Sunday Morning We invite you to join us for the following worship services:

10:30 a.m. Worship service

Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance and other locations in the church for
your use.

Washrooms will be available for use.

In the service: The service will be shown on the screen and we will sing some of the hymns. The offering will not be gathered and presented, but there will be an offering plate at the back of the sanctuary where you can put your offering as you enter or leave. Pastor David distributes the communion wafers and an Assisting Minister distributes wine or grape juice in individual glasses.

We have coffee and fellowship time available again in Luther Hall after the service.

We will continue to evaluate our worship service procedures on a monthly basis.

PENTECOST 18 SUNDAY, October 1, 2023.

St. Ansgar Lutheran Church, Outline for Worship (with sermon)
Sunday, October 1, 2023 – Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Based on ELW Setting Ten



P: Blessed be God, the one who forms us,
☩ Jesus who bears the cross, the Spirit who makes our joy complete.
C: Amen.

P: Let us bow before God in humility, confessing our sin.

P: Steadfast and faithful God,
C: you have revealed the ways of justice, yet we fail to follow you.
We are overwhelmed by the world's violence and suffering.
We are afraid to risk what we have for the sake of others.
For the harm we have caused, known and unknown, forgive us.
For the unjust demands we place on others
and your creation, forgive us.
For the ways we turn away from you and our neighbour, forgive us.
Lead us back to you and set us on the right path;
in the name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour.

P: Beloved in Christ,
God's justice stretches beyond all understanding.
God's compassion is beyond compare.
In Jesus, God is always making a new way for us.
In ☩ Christ, you are already and always forgiven.
C: Amen.

GATHERING SONG – God Is Here! (ELW 526)

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

Have mercy on us, Lord, and hear our solemn prayer.
We come to hear your living word; it saves us from despair.
Have mercy on us Christ, and wash away our sin.
Pour out your grace and make us whole that new life may begin.
Have mercy on us, Lord; make sin and shame depart.
Renew us with your saving pow’r; create in us new hearts!

Glory be to God in heaven; peace, goodwill to all the earth.
Mighty God of all creation, Father of surpassing worth:
we exalt you, we adore you, we lift high our thanks and praise.
Saints and angels bow before you; here on earth our songs we raise.
Glory be to Christ forever, Lamb of God and Lord of love.
Son of God and gracious Saviour, you have come from heav’n above;
on the cross you died to save us; now you reign at God’s right hand.
Hear our prayer; restore, forgive us; in your promise firm we stand.
Holy One we now acclaim you; Lord alone, to you we call;
Holy One in faith we name you, God most high, yet near to all:
Jesus Christ, with God the Spirit, in the Father’s splendour bright.
For the peace that we inherit, glory be to God on high!

P: Let us pray.
P: God of love, giver of life, you know our frailties and failings. Give us your grace
to overcome them, keep us from those things that harm us, and guide us in the
way of salvation, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.
C: Amen


FIRST READING: Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32
1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 What do you mean by repeating this
proverb concerning the land of Israel, "The parents have eaten sour grapes,
and the children's teeth are set on edge"? 3 As I live, says the Lord GOD, this
proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. 4 Know that all lives are mine;
the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person
who sins that shall die. 25 Yet you say, "The way of the Lord is unfair." Hear
now, O house of Israel: Is my way unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair?
26 When the righteous turn away from their righteousness and commit iniquity,
they shall die for it; for the iniquity that they have committed they shall die.
27 Again, when the wicked turn away from the wickedness they have committed
and do what is lawful and right, they shall save their life. 28 Because they
considered and turned away from all the transgressions that they had committed,
they shall surely live; they shall not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says,
"The way of the Lord is unfair." O house of Israel, are my ways unfair? Is it not
your ways that are unfair? 30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, all of
you according to your ways, says the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your
transgressions; otherwise iniquity will be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all
the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a
new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have
no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord GOD. Turn, then, and live.

A: The word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

PSALM: 25: 1-9
1 To you, O Lord,
I lift up my soul.
2 My God, I put my trust in you; let me not be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3 Let none who look to you be put to shame;
rather let those be put to shame who are treacherous.
4 Show me your ways, O Lord,
and teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all the day long.
6 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love,
for they are from everlasting.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions;
remember me according to your steadfast love and for the sake
of your goodness, O Lord.
8 You are gracious and upright, O Lord;
therefore you teach sinners in your way.
9 You lead the lowly in justice
and teach the lowly your way.

SECOND READING: Philippians 2:1-13
1 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any
sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2 make my joy complete:
be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one
mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others
as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests,
but to the interests of others. 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ
Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with
God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of
a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form,
8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death-- even death
on a cross. 9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name
that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should
bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should
confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Therefore,
my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence,
but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and
trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and
to work for his good pleasure.

A: The word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

Alleluia! Lord and Saviour: open now your saving word.
Let it burn like fire within us; speak until our hearts are stirred.
Alleluia! Lord, we sing for the good news that you bring

P: The Holy Gospel according to Matthew 21:23-32
C: Glory to you, O Lord.

