Sunday Worship 9-20-20


Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
September 20, 2020

Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
Matthew 16:24


Greeting and Welcome

Prelude Music

Call to Worship
Leader: Come! Come! Everybody Worship
All: Come! Come! Welcome to worship this Sabbath day.
Leader: Rejoice! Celebrate the Lord!
All: Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

Opening Prayer
 All: Almighty God, we have gathered this morning to worship you and rededicate our lives to you.  We thank you for this new day and the wonder of your creation.  Open our hearts and minds to hear your Word.  Empty us of ourselves and fill us with your Spirit.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Hymn of Praise “Come, Come! Everybody Worship” TFWS #2271, Words and Music: Natalie Sleeth, 1991.
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A-733303. All rights reserved.

Refrain: Come! Come! Everybody worship
with a prayer or song of praise!
Come! Come! Everybody Worship!
Worship God always!

  1. Worship and remember
    to keep the sabbath day.
    Take a rest and think of God;
    put your work away!


  1. Worship and remember
    the Lord’s unending care,
    reaching out to love and help
    people everywhere!
  2. Worship and remember
    your blessings great and small.
    Give to God an offering;
    show your thanks for all!
  3. Worship and remember
    how Jesus long ago
    taught us how to talk to God;
    something we should know!
  4. Worship and remember
    that God is like a light,
    showing you the way to go;
    ever burning bright!

Prayer of Confession
All: God of second chances, you are always there for us.  In the midst of our grumbling, we yearn to find the strength of our convictions.  In the course of our struggles, we long to soldier humbly on, forsaking positions of power and authority.  We want to work gladly in your kingdom, without thought of reward or acknowledgement.  Renew us in your compassion and grace, that our eyes may be opened to your presence and our minds may be filled with the very mind of Christ.  Amen.

Words of Assurance
Pastor: Hear the good news: No matter who you are, or what you have done, Christ welcomes us into God’s kingdom with open arms.  When we open our hearts and our lives to Christ, God’s forgiveness is truly ours.  In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!  Thanks be to God!

Gospel Reading Matthew 23:1-12 (NRSV)

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach.  They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them.  They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long.  They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi.  But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students.  And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven.  Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah.  The greatest among you will be your servant.   All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.

The Word of God for the people of God.
Thanks be to God. 

Sermon “Do You Follow Jesus or Follow the Rules?”  Rev. Matthew B. Sergent

Prayers of the People

Hymn “Standing on the Promises” UMH #374 Words and Music: R. Kelso Carter, 1886. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A-733303. All rights reserved

  1. Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
    through eternal ages let his praises ring;
    glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
    standing on the promises of God.Refrain:
    Standing, standing,
    standing on the promises of Christ my Savior;
    standing, standing,
    I’m standing on the promises of God.2. Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
    when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
    by the living Word of God I shall prevail,
    standing on the promises of God.

    3. Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
    bound to him eternally by love’s strong cord,
    overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
    standing on the promises of God.

    4. Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
    listening every moment to the Spirit’s call,
    resting in my Savior as my all in all,
    standing on the promises of God.

Go forth with the strength of the Holy Spirit.  Love with the grace of Jesus Christ. Rejoice in the steadfast love of God.