Worship: July 26, 2020 HIDDEN TREASURE
Welcome & Announcements Birthdays: Wayne Brekke (26th), Sophie Finseth (26th), Kathy Finseth (29th), Cecil Finseth (29th)
When God makes a promise, he keeps it for all time. That is evidenced in the scriptures for today’s worship. His love, care, and protection mean that he will never abandon those he calls his own, those he ushers into the kingdom of heaven. Jesus teaches his disciples that this kingdom is often hidden from view, but it is like a priceless treasure that is to be cherished and valued above all else.
Call to Worship Jesus Priceless Treasure (LBW #458)
1 Jesus, priceless treasure, source of purest pleasure, truest friend to me: ah, how long I’ve panted, and my heart has fainted, thirsting, Lord, for thee! Thine I am, O spotless Lamb; I will suffer nought to hide thee, nought I ask beside thee. 2 In thine arm I rest me; foes who would molest me cannot reach me here. Though the earth be shaking, ev’ry heart be quaking, Jesus calms my fear. Sin and hell in conflict fell with their bitter storms assail me, Jesus will not fail me. 3 Hence, all fears and sadness, for the Lord of gladness, Jesus, enters in. Those who love the Father, though the storms may gather, still have peace within. Yea, whate’er I here must bear, still in thee lies purest pleasure, Jesus, priceless treasure!
Johann Franck, Catherne Winkworth, Ludwig Lindeman CCL#11430998
Confession and Forgiveness
C: Holy God, hear our prayer. Sometimes our lives are a mess, because of choices we have made or because of choices others have made. Sometimes our lives are great and we forget to be to grateful and humble. We trust that in the jumble of all of this, you are present. We trust that you are with us, walking with us when we stray, nudging us back to the right path, slowing us down when we get ahead of you, and waiting for us when we lag behind. We thank you, & ask forgiveness for all our sins, & thanking you today for this priceless gift of salvation, redemption & eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. You never leave or forsake us. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen Pastor: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ----1 John 1:9. So I declare to us today, we are forgiven!. Thanks be to God!
Prayer of Day
Almighty God, use our lives to touch the world with your love. Stir us, by your Spirit, to be neighbor to those in need, serving them with willing hearts; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Deuteronomy 7:6-9 A People Holy
God declares the Israelites a holy people, his treasured possession. They were chosen — not because of their great multitude or power and might, but because of God’s love and faithfulness to the covenant he made with their ancestors. 6 “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. 7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
Psalm 125 The Lord Surrounds His People
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people from this time forth and forevermore.
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. 2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore. 3 For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous, lest the righteous stretch out their hands to do wrong. 4 Do good, O Lord, to those who are good, and to those who are upright in their hearts! 5 But those who turn aside to their crooked ways the Lord will lead away with evildoers! Peace be upon Israel!
Romans 8: 28-39 God’s Everlasting Love
Paul drove home the immensity of the gospel in his elaborate and poetic recounting of the power of the love of God in Christ Jesus over all things in creation, including death. God’s power makes everything work together for the good of those who love him, thus fulfilling his purposes for humanity and the entire creation.
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be[b] against us?32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.[c] 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Response Song: Seek Ye First (WOV #713)
Verse 1 Seek ye first the kingdom of God And His righteousness And all these things Shall be added unto you Allelu alleluia Verse 2 Man shall not live by bread alone But by ev'ry word That proceeds From the mouth of God Allelu alleluia Verse 3 Ask and it shall be given unto you Seek and ye shall find Knock and the door Shall be opened unto you Allelu alleluia
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 Parables of Hidden Treasure
Jesus used a series of parables to help his disciples understand the nature of the kingdom of heaven, comparing it to a hidden treasure, a pearl of priceless value, and a fishing net from which the good and bad fish are sorted. These parables point out the fate of the righteous as well as the wicked. Jesus minced no words as he described the eternal punishment in store for those who are evil and defy the will of God in the world.
[Jesus] put before [the crowds] another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field;it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.” “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. “Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
Sermon: Hidden Treasures https://youtu.be/Z9Xpuomrs3M video
In Jesus' story, a man found the treasure in a field. Perhaps he was employed as a laborer and his plow hit the container. Or perhaps erosion had uncovered a portion of the treasure. We just don't know. But when the man finds the treasure he is overcome with joy. He buries the treasure again so that no one else can find it. Then he sells everything he has and buys the field. The man's joy is in his good fortune of finding a huge treasure hoard that will make him rich for life. The emphasis here is on the importance of parting with everything he had in order to obtain something greater. While this is a man who scrapes up enough money to purchase a piece of land, the subject of the next parable is a wealthy man. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” He is called a "merchant." He specialized in searching for and acquiring fine pearls, which he would then sell to retailers. He was doubtless a wealthy man who was used to spending and receiving large sums of money. Pearls were highly valued in ancient times—there weren’t cultured pearls around then. They were regarded as precious stones in antiquity, taken by divers from the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Indian Ocean. Pearls were used for necklaces and other ornaments, and could be very costly, so the word "pearl" came to be a figure of speech for something of supreme worth. So the merchant "sold everything he had"-- and then rushes back to buy the wonderful pearl that has enchanted him. Rich or poor, young or old, everybody has a treasure. We all have something that we hold very special. Our treasures take many different forms -- like money in the bank or things of sentimental value, like family pictures. There are stories of folks whose house was burning & they went inside to retrieve what was the most precious to them—family pictures. Our treasures may be our animals. It might be a pickup or the house of our dreams. Our treasure may be the family homestead or a person that we love very dearly. These are some of the treasures of our lives. Treasure, then, is really a matter of perspective. What matters is the eye of the beholder. So today I ask: What is your treasure? Are you living it, enjoying it, or is it still hidden? Maybe the best place to look is what is in our heart—what are our earnest desires—what do we love to do? From the time I was a little kid—when Mom asked me what I wanted from town—I would say, a fountain pen & new tablet. I loved to write—about everything under the sun. As I grew older, I loved speaking—especially if I could get people laughing. My brother in law, at 86, is regaining excitement in woodworking—a lifelong treasure & talent he has had but kept a bit hidden for years. I can’t wait to see what this master craftsman builds! He also has a treasure trove of carving, art, painting—so many talents! When I think of my hubby—his heart loved the woods. His five siblings did not share this interest at all! Jerry began cutting down trees at 10 years old with his Dad’s heavy chain saw. When he got older, he bought an old, well used sawmill and sawed lumber for a cabin, log barn, log house for our friends, then loved using the lumber to build cabinets and anything else he could think of. Here are pictures of his latest builds—a library in our house, and a corner desk for my Lion of Judah sanctuary & office. I get to help him, as with his walker, it is hard to handle the long boards alone—so I have learned how to be a carpenter’s helper. We can do these fun things together—building & creating treasures. Our Angela loves animals—especially dogs, and besides her funeral directing vocation—does volunteer work in an animal shelter---grooming and training dogs so they are people friendly & learn to trust. Many are from abused situations or just weren’t cared for. She just loves each one of them—getting them all ready to be adopted into a family who will love them. The lady we bought our house from is 95 and sends out birthday cards to everyone in her church—keeps those dates in her file! My golfing buddy has the gift of gab, & enjoys calling people—she knows just when to call --offering a word of encouragement, hope or that she is thinking about them or praying for them. These are all treasures! I believe we have all been given treasures—some of us have hidden them for years, some have just discovered them—and some don’t even know if they have any. Let me assure you—you do. Look inside your heart, recall the memories, remind yourself of the special talents God has given you. Don’t try to be humble about it and say it doesn’t matter—because it does. We need your treasure—because God has given it—it is precious. Maybe you see treasures in your loved ones, friends—and you could be one who encourages them to utilize them. My sister is an excellent gardener—and every time I need advice on this—I get right to her. My other sister loves to cook and entertain---how we love to get invited to her house for goodies—she has the treasure of hospitality. In this parable we are also given a glimpse of what God treasures—and gives Him great pleasure, and what the parable is directing us to consider--the Kingdom of God—of which you are a part of, and entails many so things. But for us today—let us be reminded---to take into our hearts & souls is: God treasures you.
Praise Song Medley: This is the Day (CH #209) / Awesome God (CH 179)
This is the day (repeat) That the Lord has made (repeat) We will rejoice (repeat) And be glad in it (repeat) This is the day That the Lord has made We will rejoice And be glad in it This is the day (repeat) That the LORD HAS MADE!
text: Les Garrett; based on Psalm 118:28; Music Les Garrett copyright 1967 by Scripture in Song CCLI License # 11430998
OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD
Chorus Our God is an awesome God He reigns from heaven above With wisdom pow'r and love Our God is an awesome God Verse 1 When He rolls up His sleeves He ain't just puttin' on the ritz Our God is an awesome God There is thunder in His footsteps And lightning in His fists Our God is an awesome God And the Lord wasn't joking When He kicked 'em out of Eden It wasn't for no reason That He shed His blood His return is very close And so you'd better be believin' That our God is an awesome God Verse 2 When the sky was starless In the void of the night Our God is an awesome God He spoke into the darkness And created the light Our God is an awesome God Judgment and wrath He poured out on Sodom Mercy and grace He gave us at the cross I hope that we have not Too quickly forgotten That our God is an awesome God
Holy Lord, bless your holy Church with a bold witness for Jesus Christ, trusting in and knowing that we are your treasured people who you have entrusted with the priceless treasure of your Word and Sacraments. May we value our life in Christ above all else and willingly share your grace and mercy with all who hunger for new life. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
Timeless God, you are Lord over all our days. You have provided for our daily needs and shown us that we can trust completely in your providence. Grant that we would have humble and grateful hearts, that we would care for others in your precious name. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
Spirit of love, pour out the bounties of your grace upon all who are married. Keep them together, strong in faith, certain in hope, and abounding in love, that two lives united by you into one, may bear witness to your blessings of forgiveness, joy, and unity in faith. Be with all those who are preparing for marriage and may we, in your church, encourage and uphold the sanctity of this life-long bond. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
Abiding Father, our lives are filled with challenges that are hard to understand and questions that are difficult to answer. We thank you for your constant presence that gives us hope to face each day. Special prayers today for Matt & Rachell Finseth-Cecil, Lanore; Pat Finseth. We pray also for our active military men and women-especially Austin Sannes, Briana Finseth, Dusty & Lisa Halvorson, Zachary Olson-Burkman, Dawn Fick, Catherine Finseth.
Bring your healing touch to all who are hurting We remember especially Joan, Irene, Cindy, Delores, Hilda, Jeff, Jerry, Sidney, Sierra, Bob S, Bill K, Cathy G, Orlie H. Pour out your healing spirit on all who are in need. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, maker of all things. Through your goodness you have blessed us with these gifts. With them we offer ourselves to your service and dedicate our lives to the care and redemption of all that you have made, for the sake of him who gave himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Offering Song ‘Praise and Thanksgiving (LBW #409 v 1 & 4)
1 Praise and thanksgiving, Father, we offer
for all things living, you have made good:
harvest of sown fields, fruits of the orchard,
hay from the mown fields, blossom and wood.
4 Then will your blessing reach ev'ry people,
freely confessing your gracious hand.
Where you are reigning, no one will hunger;
your love sustaining showers the land.
Text: Albert F. Bayly, 1901-1984, alt. Text © Oxford University Press. CCL#11430998
Go now secure in the love of God from which nothing can separate you. Delight in seeking the Lord - look always for the power and the presence of God, and let love, like yeast in dough,
permeate all you do.
And may God work
for good in all things for you; May Christ Jesus conform you
in the image of his love; And may the Holy Spirit
help you in your weakness, interceding for you, and in you, according to the will of God. We go in peace to love & serve the Lord!
Sending Song: Sent Forth by God’s Blessing (LBW #221)
Sent forth by God’s blessing,
Our true faith confessing,
The people of God from His dwelling take leave.
The Supper is ended.
O now be extended
The fruits of this service in all who believe.
The seed of His teaching,
Receptive souls reaching,
Shall blossom in action for God and for all.
His grace did invite us,
His love shall unite us
To work for God’s kingdom and answer His call.
Verse 2 With praise and thanksgiving
To God ever-living,
The tasks of our ev’ryday life we will face.
Our faith ever sharing,
In love ever caring,
Embracing His children of each tribe and race.
Then may all the living
With praise and thanksgiving
Give honor to Christ and His name that we bear.
Go in Peace, Serve the Lord! Thanks be to God!