Order of Worship
Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
November 15, 2020 10:00 a.m.
Call to Worship Inspired by Psalm 123
One: We lift our eyes to you, O God; we lift our spirits in worship.
All: We look to you, seeking guidance and comfort.
One: We look to you seeking healing and renewal.
All: We look to you, seeking mercy and grace;
One: for we have had our fill of struggles and stress.
All: We have had more than our fill of worrying and
One: To you, O God, we lift our eyes and spirits, with hope and confidence in your love.
All: Be known to us as we worship and help us find rest.
You have given us each many talents,
and we give thanks to you for such generosity and kindness.
You have given us, as a community, many opportunities to reflect your beauty, wisdom, and love,
and for this, we give thanks.
You have bestowed upon us opportunities to invest the gifts you have given us – to reach out in faithful joy and to share from our abundance.
And you have called us together in worship and invite us to be accountable to you for our lives and our love.
Be with us as we gather and help us to boldly proclaim the ways we have shared your love,
through the gifts you have given us.
Hear our songs, prayers, and silences as testimony of our stewardship.
And bless us as we worship – increase our strength and courage through this time, we pray. Amen.
Storytelling – “Hide and Seek”
Message in Music Brian Packham
Reading of Scripture Matthew 25:14–30
Message “Rejecting Fear – Embracing Joy” Rev. Laura McLeod
Dedication of Offering
Here is it – our treasure – returning to you what you have given to us. Bless and sanctify it, we pray, that it may multiply and increase in every way, through your love and promise. Amen.
Preparation for Prayer
Pastoral Prayer and Lord’s Prayer
You have given us song!
Help us to invest in this gift and sing with abandon!
You have given us dance!
Help us to invest in this gift and move our bodies with joyful exuberance.
You have given us a natural world to care for.
Help us to invest in this gift and plant seeds, protect habitat, decrease our carbon footprint, and relish in the delights of your harvest.
You have given us responsibilities.
Help us to invest in these gifts by recognizing them not as burdens, but as blessings and opportunities to show you our love and devotion.
You have given us relationships.
Help us to invest in these gifts and discover how they offer us new dimensions to our souls.
Help us to honor and cherish everyone.
You have given us community.
Help us invest in this gift and open the doors wide to a need any in need of our communion, of a safe harbour, and the nourishment of
You have given us your Holy Spirit.
Help us to invest in this gift and be a people of justice, peace, and renewal.
We thank you, Great God, for all the gifts of our lives.
May we invest them wisely and joyfully.
We pray in the name of the embodied one, Jesus the Christ, who taught us to pray together saying, Our Father…Amen.
Children of the Light, let us take our willingness to see, and to name, and to tend, and to care out into the world that is so often shadowed. And let us invest ourselves in helping to bring about God’s realm on Earth. Let us go in peace. Amen.
Scripture Reading Matthew 25:14-30 NRSV
“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Storytelling – “Hide and Seek” Based on Matthew 25:14–30
Jesus continued talking with groups of people. He told them more stories about God’s dream. The dream was about a community where everyone was loved, healthy, and happy. People would be treated well, everyone would eat and be filled, and the place where they lived would be beautiful. Some called it the kingdom of God, and some called it God’s reign.
This community was so big and beautiful that it is hard to describe, so Jesus told stories to help the people imagine such a place. The stories also helped
the people to imagine, wonder, and think deeply about how we should live into the world that God wants for all people.
This story was about a rich man who was talking with the people who worked for him.
Jesus said that there was once a man who was about to leave on a long journey. The man gathered together the people who worked for him and asked them to take care of his gold treasures. He gave one person five pieces of gold; he gave one person two pieces of gold; he gave one person one piece of gold.
The person who had five pieces decided to invest all of them. They earned five more pieces of gold; they had 10 in total!
The person who had received two pieces of gold also invested those pieces; they earned two more pieces of gold; they had four in total!
The person who was asked to care for one piece of gold was not sure what to do with it, and how to care for it. So this person dug a hole in the ground and hid the piece of gold.
One day, the rich man came back home. He gathered together the three people who worked for him and asked them what they did with the pieces of gold. The person who had received five pieces of gold explained that they had invested the money and made more – and gave the rich man ten pieces of gold in total. The rich man was very happy! He said, “Well done; you have been trustworthy in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things.”
In the same way, the person who had received two pieces of gold explained that they had invested the money and made more – and gave the rich man four pieces of gold in total. The rich man was very happy! He said, “Well done; you have been trustworthy in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things.”
Then the person who had received one piece of gold came forward and said, “I was scared! I did not want to lose your gold because I know that is important to you. I hid the gold so that it would be safe.” And the person gave the rich man back his one piece of gold.
But the rich man was not happy with this news. He said, “You are lazy! Why did you not invest the gold? Then I would have earned more.” The rich man took back the one gold and gave it to the person who had ten pieces of gold, so even more money could be earned for the landowner.
The people looked at each other. This was a hard story. Jesus had given them a lot to think about how they should live.