Worship Plan for Sunday, July 9, 2023  6th Sunday after Pentecost

Zion, Philipsburg- Jane Thomas Leading



The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God.

Good morning welcome to worship this morning. Our gathering hymn is


Gathering Song Come to Me, All Pilgrims Thirsty (ELW 777)

  See next page for hymn



Welcome everyone! Talk about whatever you like….weather etc.


Our sermon today is one from the Summer Sermon Series provided by the ELCIC. Pastor Doug Reble shares his message with us today.


Next Sunday (July 16) is Action Sunday- Brenda is leading. Come out to be the hands and feet of God in the world and play stump the organist.


Pastor Leanne is back July 18.


Any other announcements?





Greeting (ELW p. 213)

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,

and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

And also with you.


Kyrie (ELW p. 213)

Canticle of Praise (ELW p. 213)

Glory to God, glory to God, glory to God in the highest;

glory to God, glory to God, and peace to God’s people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father,

we worship you, we give you thanks,

we praise you for your glory.


Glory to God, glory to God, glory to God in the highest;

glory to God, glory to God, and peace to God’s people on earth.


Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world:

have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father:

receive our prayer.


Glory to God, glory to God, glory to God in the highest;

glory to God, glory to God, and peace to God’s people on earth.


For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Glory to God, glory to God, glory to God in the highest;

glory to God, glory to God, and peace to God’s people on earth,

and peace to God’s people on earth.


Prayer of the Day (ELW p. 215)

Let us pray. A brief silence is kept before the prayer.

You are great, O God, and greatly to be praised. You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you. Grant that we may believe in you, call upon you, know you, and serve you, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


The assembly is seated.



God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song.


First Reading: Zechariah 9:9-12

A reading from Zechariah.

The coming messianic king will inaugurate an era of disarmament and prosperity. Because of God’s covenant with Israel, the people are designated as “prisoners of hope.”

9Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
 Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he,
 humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war-horse from Jerusalem;
 and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations;
 his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.

11As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. 12Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.

Word of God, word of life.

Thanks be to God.


Psalm: Psalm 145:8-14

8The Lord is gracious and full  of compassion, slow to anger and abounding in |steadfast love.
9Lord, you are good to all, and your compassion is over  all your works. 
10All your works shall praise  you, O Lord, and your faithful ones shall bless you.
11They shall tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your power,
12that all people may know of your power and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; your dominion endures throughout all ages.
  You, Lord, are faithful in all your words, and loving in all your works.
14The Lord upholds all those who fall
  and lifts up those who  are bowed down. 


Second Reading: Romans 7:15-25a

A reading from Romans.

Life captive to sin is a catch-22 existence in which we know good but do not do it and do things we know to be wrong. Through Jesus Christ, God has set us free from such a futile existence.

15I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.
21So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. 22For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, 23but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25aThanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Word of God, word of life.

Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation (ELW p. 216)

Gospel: Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

The holy gospel according to Matthew.

Glory to you, O Lord.

[Jesus spoke to the crowd saying:] 16“To what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,
17‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’
18For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; 19the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”
25At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

The gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.

Please be seated


Sermon (ELW p. 217)

In the name of the God who loves us all, grace to you and peace.

So, I have some questions for you. What I will call questions for the “average person.”
That’s you and me, by the way. First, which is more important, making money or being devoted to your family? Ask the average person that question and virtually everyone will answer, “Family” without hesitation. But watch how the average person often lives life. See where they really invest time and energy and they will give away the fact that we do not always live by what we say we believe. They have become persuaded that if they leave for work earlier in the morning and come home tired at night, they are proving how devoted they are to the family by expending all that time and effort to provide them with all the things they need or want.

An ancient story is told of a king who was suffering from a certain ailment and who was advised by his astrologer that he would be cured if the shirt of a contented man were brought to him to wear. People went to all parts of the kingdom looking for such a person and after a long search they found a man who was really happy. But he did not possess a shirt.

Another question. Which means more, the approval of strangers or the affection of people closest to you? Ask the average person, you and me, which means more and they will not be able to understand why you would ask such a dumb question. Obviously, nothing means more to them then the affection of their family and closest friends.

Yet, how often have we embarrassed our children or squelched their spontaneity, for fear of what neighbours or strangers might think? How often have we poured out our anger or displeasure on those closest to us because we had a hard day at work or someone else did something to upset us? A little more humorous example perhaps though with some truth, how many of us have let ourselves become irritable with our families because we are dieting to make ourselves look more attractive to people who do not know us well enough to see beyond appearances?

One more question. What does the average person want out of life? The average person will probably reply, “All I want is to be happy” and you know what I believe that. I believe that most people want to be happy. I believe that we work hard at making ourselves happy. We buy books, attend classes, change our lifestyles, in an ongoing effort to find that elusive quality – happiness. In spite of all that, I suspect that many people much of the time do not feel happy. As Henry David Thoreau said over one hundred and fifty years ago, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

Oscar Wilde wrote a few years after Thoreau, “In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants and the other is getting it.” He was trying to warn us that no matter how hard we work at being successful, success will not satisfy us. By the time we get there, having sacrificed so much on the altar of being successful, we will realize that success is not what we wanted.”

