Due to copyright limitations, we are unable to print the words to the songs.  However, our musicians have chosen music to fit the scriptures.  We invite you to look up the words in your worship book and ponder them.  If you do not have a worship book, ponder the words to one of your favourite hymns and listen for God’s voice. Those who have internet may find the songs on YouTube.


Live simply, so that others may simply live.


It is easy to use the parable of the rich fool to be critical of luxury cars and mansions, but what if the surplus product for which we make more space is toilet paper? The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 created a shared experience of surplus and shortage in the way of toilet paper. Store shelves were empty, leaving people struggling to find it for weeks. This shortage was likely created by some who stockpiled toilet paper. The rich man expects that bigger barns will give him an opportunity to relax and be well cared for. While some people have medical needs that require more toilet paper at hand, others no doubt purchased a surplus, hoping it would allow some relaxation of the stress of the pandemic. This may not be the same relaxation the rich man seeks, but it gives us an opportunity to wrestle with the communal impact of some having an excess that leaves others struggling for the necessities of life.


We acknowledge that we gather to worship on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people.

Every time we acknowledge this truth, we have an invitation and an opportunity to reflect on what we do and what we can do to make Manitoba a better place for everyone who lives here.


God’s Spirit calls to our spirits,

inviting us to worship.

God’s Spirit calls to our spirits,

inviting us by love.

God’s Spirit calls to our spirits,

calling us by name, calling us to grow in faith, calling us to be made new.

We come to worship in this season of the Spirit.


CHILDREN’S SONG:  Don’t Build Your House On The Sandy Land

Don’t build your house on the sandy land, don’t build it too near the shore,
Well, it might look kind of nice but you’ll have to build it twice,
Oh, you’ll have to build your house once more.

You’d better build your house upon the rock (clap, clap), make a firm foundation on a solid spot.
Though the storms may come and go, the peace of God you will know.


Benevolent God, you are the source, the guide, and the goal of our lives. Teach us to love what is worth loving, to reject what is offensive to you, and to treasure what is precious in your sight, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.


We are not alone; we live in God’s world.

We believe in God:  who has created and is creating, who has come in Jesus, the Word made flesh, to reconcile and make new, who works in us and others by the Spirit.

We trust in God.

We are called to be the Church:  to celebrate God’s presence, to live with respect in Creation,.to love and serve others, to seek justice and resist evil, to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, our judge and our hope.

In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us.  We are not alone.  Thanks be to God.


Take a regular piece of white paper and a black Sharpie marker.  Put something under the paper so the ink does not bleed onto your desk or table.  In capitol letters, print the word ME.  Go over and over the letters until you think the ink has soaked through the paper.

Now, turn over the paper.  What do you notice?  You notice that the word ME has become the word WE!  Yep, can you hear Jesus talking to you?  We may want to believe that life is all about us – it isn’t.  Life is about community, family, neighbours, and us being part of that.

Jesus is NOT saying that individuals don’t matter!  Jesus IS saying that we need to remember that if we begin to become greedy, and want more than we need, someone else suffers with less.  Our choices can affect others.  Choose with love.      


MINUTE FOR MISSION:  Gifts With Vision At Work In Ukraine


During peaceful times Kharkiv has a population of 1.5 million people—larger than Calgary and just a bit smaller than Montreal. But since the Russian invasion in February, half of those people have fled the city for safer places. Those who are still in Kharkiv are the people who can’t leave: because they have nowhere to go, because they’re unable to travel, or because they’re taking care of others who must stay.

Grocery stores in Kharkiv are closed, public transit has stopped running, there is no electricity or running water, and many roads and buildings are unsafe. Although the daily Russian air raids have ended there are still intermittent rocket attacks and people still spend time in shelters. Add to this the fact that most people who are still there live in poverty or are disabled, and it’s clear that those who are left in Kharkiv are the ones least able to survive without help.

ACT Alliance member Hungarian Interchurch Aid has recently been able to bring relief shipments to volunteers in Kharkiv, like Sergei Babin. Babin and his team are providing those who are unable to leave the city with food and other items they need.

“We are grateful for any kind of help, as the people of Kharkiv have been suffering from this serious humanitarian crisis for many weeks now,” he says.

Providing emergency food and hygiene kits is one way your generous support of Mission & Service partners is helping support Ukrainian refugees.

