October 18, 2020


October 18, 2020

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 Lectionary Readings

Exodus 33:12-23

Psalm 99

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Matthew 22:15-22


Call to Worship (based on Psalm 99)

Leader: The Lord is king; let the peoples tremble!

People: God sits on the throne; let the earth quake!

Leader: The Lord is great in Zion; God is exalted above the people.

People: Let them praise God’s great and awesome name.

Leader: God is a lover of justice and has established equity.

People: God executes justice and righteousness among God’s people.

Leader: Extol the Lord our God; worship at God’s footstool.

People: Let us praise and worship our God!


Opening Prayer

Holy God, you are the God of each of us and all of us. We don’t pretend to understand you; instead, we simply love you in response to the love you have shown us. May this time of worship be a blessing as we once again praise your name in the sanctuary and across the cosmos. Amen.


Moment for Stewardship

Is it lawful to pay taxes? The Pharisees try to trap Jesus with this question, hoping he’ll either incriminate himself or pledge his allegiance to the empire. But we know better, don’t we? Jesus isn’t going to fall for these kinds of parlor tricks. Instead, with his answer he honors both the system and his Creator.

We have the same opportunity with our gifts. We can honor the system by being law-abiding citizens and paying our taxes, and we can honor God by giving to God what belongs to God…which is everything we have. Our money. Our attention. Our lives.

Giving back to God is one of the ways we honor Jesus’ command here. Just as we recognize that the functioning of our country depends on its citizens paying taxes, we know that making God’s kingdom real here on earth depends on its citizens doing their part to show God’s love in tangible ways. Let’s now collect our tithes and offerings.


Prayer of Thanksgiving

Loving God, as citizens of your kingdom, we rejoice in the opportunity to share your love with others. Use these gifts to make a difference in this world, and gently remind us that all we have and all we are belongs to you. Amen.


Invitation to Communion

“Show me your glory.” It’s a bold request from Moses, because he knows the prevailing wisdom that anyone who looks upon God will instantly die. And yet, because of Moses’ faithful leadership, God gives him a glimpse of God’s glory. Can you imagine what Moses saw?

We see it at this table. This is God’s glory presented to us in a surprising and powerful way. No flashing lights, no smoke machine, no thunderclaps. Just bread and a cup, signifying God’s sacrificial love for each and every one of us. God’s glory is not a show of power or might; it’s a tangible demonstration of love poured out and overflowing.

So, come to this table. Taste and see. Be reminded that, regardless of your level of faithfulness or worthiness, you are welcomed here to receive once again the reminder of God’s grace. Would you like to see God’s glory? Here it is. All are welcome. Let’s share in communion together this morning.