Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost – “Finding the Lost”
September 11, 2022 – Luke 15:1-10; Jeremiah 4:22-28
Call to Worship:
Leader: Redeeming Sustainer, visit your people, gathering near and far. All: Pour out your strength and courage upon us, that we may hurry to make you welcome Leader: On this day of remembrance,
We offer to you our concern for others
And our concern for the world around us. All: Let us hear the cries of the lonely,
Attune our hearts towards the forsaken,
And see your compassion for the lost and the woeful. Leader: Guide us generously in this time of worship,
and prepare us to attend to the needs of the world faithfully
in your name. Amen.
Prayer of Illumination:
God of salvation, who sent your Son to seek out and save what is lost, open our hearts to listen deeply on behalf of those who are lost in our day. Help us to receive your words and to act on them in our own lives with your unending compassion.
Jeremiah 4:22-28 (NRSV – Updated Edition)
22 “For my people are foolish; they do not know me; they are stupid children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil but do not know how to do good.”
23 I looked on the earth, and it was complete chaos, and to the heavens, and they had no light. 24 I looked on the mountains, and they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro. 25 I looked, and there was no one at all, and all the birds of the air had fled. 26 I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert, and all its cities were laid in ruins before the Lord, before his fierce anger.
27 For thus says the Lord: The whole land shall be a desolation, yet I will not make a full end.
28 Because of this the earth shall mourn and the heavens above grow black, for I have spoken; I have purposed; I have not relented, nor will I turn back.
Gospel (Preaching) Text: Luke 15:1-10 (NRSV – Updated Edition)
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
15 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them!”
3 So he told them this parable: 4 “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
The Parable of the Lost Coin
8 “Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Reflections by our beloved quilter, Cathie Favret
Left-over quilt blocks are called “orphans.” I recently gathered up a bunch of my orphans and put them together in a wall hanging. It reminded me that the whole can be more than the individual parts. Somehow, these blocks, all constructed using different techniques and colorways, combined to create something greater than each single block.
We can also combine our talents, faith, interests and abilities and create greater results than trying to go it alone. We make each other stronger and better able to face whatever is coming our way. What am I without my friends? They are there when I need them and, hopefully, I am there when they need me. We are all orphans without our faith.
A Note from Pastor Wynne:
Where can we go when we are feeling orphaned? Where can we go when we feel lost? Cathie’s reflection reminds us that we can call out to Jesus and to our community of faithful friends so that we don’t feel so alone.
Do you need a home visit? Do you know someone who could use a helping hand around the house or garden? Do you have an idea that you would like to share with our leadership team so we can reach more people in our community?
Give the church a call! We are here for you! We can be your connecting thread when you are feeling tired or lost or alone.
Blessings upon you, my friends!
Pastor Trista Wynne, (she/they)
MA, LMT, End-of-Life Doula