Thank you for your compassion.



God, the words you speak have power: power to create, power to disturb, power to heal.  Help us to hear your Word for us today.  Amen.

Readings and Psalm:

First Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23

The teacher of wisdom who wrote Ecclesiastes sees that working for mere accumulation of wealth turns life into an empty game, a “vanity of vanities.” Nevertheless, he asserts in the next verse, it is good to find enjoyment in one’s work because such enjoyment is a gift from God.

2Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher,

vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

12I, the Teacher, when king over Israel in Jerusalem, 13applied my mind to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven; it is an unhappy business that God has given to human beings to be busy with. 14I saw all the deeds that are done under the sun; and see, all is vanity and a chasing after wind.

2:18I hated all my toil in which I had toiled under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to those who come after me 19—and who knows whether they will be wise or foolish? Yet they will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. 20So I turned and gave my heart up to despair concerning all the toil of my labors under the sun, 21because sometimes one who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave all to be enjoyed by another who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22What do mortals get from all the toil and strain with which they toil under the sun? 23For all their days are full of pain, and their work is a vexation; even at night their minds do not rest. This also is vanity.

Psalm 49:1-12

R:  My mouth shall speak of wisdom. (Ps. 49:3)

1Hear this, all you peoples; give ear, all you who dwell in the world,
2you of high degree and low, rich and poor together.
3My mouth shall speak of wisdom, and my heart shall meditate on understanding.
4I will incline my ear to a proverb and set forth my riddle upon the harp. R
5Why should I be afraid in evil days, when the wickedness of those at my heels surrounds me,
6the wickedness of those who put their trust in their own prowess,
and boast of their great riches?
7One can never redeem another, or give to God the ransom for another’s life;
8for the ransom of a life is so great that there would never be enough to pay it,
9in order to live forever and ever and never see the grave.
10For we see that the wise die also; like the dull and stupid they perish
and leave their wealth to those who come after them.
11Their graves shall be their homes forever, their dwelling places from generation to generation,
though they had named lands after themselves.
12Even though honored, they cannot live forever; they are like the beasts that perish. R

Second Reading: Colossians 3:1-11

Life in Christ includes a radical reorientation of our values. Just as the newly baptized shed their old clothes and put on new garments, so Christians are called to let go of greed and take hold of a life shaped by God’s love in Christ.

1So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, 3for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

5Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). 6On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. 7These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life. 8But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. 9Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices 10and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. 11In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!

Gospel: Luke 12:13-21

Someone in the crowd said to , “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” And said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” Then told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”

HYMN:  VU 508  Just As I Am


Pentecost 8

Bishop Larry Kochendorfer
Synod of Alberta and the Territories

Welcome to this summer sermon series that our Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is providing for congregations. I am Larry Kochendorfer and I serve as the Bishop of the Synod of Alberta and the Territories. It is great to be with you this Sunday.

In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, I honour and acknowledge that I live and work and pray on traditional and ancestral territory of the many First Nations, Metis, and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands for centuries. I am speaking to you today from Treaty 6 territory and Metis Nation of Alberta, Region III, in Edmonton. I invite you to hold a moment of reflection for the ground under your feet where you are today, giving thanks for the peoples who have come before us and in a spirit of care for this land on behalf of future generations.


Prayer: (Evangelical Lutheran Worship: Additional Prayers – Commitment. ©2006 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Augsburg Fortress, p. 86.)

Into your hands, almighty God, we place ourselves: our minds to know you, our hearts to love you, our wills to serve you, for we are yours.

Into your hands, incarnate Savior, we place ourselves: receive us and draw us after you, that we may follow your steps; abide in us and enliven us by the power of your indwelling.

Into your hands, O hovering Spirit, we place ourselves: take us and fashion us after your image; let your comfort strengthen, your grace renew, and your fire cleanse us, soul and body, in life and in death, in this world of shadows and in your changeless world of light eternal, now and forever.  Amen.

It was one of those blessed summer holiday moments. Picture this: a marvellously warm, summer afternoon in my backyard. The grass freshly mowed; the garden of beans, peas, sunflowers, gladiola, potatoes, beets and carrots reaching for the bright, brilliant, warm sun; the perennials blooming majestically in pinks and reds and golds and purples; the hydrangea which had survived another Edmonton winter in our un-heated garage was producing leaves and soon flowers would grace the branches; the birdhouse next to the garage was an active home with the parents constantly flying to and fro, busy with the activity of mouths to feed and chicks to raise; our grandchild playing contentedly, running back and forth in the backyard; an excellent book in my hands, a hat on my head, a cold beverage beside me, relaxed, content, several days of holiday before me – all was right in my world.

