Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
October 4, 2020

First Presbyterian Church, Fargo
The Session and members of First Presbyterian Church, extend a sincere welcome to you! We welcome all persons regardless of race, nationality, disability, gender, or sexual orientation. This includes an open invitation to membership, the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, marriage, funerals, memorial services, and to serve as an officer of the church.

Prelude and Preparation for Worship

Prayer of the Day
Creator God, The heavens radiate your glory! You have set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a joyful bridegroom from his wedding canopy. May we emerge from night’s waiting with such rampant joy
that we too radiate your glory throughout this day. In the name of the Son of righteousness who has risen with healing in his wings. Amen.

Gathering in Christ’s Presence

Welcome and Concerns of the Church
Opening Sentences
The heavens declare the glory of God! 
The skies proclaim God’s handiwork.
The day pronounces God’s glory without a sound,
The night expounds God’s knowledge without a word,
And yet their voice goes out through all the earth.
Let us join our voices with the voice of creation in declaring God’s glory!
Let us worship God!
Moment for Stewardship
Hymn — I Come with Joy
Singers: Penny Andrist, Kayla Bones, Kaatrin Holmberg, Tori Hughes, Jack Lawrence, Erynn Millard, and Shelley Zietz  Accompanist: Sally Harmon
1 I come with joy, a child of God,
forgiven, loved, and free,
the life of Jesus to recall,
in love laid down for me,
in love laid down for me.

2 I come with Christians far and near
to find, as all are fed,
the new community of love
in Christ’s communion bread,
in Christ’s communion bread.

3 As Christ breaks bread and bids us share,
each proud division ends.  
The love that made us, makes us one,
and strangers now are friends,
and strangers now are friends.

4 The Spirit of the risen Christ,
unseen, but ever near,
is in such friendship better known,
alive among us here,
alive among us here.

5 Together met, together bound
by all that God has done,
we’ll go with joy, to give the world
the love that makes us one,
the love that makes us one.
Call to Confession
Let us boldly confess our sin before the One who already knows our errors and is gracious to forgive our hidden faults.

Prayer of Confession
Rescuing God, you brought us out of the land of captivity, out of the house of slavery. Forgive us when we willingly return to slavery, making divine the machine of production, crafting idols from the excess of consumption. Forgive us when we consider ourselves so grand that we do not rest and enjoy your presence, defining ourselves by our ability rather than your love. Forgive us when we esteem ourselves so little that we dare not rest and sit with ourselves, exposed, without the cloak of productivity. Forgive us when we deem our species so central that we do not rest and halt consumption, decimating Earth, denying her Sabbath and integrity. Forgive us through Christ, who redeems us from the brokenness of slavery that we might enjoy your presence, creation, and community. Amen.

Assurance of God’s Forgiveness

Hearing God’s Word

Whirl Bible Story
Prayer for Illumination
Lesson Philippians 3:4b-14
If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.
Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

Lesson Matthew 21:33-46
‘Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watch-tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, “They will respect my son.” But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.” So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’ They said to him, ‘He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.’
Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures:
“The stone that the builders rejected
   has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
   and it is amazing in our eyes”?
Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.’
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.

Sermon                 Let Us Sit at Table Together
Hymn — Let Us Break Bread Together
1 Let us break bread together on our knees; (on our knees)
let us break bread together on our knees.

When I fall on my knees,
with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me. (on me)

2 Let us drink wine together on our knees; (on our knees)
let us drink wine together on our knees.[Refrain]

3 Let us praise God together on our knees; (on our knees)
let us praise God together on our knees. [Refrain]

Responding to God’s Word

Statement of Faith                                       Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Call for the Offering, ending with the Prayer of Dedication
Invitation to the Lord's Table
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord. 
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise. 
It is truly right and our greatest joy....

Lord’s Prayer
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 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.  Amen.

Bearing the Word into the World

Hymn — All Who Hunger, Gather Gladly
1 All who hunger, gather gladly; holy manna is our bread.
Come from wilderness and wandering. Here, in truth, we will be fed.
You that yearn for days of fullness, all around us is our food.
Taste and see the grace eternal. Taste and see that God is good.
2 All who hunger, never strangers, seeker, be a welcome guest.
Come from restlessness and roaming. Here, in joy, we keep the feast.
We that once were lost and scattered in communion's love have stood.
Taste and see the grace eternal. Taste and see that God is good.
3 All who hunger, sing together; Jesus Christ is living bread.
Come from loneliness and longing. Here, in peace, we have been led.
Blest are those who from this table live their days in gratitude.
Taste and see the grace eternal. Taste and see that God is good.

Charge and Benediction