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St. Ansgar Lutheran Church, Outline for Worship (with sermon)
Sunday, August 1, 2021 – Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
Based on ELW Setting Four

P: Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, the God of manna,
the God of miracles, the God of mercy.
C: Amen.
P: Drawn to Christ and seeking God's abundance,
let us confess our sin.
P: God, our provider,
C: help us.
It is hard to believe there is enough to share.
We question your ways when they differ from the ways
of the world in which we live.
We turn to our own understanding rather than trusting in you.
We take offense at your teachings and your ways.
Turn us again to you. Where else can we turn?
Share with us the words of eternal life
and feed us for life in the world. Amen.
P: Beloved people of God:
In Jesus, the manna from heaven, you are fed and nourished.
By Jesus, the worker of miracles, there is always more than enough.
Through Jesus, ☩ the bread of life, you are shown God's mercy:
you are forgiven and loved into abundant life.
C: Amen.

P: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion
of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
C: And also with you

A: In peace, let us pray to the Lord.
C: Lord, have mercy.
A: For the peace from above, and for our salvation, let us pray to the Lord.
C: Lord, have mercy.
A: For the peace of the whole world, for the well-being of the Church of God,
and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.
C: Lord, have mercy.
A: For this holy house, and for all who offer here their worship and praise,
let us pray to the Lord.
C: Lord, have mercy.
A: Help, save, comfort, and defend us, gracious Lord.
C: Amen.

P: This is the feast of victory for our God. Alleluia.
C: Worthy is Christ, the Lamb who was slain,
whose blood set us free to be people of God.
Power and riches and wisdom and strength,
and honour and blessing and glory are his.
This is the feast of victory for our God. Alleluia.
Sing with all the people of God
and join in the hymn of all creation:
Blessing and honour and glory and might
be to God and the Lamb forever. Amen.
This is the feast of victory for our God,
for the Lamb who was slain has begun his reign.
Alleluia. Alleluia.

P: Let us pray.
P: O God, eternal goodness, immeasurable love, you place your gifts before us;
we eat and are satisfied. Fill us and this world in all its need with the life that
comes only from you, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.
C: Amen

FIRST READING: Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15
2 The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron
in the wilderness. 3 The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the hand
of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of
bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly
with hunger." 4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "I am going to rain bread from
heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that
day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not.
9 Then Moses said to Aaron, "Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites,
'Draw near to the LORD, for he has heard your complaining.'" 10 And as Aaron
spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the
wilderness, and the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. 11 The LORD
spoke to Moses and said, 12 "I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say
to them, 'At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill
of bread; then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.'" 13 In the evening
quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of
dew around the camp. 14 When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the
wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the
Israelites saw it, they said to one another, "What is it?" For they did not know what
it was. Moses said to them, "It is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.

PSALM: 78: 23-29
23 So God commanded the clouds above
and opened the doors of heaven,
24 raining down manna upon them to eat
and giving them grain from heaven.
25 So mortals ate the bread of angels;
God provided for them food enough.
26 The Lord caused the east wind to blow in the heavens
and powerfully led out the south wind,
27 raining down flesh upon them like dust
and flying birds like the sand of the seas,
28 letting them fall in the midst of the camp
and round about the dwellings.
29 So the people ate and were well filled,
for God gave them what they craved.

SECOND READING: Ephesians 4:1-16
1 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling
to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to maintain the unity of the
Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were
called to the one hope of your calling, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one
God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. 7 But each of
us was given grace according to the measure of Christ's gift. 8 Therefore it is
said, "When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts
to his people." 9 (When it says, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he
had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is
the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all
things.) 11 The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets,
some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work
of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until all of us come to the unity of
the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of
the full stature of Christ. 14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and
blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people's trickery, by their craftiness in
deceitful scheming. 15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every
way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined
and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is
working properly, promotes the body's growth in building itself up in love.

C: Alleluia. Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.

P: The Holy Gospel according to John 6:24-35
C: Glory to you, O Lord.
John 6:24-35
24 So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, "Rabbi,
when did you come here?" 26 Jesus answered them, "Very truly, I tell you, you
are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of
the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that
endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that
God the Father has set his seal." 28 Then they said to him, "What must we do
to perform the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God,
that you believe in him whom he has sent." 30 So they said to him, "What sign
are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work
are you performing? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is
written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" 32 Then Jesus said to them,
"Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven,
but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread
of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
34 They said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always." 35 Jesus said to them,
"I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and
whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
P: The Gospel of the Lord.
C: Praise to you, O Christ.