I considered my life…my family…healthy and happy. And it was good. It was very good!

“Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” I grabbed another beverage and settled back on my plush, extremely comfortable, outdoor lawn furniture.

Summer – with the family at relatives, or on a long-awaited post-pandemic trip, or just relaxing on the deck in the backyard – is a time for visions of contentment. I hope that your summer has blessed you with similar moments. If not on a beautiful beach, or hiking in the mountains, or kayaking on the nearby lake, then maybe when you witnessed your child graduate from university, or when you romped with a grandchild on the living room carpet, or when you were lazing around the backyard with good friends, or when you pondered your golf score – pleased to be only a few strokes over par. “Soul…relax, eat, drink, be merry.”

This morning’s parable begins, not in contentment, but in a quandary. A rich landowner has a problem. The landowner has received a spectacular harvest, a harvest so great that he has nowhere to store all of the grain.

“He thought to himself,” Jesus says, “he deliberated with himself…he had a discussion with himself, saying, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’”

And then, still talking to himself, he says, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.

He doesn’t just plan to build new barns to augment his old ones, he plans to tear down his old barns and to build new barns, huge barns…this was some harvest!

If the rich landowner has enough from this harvest to need larger barns…to be tearing down the old and building new, larger barns…then the harvest must have been nothing short of miraculous. The rich landowner hasn’t just done well, he has done very well!  Miraculously well!

And still talking to himself, he says, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”

We most often call this parable, name this parable, the parable of the rich landowner…but Jesus doesn’t.

Jesus begins the story, not with talk about the man, but with talk about the land and its’ bounty. “The land of a rich man produced abundantly,” Jesus tells the hearer.

What Jesus first noted is the miraculous barn-bursting harvest. A gift. A miracle. “The land…produced abundantly.”

Recently I was visiting family in northwestern Alberta on the family farm. A farm of several generations now. A farm on which my elderly parents still live, and which my twin brother and sister-in-law farm, and now, farm with their son and daughter-in-law and family.

The fields were lush and green. The rains in that part of Alberta have come at just the right times. The day my brother finished seeding the rain began. Ideal weather for germination, and growth, and hope-filled harvest.

My father, perhaps the typical, stereotypical farmer, is never one to count the chickens before they’re hatched, never one to count the harvest before the crop is harvested and the grain dry and in the bin; or in a good year, a very good year, when the crop is harvested and augered on to the ground in an ever-growing mountain of grain when there is no room in the bins.

The weather is never quite perfect for my father, the stereotypical farmer. “How are the crops?” I ask regularly. And he is never satisfied. There is always a need for a bit slower snowmelt in the spring or there has been too much snowmelt together with the spring rain. It has been too dry, and the crops are withering or its been too wet, and the crops are turning yellow.

“How are the crops?” I ask. And in his telling of the weather, he isn’t complaining…no, not complaining if you listen closely. No, my father is telling the reality of farming, of planting seed and waiting and wondering and hoping…and trusting…that again a miracle will take place…that again there will be a crop to harvest.

No, he isn’t complaining, he is affirming a belief, his trust, in the creator of all, who has provided and continues to provide…he is speaking the language of faith…of trust and belief in the wonder of the land which provides…a gift…a miracle.

My father’s focus, his witness, begins with the creator, and with the land and its’ bounty. But not this rich landowner.

Just notice how the blessings become a burden. The gift becomes a problem…a huge problem.  And the story becomes not, “what a miraculous gift” and gratitude and thanks to the creator, but “how do I manage my miracle? What should I do? I have no place to store my crops. I will pull down my barns. I will store my grain and my goods. I will say to my soul, ‘relax, eat, drink, be merry.’”

If we take a closer look at today’s text we will discover that this rich landowner uses “I” a multitude of times, and “my” several times, and even the word “you” refers to himself.

All of the talk in this parable, thus far, has been the monologue of the landowner. He talks to himself, plans for himself, congratulates himself, celebrates himself. The rich landowner manages by “I” and “my.”