Matthew 21:23-32
23 When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people
came to him as he was teaching, and said, "By what authority are you doing these
things, and who gave you this authority?" 24 Jesus said to them, "I will also ask
you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what
authority I do these things. 25 Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was
it of human origin?" And they argued with one another, "If we say, 'From heaven,'
he will say to us, 'Why then did you not believe him?' 26 But if we say, 'Of human
origin,' we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet." 27 So they
answered Jesus, "We do not know." And he said to them, "Neither will I tell you by
what authority I am doing these things. 28 "What do you think? A man had two
sons; he went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work in the vineyard today.'
29 He answered, 'I will not'; but later he changed his mind and went. 30 The father
went to the second and said the same; and he answered, 'I go, sir'; but he did not
go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The first." Jesus said
to them, "Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into
the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you in the way of
righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the
prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your
minds and believe him.

P: The gospel of the Lord.
C: Praise to you, O Christ.

Matthew 21:23-32
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.
When Jesus told the parable about the father and the two sons, which we
heard as part of our Gospel lesson this morning, the original audience who
heard Jesus speak was already squirming after Jesus’ earlier question about
John the Baptist. Jesus didn’t say to them, “Here is an easy answer.” Jesus
said, “Here is a hard question!” A hard question in the form of a simple story
– a parable. “What do you think?” So, what do you think? I don’t mean them.
I mean you.
Parables are not little Bible stories that provide pious answers to life’s
problems. They are “think pieces.” They are meant to make you think.
Every time Jesus told a parable, it was as though he nailed on the wall in
front of those to whom he was speaking a big sign that said THINK! Jesus’
parables were meant to cause the original hearers to think about what Jesus
was saying, to mull the words over in their minds. The parables are also
meant to give us something to think about, to mull over in our own minds,
for the parable still holds meaning for us today.
The Bible is great literature. Literary analysis and criticism are helpful.
What Jesus was saying to his immediate listeners is always important for us
to understand, so we do not misunderstand. But the Bible is also God’s word
to you and to me. It is important to understand what God is saying to us.
This understanding of the Bible must be affirmed by each individual clergy
member at their ordination in the ELCIC and ELCA Lutheran churches.
One of the several questions asked of the ordinand is this: “The church in
which you are ordained confesses the holy scriptures are the word of God
and are the norm of its faith and life. We accept, teach, and confess the
Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds. We also acknowledge
the Lutheran confessions as the true witnesses and faithful expositions of the
holy scriptures. Will you therefore preach and teach in accordance with the
holy scriptures and these creeds and confessions?” Each ordinand responds,
“I will, and I ask God to help me.”
This does not mean, “Do you hold a particular view of biblical inerrancy,
or interpretation, or what somebody says is ‘fundamental to the faith?’”
It does mean, “Do you believe that, through holy scripture, God speaks
to you?” That what God has to say is not embalmed in a book but is very
much alive in the life of God’s people, in your life, and in mine.
Do you believe that, through holy scripture, God speaks to you? If the answer
is, “Yes,” then the question is this, “When God speaks to you, what do you
think?” That was Jesus‘ question to the chief priest and elders of the people
who came to Jesus as he was teaching, to ask him a question. Jesus answered
their question with his own question that was intended to make them think,
to actually find within themselves the truth they already knew.
Be careful, though. Jesus didn’t say, “Find your own truth.” He wasn’t asking,
“What would you like to think?” Jesus asked, “What do you think?”
Do you ever think about what got Jesus killed? Jesus had a propensity
for asking the right question at the wrong time, for making people think,
and challenging their thinking in a way that made people mad. Jesus made
them think the truth about themselves. He often did that, as he did this time,
with a parable. A little story told to make you think.
Some of the Jewish religious and political establishment of that day were opposed
to Jesus and his teaching, to his way of thinking. On this occasion, instead of
challenging Jesus’ teaching, they challenged his authority to teach. This was a
political ploy. Discredit Jesus’ credentials, discredit his teaching, discredit him.
Jesus saw it coming. He knew where they were going, so he put the ball
back in their court. Jesus played hardball too. “I will also ask you one
question; if you tell me the answer, then I will tell you by what authority
I do these things.” Jesus was really just asking them their own question,
but about his cousin John the Baptist. Jesus asked, “By what authority
did John baptize? Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was
it of human origin?” Were John’s words God’s words, or just John’s?
Was God John’s authority, or not? What were John the Baptist’s credentials?
What do you think?
These Jewish religious and political leaders did not think as well on their
feet as Jesus. They could have walked away from that loaded question,
but instead they stood there worrying about how to answer. How they
answered would affect their authority in their religious and political community.
Matthew let us in on the quandary. They argued among themselves about
what to say. “If we say [the authority of John the Baptist was] ‘from heaven’
he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’” And we don’t want to
answer that question. On the other hand, “If we say [John’s authority was]
‘of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a
prophet,” as one who speaks with authority from God.
It was politics as usual. The religious and political leaders knew what the
crowd thought. They knew what they thought, but they did not want to say.
In the end politics, not thoughtfulness, prevailed. So, their answer to Jesus
was, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by
what authority I am doing these things.”
But “What do you think?” Jesus asked. A man had two sons; he went to the
first and said, ‘Son go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will
not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second
and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go sir’; but he did not go. Which of
the two did the will of his father? They said the first.”
What else could they say? What would you say? What is more important?
What you say, or what you do? What do you think? Jesus explained.
He compared them in their religiosity, and their response to John’s call to
repentance, and in their response to himself and his teachings, to the son
who said he would do as the father asked, but then didn’t do it. And then he
compared the tax collectors and prostitutes who, heard both John and Jesus
gladly, to the son who said he wouldn’t do as the father asked, but then did.
Jesus was saying that his hearers believed the right things, and said the right
things, but they didn’t do the right things. John’s call to repentance that Jesus
said was heard by the tax collectors and the prostitutes, but not by the chief
priests and elders, as well as Jesus’ own teachings, was a word from God to
do something, not just hear something. Not even just believe something, or
say something, but do something about the way they lived their lives.
That is what Jesus and John meant by “repent.” Go and do what the father
has said. And no matter how religious they were, no matter how political they
were, said Jesus, they needed to do more than hear the Father’s words.
They needed to do something in response to the Father’s words. If the words
of the Bible are God’s word to us, so do we.
Think! What do you think? What is Jesus asking of you? Are you the first
son or the second son? The Bible does not tell us what they said to Jesus in
response to his teaching. That is because the only important answer is what
you say to Jesus now.

