The 19th Sunday after Pentecost

MLLC Church Sketch drawing copy

Readings, Devotion, and Prayers for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost, October 11, 2020, for both MLLC and Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church

We continue to offer in-person and Facebook Live services following the normal Sunday schedule for both MLLC and Waldeck.  The Facebook Live services will be offered on Sundays at 8:00 a.m. from Waldeck, and at 10:00 a.m. from MLLC.  The Saturday 6:00 p.m. service at MLLC is in-person only.

Below are the readings, prayers, and Sunday sermon.

Remember Your Regular Offerings

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For both of our congregations, Waldeck and MLLC, please remember that our expenses continue even when we are unable to meet as usual.  Please make a point to give your offerings as you would on a typical week.  Here are some ideas of what to do:

For Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ledbetter:

– send your offering by mail to the church office  – Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church; 6915 Waldeck Church Lane; Ledbetter, TX 78946

– set aside your offerings each week, and then bring these to church when you can be at worship again.

For MLLC in Carmine:

– send your offering by mail to the church office  – MLLC, P O BOX 362, Carmine, TX 78932-0362

– set aside your offerings each week, and then bring these to church when you can be at worship again.

– give offerings through the church web site:  mllccarmine.com/online-giving  This page has a link to our secure giving page.  Offerings can be made by bank draft, debit card, or credit card through this special web site.

October 10th & 11th, 2020

nineteenth SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

First Reading: Isaiah 25:1-9

R:  A reading from Isaiah, the 25th Chapter.

After a hymn of praise acknowledging God as a shelter for the poor, the prophet portrays a wonderful victory banquet at which death—which in ancient Canaan was depicted as a monster swallowing up everyone—will be swallowed up forever. The prophet urges celebration of this victory of salvation.

And now the reading.

1O Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you, I will praise your name;
for you have done wonderful things,
plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
2For you have made the city a heap,
the fortified city a ruin;
the palace of aliens is a city no more,
it will never be rebuilt.
3Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
cities of ruthless nations will fear you.
4For you have been a refuge to the poor,
a refuge to the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.
When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm,
5the noise of aliens like heat in a dry place,
you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds;
the song of the ruthless was stilled.
6On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines,
of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.
7And he will destroy on this mountain
the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
the sheet that is spread over all nations;
8he will swallow up death forever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
9It will be said on that day,
Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.    (4)

Psalm: Psalm 23 King James Version

R: Psalm 23, read in unison.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:

he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul:

he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness

for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley

of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;

thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me

in the presence of mine enemies:

thou anointest my head with oil;

my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy

shall follow me all the days of my life:

and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Second Reading: Philippians 4:1-9

R: A reading from Philippians, the 4th chapter.

Though writing from prison and facing an uncertain future, Paul calls on the Philippians to rejoice and give thanks to God no matter what the circumstance. God’s peace is with us and binds together our hearts and minds in Jesus Christ, especially when things around us do not seem peaceful.

And now the reading.

1My brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.

2I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not

(5)

worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

*Gospel: Matthew 22:1-14

P: The holy gospel according to St. Matthew, the 22nd chapter.

Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus tells a parable indicating that the blessings of God’s kingdom are available to all, but the invitation is not to be taken lightly.

 

And now the reading.

1Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: 2“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. 4Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’ 5But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, 6while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. 7The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 8Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ 10Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.

(6)

11“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, 12and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. 13Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”

The gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.

Devotion, by Pastor David Tinker

“Connecting with Jesus and Each Other”

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

This COVID19 situation has made everything difficult.  One of the most significant difficulties has been interpersonal connections.  Some of us barely ever see anybody.  Others have limited or mediated connections with each other.  For the sake of everybody, we continue to practice social distancing in any context outside of our household.

One place where I often am around many people during this time is the grocery store.  This has been an odd experience for the past 7 months.  It is getting a tiny bit better in recent months.  There are a few things I notice.

  1. People rarely look each other in the eye, compared to before.
  2. People are in their own little world.
  3. Sometimes, if a stranger speaks to another, the second person is likely to be wildly surprised, and my not even reply.
  4. People are doing their best to social distance.
  5. The masks covering mouth and nose make it hard to recognize friends and neighbors. People sometimes don’t even greet those they know, so as to avoid embarrassment if it is not one’s friend.

God made us to be in connection with one another.  We need each other, yet right now it is very hard to be together.  With God’s help, we can work to give each other the connection we need.

Today’s reading from the book of Philippians is about interpersonal relationships.  Philippians is a very personal and encouraging letter from Paul to the Christians in the Greek city of Philippi.  He celebrates their ministry. He refers to them as “my joy and my crown.”  Paul is close to these people “in spirit”, even though he must write to them from a Roman prison cell.  He had a deep and powerful relationship with these children of God, and it clearly shows in his writings.  He was comforted by the mere thought of these brothers and sisters.  He was strengthened and nurtured by them, even from afar.

Relationships are important to us as well. There are three primary relationship areas which we foster for relational health.  These three types of relationships point us in three directions:

Outward:  these are our purely social encounters with friends, family and others.

Inward:  this is how we relate to our inner self – the person we are, even when no one is watching.

Upward:  Our response to God who first reaches to us in love – it is how we meet and experience the Divine in everyday life.

We see in our reading from Philippians that he had a positive connection with the people of the church at Philippi.  He worked to foster an environment in which people worked for the common goal of spreading the Gospel.  They worked together well, and Paul worked to encourage the people to work out their differences and problems.  He was encouraging healthy relationships.

Relationships among Christians are especially important.  The Christian life itself is founded in being in relationship with others.  It is first about God’s blessing of a restored relationship with him through the work of Jesus.

