Sunday, August 22, 2021
CHRIST LUTHERAN CHURCH, HELLERTOWN, PA
The Reverend Philip C. Spohn
August 22, 2021 Worship Service 10:00 a.m.
With Grateful thanks to The Frank DiBussolo Trio, with Dave Willard for their special music today
Prelude “The Preacher” by Horace Silver
Welcome No matter who you are or where you are on your journey, You are welcome here!
Gathering Song “Just A Closer Walk with Thee” – Traditional Gospel Song
WE PROCLAIM GOD’S WORD
First Reading: Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18
The book of Joshua is called the Book of Conquest. It is the story of God telling the Hebrews to kill all the people of the towns they are to occupy in the Promise Land. Joshua 6:21 “Then they devoted to destruction by the edge of the sword all in the city of Jerico, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys.” In this last chapter we hear Joshua tell the Hebrews that they have a choice to make now that they control this land.
1Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God. 2aAnd Joshua said to all the people, 14“Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
16Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; 17for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; 18and the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”
Gospel: John 6:56-69
The “hard saying” that offends Jesus’ disciples is his claim that his followers must eat his flesh and drink his blood. The followers who return to their old lives know something about how odd this sounds. Simon Peter, on the other hand, knows something about the scarcity of living, gracious words. He asks the most important question: “To whom shall we go?”
[Jesus said,] 56“Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” 59He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.
60When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” 61But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? 62Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64But among you there are some who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. 65And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.”
66Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. 67So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” 68Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
Help us God, as we seek to interpret what this means for our lives.
Message Song: “People Get Ready” by Curtis Mayfield
WE PROVIDE OUR RESPONSES
Reception of Tithes and Offerings
Prayers of the Church
After each petition: As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
Finally and together:
We offer these prayers, O God, and those in our hearts known only to you, confident that you hear us. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer ELW (front section) Page 145
Closing Song: “What a Wonderful World” by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss
Go in Peace and serve the Lord. Thanks be to God.
***Extend your hour of worship with an hour of Adult Christian Education.***
Join Pastor Phil in the church library or on Zoom every Sunday,
“Being Christian in the 21st Century—Ch. 4, From Criminal to Christ ”