Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Created, saved and gifted by God, we seek, serve and share Jesus Christ.

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
July 11, 2021 – 10:30 am

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
901 East Stroop Road
Kettering, OH 45429-4688
(937) 298-0136


When Amos reports his vision of God judging Israel for its mistreatment of the poor, he becomes a threat to the power of the priests and the king. John the Baptist also speaks truth to power, and Herod has him killed. In Herod’s fear that Jesus is John returned from the dead, we may hear hope for the oppressed: all the prophets killed through the ages are alive in Jesus. We are called to witness to justice in company with them, and to proclaim God’s saving love.

Which Kingdom?
Amid the dancing, feasting, and complicated family dynamics of this week’s gospel text, we hear a story of two leaders who embody power very differently: John, a man of righteousness and integrity, and Herod, whose power is corrupted by fear, greed, and paranoia. The former embodies the kind of power that points us to life and wholeness. The latter kind of power results in gruesome and irrational death.
All too often, corruption and greed seem to win the day. We might find ourselves desperately searching for Christ and wondering if there is any hope to be salvaged from the wreckage of grief, anxiety, and pain present in our world.
The good news is that the story of God doesn’t end in senseless violence at the hands of power-hungry rulers. There is another banquet to come. This banquet will be a celebration in which the wealthy and powerful are not front and center. It will be a feast where Jesus is the host and there is more than enough for everyone to eat their fill. It is a banquet of new life, hope, and a kind of power that empties itself for the sake of the other.
But first we sit in the hard truths of our world. In his dying breath, John continues to challenge us, pointing the way to Jesus and proclaiming a baptism of repentance. We must train our eyes to recognize power run amok, the places where fear governs our nations, our cities, our hearts. We must cry out against injustice, and speak up when we witness the truth of God’s mercy and love being silenced.
In Christ, we have been freed to boldly proclaim and embody the gospel for the sake of our neighbors. We are citizens of God’s kingdom after all, not Herod’s. So, will we be people of courage and truth, or will we be people of self-preservation and fear? What kind of power will the church be known for in this time and place?


The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God.





All may make the sign of the cross, the sign that is marked at baptism, as the presiding minister begins.

Blessed be the holy Trinity, one God, whose steadfast love is everlasting, whose faithfulness endures from generation to generation.

Trusting in the mercy of God, let us confess our sin.

Silence is kept for reflection.

Reconciling God,
we confess that we do not trust your abundance, and we deny your presence in our lives. We place our hope in ourselves and rely on our own efforts. We fail to believe that you provide enough for all. We abuse your good creation for our own benefit. We fear difference and do not welcome others as you have welcomed us. We sin in thought, word, and deed. By your grace, forgive us; through your love, renew us; and in your Spirit, lead us; so that we may live and serve you in newness of life. Amen.

Beloved of God, by the radical abundance of divine mercy we have peace with God through Christ Jesus, through whom we have obtained grace upon grace. Our sins are forgiven. Let us live now in hope. For hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.



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.


Gathered in peace, gathered in peace, let us pray to the Lord. Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

For peace from above, and for the saving power of God, let us pray. Christ have mercy.
Christ have mercy.

For peace in the world, for the Church, for the unity of all, let us pray. Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

For this holy place, and for all who gather here for praise, let us pray. Christ have mercy.
Christ have mercy.


This is the feast! Come and celebrate the victory of our God!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! This is the feast!

Worthy is Christ, the Lamb once slain,
whose blood was shed to give freedom for all.
Power and riches, wisdom and strength,
honor and blessing; come give glory to Christ!

Yes, This is the feast! Come and celebrate the victory of our God!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! This is the feast!

Sing out with joy, all the people of God!
Join in the song of creation!
Blessing and honor, glory and might
to God and the Lamb for evermore!

Yes, This is the feast! Come and celebrate the victory of our God!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! This is the feast!

This is the feast of praise and rejoicing,
for the Lamb, the one who was slain,
will come forth now and begin God’s reign!
Sing all you people, sing Alleluia!

Yes, This is the feast! Come and celebrate the victory of our God!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! This is the feast!


O God, from you come all holy desires,
all good counsels, and all just works. Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey your commandments; and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.


God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song.


Amos is not the kind of prophet attached to temples or royal courts. Rather, he is an ordinary farmer from Judah (the southern kingdom) called by God to speak to Israel (the northern king- dom). God’s word of judgment through Amos conflicts with the king’s court prophet Amaziah, whom Amos encounters at Bethel.

