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August 20, 2017


AS WE GATHER:  The inscription on the Statue of Liberty invites all “yearning to breathe free” to come to America.  Our families all were from somewhere else sometime in history.  And all of us in the kingdom of God were once foreigners as well.  In the Old Testament Reading today, God anticipates gathering people from every nation to join Israel, and Jesus finds great faith in the Canaanite woman in the Gospel.  Today we hear this truth loud and clear:  We were all once foreigners, but now we breathe in the freedom of God’s gracious rule, His love and mercy for Jesus’ sake.



P:  In the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

C:  Amen.

P:  We walk in darkness when the words that we use do not build others up. As we begin our worship today, we do well by recognizing our poor choice in words.  Too often our words have brought people low so that we can simply feel better about ourselves.  Let’s take some time in silence to reflect upon our past mistakes.

Silence for reflection

P:  Let us confess together,

C:  We confess, O Lord, that we have fallen short.  We are guilty of  sharing words that hurt instead of words that build up.  We are guilty too of not using comforting words when we should.  As we work in Your kingdom, we sometimes think that we can make little influence.  The truth is that we can.  We thank you for Your promise of forgiveness.  We also ask that we see You in a new way today. You are generous with grace.  You have compassion for all. 


P:  Isaiah 55 says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” God’s amazing and generous grace is hard for us to imagine.  The good news is that He gives it to You freely today in the forgiveness of sins.  I announce God’s grace.  In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit, your sins are forgiven!

C:  Amen.

SONG OF PRAISE – “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High”

Lord, I lift Your name on high.

Lord, I love to sing Your praises.

I’m so glad You’re in my life,

I’m so glad You came to save us.


You came from heaven to earth to show the way,

from the earth to the cross my debt to pay.

From the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky.

Lord, I lift Your name on high.



P:  Let us Pray…Almighty and everlasting Father, you give Your children many blessings even though we are undeserving.

C:  In every trial and temptation, grant us steadfast confidence in Your loving kindness and mercy;

P:  through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C:  Amen. 

FIRST LESSON:                                                                    Isaiah 56:1, 6-8

God promises to listen to the prayers of the Gentiles.

  Thus says the LORD:

“Keep justice, and do righteousness,

for soon my salvation will come,

    and my righteousness be revealed.

“And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD,

    to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD,

    and to be his servants,

everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it,

    and holds fast my covenant—

these I will bring to my holy mountain,

    and make them joyful in my house of prayer;

their burnt offerings and their sacrifices

    will be accepted on my altar;

for my house shall be called a house of prayer

    for all peoples.”

The Lord GOD,

    who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares,

“I will gather yet others to him

    besides those already gathered.”

SECOND LESSON:                                       Romans 11:1-2a, 13-15, 28-32

God’s mercy extends to all people. 

I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel?

Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?

As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.


GOSPEL:                                                                         Matthew 15:21-28

A Canaanite woman begs Jesus for help and is granted her request.

  And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

SERMON HYMN – “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”                       LBW 315

Love divine, all loves excelling, Joy of heav’n to earth come down!

Fix in us thy humble dwelling, All thy faithful mercies crown.

Jesus, thou art all compassion, Pure, unbounded love thou are;

Visit us with thy salvation, Enter ev’ry trembling heart.


Breathe, oh, breathe thy loving Spirit Into ev’ry troubled breast;

Let us all in thee inherit; Let us find thy promised rest.

Take away the love of sinning; Alpha and Omega be;

End of faith, as its beginning, Set our hearts at liberty.


Come, Almighty, to deliver; Let us all thy life receive;

Suddenly return, and never, Nevermore thy temples leave.

Thee we would be always blessing, Serve thee as thy hosts above,

Pray, and praise thee without ceasing, Glory in they perfect love.


Finish them thy new creation, Pure and spotless let us be;

Let us see thy great salvation Perfectly restored in thee!

Changed from glory into glory, Till in heav’n we take our place,

Till we cast our crowns before thee, Lost in wonder, love, and praise!





C:  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 power of the Holy Spirit,

        Born of the virgin Mary,

        Suffered under Pontius Pilate,

        Was crucified, died and was buried.

        He descended into hell.

        The third day He rose again from the dead.