It is only at the end, at the very end, that another voice speaks into the parable…the voice of God.

This voice doesn’t accuse the landowner of injustice, or immorality, or even greed. This voice simply says, “You fool!”

“You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” End of story.

In the Greek of this text this verse says something like this: “Fool, this very night they shall demand your life.” They.

These things themselves…are the they. The landowner thought these things were his miracle – what am I going to do with my grain and my goods. He thought these things were his.

Surprise! He was the thing to manage as they pleased.

This parable tells the story…the irony of a landowner who thought he had so many things, only to discover that his things had him. That he had nothing…and that nothing was his.

If your life is like mine, and like the rich landowners, we often think, we are managing our modern lives quite well…with all that we cannot live without…and all that the world, its media and management, tell us we must have to be successful, even to have an identity, only to discover that things are managing us.

And it all becomes a monologue as we pat ourselves on our backs for our great progress, our miracles, our great work, our great contributions, our homes, our vocations, our health – our lives. And just when we get it all fenced in, hedged in, insured, locked in, there comes a voice from the outside, that intrusive, instructive, truth-telling voice – “these things you have prepared, whose will they be?”

A voice…the voice…which states only the facts… “Fool.”

Today, once again this voice speaks into my own false sense of security, my own smug contentment, and I am addressed, called “fool” by the One who is the source of all that I am and all that I will ever be.  “Fool!”


But there is more today…more for us who are caught up in this back-patting, congratulatory, self-centered, turned-in-on-self, I and my – this voice continues to speak words of grace, hope, new life, new beginnings into our lives…for us fools; this voice…the One who is the source of all that we are and all that we will ever be… speaks to us in the words of forgiveness following our own words of confession…of foolishness:  “Almighty God, rich in mercy, abundant in love, forgives you all your sin and grants you newness of life in Jesus Christ.”

And again, we will hear this voice…the voice of the One who is the source of all that we are and all that we will ever be…when we gather for a simple meal…for fools: “Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.  This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.”

This is the voice of the One who is source of all that we are and all that we will ever be.

Fool.  Grace.  Hope.  New life.  New beginnings.  Mercy.  Love.  Forgiveness…as we move again and again, even daily, from “I and my”, to seeking to hear and know and follow; seeking to trust and believe and serve this One in our neighbour and in all of creation.


Prayer: (adapted from The Rev. Susan R. Briehl. Day 1, April 30, 2000.)

Come to us, risen Lord Jesus,

and grant us faith enough to share the good news.

Send us, filled with the breath of your Holy Spirit,

To breathe peace into fearful lives,

To love one another as we have been loved,

To welcome the stranger and make friends of enemies,

To forgive the sins that bind others to the past,

To serve, on bended knee, all in need of care;

To be your wounded and risen Body in the world

And to enter with joy God’s in-breaking, startling future. Amen


HYMN:  VU 506  Take My Life And Let It Be


Trusting in God’s extraordinary love, let us come near to the Holy One in prayer.

O God, you are wholeness. Where there is division in your church, bring reconciliation and healing. Guide the work of theologians, Sunday school teachers, seminary professors, and all who provide instruction for the building up of your church. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

O God, you are the source of all life. Where creation cries out in distress, bring relief and renewal. Bless farmers, ranchers, distributors, and all who provide our food. Nourish the land and all its habitants. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

O God, you are wisdom. Where nations and communities yearn for peace, bring justice. Strengthen those who toil for the welfare of others, especially military personnel, police, first responders, and activists, and for the healing of the nations. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

O God, you are life. Where your people are overwhelmed with the busy-ness of life, bring encouragement. Accompany all who experience emotional, mental, or physical distress. Renew us at your table of mercy. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

O God, you are our treasure. Where scarcity and anxiety pervade your church, bring abundance and vitality. Guide the work of church councils, boards and committees and give them clarity for the work of ministry. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

O God, you are resurrection. We give you thanks for all your saints (especially). Inspire us by their example of faithful living to set our minds on things above and to be rich in love toward you. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Receive the prayers of your children, merciful God, and hold us forever in your steadfast love; through Jesus Christ, our holy Wisdom.



SENDING SONG: VU 213  Rejoice, The Lord Is King


May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, may the rains fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again, + may you be held in the palm of God’s hand.  Amen.