PAUSE FOR REFLECTION
“Do not be hard-hearted toward your needy neighbor;
rather open your hand.”
CALL TO WORSHIP Isaiah 58:6-11
If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always and satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
OPENING HYMN “This Is My Song,” Peacemaking Virtual Choir Project, PCUSA
CHRISTIAN READING Matthew 25: 14-30, The Parable of the Talents
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.
Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
ANOTHER VOICE THEME VIDEO. “We Stand Arm in Arm,” PCUSA Leaders
“Matthew 25: Eradicating Poverty”
Rev. Don Ludwig
To read the sermon text, click here.
MEDITATION & PASTORAL PRAYER Karuna (compassion) meditation mantra
May I find release
May I find peace
May I be at ease
May you find release
May you find peace
May you be at ease
May you (in the global sense) find release
May you find peace
May you be at ease
God of the Margins, we humble ourselves and cry out for hope in the midst of so much despair. We lift the communities where racialized violence has occurred and unrest has been stirred. Open our hearts, minds and understanding to your movement in the margins. Let us release our attachment to our current world order and walk bravely into the world you’ve intended for us, even and especially when it costs us something. May your kin-dom come, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. For this we pray standing arm and arm. Today and always. A-men.
RESPONSIVE HYMN “When the Poor Ones” – CUANDO EL POBLE (Glory to God, #762)
Minute for Mission, Offering and Announcements:
As we reflect on all of our blessings, individually and as a community, may we consider how we may give of ourselves so that the work of Christ’s love and peace may continue throughout our world.
(Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, to discover simple ways you may give electronically or via mail. Thank you for supporting the staff and on-going ministries of Southminster Presbyterian Church).
FINAL BLESSING & BENEDICTION John Lewis
“Walk with the wind, brothers and sisters,
and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.” A-men.