        He ascended into heaven

        And sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

        From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

        The holy Christian Church,

                The communion of saints,

        The forgiveness of sins,

        The resurrection of the body,

        And the life + everlasting.  Amen. 




P:   Let us pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ and for everyone in need.

P:   Heavenly Father, give us Your Holy Spirit so that we take up the crosses You give us the privilege of carrying, and follow Your Son through this troubled life into heaven. Prepare each of us to give up our lives knowing that Christ has already saved our lives. Lord, in Your mercy,

C:   hear our prayer.

P:   Heavenly Father, teach us never to shun our Lord’s suffering or our own suffering. When we endure persecution or ridicule for being Your children, give us faith in You and perseverance. As You have promised, deliver us out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem us from the grasp of the ruthless. Lord, in Your mercy,

C:   hear our prayer.

P:   Heavenly Father, forgive our inability and unwillingness to forgive those who sin against us. We hear Your promise that when we return to You, You will restore us. Melt our hard hearts, so that we confess our sin, relent of evil, turn to You in repentance, and confidently trust Your Son’s saving work for us. Lord, in Your mercy,

C:   hear our prayer.

P:   Heavenly Father, protect our nation and its people. Deliver us from drought and flood, from war and famine, and from terrorism and disaster. Provide good weather and a bountiful harvest. Watch over the members of our military, especially those now deployed or in harm’s way, and care for their families. Lord, in Your mercy,

C:   hear our prayer.

P:   Heavenly Father, make this church a house of prayer where we call on You in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks.  Today we especially lift up those individuals in the Peace family who have requested prayer. Lord, in your mercy,

C:   hear our prayer.

P:   Into Your hands, heavenly Father, we place ourselves and all those for whom we pray, through Jesus Christ our Lord,

C:   Amen.




P:  The Lord be with you.

C:  And also with you.

P:  Lift up your hearts.

C:  We lift them to the Lord. 

P:  Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

C:  It is right to give Him thanks and praise. 






“In His Time”                       TOSB 98

  1. In His time (in His time), in His time (in His time),

He makes all things beautiful, in His time (in His time).

Lord please show my ev’ry day as you’re teaching me your way,

That you do just what you say, in your time (in Your time).


  1. In Your time (in Your time), in Your time (in Your time),

you make all things beautiful in your time (in Your time),

Lord, my life to you I bring; May each song I have to sing.

Be to You a lovely thing, in Your time (in Your time).


   “How Great Thou Art”                  TOSB 78

  1. O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder

Consider all the worlds thy hand hath made,

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,

Thy pow’r throughout the universe displayed;


Refrain:  Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,

How great thou art! How great thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,

How great thou art! How great thou art!


  1. When through the woods and forest glades I wander,

And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;

When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur

And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze; Refrain




  1. And when I think that God, his Son not sparing,

Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in,

That on the cross my burden gladly bearing

He bled and died to take away my sin; Refrain


  1. When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,

And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!

Then I shall bow in humble adoration

And there proclaim “My God how great thou art!” Refrain



   “Bind Us Together”       TOSB 14

Refrain:    Bind us together Lord,

Bind us together with cords that cannot be broken,

Bind us together Lord,

Bind us together

Bind us together with love.

  1. There is only one God.

There is only one King.

There is only one body.

That is why I sing. Refrain



P:  Gracious God, our heavenly Father, You have given us more than crumbs from Your Table; we have received a foretaste of the feast to come.

C:  Keep us firm in the true faith.  Strengthen us to share with friends and strangers Your gracious invitation that we may together celebrate the marriage feast of the Lamb in His kingdom, which has no end;

P:  through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C:  Amen. 


CLOSING SONG – “Go, My Children, with My Blessing”

Go, My children, with My blessing, Never alone.

Waking, sleeping, I am with you: You are my own.

In my love’s baptismal river I have made you Mine forever.

Go, My children, with My blessing You are My own.

Go, My children, fed and nourished, Closer to Me;

Grow in love and love by serving, Joyful and free.

Here My Spirit’s power filled you;

Here His tender comfort stilled you.

Go, My children, fed and nourished, Joyful and free.

I the Lord will bless and keep you And give you peace;

I the Lord will smile upon you And give you peace:

I the Lord will be your Father, Savior, Comforter, and Brother.

Go, My children; I will keep you And give you peace.