Ultimately, the only way we can be at peace with ourselves, with others, and with God is through the work of Jesus Christ. God saw how we had stopped drawing near to him and to others.  Life’s essential elements were broken, so he sent God the Son, Jesus Christ, to be broken instead. His death on the cross opened the door to forgiveness and healing between one’s self and God, and thus, with one another.  His rising from the tomb paved the way for us to follow him into eternity. His love stirs us to reach out to one another for reconciliation and care.  In response to God’s love, and stirred by the Holy Spirit, we move closer to God, and thus closer to one another.

As we are drawn closer to God and closer to each other we are reminded of this truth:  The Body of Christ, the Church, is all about life together.  In the reading from Philippians, in verse 2, we see Paul’s encouragement of two fellow believers.  These two women in the church, Euodia and Syntyche, had some sort of quarrel.  We don’t know the details, but we do know that it was worthy of Paul’s mention in this letter.  He knew them well, for they had worked together in ministry.  In this passage he is encouraging these two to reconcile and resume working together.  Paul says, “I urge Euodia and Syntyche to be of the same mind.”

Dorotheos of Gaza was a sixth century AD teacher and monk.  He once preached a sermon for the monks in his monastery who were grumbling that they were unable to love God properly.  Why?  Because they had to put up with one another’s ordinary, irritating presence.  No, Dorotheos told them, they were wrong.  He asked them to visualize the world as a great circle whose center is God. Also, upon the circumference of that circle lie human lives.  “Imagine now,” he asked his fellow monks, “that there are straight lines connecting from the outside of the circle all human lives to God at the center.  Can’t you see that there is no way to move closer to God without drawing closer to other people, and no way to approach other people without coming near to God?”

As we respond to the love of God with worship and love for God, we are called and empowered to love one another.  This self-giving care for one another is essential for the building up of our fellowship and for the spread of the Gospel.  In the early church, there was a response of others to seeing the Christians in action.  They said, “See how they love one another.”  They lived out their work of love and reconciliation by following the teaching of Paul in First Corinthians 13, where he wrote, “4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Our relationships with others are always part of living out the Christian life.  Paul knew it as he encouraged the community at Philippi.  Jesus knew it for he was constantly building relationships with others.  He willed it when he created the church.  We know that relationships are essential to the Christian life, for we have lived it.

For a healthy and positive future as a congregation we must all strive to live out love for one another. As God draws us to himself, we are also drawn to each other.  Through this we are a blessing to one-another and we give glory to God.

Let us pray – Loving God, we pray that your Holy Spirit will draw us together around you both in this world and in our heavenly home.  Bring healing and reconciliation between people.  Help us to seek and care for those who are struggling, lonely, and forgotten.  We pray this in the Holy Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

*Prayers of Intercession

A:  Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.

A brief silence.

Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit:  we worship you, for you are gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Grant us renewed connections with one another. Heal the divisions between one person and another.  Help us to love one another as Christ has loved us.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We remember in prayer those who have recently passed away.  Grant peace and comfort to those who mourn, (especially the family and friends of …) Help us to care for one another in our time of loss.  Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray that you would bring healing, strength and hope to those who struggle in body, mind or spirit, especially . . .  and those whom we name aloud or in quiet prayer…  May your comforting Spirit strengthen all for whom we pray.   Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

 

Other petitions may be added here.

We give thanks for our partnership with Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church.  Help us to continue to grow in our ministry together.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

 

We pray for all who have been affected by recent violence and natural disasters.  Bring courage, determination and strength to all emergency responders who serve those in need. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

P:  Into your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

Lord’s Prayer

HARVEST FESTIVAL will be held on October 18 at the Carmine Hall.  No confirmation reunion will be held this year.  Worship service (no communion) will be at 10:15 a.m. with the Praise Team leading Country Gospel songs.  The kettle fried chicken dinner will be drive-through only from 11-12:30. Desserts will be available.  Tickets must be purchased in advance for $10.  Members may contact Shelby Vaughn at 979-203-4313 if they wish to take tickets to sell.  Tickets are available in the church office.  Members are also asked to take posters to place at businesses in different towns.

Raffle tickets are $10 with 6 big prizes.  Karen Roemer has those available and are also being sold in the church office.

DESSERTS ARE NEEDED Please bring them to the hall around 8:30 or 9 a.m. so they may be cut and placed in containers.

LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF UPDATE The church received word on September 11 that the Lutheran World Relief items in the Beirut explosion were damaged, but not completely destroyed as initially believed.  Some of the items did come from our congregation.  To make a monetary contribution go to the MLLC website with the following link:

https://mllccarmine.com/2020/08/10/beirut-explosion-and-lutheran-world-relief/

 

Carmine Night OUT – Thursday, October 15. The Carmine Chamber of Commerce invites you to a Flag Retirement Ceremony on Thursday, October 15, the annual Carmine Night Out, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Collection bins are located at the Carmine State Bank, JW’s Steakhouse, and Village Market.  You can deposit American, Texas, or any branch of the military flag for retirement.  There will be free hot dogs on cart, drinks, and desserts that evening as well as door prizes for youngsters and adults, and kids’ activities as well.  Come hear dignitaries and candidates speak.  For questions, call/text 979-451-1507.

Hurricane Relief for Louisiana.  Our synod and the ELCA have ongoing relief work going on in Louisiana.  With another storm heading to this easter part of synod, the needs will only increase.  You can give through your offerings.  Designate it as “Hurricane Relief – ELCA,” or “Hurricane Relief – Synod.”  See the web site for more information:  https://mllccarmine.com/2020/08/31/hurricane-laura-relief/

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