HYMN OF THE DAY – Oh, That the Lord Would Guide My Ways (ELW 772)

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: Remembering the caring and generous works of God, we pray for the church,
creation, and the needs of our neighbours.

A: God of our church, send forth your Spirit as we pray for our Bishops Susan
and Michael. Empower them with your wisdom to lead the church. We also pray
for the Thames Ministry area, especially Pastor Steve Johnston and the people
of Trinity Lutheran Church, London. Merciful God,
C: receive our prayer.

A: We put our trust in you as we pray for the church. Give bishops, pastors,
deacons, and teachers the gifts of wisdom and discernment. Be with them in
bold truth and faithful witness. Merciful God,
C: receive our prayer.

A: Lead us in your truth as we pray for creation. Empower us to look to the
interests of others as we make choices that impact the environment. Summon
us to be advocates for healthy waterways, habitats, and air. Merciful God,
C: receive our prayer.

A: Lead us in justice as we pray for those in government, the military, and other
positions of authority. Give them humble and willing hearts, looking to the needs
of others. We pray also for our enemies. Merciful God,
C: receive our prayer.

A: Trusting your goodness, we pray for all caregivers and people who are sick or
suffering in any way. Give them encouragement and consolation in your
presence. Merciful God,
C: receive our prayer.

A: Teach us your paths as we pray for this congregation. Be at work in us
and unite us in your love as we labour together for the sake of the gospel.
Merciful God,
C: receive our prayer.

A: Loving God, we pray for all those affected by wildfires. For evacuees, for
those left behind, for those on alert, for firefighters, for families and friends who
watch and worry. We pray for safety of all people, for the protection of property,
and for forest life. May all know the assurance of your presence with them.
Merciful God,
C: receive our prayer.

A: Merciful God, we pray for peace as war continues to rage in Ukraine. Shelter
all living in fear; protect those seeking refuge in neighbouring countries; sustain
families separated by the horrors of war; tend to those who are injured; comfort
all who mourn their dead. Direct your people into the way of peace. Merciful God,
C: receive our prayer.

A: We give thanks for all the saints who died secure in the knowledge of salvation.
Keep us fearless in our faith and certain of your resurrection. Merciful God,
C: receive our prayer.

A: Remember us according to your steadfast love as we offer these and the prayers
of our heart, trusting in your compassion made known through Jesus Christ.
C: Amen.

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

P: Lord, remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray.
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 God of glory, ☩ Jesus Christ, name above all names,
and the Spirit who lives in you, bless you now and forever.
C: Amen.

SENDING SONG – What a Fellowship, What a Joy Divine (ELW 774)

A: Go in peace. God is at work in you.
C: Thanks be to God.

DISMISSAL HYMN – The Lord Now Sends Us Forth (ELW 538)
Verse 1
The Lord now sends us forth
with hands to serve and give,
to make of all the earth
a better place to live. Repeat (2X)

Verse 2
The angels are not sent
into our world of pain
to do what we were meant
to do in Jesus' name;
that falls to you and me
and all who are made free.
Help us, O Lord, we pray,
to do your will today. Repeat (2X)

Content Copyright © 2023 St. Ansgar Lutheran Church - All rights reserved.
Programming Copyright © 2023 London Webmasters - All rights reserved.