Your September 10th, Lectionary Resources
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Lectionary Readings — 15th Sunday after Pentecost, September 10, 2023
Exodus 12:1-14; Psalm 149; Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 18:15-20.
Opening Prayer (based on Romans 13:8-14)
Heavenly Father, Lord of Love and Light, we come before You today with open hearts and open hands. We are reminded by Your apostle Paul that the one who loves another has fulfilled the law, for love is the fulfilling of the law. Lord, pour into us the deep love that You have for each of us, so that we may extend it to one another, fulfilling Your law and Your calling for our lives.
We recognize, God, that the night is far gone and the day is near. Time is pressing, and the urgency to love and live rightly is upon us. We confess, Lord, that we sometimes live as if the night will last forever, giving into the deeds of darkness rather than putting on the armor of light. Lord, help us put away the works of darkness and put on the armor of light as Your word tells us to. Help us to live honorably and nobly, as in the day.
Father, may we wake up to the reality of Your Kingdom, casting aside the deeds of darkness. Help us put on the Lord Jesus Christ, clothing ourselves in His love, grace, and power. Let us make no provision for the flesh, not giving an inch to the temptations that draw us away from You.
As we worship You today, fill us anew with Your Holy Spirit, so that we leave this place equipped and ready to love our neighbors, and even our enemies, as ourselves. We long for the return of Your Son, Jesus, and until that day, help us to be vigilant, keeping our lamps trimmed and burning brightly in a dark world.
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Call to Worship (based on Psalm 149)
Leader: Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song!
People: We come to sing and praise God’s name!
Leader: Let Israel be glad in its Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!
People: Our joy is in the Lord, our Maker and King!
Leader: Let them praise God's name with dancing, making melody to the Lord with tambourine and lyre!
People: With joyful hearts and lifted voices, we make melody to the Lord!
Leader: For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with victory.
People: God is our joy and our strength; in Him we find victory!
All: Praise the Lord!
Sermon Outline (based on Matthew 18:15-20)
Purpose: To provide a comprehensive yet accessible guide for resolving conflicts and fostering peaceful relationships within the church community. Drawing upon Jesus' own teachings, the sermon aims to equip believers with practical and spiritual tools to navigate disagreements and discord. By adhering to these biblical principles, church members can build a more harmonious and spiritually nourishing environment. Ultimately, the sermon seeks to glorify God by promoting unity, understanding, and reconciliation among His people. It calls believers to be proactive peacemakers who not only live by these principles but also uphold them within the community, thereby witnessing to the world the transformative power of the Gospel.
Title: "Mending Fences: The Pathway to Peaceful Relationships" (Matthew 18:15-20)
The universal experience of conflict
The high stakes of fractured relationships within the Church
The biblical blueprint for reconciliation
I. Confrontation with Care (Matthew 18:15)
A. The Personal Approach
The Importance of One-on-One Conversation (v. 15a)
The Objective: Gaining a Brother or Sister (v. 15b)
B. Confronting in Love, Not Anger
The Manner of Our Speech
The Intent of Our Hearts
II. Consultation with Witnesses (Matthew 18:16)
A. The Role of Witnesses
Confirming the Matter (v. 16a)
Establishing Every Word (v. 16b)
B. Amplified Accountability
The Strength of Community
The Checks and Balances of Witnesses
III. Church Involvement (Matthew 18:17)
A. Telling the Church
Involving the Body of Believers (v. 17a)
Spiritual Family Responsibilities (v. 17b)
B. The Weight of Community
IV. Chains of Authority (Matthew 18:18-19)
A. Binding and Loosing
Spiritual Authority in the Church (v. 18)
Earthly Actions with Heavenly Consequences (v. 18)
B. The Power of Agreement
Where Two or Three Agree (v. 19)
The Influence of Unified Prayer
V. Christ Among Us (Matthew 18:20)
A. The Presence of Jesus
The Promise of His Presence (v. 20a)
The Assurance in Our Gathering (v. 20b)
B. The Ultimate Peacemaker
Christ's Role in Reconciliation
How Christ Empowers Our Efforts
The gravity of getting it right
The hope for reconciliation and true community
A call to live out Jesus' teaching on conflict resolution
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