Order of Worship
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

August 16,  2020                                                            10:00 a.m.

Organ Prelude
                                                                                                                                                           
Call to Worship      Adapted from Psalm 133
One:   There is dew on the ground: God’s blessing of life evermore.
All:     There is a song in the air: God’s presence in joyful melody.
One:   Look! Behold how good and pleasant it is when God’s people are together!
All:     It is like precious oil touching our skin – reminding us that we are God’s own.
One:   Look! Behold how good and pleasant it is when we are together in worship!
All:     It is more precious than any gold – more perfect than any achievement.
One:   Come, people of God. Let us worship in thanksgiving and praise.
All:     And let us feel the anointing of God like the oil of forgiveness and the balm of healing. Come, let us worship.

Opening Prayer
Loving Creator, we gather to take in your mercy.
May what comes out of our lives be filled with your grace.
As we take in the beauty of music, the wisdom of words, the nourishment of silence, may the thoughts and actions that emerge from our lives be inspired by your creativity and grounded in your truth.
Help us to recognize ourselves as part of your creation, and to affirm that you do not hold us away in anger and judgment but draw us near in forgiveness and joy.
As we approach you in worship today, recognize us as your beloved family.
Help us to feel the embrace of your rejoicing heart upon our return to you today.
And assure us of your unending forgiveness and love, we pray. Amen.

Storytelling –  “Joseph and his Brothers”

Message in Music          

Reading of Scripture                                                               Genesis 32:22-31

Message      “Subversive Forgiveness”                  Rev. Laura McLeod

Preparation for Prayer
Silent Prayer
Pastoral Prayer and Lord’s Prayer
Gracious God,
unbind us.
Show us how to be released from all that keeps us tethered to our anger and resentments.
Help us to participate in the grace you give us so freely every day.

When our relationships are broken, help us to choose unity over our need to be right.
When our work is more burden than a joy, help us to embrace it as an opportunity to learn.
When we feel abandoned and alone, show us the path to         experiencing your profound and perpetual presence with us always.
When our bodies are frail and sources of pain, help us to listen deeply to them, and tend carefully to them, with thanksgiving for the miracles that they are.
When our spirits are diminished, help us to reach out to others for renewal and support.
When our world seems too fractured and broken, help us to seek to be part of the healing it needs.
When we are overwhelmed by the challenges of the day, help us to slow down, breathe deeply, and take your loving hand.

Guide us, we pray.
Heal us, we pray.
Anoint us, we pray.
Help us return to the possibility of rejoicing in how good and pleasant it is to be your people.
We pray as Jesus taught us saying, Our Father…Amen.

Benediction
People of God – look at the world around us! These are your brothers and sisters! Nothing divides us other than our limitations. Freed from the burdens of fear, anger, resentment, and pain – let us go into the world made new, celebrating our release from the prisons that have bound us. Let us be free! Let us be free. Amen.
Postlude 

Scripture Reading                                                Genesis 45:1-15 NRSV

Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Send everyone away from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. I will provide for you there—since there are five more years of famine to come—so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.’ And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you. You must tell my father how greatly I am honored in Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck. And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.

Storytelling – Joseph and His Brothers

Based on Genesis 42—45

The famine was happening all over. Joseph and the people of Egypt had enough to eat. But in other countries people were starving.

Far away, in Canaan, Joseph’s brothers and sisters and his father, Jacob, had hardly anything to eat.
One day, Jacob said to his sons, “I hear there’s lots of food in Egypt. Take some of the donkeys and go to Egypt to see if you can buy some.”
So ten of the brothers left for Egypt. Benjamin didn’t go because he was the youngest. His father, Jacob, worried that Benjamin might get hurt on such a long trip.
When the brothers got to Egypt, they asked, “Where can we buy food?”
“Go see the person who takes care of all the food,” they were told.
Of course, the brothers didn’t know that was Joseph. When they had sold Joseph to the traders many years before that, they didn’t think they would ever see him again.
Joseph knew his brothers right away. Joseph was very surprised, but he didn’t say anything.
He was glad to see his brothers. But Joseph was still angry at them for selling him to the traders. Joseph felt both angry and happy. He was all mixed up inside.
“I think you are spies,” Joseph said.
“Oh, no,” said the brothers. “We’re just ten brothers who have come to buy food. We’re not spies.”
“If you are brothers, what is your father’s name?”
“Our father’s name is Jacob. He is living in Canaan.”
Joseph was so happy to hear that his father was still alive. He had to stop talking for a while, and he turned away from his brothers. He didn’t want them to see the tears in his eyes.
“Are there other members of your family?” Joseph asked.
“There is one more brother, Benjamin. But he was too young to come with us.”
“Any others?” Joseph was feeling angry now.
“Well, no. There was another brother, but he died.”
“What do you mean, he died?” Joseph was very angry.
The brothers just stood there. They didn’t know what to say. They were afraid to say they had sold their brother as a slave.
Joseph could see from the faces of his brothers that they were very sorry for what they had done.
“I am Joseph, your brother,” he said.
The brothers couldn’t believe it at first. It didn’t seem possible. Then they felt afraid. “If this is Joseph,” they thought, “he will be furious at us for what we did to him.”
“Don’t be afraid,” said Joseph. “I think God wanted me to be in Egypt. God wanted me to help people so they wouldn’t starve.”
“Thank God,” said Reuben, the oldest brother. “Thank God!”
Then the brothers started hugging Joseph and Joseph was hugging them, and they were hugging each other. All of them were crying.
Finally, Joseph blew his nose and said, “Go back to Canaan. Bring Father and Benjamin and the whole family here to Egypt. I know a nice place where you can live. And there’s lots of food here in Egypt.”
When the brothers had told Jacob for the 20th time about Joseph in Egypt, the old man finally believed them. Suddenly he looked as if he was 20 years younger.
“Well,” said Jacob. “What are we waiting for? Don’t just stand around. Let’s go.”
As Jacob and all his family left Canaan, God came and repeated the promise. “Israel will become a great nation,” said God. “And you will come back again to live in your own country.”
That is how the people called “Israel” came to be living in Egypt.

Message in Music

What is the story of Joseph the Dreamer?
A prophet who has the ability to interpret dreams is sold into slavery in Egypt, where people learn of his gifts. When Joseph receives a beautiful coat from his parents, his ten brothers hate him even more, and are driven to sell him to desert merchants, who take him to Egypt.
Lyrics for “Any Dream Will Do” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Any Dream Will Do
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jason Donovan, …

I closed my eyes
Drew back the curtain
To see for certain
What I thought I knew

Far far away
Someone was weeping
But the world was sleeping
Any dream will do

I wore my coat
(I wore my coat)
With golden lining
(Ahah)
Bright colours shining
(Ahah)
Wonderful and new

And in the east
(And in the east)
The dawn was breaking
(Ahah)
And the world was waking
(Ahah)
Any dream will do

A crash of drums
A flash of light
My golden coat
Flew out of sight
Colours faded into darkness
I was left alone

May I return
(May I return)
To the beginning
(Ahah)
The light is dimming
(Ahah)
And the dream is too

The world and I
(The world and i)
We are still waiting
(Ahah)
Still hesitating
(Ahah)
Any dream will do
Any dream will do

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