November 15, 2020

24th Sunday after Pentecost
November 15, 2020
COVID-19 pandemic week 36
Led by:
11 Old York Road ~ Ringoes, NJ 08551
Rev. Scott Schantzenbach, Interim Pastor
Shannen Hemmel, Musician
Bruce Davidson, Lector 
Terry Welsh, Videographer and Editor


In this time of world-wide crisis, congregations throughout this church are not able to gather for worship as the body of Christ. While we cannot be together in person, we can hear the word of God and hold each other in prayer. We offer this worship resource as an aid for prayer and worship in the home.



Our readings during November speak of the end times. Zephaniah proclaims that the coming day of the LORD will be filled with wrath and distress. Paul says it will come like a thief in the night and urges us to be awake and sober. Jesus tells the parable of the talents, calling us to use our gifts, while we still have time, for the greater and common good. In a world filled with violence and despair, we gather around signs of hope—word, water, bread, and wine—eager to welcome the good news of Christ’s coming among us.



P: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

And also with you.


P: You are the treasured people of the Lord,

a people holy to the Lord our God.


P: Keep the words of the Lord in your heart; teach them to your children.

Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise.


P: One does not live by bread alone,

but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.



P: The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Righteous God, our merciful master, you own the earth and all its peoples, and you give us all that we have. Inspire us to serve you with justice and wisdom, and prepare us for the joy of the day of your coming, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.




All: Salvation belongs to our God and to Christ the Lamb forever and ever.

I: Great and wonderful are your deeds, O God of the universe;

just and true are your ways, O Ruler of all the nations.

Who can fail to honor you, Lord, and sing the glory of your name?

All: Salvation belongs to our God and to Christ the Lamb forever and ever.

II: For you alone are the Holy One.

All nations will draw near and worship before you,

for your just and holy works have been revealed.

All: Salvation belongs to our God and to Christ the Lamb forever and ever.



FIRST READING: Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18

Zephaniah (like the prophet Amos in last week’s first reading) presents the day of the Lord as one of judgment and wrath. Descriptions of the last day in the New Testament include details taken from Old Testament accounts of the day of the Lord.


7Be silent before the Lord God!
  For the day of the Lord is at hand;
 the Lord has prepared a sacrifice,
  he has consecrated his guests.
12At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
  and I will punish the people
 who rest complacently on their dregs,
  those who say in their hearts,
 “The Lord will not do good,
  nor will he do harm.”
13Their wealth shall be plundered,
  and their houses laid waste.
 Though they build houses,
  they shall not inhabit them;
 though they plant vineyards,
  they shall not drink wine from them.
14The great day of the Lord is near,
  near and hastening fast;
 the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter,
  the warrior cries aloud there.
15That day will be a day of wrath,
  a day of distress and anguish,
 a day of ruin and devastation,
  a day of darkness and gloom,
 a day of clouds and thick darkness,
  16a day of trumpet blast and battle cry
 against the fortified cities
  and against the lofty battlements.
17I will bring such distress upon people
  that they shall walk like the blind;
  because they have sinned against the Lord,
 their blood shall be poured out like dust,
  and their flesh like dung.
18Neither their silver nor their gold
  will be able to save them
  on the day of the Lord’s wrath;
 in the fire of his passion
  the whole earth shall be consumed;
 for a full, a terrible end
  he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.


PSALM: Psalm90

1Lord, you have | been our refuge
  from one generation | to another.
2Before the mountains were brought forth, or the land and the | earth were born,
  from age to age | you are God.
3You turn us back to the | dust and say,
  “Turn back, O child- | ren of earth.”
4For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when | it is past
  and like a watch | in the night; 
5you sweep them away | like a dream,
  they fade away suddenly | like the grass:
6in the morning it is | green and flourishes;
  in the evening it is dried | up and withered.
7For we are consumed | by your anger;
  we are afraid because | of your wrath.
8Our iniquities you have | set before you,
  and our secret sins in the light | of your countenance. 
[ 9When you are angry, all our | days are gone;
  we bring our years to an end | like a sigh.
10The span of our life is seventy years, perhaps in strength | even eighty;
  yet the sum of them is but labor and sorrow, for they pass away quickly and | we are gone.
11Who regards the power | of your wrath?
  Who rightly fears your | indignation? ]
12So teach us to num- | ber our days
  that we may apply our | hearts to wisdom. 


Word of life, Jesus Christ, all glory to you!
Word of life, Jesus Christ, all praise to you!
Our hearts burn within us while you open to us the Scriptures.
Word of life, Jesus Christ, all glory to you!
Word of life, Jesus Christ, all praise to you!



