25

22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side of the lake.’ So they put out, 23and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A gale swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. 24They went to him and woke him up, shouting, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’ And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. 25He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?’

Word of God. Word of life.

Thanks be to God.

HYMN OF THE DAY: “How Firm a Foundation”

Can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x-U3VMYf4g

 1        How firm a foundation, O saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in his excellent word!

What more can he say than to you he has said who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?

2        “Fear not, I am with you, oh, be not dismayed, for I am your God and will still give you aid;

I’ll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand, upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

3        “When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie, my grace, all-sufficient, shall be your supply.

The flames shall not hurt you; I only design your dross to consume and your gold to refine.

4        “Throughout all their lifetime my people shall prove my sov’reign, eternal, unchangeable love;

and then, when gray hairs shall their temples adorn, like lambs they shall still in my bosom be borne.”

Text: J. Rippon, A Selection of Hymns, 1787, alt.

PRAYERS AT THE ANTICIPATION OF A HURRICANE*

At this time of apprehension in the face of the unknown, let us bring our prayers to the Known God of our faith. In the face of peril and apprehension, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

In the face of mighty winds, thunderous sounds, strong rains, and surging waves, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

In the face of complete uncertainty, as well as concern for our loved ones, here or elsewhere, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

In the face of our own vulnerable mortality, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For the strength that God alone can give us, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For all that it takes to keep our children calm and safe, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For faith that can move mountains and remove all fear, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For trust in God’s loving presence in our midst, even at this very hour, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For trust that in life and in death, God will not abandon us, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

Almighty God, we poor creatures place our lives into your hands that you might protect and guide us according to your will; Lord, in your mercy, Hear, our prayer.

Do not hold our sins against us, but remember us in our faith and love for you; Lord, in your mercy, Hear, our prayer.

Be our light in the darkness, our hope in the storm, our peace in the chaos, our trust in the unknown; Lord, in your mercy, Hear, our prayer.

Mighty are your works, O Lord, and mighty is your saving hand. Turn your ear to our petitions and supplications; Lord, in your mercy, Hear, our prayer.

God of heaven and earth, God who carries our lives and the lives of our whole community in your hands, be with is in the peril of this day. Help us to release our anxieties and fears into those same caring hands, knowing in faith that your will for us is life and everlasting good. Send your holy angels to watch over us and guard us. May they spread their holy wings to give us shelter against the storm. For you alone, O God, are all good, all life, all love, and that love is for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

BLESSING

Bless we the Lord. Thanks be to God.

May the Lord + bless us and keep us all our days. Amen