Church Info

Messiah Lutheran Church

8497 Miller Rd.

Swartz Creek, MI 48473



Pastor - Bart Muller

Cell:  810-229-0217




Office Hours

Wednesday 9:30am - 11:30am


Service Times

9:00am Worship Service





Food Pantry



road sign


October 2020

Bible Readings October, 2020  Year A

October 4, 2020   Time after Pentecost---Lectionary 27

In today's gospel reading, Jesus tells a parable of the vineyard, an image of Israel, the prophets’ mission, and Christ’s death.  For Christians, the vineyard also speaks of God’s love poured out in the blood of Christ, given to us for the forgiveness of sin.  Grafted onto Christ the vine  at baptism, we are nourished with wine and bread, that we may share Christ’s sufferings and know the power of his resurrection.


Prayer of the Day


Congregation: Beloved God, from you come all things that are good.  Lead us by the       inspiration of your Spirit to know those things that are right, and by your merciful guidance, help us to do them, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen

Old Testament Reading---Isaiah 5:1-7

The prophet sings a sad, parable-like love song about the relationship between God and Israel.  In this song Israel is compared to a promising vineyard.  Despite God’s loving care, the vineyard that is Israel has brought forth “wild grapes of justice and righteousness were expected.

5Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. 2He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; he expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. 3And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. 4What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it? When I expected it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? 5And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. 6I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. 7For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his pleasant planting; he expected justice, but saw bloodshed; righteousness, but heard a cry!

Psalm 80:7-15

7Restore us, O God of hosts;

 let your face shine, that we may be saved. 

8You brought a vine out of Egypt;

 you drove out the nations and planted it. 

9You cleared the ground for it;

 it took deep root and filled the land. 

10The mountains were covered with its shade

the mighty cedars with its branches; 

11it sent out its branches to the sea, 

and its shoots to the River. 

12Why then have you broken down its walls,

 so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit

13The boar from the forest ravages it, 

and all that move in the field feed on it. 

14Turn again, O God of hosts; look down from heaven, and see;

 have regard for this vine

15the stock that your right hand planted. 

October 4, 2020   Time after Pentecost---Lectionary 27

New Testament Reading---Philippians 3:4b-14

Paul reviews some of his supposed credentials, which no longer have any bearing in comparison to the right relationship he has been given through the death of Christ.  The power of Christ’s resurrection motivates him to press on toward the ultimate goal, eternal life with Christ.

 If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 12Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. 

October 4, 2020  Time after Pentecost---Lectionary 27

The Gospel Reading---Matthew 21:33-46

Jesus tells a parable to the religious leaders who are plotting his death, revealing that their plans will, ironically, bring about the fulfillment of scripture.

33“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 34When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. 35But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. 37Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.” 39So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.” 42Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’? 43Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. 44The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.” 45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 46They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.

October 11, 2020   Time after Pentecost---Lectionary 28

In Isaiah we are given a vision of the great feast to come, when God will wipe away death forever.  In Jesus’ 

parable about a great banquet, those invited do not come, so the invitation is extended to others.  In our liturgy 

God spreads a table before us.  Even amid anxiety and hardship we rejoice in the peace of God which surpasses 

all understanding.  With great joy we feast at the table of the Lord, and we go forth to share the wonderful            invitation with others hungering and thirsting for the abundant life of God.


Prayer of the Day


Congregation: Lord of the feast, you have prepared a table before all peoples and poured

      out your life with abundance.  Call us again to your banquet.  Strengthen us by what 

      is honorable, just, and pure, and transform us into a people of righteousness and 

      peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen

Old Testament Reading---Isaiah 25:1-9

After a hymn a praise acknowledging God as a shelter for the poor, the prophet portrays a wonderful victory banquet at which death—which in ancient Canaan was depicted as a monster swallowing everyone up—will be swallowed up forever.  The prophet urges celebration of this victory of salvation.

O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you, I will praise your name; for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure. 2For you have made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the palace of aliens is a city no more, it will never be rebuilt. 3Therefore strong peoples will glorify you; cities of ruthless nations will fear you. 4For you have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat. When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm, 5the noise of aliens like heat in a dry place, you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds; the song of the ruthless was stilled. 6On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. 7And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever. 8Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. 9It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Psalm 23

1The Lord is my shepherd,

 I shall not want. 

2He makes me lie down in green pastures; 

he leads me beside still waters; 

3he restores my soul. 

He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. 

4Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil;

  for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me. 

5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; 

you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 

6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,

 and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long. 

October 11, 2020   Time after Pentecost---Lectionary 28

New Testament Reading---Philippians 4:1-9

Though writing from prison and facing an uncertain future, Paul calls on the Philippians to rejoice and give thanks to God no matter what the circumstance.  God’ peace is with us and binds together our hearts and minds in Jesus Christ, especially when things around us do not seem peaceful.

4Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved. 2I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. 4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

October 11, 2020   Time after Pentecost---Lectionary 28

The Gospel Reading---Matthew 22:1-14

Jesus tells a parable indicating that the blessings of God’s kingdom are available to all, but the invitation is not to be taken lightly.

Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: 2“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. 4Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’ 5But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, 6while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. 7The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 8Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ 10Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, 12and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. 13Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”

October 18, 2020   Time after Pentecost---Lectionary 29

In today’s first reading God uses the Gentile ruler Cyrus to accomplish divine purposes.  When the Pharisees try to trap Jesus, he tells them to give the emperor what belongs to him and to God what belongs to God.  To gather for worship reminds us that our ultimate allegiance is to God rather than to any earthly authority.  Created in the image of God, we offer our entire selves in the service of God and for the sake of the world.


Prayer of the Day


Congregation:  Sovereign God, raise your throne in our hearts.  Created by you, let us live in your image; created for you, let us act for your glory; redeemed by you, let us give you what is yours, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.


Old Testament Reading---Isaiah 45:1-7

The prophet announces that Cyrus the Persian emperor is the one the Lord has anointed to end Israel’s exile.  The Lord makes this choice so that the whole world will recognize this Lord as the only God.  Persia had a god of light and a god of darkness; the Lord claims sovereignty over both light and darkness.

Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped to subdue nations before him and strip kings of their robes, to open doors before him— and the gates shall not be closed: 2I will go before you and level the mountains, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, 3I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. 4For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I surname you, though you do not know me. 5I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no god. I arm you, though you do not know me, 6so that they may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is no one besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. 7I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things. 

Psalm 96:1-13

1O sing to the Lord a new song; 

sing to the Lord, all the earth. 

2Sing to the Lord, bless his name; 

tell of his salvation from day to day. 

3Declare his glory among the nations,

  his marvelous works among all the peoples. 

4For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;

 he is to be revered above all gods. 

5For all the gods of the peoples are idols,

 but the Lord made the heavens. 

6Honor and majesty are before him; 

strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 

7Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,

 ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 

8Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;

 bring an offering, and come into his courts. 

9Worship the Lord in holy splendor; 

tremble before him, all the earth. 

10Say among the nations, “The Lord is king! The world is firmly established;

 it shall never be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity.” 

11Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;

 let the sea roar, and all that fills it; 

12let the field exult, and everything in it. 

Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy 

13before the Lord; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth.

 He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth. 

October 18, 2020   Time after Pentecost---Lectionary 29

New Testament Reading---1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Most likely this letter is the first written by Paul.  Paul is giving pastoral encouragement and reassurances to new Christians living in an antagonistic pagan environment.  Their commitment of faith, love, and hope makes them a model for other new Christian communities.Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. 2We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly 3remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, 5because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake. 6And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, 7so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. 9For the people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming. 

October 18, 2020   Time after Pentecost---Lectionary 29

The Gospel Reading---Matthew 22:15-22

After Jesus begins teaching in the temple, religious leaders try to trap him with questions.  First they ask if God’s people should pay axes to and earthly tyrant like Caesar.

15Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap Jesus in what he said. 16So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. 17Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” 18But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? 19Show me the coin used for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. 20Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” 21They answered, “The emperor’s.” Then he said to them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.

October 25, 2020   Reformation Sunday

Rooted in the past and growing into the future, the church must always be reformed in or to live out the love of Christ in an ever-changing world.  We celebrate the good news of God’s grace, that Jesus Christ sets us free every day to do this life-transforming work.  Trusting in the freedom given to us in baptism, we pray for the church, that Christians will unite more fully in worship and mission.

The Prayer of the Day

C: Almighty God, gracious Lord, we thank you that your Holy Spirit renews the church in every age. Pour out your Holy Spirit on your faithful people.  Keep them steadfast in your word, protect and comfort them in times of trial, defend them against all enemies of the gospel, and bestow on the church your saving peace, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.   Amen

Old Testament Reading---Jeremiah 31:31-34

The renewed covenant will not be breakable, but like the old covenant it will expect the people to live upright lives.  To know the Lord means that one will defend the cause of the poor and needy.  The renewed covenant is possible only because the Lord will forgive iniquity and not remember sin.  Our hope lies in a God who forgets.

31The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Psalm 46

1God is our refuge and strength,

 a very present help in trouble. 

2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, 

though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; 

3though its waters roar and foam,

 though the mountains tremble with its tumult.  

4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

 the holy habitation of the Most High. 

5God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; 

God will help it when the morning dawns. 

6The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;

 he utters his voice, the earth melts. 

7The Lord of hosts is with us;

  the God of Jacob is our refuge.  

8Come, behold the works of the Lord;

 see what desolations he has brought on the earth. 

9He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, 

and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. 

10“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations,

 I am exalted in the earth.” 

11The Lord of hosts is with us;

  the God of Jacob is our refuge.  

October 25, 2020   Reformation Sunday

New Testament Reading---Romans 3:19-28

Paul’s words stand at the heart of the reaching of Martin Luther and the other Reformation leaders.  No human beings make themselves right with God through works of the law.  We are brought into right relationship with God through the divine activity centered in Christ’s death. This act is gift of grace that liberates us from sin and empowers our faith in Jesus Christ.

19Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20For “no human being will be justified in his sight” by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. 21But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus. 27Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.

October 25, 2020   Reformation Sunday

The Gospel Reading---John 8:31-36

Jesus speaks of truth and freedom as spiritual realities known through his word.  He reveals the truth that sets people free from sin.

31Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?” 34Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. 36So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.