Worship – September 13 – A Forgotten Book

Welcome to Shepherd of the Hill’s online worship! We are thankful that you have come to this corner of the internet for some of God’s Word and time for reflection and worship. As you engage the below worship service, you are encouraged to quiet the world around you. Turn off or silence your phone. Find a quiet spot in your house or outdoors.

The service is approximately 30 minutes in length if you follow all the pieces. Songs have been contributed by our Worship Team and our traditional service pianist. Our lectors have recorded the readings. Pastor Adam has recorded a sermon for viewing. There is also liturgy (litanies, prayers, calls to worship) contained in the service. If you are worshiping with someone, please share the reading of these pieces with them.

Call to Worship – Based on Psalm 103
Come, bless the Lord with me!

For the Lord is like a father to his children
compassionate and merciful,
filled with endless love.

He forgives our sins,
and heals the sickness inside us;
he surrounds us with love and mercy
and fills our lives with good things!

Let’s worship God together!

Gathering Song – Forgiven
Performed by Sanctus Real

Gathering Reflection – Seventy Times Seven
To forgive any more
            than the once
            sounds tough
and seven times seems crazy.
Yet to stretch the score
            to seventy
            times seven
becomes profoundly easy.

We only travel well
            on the paths
            of mercy,
when we have made the choice
to break from the prison
            of “our own rights”
            and to find pleasure
in the unfenced grounds of love.

Scripture Readings

Reading – Romans 14:1-12
The reading can be found here.
Read by Peggy Lairmore 

Psalm Reading – Psalm 103:1-14
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and do not forget all his benefits—

who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

who satisfies you with good as long as you live
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works vindication
    and justice for all who are oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses,
    his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

He will not always accuse,
    nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far he removes our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion for his children,
    so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
14 For he knows how we were made;
    he remembers that we are dust.

Gospel Reading – Matthew 18:21-35
The reading can be found here.
Read by Julia Gassaway

Pastor Adam’s Message – A Forgotten Book

Questions for Discussion:
How do you understand forgiveness?

What is the hardest moment that you have tried to forgive or have forgiven?

Do you have people in your life who are trying to forgive you?

Why is it hard to let forgiveness be a process rather than a single moment?

Centering Song – Mighty to Save
Performed by SOTH Worship Team

Prayers – Based on Exodus 14:19-31, Romans 14:1-12, Matthew 18:21-35
When we look over our shoulders
at fear shadowing us today,
you go before us into tomorrow,
making a path through
the sea of yesterday’s doubts.
When our legs tremble
from the effort of standing up
for what you hope for all creation,
you stand at our side,
offering your hope’s strength.
Cloud of Grace,
we offer our love to you.

When we turn our hearts
into deserts of stony bitterness,
you transform them
into oases of joy.
When we come up
with all sorts of rules
for those who come to us
seeking to find you,
you tear up the list,
stretching wide your arms
in welcoming grace.
Servant of all,
we offer our lives to you.

When we would clasp
old worries to our hearts,
you open our eyes to that hope
which paves the path ahead of us.
When we spend each day
consumed with doubts and fears,
you remind us that this day
is the time to honor God,
by serving God’s children.
Mist of Mercy,
we offer our hearts to you.

God in Community, Holy in One,
as you are all to us,
so we would offer all we are to you,

Sending Song – Will You Come and Follow Me – ELW 798
Lyrics can be found here.
Recorded by Donna Natseway

As you have been forgiven,
now go into a world
that needs your forgiving, healing touch.
Bring peace and hope to others,
sharing God’s love with them.

Giving and Offering
Shepherd of the Hills is very blessed and grateful for your continued financial support during this difficult time of physical distancing required by the COVID-19 pandemic. Your giving allows us to continue to provide worship, support and outreach until it is safe to gather in person again. We realize that the pandemic has caused many financial challenges. As your finances allow, please consider continuing to support our shared ministries.

There are two ways to give:
– Mail your tithe or offering to the church office. The office will remain open for normal business hours.
– Give online! Our online giving is secure and fully operational. It can be found here.

Thank you again for helping us continue to spread God’s Word and help those in need during these challenging times.  

Prayers – Written by Thom Shuman, Lectionary Liturgies.