The 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, 06 Sep 2020
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
O Lord God, grant your people grace to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and with pure hearts and minds to follow you, the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Sovereign Lord says: “I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people.
I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live.”
“To God Be The Glory” – The Celebration Choir
A Reading from the Old Testament: Ezekiel 33:1-11 (NLT)
Ezekiel as Israel’s Watchman
Once again a message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, give your people this message: ‘When I bring an army against a country, the people of that land choose one of their own to be a watchman. When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people. Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths.’
“Now, son of man, I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore, listen to what I say and warn them for me. If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways, then they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn them to repent and they don’t repent, they will die in their sins, but you will have saved yourself.
The Watchman’s Message
“Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: You are saying, ‘Our sins are heavy upon us; we are wasting away! How can we survive?’ As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?
“Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus” – The Celebration Choir
A Reading from the Gospels: Matthew 18:15-20 (NLT)
Correcting Another Believer
“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.
“I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.
“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”
Psalm 119:33-40 – The Corner Room
Almighty God, my heavenly Father: I have sinned against you, through my own fault, in thought, and word, and deed, and in what I have left undone. For the sake of your Son my Lord Jesus Christ, forgive me all my offenses; and grant that I may serve you in newness of life, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
Almighty God my Savior, you desire that none should perish, and you have taught me through your Son that there is great joy in heaven over every sinner who repents: Grant that my heart may ache for a lost and broken world. May your Holy Spirit work through my words, deeds, and prayers, that the lost may be found and the dead made alive, and that all your redeemed may rejoice around your throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O God, the Creator of all, whose Son commanded me to love my enemies: Lead them and me from prejudice to truth; deliver them and me from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you in Jesus Christ; in whose Name we pray. Amen.
Joy in the End:
Lord Jesus, be mindful of your promise. Think of me, your servant, and when I shall depart, speak to my spirit these loving words: “Today you shall be with me in joy.” O Lord Jesus Christ, remember me, your servant who trusts in you, when my tongue cannot speak, when the sight of my eyes fails, and when my ears are stopped. Let my spirit always rejoice in you and be joyful about my salvation, which you, through your death, have purchased for me. Amen.
We’re Marching To Zion – The Celebration Choir
Closing – Romans 12:12, 14-17-18, 21 (NLT)
+ Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
+ Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.
+ Never pay back evil with more evil.
+ Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
+ Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen