February 23, 2025 – Seventh Sunday after Epiphany

Lectionary Readings   -   Gathering   -  Word  -   Eucharist   -   Sending   -   Music and Art

Lectionary Readings

Genesis 45:3–11, 15
Joseph tells his brothers, “God sent me before you to preserve life.”

Psalm 37:1–11, 39–40
Trust in the Lord and do good; you will live in the land and be secure.

1 Corinthians 15:35–38, 42–50
How are the dead raised? There is a spiritual body, raised in glory.

Luke 6:27–38
Jesus says, “Love your enemies. Be merciful. Do not judge, but forgive.”

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

The way of Christ turns the world upside down.
God’s ways are not our ways.
It moves us beyond retribution
and cycles of
God’s ways are not our ways.
It leads us to enemy-love
and scandalous forgiveness.
God’s ways are not our ways.
It calls us beyond reciprocity into radical giving.
God’s ways are not our ways.
So let us commit our way to the Lord together
until our righteousness shines like the dawn
and our justice like high noon.

Prayer of the Day

God of resurrection,
throughout the generations
you have been forging a path to new life.
Though the death-dealing ways of Empire
constantly beckon,
you call us forth to a different way,
reminding us of the power of resurrection.
Free us this day
from what tries to steal, kill, and destroy,
and restore the joy of our salvation,
that we might live secure with you. Amen.

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Thanksgiving for Baptism

At the baptismal font:
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
O Lord our God, we give you thanks
for the faith, hope, and love you give to us
through the blessing of our baptism—
claiming us as your beloved children,
calling us to the path of discipleship,
revealing to us the light of your glory.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
poured out upon us in baptism,
help us to follow you with faith,
to trust in you with hope,
and to serve you with love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Confession and Pardon

At the baptismal font:
Jesus teaches first by example.
The one who says, “Do not judge, but forgive,”
asks only of us what he has already done for us.
Let us practice the Teacher’s instruction in prayer.

O Christ,
the economy of your love is beautiful,
expending goodness
and extending lines of forgiveness
beyond our imagining.
The economy of our love
is stingy and crooked.
We invest love where it can be repaid.
We spend mercy where it yields gain.
We advance blessing we can bank on.
We hold grudges with interest.
We do all of this with no recognition
of how deeply indebted we are to you.
Forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors,
we pray with our whole hearts.

Lifting water from the font:
How are the dead raised?
Through the death and resurrection of Jesus,
our weakness gives way to power,
our dishonor disintegrates into glory,
and we are raised with Christ.
This is gospel!
In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:
Saving God, source of our calling,
your Word is full of power and glory.
Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
so that we may receive your grace
and live as your beloved children;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Before the readings: 
Listen for the Word of God, 
shaking the wilderness. 
Psalm 29:8

After the readings: 
Powerful and full of majesty 
is the voice of the Lord. 
Thanks be to God. 
Psalm 29:4


Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
And in the temple of the Lord, 
the people of God say: Glory! Amen.
Psalm 29:9

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Affirmation of Faith

God’s sovereign love is a mystery
beyond the reach of the human mind.
Human thought ascribes to God
superlatives of power, wisdom, and goodness.
But God reveals divine love in Jesus Christ
by showing power in the form of a servant,
wisdom in the folly of the cross,
and goodness in receiving
sinful men and women.
The power of God’s love in Christ
to transform the world
discloses that the Redeemer
is the Lord and Creator
who made all things
to serve the purpose of God’s love.
Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.15

Prayers of Intercession

Joining our hearts and minds in prayer,
let us call on the name of the Lord,
saying: O God of grace, bless us with peace.

We pray for the church . . .
Draw us together in your mercy
that we may overcome what divides us
and proclaim your saving love to all.
O God of grace, bless us with peace.

We pray for the world . . .
Thwart the schemes of the wicked
that the meek may inherit the land
and delight in your abundance.
O God of grace, bless us with peace.

We pray for this community . . .
Help us to provide for all in need—
food and clothing, peace and safety,
welcome and kindness, blessing and grace.
O God of grace, bless us with peace.

We pray for loved ones . . .
Remember those who are suffering:
look with tenderness upon them
and raise them from the dust of death.
O God of grace, bless us with peace.

Mighty God, strengthen your people
so that we may live in the world
as those you have chosen and called;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
There is only one Lord and God,
from whom all things come
and for whom we live.
Let us offer our lives to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 8:4–6

Prayer of Dedication

At the communion table:
We praise and thank you, Lord God,
for the majesty of your work,
the wisdom of your word,
and the generosity of your grace.
Let the gifts of our lives bear witness
to your goodness and mercy,
your faithfulness and justice,
and your steadfast love for all. Amen.
Psalm 111

Great Thanksgiving

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.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God:
You are faithful and just, loving and merciful.
Through the ages
you have preserved your people,
providing for us in times of trouble.