An anonymous friar in a monastery wrote these words about twenty years ago or so.
“If I had my life to live over again, I’d try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax, I would limber up, I would be sillier than I have been. I know of very few things I would take seriously. I would take more trips. I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers, and watch more sunsets. I would do more walking and looking. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones. You see, I’m one of those people who have lived life sensibly, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else, just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead each day. I’ve been one of those people who never go anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a gargle, a raincoat, aspirin, and a parachute. If I had to do it over again, I would go places, do things, and travel lighter than I have. If I had to live my life over again, I
would start barefooted earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would play hockey more. I wouldn’t make such good grades, except by accident. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I’d pick more daisies.”

Friends, if you asked the average person, “If you had your life to live over again, what would you do differently? What do you think they would say? What would say? What would I say?

By now you’ve figured out this is not a biblical exegetical sermon, I’ll leave that for the bishops in this summer series. So here is one more vignette to reflect on. And then I will let Jesus have the last word.

There is an old Peanuts cartoon. Snoopy is sitting on top of his doghouse when Charlie Brown comes with a note. Charlie says, “It’s a letter from your brother Spike.” “Dear Snoopy, something wonderful happened, a man came by here and offered to sell me a magic cape. He told me that if I wore this magic cape I would be transported to a land of paradise. He said the cape was on sale, so not wanting to miss such a bargain, I gave him my only dollar.”

The next panel shows Spike spending his time in the desert contemplating the meaning of life. Then we switch back to Charlie reading to Snoopy. “So, by the time you get this letter, I’ll be living in paradise.” Then Spike is pictured again on the desert floor among the cacti, cape draped over his shoulders saying, “Then again, maybe I’ve been had.”

My dear friends in Christ. In this life that we have, too many people have been had. Me, too, at times. There are no magic capes. There is no one key that will guarantee happiness. In fact, that old saying about death and taxes being the only things we can count on would seem to ensure unhappiness. Ask the average person and you will hear that we live in a messed-up world, a world where people fly planes into buildings, where adults sometimes do unspeakable things to children, a world where unspeakable horrors occur every day all over the world.

There will always be low times. In fact, there will be times you get so far down that you cannot remember up. When those times come, remember this. You are not alone. You’ve got a friend, one whom scripture says sticks closer than a brother. Jesus. Who we call the Christ. The same Jesus who issues an invitation in today’s gospel reading, an invitation that reaches down to us no matter how deep we are. This is what Jesus says:

 “Come to me, all you that are weary. All who are carrying heavy burdens, guilt, pain, despair. All that keeps you from being happy. Come, and I will give you rest.”
In the name of the God who loves us all. Amen.

Silence for reflection follows the sermon.


Hymn of the Day I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say (KINGSFOLD) (ELW 611)


Creed (ELW p. 217)

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ,

God’s only Son, our Lord,

who 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.


Prayers of Intercession

Confident that God receives our joys and concerns, let us offer our prayers for the church, those in need, and all of creation. A brief silence.

God of the covenant, you call ministers to proclaim your gospel of grace throughout the world. Inspire pastors, deacons, church musicians, and all ministers of your word  as they carry out your work. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.


God of all creation, you reveal your goodness through all you have made: rivers and seas, plants and animals, and endangered species. Prosper the work of conservation organizations, botanical gardens, zoos, and wildlife sanctuaries. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.


God of the nations, you desire that all the peoples of the world live in peace. Guide government leaders at all levels—national, state/province, and local—to work for justice, mercy, and reconciliation. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.


God of compassion, you bring healing to those who are sick, consolation to those who are grieving, and well-being to those who are distraught. Send skilled caregivers to all in need especially Sarah, Chris, John, Vivian, Stuart, Edna, Marlene, Felix, Gary, Erin, Terry our members in long term care  Robert, Rob, and Evelyn, and those we name out loud or in the silence of our hearts (good pause)., and make your presence known among all who suffer. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.


God of rejoicing, you have brought us together this day to worship around word and sacrament. Encourage children in their learning and growing. Watch over all who are vacationing and travelling.  Lead us all to places of renewal and refreshment. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.


God of all faithfulness, through the witness of the faithful departed you reveal love in action. Embolden us by their example to build up the beloved community in all the contexts we encounter. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.


Into your hands, O God, we commend all for whom we pray, in the name of the one who reconciled all creation to himself, Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.


Peace (ELW p. 217)

The peace of Christ be with you always.

And also with you.

(I invite you to share a sign of peace however you feel comfortable. (you may go around and shake hands if you wish)

Offering PRAYER

God of field and forest, sea and sky, you are the giver of all good things. Sustain us with these gifts of your creation, and multiply your graciousness in us, that the world may be fed with your love, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.


Canticle of Thanksgiving (ELW p. 219)



Thanksgiving for the Word (ELW p. 220)

Let us pray.

O God of justice and love, we give thanks to you that you illumine our way through life with the words of your Son. Give us the light we need, awaken us to the needs of others, and at the end bring all the world to your feast; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory forever. Amen.


Lord’s Prayer (ELW p. 221)

Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us.

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 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 and ever. Amen.



God blesses us and sends us in mission to the world.


Blessing (ELW p. 221)

The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord’s face shine on you with grace and mercy.

The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.








Sending Song Just a Closer Walk with Thee (ELW 697)


Dismissal (ELW p. 222)

Go in peace. Christ is with you.

Thanks be to God.

Content of service is from sundaysandseasons.com.  Copyright ©  2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. License # SB127894. Hymn texts and music are in public domain, except the following, reprinted by permission under OneLicense, license #A-736514