Pentecost-4 (Yr A) Jun 28, 2020

The Word of God




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 hears by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy Name through Christ our Lord.  Amen.



Gloria in Excelsis


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.


Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.



A Reading from the Book of Genesis 22:1-14


God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him.  On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, “Father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.


When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”  He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”


The Word of the Lord.

People   Thanks be to God




Psalm 13


1   How long, O Lord?

   will you forget me for ever? *

     how long will you hide your face from me?

2   How long shall I have perplexity in my mind,

and grief in my heart, day after day? *

     how long shall my enemy triumph over me?

3   Look upon me and answer me, O Lord my God; *

     give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death;

4   Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” *

     and my foes rejoice that I have fallen.

5   But I put my trust in your mercy; *

     my heart is joyful because of your saving help.

6  I will sing to the Lord, for he has dealt with me richly; *

    I will praise the Name of the Lord Most High.




A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans 6:12-23


Do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions.  No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. 

What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.

When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


The Word of the Lord.

People   Thanks be to God




Celebrant    The Holy Gospel of Our  Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew 10:40-42

People        Glory to you,  Lord Christ.


Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”


The Gospel of the Lord.

People      Praise to you,  Lord  Christ.




The Sermon




Called to be Welcoming


Today’s sermon is titled “Called to be Welcoming.” The text is from Matthew 10:40-42. Listen to what it says: “Jesus said whoever welcomes you welcomes me, whoever welcomes me welcomes the One who sent me.”.

This means that welcoming Jesus means welcoming God. This confirms what we heard on Trinity Sunday that God and Jesus are of the same nature, substance and essence. Jesus further explained that whoever welcomes a Prophet in the Name of a Prophet will receive a Prophet’s reward.

As if what Jesus said is not adequate, He also said whoever gives a cup of water to one of these little ones – meaning His disciples –  that they will not lose their lives. Giving a cup of water to people means demonstrating hospitality and being welcoming.

Welcoming people begins with the belief that we are all equal and that sooner or later we may want to be welcomed by others. Even when our master Jesus was with his friends Lazarus, Mary and Martha, He was always well received and welcomed.

How can we forget how the Zarephath woman welcomed Prophet Elijah (1 Kings 17:7-16)? Another example was the story of John, one of Jesus disciples, who complained to Jesus that they saw someone driving out demons in Jesus’ Name; and he asked Jesus to stop him because according to the disciples, this person –“was not one of them” How can we forget Jesus’ famous reply, “Do not stop him.  Whoever is not against us is for us.” In essence, as it was Jesus’ custom, He used John’s request and concern to teach His disciples what truly welcoming others looks like. 

Welcoming others enables us to share what we have with other people who are in need.  By asking to welcome and accept people, Jesus was also asking His disciples, and now us, not to classify people as “us” and “them.” Every time we classify some people as in and others as out we become cliquish which leads to prejudice and discrimination.

This is why we are asked during our Baptism to serve Christ in all persons and love our neighbors as ourselves. When we live with this calling then we will be welcoming. Had the people that John spoke to Jesus about heard Jesus’ response, could you imagine their joy?  The truth is that those who John wanted to reject, Christ asked that they should not be castigated!

Being welcoming comes with hospitality, respect, and acceptance of others who don’t look like us, or talk like us, or even dress like us. This is where the rubber meets the road about welcoming. Jesus was revolutionizing the hearts of His disciples and the hearts of all of us who believe in Him today as Lord and savior. We are not to focus on our cliques alone, but every time we gather we must ask the question – Who is missing? When we do this, we will not be focusing just on ourselves or our needs, but we will see the need to welcome others. In other words, Christ is helping us to be selfless as He is selfless. 

All of us have probably welcomed other people before. How about during Thanksgiving or Christmas? We also know how it feels to be in an unwelcoming space. Christ is reminding us today to take away all our biases. The scripture says, do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unaware (Hebrew 13:2)

What Christ is asking of us when we talk about welcoming is synonymous to showing hospitality. 

Scripture says, I was a stranger and you welcomed me; and the people who were welcoming received their reward. (Hebrew 25).

My brothers and sisters in Christ, Jesus usually comes to us in the form of a Stranger. This is why we are called to be welcoming. 

My prayer for all of us is that the Spirit of Christ will continually move our hearts and give us courage to welcome others. 

The truth is, there are still some who may feel they are not in, or no one cares about them in Churches, work, and in the community.

Our call is to pray that God will give us courage to speak up on behalf of those who may see themselves as outcast, and work tirelessly until everyone is welcome.

I also pray that the power of the Holy Spirit will soften our hearts and give us ears to hear the pain of those who feel they are not welcome so we can do something about it; and may God transform our hearts that we will see those who are not welcome as people created by God like us and welcome them. May it be so.  Amen




The Nicene Creed


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 Church of North India.


In the Diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for All Saints in Portsmouth, Our Savior in Mechanicsburg, and St. Timothy’s in Cincinnati.


In our Parish cycle of prayer, we pray for John and Bunmi Abgaje, Fred and Phyllis Berta, and Larry and Joy Brown.


With all our heart and with all our mind, let us pray to the Lord, saying, “Lord, have mercy.”


For the peace of the world, for the welfare of the holy Church of God, and for the unity of all peoples, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.


For our Bishop, and for all the clergy and people, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.


For our President, for the leaders of the nations, and for all in authority, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.


For this city for every city and community, and for those who live in them, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.


For the good earth which God has given us, and for the wisdom and will to conserve it, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.


For those on St. Mark’s Prayer List; for others for whom we wish to pray; for the aged and infirm, for the widowed and orphans, and for the sick and the suffering, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.


For the poor and the oppressed, for the unemployed and the destitute, for prisoners and captives, and for all who remember and care for them, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.


For all who have died in the hope of the resurrection, and for all the departed, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.


For deliverance from all danger, violence, oppression, and degradation, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.


That we may end our lives in faith and hope, without suffering and without reproach, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.


In the communion of St Mark and of all the saints, let us commend ourselves, and one another, and all our life, to Christ our God.

To thee, O Lord our God.





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 Peace


Celebrant The peace of the Lord be always with you.

People And also with you.




St. Mark’s Vestry

Senior Warden: Gary Welch

Junior Warden : Katherine Wagner

Treasurer: Don Nancarrow

Secretary: Dave Reuter


Vestry Members: Jen Bonifas

Susan Kendall

Carol Nancarrow

Kendall Rubino

Tracey Swartz

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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