Call to Worship
One: Rejoice, for the Kingdom of God is open to us all!
All: The Kingdom of God is as free and fresh as the air we breathe.
One: Rejoice, for the Kingdom of God is in our midst!
All: The Kingdom of God is as present as the pew we sit on.
One: Rejoice, for the Kingdom of God belongs to the children of God!
All: The Kingdom of God is as close as our neighbor, as welcoming as a hug.
One: Rejoice and sing, for where ever we gather together God is our King!
All: The Kingdom of God is truly in this place. Amen.
Prayer of Renewal (Adapted from 1 Kings 3:6-9 “Request of Solomon”)
Lord God, you have shown great and steadfast love to your people. You have blessed those who walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. Now, through your Son Jesus Christ, we have become the inheritors of your grace and glory. But this blessing comes with great responsibilities. You call us to give to those less fortunate, to speak truth to power, to lead the church, and preach your message of love and hope to the world. We rejoice to be your servants, but can be overwhelmed by the responsibilities of carrying out your mission in this chaotic world. So, today we do not ask for riches, or long life, but for an understanding mind, a discerning spirit, and a loving heart so that we can better serve you and be an example for all your people.
Scripture Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
24 He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27 And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ 28 He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30 Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”
36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38 the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42 and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!