A reading from the book of Amos.
This is what [the Lord GOD] showed me: the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. And the LORD said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said,
“See, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass them by; the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste, and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”
Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent to King Jroboam of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the very center of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos has said,
‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel must go into exile away from his land.’ ”
And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, earn your bread there, and prophesy there; but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.”
Then Amos answered Amaziah, “I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, and the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ ”

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

SECOND READING Ephesians 1:3-14

In Jesus, all of God’s plans and purposes have been made known as heaven and earth are united in Christ. Through Jesus, we have been chosen as God’s children and have been promised eternal salvation.

A reading from the book of Ephesians.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory., and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

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


Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!
Alleluia. Alleluia!

GOSPEL Mark 6:14-29

As Jesus and his disciples begin to attract attention, Mark recalls the story of John the Bap- tist’s martyrdom. Like John, Jesus and his disciples will also suffer at the hands of those opposed to the gospel of salvation.

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

King Herod heard of [the disciples’ preaching,] for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were saying, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” But others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.”
For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. For John had been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.” And he solemnly swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” She went out and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the baptizer.” Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

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




I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come 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.


Let us come before the triune God in prayer.

A brief silence.
Each intercession concludes:

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We lift our prayers to you, O God, trusting in your abiding grace.



The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is indeed right and good that we should everywhere and always offer thanks and praise to you, holy God, mighty and immortal, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who on this day broke the bonds of death, opening to us the way of everlasting life and giving us a foretaste of the feast to come.

And so with the Church on earth and hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna, hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna, hosanna in the highest!

Blessed are you, Holy God, from the rising of the sun to its setting, we bless your holy name. You set creation’s table with the bounty of your goodness and satisfy the needs of every living thing. You gather the peoples of the earth to feast on your promise and your presence made known to us in your Son, Jesus.

In the night in which he was bretrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgviness of sin. Do this in remembrance of me.

As often as we share this meal, we proclaim his death unitl he comes:

Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come,
Christ will come again.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon these gifts and this company, making us one in Christ Jesus. Through him all glory and honor is yours, gracious Father, with your Spirit, both now and forever.

Amen, amen, Alleluia!
Amen, amen!


Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us.
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, forever and ever. Amen.


Christ has set the table with more than enough for all. Come!

HOLY COMMUNION – Receiving the Lord’s tangible presence.

The body of Christ, given for you.
The blood of Christ, shed for you.
Each person may respond: Amen.

Communion Statement ~ If you believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is your Savior and Redeemer and would like to receive Holy Communion, then come forward to receive the elements. If you would just like to come forward and receive a blessing, then you may do that also.

NOTE: We invite everyone to come forward for Holy Communion. If you have a gluten allergy, gluten-free wafers are available upon request when receiving Communion. Also, if you prefer not to receive wine at Communion, apple juice is available upon request.


Lamb of god, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us.
Lamb of god, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us.
Lamb of god, you take away the sin of the world: grant us your peace, grant us your peace.



As we prepare to receive the sacrament today, may we quietly take this time to center our- selves on Christ, and the amazing gifts of grace and forgiveness that we have been given. As we receive the body and the blood of our Lord, let us reflect upon His sacrifice. Finally, may we take this time to ask the Holy Spirit to enter our hearts, and then to work in us and through us in the coming days.


The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bless you and always keep you in God’s grace.


Jesus, Bread of life,
we have received from your table more than we could ever ask. As you have nourished us in this meal, now strengthen us to love the world with your own life. In your name we pray. Amen.


God blesses us and sends us in mission to the world.


The blessing of God, who provides for us, feeds us, and journeys with us, be upon you now and forever.



Go in peace. You are the body of Christ.
Thanks be to God.
Created, saved and gifted by God, we seek, serve and share Jesus Christ. Hallelujah, thanks be to God!

“W + 2” = Worship Plus Two
Make a commitment to not only worship each week
but also try to find a way to serve in the congregation
and seek out a way to serve our community.


Upcoming Commemorations

Benedict of Nursia, Abbot of Monte Cassino, died around 540
Sunday, July 11, 2021

Benedict is known as the father of the Western monastic movement. Educated in Rome, he went to live as a hermit, and eventually gathered a community of monks around him. He wrote a rule for living in monasteries that is used by Benedictines and adapted by others.

Nathan Söderblom, Bishop of Uppsala, died 1931
Monday, July 12, 2021

A winner of the Nobel Prize for peace for his efforts to unite peoples after the First World War, Söderblom also called attention to the revival of early church worship principles, and helped to lay the groundwork for the World Council of Churches.

Bartolomé de Las Casas, missionary to the Indies, died 1566
Saturday, July 17, 2021

A native of Spain, Las Casas first came to the Western hemisphere while serving in the military. Granted a large estate with indigenous slaves, he freed them after he was ordained a priest. He worked in the Caribbean and Central America to improve the lives of the native peoples.

From Sundays and
Copyright 2014 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #22920.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989,
Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Curches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Eblast 7/11