Pentecost-17 (Yr A) Sep 27, 2020



“Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken”

Franz Joseph Haydn

(Please stand)

The Word of God

(BCP p. 355)


Celebrant         Blessed be God:

                          Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

People And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever.


Celebrant Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy Name through Christ our Lord.  Amen.



(BCP p.356)

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.  Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.  Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.


Collect of the Day

Celebrant The Lord be with you.

People And also with you

Celebrant Let us pray.


O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(Please be seated)


A Reading from the Book of Exodus 17:1-7


From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” The Lord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

The Word of the Lord.


People   Thanks be to God.

Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16


(The Lector and the Congregation pray responsively)


1   Hear my teaching, O my people; *

     incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

2   I will open my mouth in a parable; *

     I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.

3   That which we have heard and known,

    and what our forefathers have told us, *

     we will not hide from their children.

4   We will recount to generations to come

   the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the Lord, *

    and the wonderful works he has done.

12  He worked marvels in the sight of their forefathers, *

      in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.

13  He split open the sea and let them pass through; *

     he made the waters stand up like walls.

14 He led them with a cloud by day, *

     and all the night through with a glow of fire.

15 He split the hard rocks in the wilderness *

     and gave them drink as from the great deep.

16 He brought streams out of the cliff, *

     and the waters gushed out like rivers.




A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Philippians 2:1-13

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.  Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

The Word of the Lord.


People   Thanks be to God.

(Please stand)

Deacon       The Holy Gospel of Our  Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew 21:23-32

               People        Glory to you,  Lord Christ.


When [Jesus] entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things. What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went.  The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.”


The Gospel of the Lord.


People      Praise to you,  Lord  Christ.

(Please be seated)

The Sermon

The Rev. Dr. John Agbaje


Called to do God’s Will


In today’s Hebrew lesson, we find out that the springs of Massah and Meribah symbolize fault finding when the Hebrews accused Moses during a crisis, a fight or when the people grumbled at Moses. The people were so angry that they said things were better in Egypt where they were treated as slaves.


In this morning’s second lesson,  Paul urged the Philippians to show love to one another.  Paul reminded them of how Christ loved selflessly that He gave His life for them on the Cross.


In today’s Gospel as Jesus was teaching in the Temple He clashed with the religious hierarchy of His time as they questioned  His knowledge and His authority. How is this different from our world? People want to know what qualifications we have to do what we  do or what connections we have to work in a certain place. From the beginning of time, there has always been people who criticize or just want to let you know that you are not qualified for your position. As followers of Christ God has given us authority to make Christ known.


Regardless of how Jesus answered the question in the eyes of the questioners Jesus would still be wrong. If He said from God, they would accuse Him of blaspheme if He said from people, they would claim greater authority. All they wanted to do was to trap Jesus.


Jesus responded to these critiques with the parable of a Father who has two sons and how both responded to the father when he asked them to work in his vineyard. One of the children said no, then he changed his mind and said yes to his father that he would work in his vineyard. The other son said yes and did not go and work in his father’s vineyard.


When the son first said yes and later said no; can you imagine the father’s disappointment? On the other hand, when the first one said No and changed his mind and said Yes, how can we fathom their father’s joy.

On the surface this Parable shows a parable of a father and two sons.


A deeper look at this Gospel reveals a few things. Jesus took his time before He responded to these Critiques, He told them a Parable to remind them that His authority is from God and their ancestors refused to listen to the Priests, the Kings and the Prophets, He was the One who said yes to go and work in God’s Vineyard. Jesus answer put those who question Him in their place.


This Gospel also shows the love of a father for his children that he was willing to invite them to work in his vineyard. What this means in a theological sense is that the father was asking the sons to be co-workers in the vineyard as God created us as co-creators on earth.


As wonderful as this Gospel is, the challenges though remind all of us of our promises to work in God’s vineyard at our baptism and confirmations.  We promised then to love God with all our hearts, minds and soul, and love others as ourselves, how are we as Christians doing about that? Hey we promised to proclaim by words and examples the good news of Jesus’ Christ’s love to the world. On a scale of 1 to 10 how are we different from the son who first said yes and change his mind and said no?


A few people don’t want to do anything. This is caused by our sinful human nature. We know what is good and we know what is bad, like St. Paul said. The question then is where is our help going to come from.? It will come from God our heavenly Father. We are to love, forgive, inspire others in the way of the Lord. We are to pray that God will empower us with the power of the Holy Spirit to empower us to do God’s will. I also pray that the Holy Spirit will help us not to listen to Nay Sayers, rather to keep on keeping on doing God’s will by encouraging others to know what doing God’s will look like through who we are.


Let the Church say Amen.


(Please stand)



The Nicene Creed

(BCP p. 358)

We believe in one God

the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,                     

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God

begotten, not made,

of one Being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

 For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven:

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate

from the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

    For our sake he was crucified

          under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

  On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand

of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father    and the Son.

    With the Father and the Son he is

worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and

   apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism

for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come.  Amen.



Prayers of the People


In the Anglican cycle of prayer, we pray for the Province of the Episcopal Church of Sudan.


In the Diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for St. Andrew’s in Pickerington,  Good Shepherd in Athens, and  St. Peter’s in Gallipolis.


In our Parish cycle of prayer, we pray for Elizabeth Wagner and Sean Weber; TJ, Jenna, Gabriel, and Wesley Walch; and Ruby Webster.




Form IV

(BCP p. 388)


Let us pray for the Church and for the world.


Grant, Almighty God, that all who confess your Name may be united in your truth, live together in your love, and reveal your glory in the world.


Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.


Guide the people of this land, and of all the nations, in the ways of justice and peace; that we may honor one another and serve the common good.


Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.


Give us all a reverence for the earth as your own creation, that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to your honor and glory.


Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.


Bless all whose lives are closely linked with ours, and grant that we may serve Christ in them, and love one another as he loves us.


Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.


Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit, especially those on our Parish Prayer List (N), give them courage and hope in their troubles, and bring them the joy of your salvation.


Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.


We commend to your mercy all who have died, that your will for them may be fulfilled; and we pray that we may share with all your saints in your eternal kingdom.


Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.


Celebrant   Lord, hear the prayers of your people; and what we have asked faithfully, grant that we may obtain effectually, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.





The Confession of Sin

(BCP p. 360)


Deacon             Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.


Silence may be kept.


Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.  We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.  We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.  For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name.  Amen.


Celebrant Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life.


People   Amen.


(Please be seated)




(BCP p. 377)


The Offering is brought to the Altar


Celebrant   Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and make good your vows to the Most High.   



The Lord’s Prayer

Celebrant As our Savior Christ has taught us, we now pray,


Our Father in heaven,

 hallowed be your Name,

 your kingdom come,

 your will be done,

      on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins,

 as we forgive those

      who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power

and the glory are yours,

now and for ever.  Amen.



The General Thanksgiving


Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made.


We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.


And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.



Birthdays and Anniversaries






The Peace


Celebrant The peace of the Lord be always with you.

People And also with you.








The congregation is dismissed.


People               Thanks be to God.




“Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah”

John Hughes




For today’s announcements, click HERE.




St. Mark’s Vestry


Senior Warden: Gary Welch

Junior Warden: Katherine Wagner

Treasurer: Don Nancarrow

Secretary: Dave Reuter


Vestry Members:

Carol Nancarrow, Tracey Swartz

Susan Kendall

Kendall Rubino, Jenna Walch


St. Mark’s Staff

Transitional Priest in Charge The Rev. Dr. John Agbaje

Parish Administrator Katherine Wagner

Music Director Donna Larsen

Sexton Douglas Plummer




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