Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost — September 27, 2020


Today’s Theme for Worship: Our Christian love moves us to forgive those who sin against us.


Opening Hymn: 615 We Thank You for Your Blessings

1  We thank you for your blessings, Almighty Lord, our King;

We thank you for the harvests, Yes, Lord, for ev’rything:

For flow’rs that bloom in springtime, For rip’ning fruit and grain,

For all the precious sunshine, And for the gentle rain.


2  This day of great thanksgiving We count them one by one:

Our free and fruitful country, The great things you have done,

Our family, our loved ones, The guardian angels’ care,

Our very self and heartbeat-Lord, hear our thankful prayer!


3  But best of all your blessings, The rainbow of your love,

Are all the many mercies Your Word brings from above.

Our life now has full meaning-Christ Jesus is our God!

Thanksgiving shall be living The way the Savior trod.


Text: Unknown, alt.



P: The grace of our Lord + Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.

C: And also with you.


Confession of Sins

P: We have come into the presence of God, who created us to love and serve him as his dear children. But we have disobeyed him and deserve only his wrath and punishment. Therefore, let us confess our sins to him and plead for his mercy.

C: Merciful Father in heaven, I am altogether sinful from birth. In countless ways I have sinned against you and do not deserve to be called your child. But trusting in Jesus, my Savior, I pray: have mercy on me according to your unfailing love. Cleanse me from my sin, and take away my guilt.

P: God, our heavenly Father, has forgiven all your sins. By the perfect life and innocent death of our Lord Jesus Christ, he has removed your guilt forever. You are his own dear child. May God give you strength to live according to his will.

C: Amen.


P: In the peace of forgiveness, let us praise the Lord.


Oh Taste And See


Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.

Bless-ed are they who take re-fuge in him.


Your Word, O Lord, is e-ter-nal;

it stands firm in the heav-ens.

Your faith-ful-ness con-tin-ues for-ev-er.


Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.

Bless-ed are they who take re-fuge in him.


Prayer of the Day

P: Let us Pray.

Lord, we pray that your mercy and grace may always go before and follow after us that, loving you with undivided hearts, we may be ready for every good and useful work; through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  


First Lesson: Genesis  50:15-21

1 When their father Jacob died, his sons were afraid because of all they had done to Joseph. Joseph assured them that he would not stand in God’s place and be their judge.


15When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and will pay us back in full for all of the evil that we did to him.”

16They sent the following message to Joseph: “Before he died your father commanded us, 17‘You are to tell Joseph, “Please forgive the offense of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ Now, please forgive the offense of the servants of the God of your father.”

Joseph wept when they spoke to him.

18His brothers also came and fell down in front of him, and they said, “See now, we are your servants.”

19Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring this to pass and to keep many people alive, as it is this day. 21Now therefore do not be afraid. I will nourish you and your little ones.” He comforted them and spoke to them in a kind way.


Psalm of the Day: Psalm 103
“Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.”


I will hear what the Lord proclaims: peace to his people.


Praise the LORD, O my soul;*

all my inmost being, praise his holy name.


He forgives all your sins*

and heals all your diseases;


he redeems your life from the grave*

and crowns you with love and compassion.



I will hear what the Lord proclaims: peace to his people.


The LORD is compassionate and gracious,*

slow to anger, abounding in love.


He does not treat us as our sins deserve*

or repay us according to our iniquities.


For as high as the heavens are above the earth,*

so great is his love for those who fear him;


as far as the east is from the west,*

so far has he removed our transgressions from us.



I will hear what the Lord proclaims: peace to his people.


As a father has compassion on his children,*

so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;


for he knows how we are formed,*

he remembers that we are dust.


Our days are like grass, like a flower of the field;*

the wind blows over it and it is gone.


But the LORD’S love is with those who fear him*

from everlasting to everlasting.

Glory be 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.



I will hear what the Lord proclaims: peace to his people.


Refrain Tune: From The Psalmody for the Day, Series C. © 1976 Fortress Press. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Augsburg Fortress.


Second Lesson: Romans 14:5-9

Paul tells us to treat each other with patience and understanding.


5One person values one day above another. Another person values every day the same. Let each person be fully convinced in his own mind. 6The person who honors a certain day does this for the Lord, and the person who eats does this for the Lord, because he gives thanks to God. And the person who does not eat does this for the Lord and gives thanks to God.

7In fact, not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself. 8Indeed, if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9For this reason he died, rose, and lived, to be Lord of both the dead and the living.


Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

These words are written that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!


Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35

Jesus tells the parable of the unmerciful servant. It is a lesson in forgiveness and reminds us that God has forgiven us much. How can we not forgive those who sin against us?

21Then Peter came up and asked Jesus, “Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother when he sins against me? As many as seven times?”

22Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but I tell you as many as seventy-seven times. 23For this reason the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24When he began to settle them, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25Because the man was not able to pay the debt, his master ordered that he be sold, along with his wife, children, and all that he owned to repay the debt.

26“Then the servant fell down on his knees in front of him, saying, ‘Master, be patient with me, and I will pay you everything!’ 27The master of that servant had pity on him, released him, and forgave him the debt.

28“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him one hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began choking him, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’

29“So his fellow servant fell down and begged him, saying, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back!’ 30But he refused. Instead he went off and threw the man into prison until he could pay back what he owed.

31“When his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were very distressed. They went and reported to their master everything that had taken place.

32“Then his master called him in and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt when you begged me to. 33Should you not have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had mercy on you?’ 34His master was angry and handed him over to the jailers until he could pay back everything he owed.

35“This is what my heavenly Father will also do to you unless each one of you forgives his brother from his heart.”

C:  Praise be to you, O Christ!


Hymn of the Day: 493 Forgive Our Sins as We Forgive

1  Forgive our sins as we forgive,”

You taught us, Lord, to pray,

But you alone can grant us grace

To live the words we say.


2  How can your pardon reach and bless

The unforgiving heart

That broods on wrongs and will not let

Old bitterness depart?


3  In blazing light your cross reveals

The truth we dimly knew:

What trivial debts are owed to us;

How great our debt to you!


4  Lord, cleanse the depths within our souls

And bid resentment cease;

Then, bound to all in bonds of love

Our lives will spread your peace.


Text: Rosamond E. Herklots, 1905-87, alt. © Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Used by permission.




Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his 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 into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.



Offering Prayer


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Prayer of the Church


Lord’s Prayer

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.


Hymn: 393 If Your Beloved Son, O God

1  If your beloved Son, O God, Had not to earth descended

And in our mortal flesh and blood Had not sin’s power ended,

Then this poor, wretched soul of mine In hell eternally would pine

Because of my transgression.


2  But now I find sweet peace and rest; Despair no more reigns o’er me.

No more am I by sin oppressed, For Christ has borne sin for me.

Upon the cross for me he died That, reconciled, I might abide

With you, my God, forever.



3  I trust in him with all my heart; Now all my sorrow ceases.

His words abiding peace impart; His blood from guilt releases.

Free grace through him I now obtain; He washes me from ev’ry stain,

And pure I stand before him.


4  All righteousness by works is vain; The law brings condemnation.

True righteousness by faith I gain; Christ’s work is my salvation.

His death, that perfect sacrifice, Has paid the all-sufficient price;

In him my hope is anchored.


5  My guilt, O Father, you have laid On Christ, your Son, my Savior.

Lord Jesus, you my debt have paid And gained for me God’s favor.

O Holy Spirit, Fount of grace, The good in me to you I trace;

In faith and hope preserve me.


Text: Johann Heermann, 1585-1647, st. 1-4, abr.; Neu-vermehrtes vollständiges Gesangbuch, Braunschweig, 1661, st. 5; tr. composite.


Prayer and Blessing


P: O Lord God, our heavenly Father, pour out the Holy Spirit on your faithful people. Keep us strong in your grace and truth, protect and comfort us in all temptation, and bestow on us your saving peace, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.



P: Almighty God, we thank you for teaching us the things you want us to believe and do. Help us by your Holy Spirit to keep your Word in pure hearts that we may be strengthened in faith, guided in holiness, and comforted in life and in death, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


C:  A-men.


P: Brothers and sisters, go in peace. Live in harmony with one another. Serve the Lord with gladness.

The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.

The Lord look on you with favor and + give you peace.

C:  A-men, A-men, A-men



Closing Hymn: 760 When Peace Like a River


1  When peace like a river attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll—

Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,  

It is well, it is well with my soul.


It is well (It is well) with my soul (with my soul).  

It is well, it is well with my soul.


2  My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought—      

My sin, not in part, but the whole,

Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more:

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!


It is well (It is well) with my soul (with my soul).  

It is well, it is well with my soul.


3  And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,

The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;

The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend;

Even so, it is well with my soul.


It is well (It is well) with my soul (with my soul).  

It is well, it is well with my soul.



Text: Horatio G. Spafford, 1828–1888, alt.