John 6: 24-35
Let us pray: May the words of my mouth, and the prayers of our hearts,
always be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, our Strength, and our Redeemer.
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry,
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” He also told the people who
had followed him and his disciples, “Do not work for the food that perishes,
but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.”
Before we delve into these words of Jesus from our Gospel lesson today, let me
share some background, sort of a review of the Gospel lessons from the weeks
leading up to today. First, it was the spring season, the times just before the
Passover celebration of the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.
The number of people in the area was growing as they began to make their way
to Jerusalem. Two days before our Gospel lesson, the twelve disciples had
completed their first ministry mission in groups of two out in the surrounding
regions without Jesus. The first thing Jesus did on their return was to take them
away for some rest and renewal.
People were curious about this different kind of religious leader, a prophet
and rabbi. They were curious because of what they heard their neighbours
and relatives saying about the teachings of Jesus and the miracles he was
performing. Because the people had no phones, radios or televisions, no
newspapers or email, they were deliberate in keeping up with Jesus as he moved
about the area. Were these people new believers? Some of them probably were.
Were they just curious onlookers? My guess is that would apply to most of them.
By the time Jesus and the twelve disciples arrived at the place they planned to
rest, the curious and demanding crowd had quickly found them, so it was back to
work for Jesus and his disciples. This is when the 5,000 ate their fill from the five
barley loaves and two fish that were supposed to be the lunch of the young boy.
Still concerned for his twelve disciples, Jesus put them in a boat and sent them
out of sight across the lake. Dismissing the crowd, Jesus went up the hillside
alone to pray and rest. A storm blew in and created a rough sea tossing about the
boat with the twelve disciples on board, terrifying the disciples. Jesus came to
them on the sea and calmed the waters. By morning they were settled at a new
This brings us to today’s Gospel lesson. The crowds found Jesus and the
disciples on the other side of the sea and asked Jesus, “Rabbi, when did you
come here?” Jesus’ response was not exactly what the crowd wanted to hear.
“Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but
because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes,
but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.”
Note that this encounter becomes one of the indicators of the direction Jesus’
ministry will go. If we have a community of believers forming, they are on the right
track. If we have a crowd of curious fans looking for a free meal or free healing,
then there is a problem. While there are some in the crowd that fit into each
group, there is even something bigger going on. The reality is that this crowd is
trying to coerce Jesus into being their earthly king.
The nationalists have decided that Jesus was a good candidate. They believed,
and were busy convincing others, that Jesus could solve all their problems,
something a powerful Roman government had not been able to do. In fact, the
Roman government was oppressing the Jewish people, and showed them no
respect. When Jesus rejected the nationalists’ request to be their earthly king, the
crowds began to dwindle. The honeymoon was over, and from this moment on it
would be an uphill battle for Jesus, the disciples, and their ministry.
So, what do the words, “I am the bread of life,” mean to you? I would like to share
a story I stumbled across about a man named Charlie that exemplifies what these
words mean to me. Charlie was a man who, beyond a shadow of a doubt, knew
he was extremely blessed by God. Everyday on his way home from the furniture
store at which he worked Charlie would take a kind of inventory of the things that
needed to be done as he walked past the church where he had been a member
since his baptism in 1917. Whenever he was at the church, he would notice
things that needed to be done. Sometimes they were just little things like changing a
light bulb. On his way home from working at the furniture store all day, if there was
something that needed fixing, Charlie patiently climbed the church steps and
went to work at the task at hand.
Sometimes it was marks on the floor scuffed by children playing. “Many people
in the congregation wouldn’t agree with me,” Charlie thought, as he began to
remove the scuff marks with lots of elbow grease, “But I love these marks made
by children. Oh my, what would the kingdom be like without the energy and
aliveness of kids?”
On other days it would be light bulbs that Charlie would stop and take time to
replace. He would consider the light of Christ as he moved throughout the church
with his ladder. On another day he remembered that the previous Sunday he had
notice a leaky faucet that needed new washers. As he checked out the spigot, he
remembered the life-giving water of baptism. Sometimes squeaky doors had to
be oiled and he would go around to every door and oil the hinges and latches so
they worked properly. While doing this he would recall that Jesus was the door to
life, that Christ was the threshold to the kingdom of God. The next day it would be
windows. One day he would clean the outside. The next day he would clean the
inside of the windows. As he looked through each window he would think, “It is
only with the heart of the kingdom that one can see rightly, what is essential is
invisible to the naked eye.”
Then there was the furnace. Charlie would replace the filters and made sure the
pilot light was on. And he would be reminded of the love and warmth of God’s
Son, Jesus. On hot summer days he would often fix the screens and while doing
so reflect on the cool breeze of God’s mercy.
Charlie was certainly a man blessed of God. He was blessed in knowing God’s
Son, the bread of life. Charlie lived a long and rich life. After Charlie was no
longer able to do all the things around the church he had been doing for year,
people began to complain about burnt out light bulbs, dirty windows, scuffed
floors, and leaky faucets. Nobody ever knew all the things Charlie did because
Charlie always made sure that nobody was around when he did his little deeds.
Accolades Charlie did not want. He only desired to work with Jesus in being the
bread of life for others.
There are countless numbers of people who found Jesus to be their real but
invisible companion in life. For them Jesus is the bread of life. While we cannot
all be Charlies, we can all do something, no matter how simple, and follow Jesus’
example to be the bread of life for others. The bread of life is not an idea, nor an
ideal, not a principle, not an abstraction. The bread of life is a person, and that
person is someone who listens, understands, cares, loves, and gives. Jesus
Christ is the person who does this best and is the food that endures for all eternity.
As disciples of Christ, we are called to follow him and be the bread of life for others.