Therefore we praise you, joining the song
of the universal church and the heavenly choir:
A Sanctus (“Holy, holy, holy”) is sung.

Blessed is Jesus Christ, our Savior:
Jesus teaches us your way of love—
to love our enemies,
bless those who curse us,
and do for others
as we would have them do for us.

The words of institution are included here.

Remembering your goodness and grace,
we offer ourselves to you with gratitude
as we share this joyful feast.

A Memorial Acclamation
(e.g., “Christ has died”) is sung.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon this bread and cup;
make us one in the body and blood
of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sow within us the seed of resurrection,
that our shame may become your glory
and our weakness may reveal your power.

Through the Lord Jesus Christ,
in the unity of the Spirit,
we bless you, God of glory,
now and forever.
An Amen is sung.

Lord’s Prayer


Breaking the Bread


Communion of the People


Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Prayer after Communion

At the communion table:
We give you thanks and praise, O God,
that you have fed us with your mercy
and poured out your Spirit in this place.
Continue to nourish and fill us each day,
that we may live as your beloved people;
in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church:
May the blessing of the Lord our God, 
the grace of Jesus Christ, 
and the power of the Holy Spirit 
be with you now and forever. Alleluia!
Luke 4:18–19

In the name of Jesus, 
bring good news to the poor. Amen.
Luke 4:18

Bible Quilt

Harriet Powers

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • God Is Calling through the Whisper (O) W ŻŁOBIE LEŻY GTG 410

  • A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing! (E) DEO GRACIAS GTG 258

  • Forgive Our Sins as We Forgive (G) DETROIT GTG 444

  • Together (O) I WILL SING WITH YOU VT 389


  • O God, in a Mysterious Way (O) DUNDEE GTG 30

  • The Strife Is O’er (E) VICTORY GTG 236

  • Make Me a Channel of Your Peace (G) PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS GTG 753

  • Celtic Alleluia (G) CELTIC ALLELUIA LUYH 198

  • Quiero ser, Señor, instrumento de tu paz (G) Tradicional SSS 263


  • Commit Your Way to God the Lord (O) GUILSBOROUGH GTG 706

  • Day of Arising (E) RAABE GTG 252

  • Healer of Our Every Ill (G) HEALER OF OUR EVERY ILL GTG 795


  • Be Still, My Soul (O) FINLANDIA GTG 819

  • Christ Is Alive! (E) TRURO GTG 246

  • Help Us Accept Each Other (G) BARONITA GTG 754

Psalms and Canticles

Psalm 37:1–11, 39–40

  • Commit Your Way to God the Lord [ROCKINGHAM, GUILSBOROUGH]; PAS 37A, LUYH 850, GTG 706

  • Fret Not Yourself with Wickedness [CMD]; SGP 59

  • The Righteous Have a Lifelong Aim [LMD]; MPS 37


  • Wait for the Lord, Whose Day Is Near; PAS 37B

  • Wait for the Lord; Patiently Wait; PP 72

Organ Music

  • “Solemn Processional on When the Saints Go Marching In,” Oxford Hymn Settings: Autumn, Rebecca Groom te Velde, OUP (ME)

  • “Be Still My Soul,” Six Hymn Improvisations, Set 7, Kevin Hildebrand, CON (E)

  • “Fantasy: Torah Song,” Craig Phillips, SEL (A)

  • “Postlude on SINE NOMINE,” Oxford Hymn Settings: Autumn, Paul Leddingtom, OUP (M)

Piano Music

  • “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace,” PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS, Sing a New Song, Douglas Wagner, HOPE (M)

  • “O God of Every Nation,” LLANGLOFFAN, The Church Pianist’s Library, vol. 11, Jason Krug, LOR (M)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “Trust in the Lord,” Rollo Dilworth, HAL, SATB, pno (E)

  • “The Mystery of Years,” Dan Forrest, LOR, SATB, keybd, opt hn, opt stngs (M)

  • “The Mighty Power of God,” Glenn Eernisse, Celebrating Grace, uni/2 pt, pno, opt hb (E)

  • “In Heavenly Love Abiding,” Marianne Forman, Celebrating Music, SATB, pno (ME)


  • A Sermon for Our Ancestors, Laura James, 2006 (VCS)

  • Story of Joseph, John August Swanson, 2005 (VDL)

  • Luke 6:27, Timothy R. Botts, 2016 (EYE)

  • Madonna of the Harvest, John August Swanson, 2010 (VCS)