Pastor's Message

Janeen Smith, Pastor ~ 26418 Mountain Highway E, Spanaway, WA ~ 253-847-8801

Bethany Lutheran Church

Sept. 19, 2020


A blessed Saturday to you all,

Beryl Linnell (Candice Crosetto’s mother) is in St. Joseph Hospital after having a brain bleed in the same area where she has previously had a stroke.  Please lift Beryl up in prayer.  Father in heaven, for Jesus’ sake, send your Holy Spirit upon Beryl, strengthen and heal her, by your grace, and to your glory.  

Here is the gospel reading for the 16th Sunday after Pentecost, September 20:

Matthew 20:1-16
[Jesus said to the disciples:] 1“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 3When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; 4and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. 5When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. 6And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ 7They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ 8When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ 9When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. 10Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. 11And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Reflection: At the first the landlord makes an agreement for “the usual daily wage.” When he goes out again, he offers to pay “whatever is right.” And finally, at the last when he goes out, he offers nothing. Thus, Matthew sets us up to wonder what the outcome might be, how this will be an indication of the Kingdom of Heaven (clue: its not about economics). With which of the laborers do you identify? What do you learn from this reading?

Here are the prayers for Sunday’s worship so that you can more easily follow along:

Prayers for 16th Sunday after Pentecost

Drawn together in the compassion of God, we pray for the church, the world, and all those in need, responding to each petition with the words “graciously hear our prayer.”

O God, you make the last first, and the first last. Give resources and courage to the churches around the globe that have few resources. When ministry in this time is so difficult, inspire bishops, pastors, deacons, and congregational leaders in their service.

O God, you are full of compassion:
graciously hear our prayer.

Continue your care for your whole creation: sun and wind, bushes and worms, cities and farms, and all your many animals. Make us into extensions of your care. Preserve the food sources of the world’s endangered wildlife.

O God, you are full of compassion:
graciously hear our prayer.

To places of conflict and violence, bring peace, especially to the cities of our nation. Bless the work of negotiators, peacekeepers, and development workers. Preserve protesters, and guide police. Enlighten our nation, the nations we call friends, and the nations that are deemed our enemies. Keep our election season from dishonesty.

O God, you are full of compassion:
graciously hear our prayer.

Give your blessing to the Jewish people at this time of their new year. Bring an end to anti-Semitism around the globe and strengthen peace efforts in the Middle East.

O God, you are full of compassion:
graciously hear our prayer.

To all who are suffering, show your mercy. We pray for firefighters, for communities devastated by fire, for all who suffer racial injustice, for migrants who seek safety, for all who are imprisoned, for victims of crime, for the unemployed, for students and faculty during the pandemic, and for medical workers, especially Lois, Jeannette, Carrie, Marcus, Jodi, Judy, Creig, Rodney, Sean and Valina.

O God, you are full of compassion:
graciously hear our prayer.

Give health and wholeness to all who are sick, including all who are suffering from the coronavirus.

O God, you are full of compassion:
graciously hear our prayer.

You show mercy beyond our expectations, far beyond our deserving. Hear now our personal prayers for our families and friends: Don Van Dorne, Noelle Kane, Diane Mettler, Harry Thomas, Liz Hanson, Doris & Ken Thompson, Karen Crockett, Marc Olson, Owen Schuetz, Obe Estby, Leanne Wells, Wendy Sandor, Cathy Churchill, Belle Shrader, Joanie & Rich Harrelson, Jill & Frank Kerton and those we name now from home (Beryl Linnell)

O God, you are full of compassion:
graciously hear our prayer.

We praise you for all the saints, especially this week for the apostle Matthew and for the gift of his gospel that speaks to us of your goodness. Give us grace to live for Christ, until we join with all the faithful in your eternal life.

O God, you are full of compassion:
graciously hear our prayer.

All these things and whatever else you see that we need, we entrust to your mercy; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Sing-along hymn for today - I Know Who Holds Tomorrow - https://youtu.be/XsHSXYjxgwM

Feeling blessed in the sun and in the rain,
Pastor Janeen