August 16, 2020
Pastor: How good it is to gather as God's people!
People: Here, there are no
barriers between us;
Where, we make no distinctions among people.
Pastor: When we come together as God's family,
People: It is as if the sacred
water of baptism
is once more running down our cheeks.
Pastor: When we rejoice together, when we pray together,
when we serve together,
People: We know the abundant
God has promised us as the family of God.
Pastor: We come as the Body of Christ!
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND SHARING
CALL TO WORSHIP
Pastor: When hatred and division separate us
love binds us together.
Pastor: When quarrels estrange us from one another,
People: Christ’s light shows us the way to reconciliation.
Pastor: When we feel excluded and left out,
People: The Spirit’s peace eases our pain.
Pastor: When all hope of fellowship seems lost,
People: God’s grace restores our hope.
Pastor: Come! Let us worship God, who makes us one.
Eternal God, part the veil that blinds us to our unity as your beloved children. When those we love hurt and betray us, help us let go of our pain and find the balm of forgiveness. When we feel abandoned by those we trust, help us seek your peace and reconciliation. When our hearts are pierced with anguish, help us find those who will bring us solace, through your loving Spirit. Amen.
INTROIT: Bind Us Together TFWS #2226
CALL TO CONFESSION
Even as we gather to praise God, we must remember As God sent Joseph to Egypt to prepare for the coming famine, so God watches over each of us. Let us now confess to God our shortcomings and our sinful nature. Let us pray.
Merciful God, we yearn to be like Joseph who wept with forgiveness on the necks of those who sold him into slavery.
But we fear that our anger would lead us to take retribution on those who have wronged us,
We long to see in the Canaanite woman a child of God worthy of mercy and compassion.
But we fear that our deep-seated prejudices might lead us to dismiss her out of hand, as Jesus’ disciples did before us.
We want to open our hearts, O God, to those who are different from ourselves.
But we fear to expect too much of ourselves.
Help us know the joy of living in peace and harmony, even with those we would rather live without.
WORDS OF ASSURANCE
Pastor: It is God who hears us, God who forgives us, God who loves us, and God who gives us new life.
People: Even now, God is with us, filling our hearts with peace and joy. Thanks be to God. Amen.
HYMN OF ASSURANCE: Victory in Jesus #370
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
O Lord, open our eyes, our ears, our minds, and our hearts;
That we might behold wondrous things out of your word.
FIRST LESSON: Genesis 45: 1-15
Joseph Reveals Himself to His Brothers
45 Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Send everyone away from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. 3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7 God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9 Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. 10 You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11 I will provide for you there—since there are five more years of famine to come—so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.’ 12 And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you. 13 You must tell my father how greatly I am honored in Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks Be to God
SERMON: “Known by Our Scars” Pastor Russel
JOYS AND CONCERNS
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
INVITATION TO OFFERING
How beautiful it is when the family of God gives generously with mercy and love! Let us share that beauty with the world as we receive God’s offering this day.
THE LORD’S OFFERING
Lord, we offer our gifts in gratitude for the love of Christ. Bless both the gifts and the givers, and grant that both may be used effectively in serving you. Amen.
Pastor: The God of dreams has brought us together.
People: The God of dreams sends us forth to love one another well.
Pastor: The God of love has knit us together in unity.
People: The God of love sends us forth to heal our divisions.
Pastor: The God of hope sends us forth together.
People: The God of peace sends us forth to bring the world home.
Closing Hymn: They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love TFWS #2223
Pastor: Rev. Russel W. Shuluga
Liturgist: David Spencer
Every Sunday Morning at 11:15 AM
Meeting ID: 412 731 2511
From your phone (312) 626-6799
*Please note that the information above for ZOOM service is the same for every Sunday Zoom worship service.
August Mission Opportunity
“Home of Hope Outreach Program”
During the month of August, Mifflin Avenue, with our monetary donations, will sponsor two young girls, named Ivy Chimasa and Makamka Gosa in Zimbabwe. Over one million or one out of every four children is an orphan in Zimbabwe. Most live with extended family, a friend, or even as “child-led households.” Education is not free, and without financial support most of these children will not remain in school.
The Home of Hope Outreach program keeps children in school by sponsors who pay $75.00/year to cover school fees and $25.00 to provide a filled backpack. If you would like to contribute to the education of Ivy and Makamka, make your check payable to MAUMC and write “Home of Hope” on the memo line. You may also use PayPal to donate.