THE SERVICE FOR THE LORD’S DAY

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Rally Day
September 13, 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
O God who is our strength, you have protected us from those who would seek to oppress us. You have shielded us from those who would seek to destroy the good gifts you have put in us. Your love and power never fail. Thanks and praise to you, our safety and stronghold. We exalt you, O God, majestic in holiness, for there is none like you. Amen.

Gathering in Christ’s Presence

Welcome and Concerns of the Church
Opening Sentences
Give praise to God! 
Praise the Lord, for it is God who saves. . . . 
It is God who forgives. . . .
It is God who delivers. . . .
Give thanks and praise to the Lord!
Hymn — We are the Church
Singers: Penny Andrist, Kayla Bones, Pam Burns, Tori Hughes, Jack Lawrence, and Erynn Millard.  Accompanist: Sally Harmon
Refrain:
I am the church! 
You are the church!
We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus,
all around the world!
Yes, we're the church together!
 
1 The church is not a building,
the church is not a steeple,
the church is not a resting place,
the church is a people. [Refrain]
 
2 We're many kinds of people,
with many kinds of faces,
all colors and all ages, too,
from all times and places. [Refrain]
 
3 And when the people gather,
there's singing and there's praying,
there's laughing and there's crying sometimes,
all of it saying: [Refrain]

Call to Confession
Let us confess our sins to God who forgives and saves.

Prayer of Confession
Gracious and loving God, you lived for us—we have not lived for you. You have forgiven us—we have not forgiven others. You have loved us—we have not loved ourselves nor have we loved one another. Take pity on us and forgive us, God. Help us to forgive. Help us to live for you. Help us to love through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Assurance of God’s Forgiveness

Hearing God’s Word

Children's Message
Prayer for Illumination
Lesson Psalm 100, Read by Third Grade Bible Recipients 
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
  Worship the Lord with gladness;
   come into his presence with singing. 
Know that the Lord is God.
   It is he that made us, and we are his;
   we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
   and his courts with praise.
   Give thanks to him, bless his name. 
For the Lord is good;
   his steadfast love endures for ever,
   and his faithfulness to all generations.

Lesson Matthew 18:21-35
Then Peter came and said to him, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. ‘For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.” And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, “Pay what you owe.” Then his fellow-slave fell down and pleaded with him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you.” But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, “You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow-slave, as I had mercy on you?” And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he should pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’

Third Grade Bible Presentation

Sermon                  Forgiven
Hymn — Lord, I Want to Be a Christian
1 Lord, I want to be a Christian
in my heart, in my heart;
Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart.
In my heart, (In my heart,) in my heart (in my heart,)
Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart.

2 Lord, I want to be more loving
in my heart, in my heart;
Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart.
In my heart, (In my heart,) in my heart (in my heart,)
Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart.

3 Lord, I want to be forgiving
in my heart, in my heart;
Lord, I want to be forgiving in my heart.
In my heart, (In my heart,) in my heart (in my heart,)
Lord, I want to be forgiving in my heart.

4 Lord, I want to be like Jesus
in my heart, in my heart;
Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart.
In my heart, (In my heart,) in my heart (in my heart,)
Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart.

Responding to God’s Word

Statement of Faith                                       A Brief Statement of Faith

In life and in death we belong to God. Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel, whom alone we worship and serve.

We trust in Jesus Christ, fully human, fully God. Jesus proclaimed the reign of God: Preaching good news to the poor and release to the captives, teaching by word and deed and blessing the children, healing the sick and binding up the brokenhearted, eating with outcasts, forgiving sinners, and calling all to repent and believe the gospel. Unjustly condemned for blasphemy and sedition, Jesus was crucified, suffering the depths of human pain and giving his life for the sins of the world. God raised this Jesus from the dead, vindicating his sinless life, breaking the power of sin and evil, delivering us from death to life eternal. 

In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit, we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks and to live holy and joyful lives, even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth, praying, “Come, Lord Jesus!” With believers in every time and place, we rejoice that nothing in life or in death can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayers of the People, ending with the 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.

Call for the Offering, ending with the Prayer of Dedication

Bearing the Word into the World

Moment for Stewardship
Hymn — Kum Ba Yah
1 Kum ba yah, my Lord, kum ba yah!
Kum ba yah, my Lord, kum ba yah!
Kum ba yah, my Lord, kum ba yah!
O Lord, kum ba yah!

2 Someone’s crying, Lord, kum ba yah!
Someone’s crying, Lord, kum ba yah!
Someone’s crying, Lord, kum ba yah!
O Lord, kum ba yah!

3 Someone’s singing, Lord, kum ba yah!
Someone’s singing, Lord, kum ba yah!
Someone’s singing, Lord, kum ba yah!
O Lord, kum ba yah!

4 Someone’s praying, Lord, kum ba yah!
Someone’s praying, Lord, kum ba yah!
Someone’s praying, Lord, kum ba yah!
O Lord, kum ba yah!

Charge and Benediction
POSTLUDE