HYMN OF THE DAY – Blessed Assurance (ELW #638)

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.

A: Rooted in Christ and sustained by the Spirit, we offer our prayers for the
church, the world, and all of creation.
A: Strengthen and sustain our Bishops Susan and Michael, that with patience
and understanding they may love and care for your people. We also pray for the
National ELCIC Office and Support Staff, for the leadership team, and for our
work and celebration together. Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.
A: Gracious God, we thank you for your loving presence with us in this time of
pandemic. While we must still remain apart for reasons of safety, we trust that
you surround all of us with your sheltering wings. Help us to reach out, as we
are able, to each other in our church family and to our neighbours in need, and
to persist in prayer. Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.
A: You call your church to be the body of Christ. Awaken all the baptized to the
gifts you provide for carrying out the work of ministry. Where the church is
divided, knit us together and restore the unity of the faith. Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.
A: You command the clouds above and cause the wind to blow in the heavens.
Watch over deserts and wilderness places. Regenerate rainforests, defend
species at risk of extinction, and strengthen the work of conservation
organizations. Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.
A: You summon leaders to respond to the needs of your people. Instill those
who govern with patience when confronted with grievances and perseverance in
seeking what promotes the well-being of the community. Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.
A: You draw near to those who cry out for help. Feed those who are hungry,
reassure those who are despairing, and accompany those who are imprisoned.
Rain down the true bread from heaven that gives life to the world.
Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.
A: You receive all who come seeking a sign of grace. Make this congregation a
place of hospitality for those accustomed to rejection. To those who have felt
excluded here or elsewhere, prepare us to welcome them in the name of Christ.
Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.
[Here you may include other intercessions.]
A: You provide food that endures for eternal life. Sustain us each day with the
bread of life until we are gathered with all the saints and feast together at your
heavenly banquet. Hear us, O God.
C: Your mercy is great.
A: We lift these and all our prayers to you, O God, confident in the promise of
your saving love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
C: Amen.

P: The peace of Christ be with you always.
C: And also with you.

Let the vineyards be fruitful, Lord, and fill to the brim our cup of blessing.
Gather a harvest from the seeds that were sown,
that we may be fed, with the bread of life.
Gather the hopes and dreams of all; unite them with the prayers we offer.
Grace our table with your presence,
and give us a foretaste of the feast to come.

C: 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.

P: The blessing of God, who provides for us, feeds us,
and journeys with us, ☩ be upon you now and forever.
C: Amen.

P: Go in peace. You are the body of Christ.
C: Thanks be to God.

DISMISSAL HYMN – Go Now in Peace
Go now in peace, never be afraid.
God will go with you each hour of every day.
Go now in faith, steadfast, strong and true.
Know He will guide you in all you do.
Go now in love, and show you believe.
Reach out to others, so all the world can see.
God will be there, watching from above.
Go now in peace, in faith, and in love.

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