One of the big problems with American Christianity is that we have overly spiritualized Jesus. From his teachings about the Kingdom of God to his parables to his miracles, American Christianity has trained us to believe Jesus was talking about a place you go after you die. Today is Just Peace Sunday throughout the United Church of Christ. Today we will explore a parable that Jesus told in Matthew 20:1-16. It's primarily about economics and politics and justice.
Prelude Adam: God be with you. All: And also with you. Welcome and Announcements – Adam Ericksen Lighting of the Peace Candle – Jeff Pratt and Adam Adam: Our tradition at CUCC is to light a peace candle at the beginning of each worship service to center ourselves around the Peace of God. Jeff will lead us in the liturgy as Gavin lights the candle… Jeff: I invite you to join us in lighting the peace candle… All: We pray for peace in our hearts, in our homes, in our communities, in our nations, and in our worlds. Scripture Readings – Matthew 20:1-16 *Call to Worship – Jeff Jeff: Please join us in the call to worship… Jeff: Call all the laborers. All: To the laborers came early. Jeff: To the laborers who came late. All: To the laborers who feel overlooked. Jeff: To the laborers who can’t feed their children with this wage. All: To the laborers who share their wage so that all people can eat. Jeff: God calls us to labor for a more just world. All: Let us roll up our sleeves and do the work. Amen. Children’s Moment *Passing of the Peace – Jeff Jeff: Friends, although we are physically separated as we practice social distance, in reality we are all connected. And so we come to the point in our service where we pass the peace with one another. I invite you to open your palms up like this and imagine yourself connected to everyone watching this livestream as we pass the peace to one another. Jeff: Beloved of God, may the peace of Christ be with you. All: And also with you. Invitation to the Offering Adam Ericksen Special Music – Smoke Blanket Fire Sky – Annie Vergnetti Prayers of the People – Adam (After each prayer, Adam will say, “God in your love” and you are invited to respond with “hear our prayers.”) Community Prayer and Lord’s Prayer - Jeff Our God, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed by 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 debts, as we forgive our debtors. 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. Sermon – Justice and Generosity *Unison Benediction – Jeff Pratt May God bless you and keep you. May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May God look upon you with kindness and bring you peace. This day and forever more. Amen -Numbers 6:24-26