Sunday, September 20, 2020: Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

This Week’s Theme
The Goodness of God
Exodus 34.1-9
(The Knowledge of the Holy [KOTH], Chapter 16)

In considering the marvelous array of God’s attributes, his goodness is especially heartwarming for us who are desperate for his kindness to us undeserving sinners. As those who are often hard-hearted and unsympathetic, how comforting it is to know that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus is indeed kind, sympathetic, and good. Tozer speaks of this, saying, “The goodness of God is that which disposes Him to be kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will toward men. He is tenderhearted and of quick sympathy, and His unfailing attitude toward all moral beings is open, frank, and friendly. By His nature He is inclined to bestow blessedness and He takes holy pleasure in the happiness of His people. That God is good is taught or implied on every page of the Bible and must be received as an article of faith as impregnable as the throne of God. It is a foundation stone for all sound thought about God and is necessary to moral sanity.” In a world rocked by violent claims of jihad and cruelty shown to immigrants and sojourners, it is heartening to know that the one true God is good – kind, willing to forgive and bless, and ready to help those who call on his name.

After God determined to renew his covenant with his people by replacing the two stone tablets with the Ten Commandments which Moses broke (Exod. 32.19), Moses was commanded to ascend Mount Sinai alone, taking two tablets chiseled like the ones he had cast down. While on the mount Moses received the LORD’s answer to his plea (Exod. 33.18 – Moses said, “Please show me your glory”). God granted him a vision of the glory of God. God revealed his name (his character) to Moses. The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, proclaiming the name of the LORD. “The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation’” (Exod. 34.6-7). These marvelous attributes of God’s goodness are given in the OT at least in seven instances (Num. 14.18; Neh. 9.17; Pss. 86.15; 103.8; 145.8; Joel 2.13; Jon. 4.2).

The proclamation of God’s name reveals his goodness – his merciful, gracious being, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. As Moses worshiped the LORD as he passed before him, so let us worship our God here, now, acknowledging his goodness to us and to all.

Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation

Do good in Thy good pleasure unto us, O Lord. Act toward us not as we deserve but as it becomes Thee, being the God Thou art. So shall we have nothing to fear in this world or in that which is to come. Amen.
~ KOTH, p. 82

Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.

Praising Our God
Te Deum Laudamus 

You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.

Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)

Gloria Patri

Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.

Listening to His Voice
Chronological Reading for the Day

Sunday: Matt. 20; Mark 10.32-52; Luke 18.31-19.27

Lectionary Readings

Psalm: Ps. 145.1-8

OT: Jon. 3.10-4.11

Gospel: Matt. 20.1-16

NT: Phil. 1.21-30

(Click here for all readings)

Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling

Responding in Faith
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).

Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.

Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.

Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)

Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Departing to Serve

O God, my hope, my heavenly rest,
My all of happiness below,
Grant my importunate request,
To me, to me, Thy goodness show;
Thy beatific face display,
The brightness of eternal day.

Before my faiths enlightened eyes,
Make all Thy gracious goodness pass;
Thy goodness is the sight I prize:
O might I see Thy smiling face:
Thy nature in my soul proclaim,
Reveal Thy love, Thy glorious name.
~ Charles Wesley (KOTH, p. 85)

Affirmation for the Day
The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation (Num. 14.18).

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Lord, you are good, and you do good (Ps. 119.68).

For Your Weekly Journey

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Mercy of God, Psalm 103.1-14

Book Reading
Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy

Our Corporate Disciplines
Book Discussion: Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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