Prelude Thee Will I Love, My Strength, My Tower, setting by Benjamin M. Culli
Thee will I love, my crown of gladness;
Thee will I love, my God and Lord,
Amid the darkest depths of sadness,
And not for hope of high reward,
For Thine own sake, O Light divine,
So long as life is mine.
Welcome and Greeting
Hymn # 246 Come, Thou Almighty King
(Gray Psalter Hymnal)
Prayer of Confession – front of gray hymnal
Prayer for Illumination Amy Van Cott
First Lesson: Isaiah 5:1-17 (NRSV) Amy Van Cott
Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. 2He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; he expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. 3And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. 4What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it? When I expected it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? 5And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. 6I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. 7For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his pleasant planting; he expected justice, but saw bloodshed; righteousness, but heard a cry!
8Ah, you who join house to house, who add field to field, until there is room for no one but you, and you are left to live alone in the midst of the land! 9The Lord of hosts has sworn in my hearing: Surely many houses shall be desolate, large and beautiful houses, without inhabitant. 10For ten acres of vineyard shall yield but one bath, and a homer of seed shall yield a mere ephah. 11Ah, you who rise early in the morning in pursuit of strong drink, who linger in the evening to be inflamed by wine, 12whose feasts consist of lyre and harp, tambourine and flute and wine, but who do not regard the deeds of the Lord, or see the work of his hands! 13Therefore my people go into exile without knowledge; their nobles are dying of hunger, and their multitude is parched with thirst. 14Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite and opened its mouth beyond measure; the nobility of Jerusalem and her multitude go down, her throng and all who exult in her. 15People are bowed down, everyone is brought low, and the eyes of the haughty are humbled. 16But the Lord of hosts is exalted by justice, and the Holy God shows himself holy by righteousness. 17Then the lambs shall graze as in their pasture, fatlings and kids shall feed among the ruins.
Lector: “This is the Word of the Lord.”
Congregation: “Thanks be to God for His Word.”
Special Music Daniel Newman — Soloist
Q. 29. How do we take part in Christ's redemption?
A. The Holy Spirit applies Christ's redemption to us.
Q. 30. How does the Holy Spirit apply Christ's redemption to us?
A. By producing faith in us and uniting us to Christ in our effective calling.
Questions adapted from the Westminster Shorter Catechism
Hymn # 53 Behold the Lamb
Second Lesson: Mark 11:27-12:12 (NRSV)
27Again they came to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him 28and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?” 29Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.” 31They argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?” —they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. 33So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
12Then he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 2When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. 3But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. 4And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. 5Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. 6He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. 9What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10Have you not read this scripture:
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
11this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is amazing in our eyes’?”
12When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away.