From the Pastor:  “Bless Us”                  Rev. Marshall Murphy Jr October 8, 2023


October 8, 2023

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15)


Processional:                                                                          “The Church’s One Foundation” 


Invocation:  Welcome to this Glorious Sunday!

Liberating God, you give us commandments not as a burden to bear but as an invitation to live the life you have for us. Grant us open hearts ready to accept your invitation, that we might become a people who bear the fruit of the freedom and new life you give us. Amen.


Call to Worship

L: Come! Now is the time to worship!
P: We come to worship God who guides us.

L: Too often we fall back into the pattern of rejecting what is good for us, forgetting that the life of faith is always about following God who provides for us and loves us.
P: When we follow God’s guidance, we learn to live God’s new pattern of life described in the commandments and demonstrated by Christ.

L: Come! Now is the time to worship!
P: We come to worship God who guides us for the long haul. Amen


Words of Welcome and Parish News


*Gathering Hymn:                                 “Rock of Ages”                                          UMH 361


Silent meditation and prayer                               Prayer Focus: The Guiding Light


Lord’s Prayer:  Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.




Old Testament                                                                                      Psalm 118: 14, 21-29

14 The Lord is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.

21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. 22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. 23 This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save us, we beseech you, O Lord! O Lord, we beseech you, give us success! 26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord. 27 The Lord is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar. 28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you. 29 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

New Testament                                                                                             Matthew 21:41- 46

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’? 43 “Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces its fruits. 44 The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.”  45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 46 They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.


Choir Anthem:                                                                                        “On Eagle’s Wings”


The Message                                        “Bless Us”                  Rev. Marshall Murphy Jr

How many people are looking for a blessing? The blessing could be employment, food, or shelter. In this Psalm, we look at what God provides for our lives. God gives us light, salvation, and steadfast love. What a mighty God we serve! Sometimes, life has challenges that can place you in a space of loneliness. But God can take us from the most adverse conditions and give us joy amidst chaos.


There is a reminder in reading these words that we have been given several things along with joy. We have been given the light through Christ that shines a path for our journey. We have the road to salvation guided by the Holy Spirit. Finally, we should celebrate this steadfast love. Looking at the text in Matthew 21: 41-46, Jesus is asking a question:

Have you never read in the scriptures:

‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is amazing in our eyes’?


We see Jesus is referring to the point in the Psalm about the builders rejecting the stone that becomes the cornerstone. Jesus makes the people aware of his usage of the Word. The chief priests and the Pharisees should be familiar with this because of their positions in the community. But, in their haste to discredit Jesus, they realize their plans may not come to fruition. Does this exchange between Jesus, the chief priests, and the Pharisees sound like our conversations with God? How much time have we spent with God or in the Word? We have an awesome God who continues to meet us on the road we travel. The love God gives us is unconditional. Amen.


Offertory Invitation

Generous and giving God, you have offered us a deep and soul-satisfying relationship with you, one that extends far beyond our earthly journey.


Offertory Music:                                                                                “O Crucified Redeemer “




*Doxology:                                                                                                                 UMH 95

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below; praise him above, ye heavenly host; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.                                                                                                                 

*Unison Prayer of Dedication:

As we offer our gifts this day, may we better receive the relationship you offer us and may we walk more closely. In Christ’s holy name, we pray. Amen.


Closing Hymn:                                       “My Hope is Built”                                      UMH 368


Sending Forth:

Go forth today as a people who bear the fruit of the kingdom that in living a life patterned after God’s grace, you may share the hope, joy, and love you receive from God with your neighbors wherever you go. Amen.


Recessional:                                                                     “God of Wonders”

 (Please remain seated to meditate and reflect on the music)






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