GOSPEL: Matthew25:14-30

Jesus tells a parable about his second coming, indicating that it is not sufficient merely to maintain things as they are. Those who await his return should make good use of the gifts that God has provided them.


The holy gospel according to Matthew.
Glory to you, O Lord.


[Jesus said to the disciples:] 14“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 24Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’?”

The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.





SING: HYMN: ELW 692 "We Are An Offering"
We lift our voices
We lift our hands
We lift our lives up to You
We are an offering
Lord use our voices
Lord use our hands
Lord use our lives they are Yours
We are an offering
All that we have
All that we are
All that we hope to be
We give to You
We give to You
We lift our voices
We lift our hands
We lift our lives up to You
We are an offering
We are an offering
Text and music © 1984 Word Music, LLC. All rights reserved. Used By Permission




A: In Christ, you have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.

We believe in him and are marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit.


A: Living together in trust and hope, we confess our faith.

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen


A: Build yourselves up on your most holy faith;

pray in the Holy Spirit.


A: Keep yourselves in the love of God;

look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.


A: If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation:

Everything old has passed away; behold, everything has become new!


P: God has given us the ministry of reconciliation.

Therefore, let us be reconciled to God and to one another.


P: Gracious God,

have mercy on us. In your compassion forgive us our sins,

known and unknown, things done and left undone.

Uphold us by your Spirit so that we may live and serve you in newness of life,

to the honor and glory of your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


P: 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.




P: Children of God, rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace. The peace of the Lord be with you always.

And also with you.



P: In the abundance of God’s steadfast love, God calls us from death to life, from silence to speech, from idleness to action. In Proverbs 3:9 Solomon writes: “Honor the Lord with your substance, and with the first-fruits of all your produce.” Giving is an act of honor. Living Waters is a generous people honoring our neighbor, our community, our God, by sharing and serving.


We offer ourselves to God and neighbor, and with the Church through all the ages we give thanks for the saving love in Jesus.



Glory to you, God, for yours is the earth;
yours the anointing, the radiant worth.
Ours the rejoicing for spirits aflame.
ours the thanksgiving to your holy name.
Ours be the telling of deeds greatly done.
yours be the glory, O God, yours alone.




A: Let us pray. God of goodness and growth,

all creation is yours,

and your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.

Water and word, wine and bread:

these are signs of your abundant grace.

Nourish us through these gifts,

that we might proclaim your steadfast love

in our communities and in the world,

through Jesus Christ, our strength and our song.



A: Longing for Christ’s reign to come among us, we pray for the outpouring of God’s power on the church, the world, and all in need.

A: Lord of the church, ignite your people with the passion of your love. By the fire of your Holy Spirit, unify us across ministries, congregations, and denominations, and refine us to participate in your activity throughout the world. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

A: Lord of creation, we stand in awe at the works of your hands and praise you for the beauty of nature. Bless the earth for your glory and restore its integrity where exploitation has caused ruin. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

A: Lord of the nations, sound forth your justice in the ears of all leaders. Increase concern for those who are most vulnerable, especially as international leaders forge trade agreements and cooperate to end human rights abuses. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

A: Lord of all in need, search out all who cry to you in distress. Scatter the heavy clouds of depression, chronic illness, unemployment, and loneliness with your radiant light. Send us as encouragement and signs of your healing. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

A: Lord of the stranger, stir up holy restlessness in us to extend love to those at the margins. Release our desire for control and open us to learn from the perspectives of others. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

A: Lord of the living and the dead, we give you thanks for all the saints at rest from their labors Rouse us to live by their example, that saints yet to come may also know your love. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

P: Receive our prayers in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, until that day when you gather all creation around your throne where you will reign forever and ever.


Let us pray with confidence in the words our Savior gave us:

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 forever. Amen.


P: May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ fill you with every spiritual blessing.
P: May the God of faithfulness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus.
P: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Go in peace. Serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God.



SENDING SONG: ELW 693 " Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

1          Come, ye thankful people, come;
            raise the song of harvest home.
            All be safely gathered in
            ere the winter storms begin.
            God, our maker, doth provide
            for our wants to be supplied.
            Come to God's own temple, come,
            raise the song of harvest home.
2          All the world is God's own field,
            fruit unto his praise to yield;
            wheat and tares together sown,
            unto joy or sorrow grown.
            First the blade, and then the ear,
            then the full corn shall appear.
            Lord of harvest, grant that we
            wholesome grain and pure may be.

Text: Henry Alford, 1810-1871, alt.


From Sundays and Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #23228 New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Hymns and songs reprinted under the permission of #11169728, streaming #20576443

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