For Sunday September 16, 2012
Year B, Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost :: Green :: Isaiah 50:4-9a :: Psalm 116:1-9 :: James 3:1-12 :: Mark 8:27-38
Editor’s Note: We are in the midst of about 25 weeks of texts which are less connected by one theme than to each other week to week. The lectionary follows somewhat sequential readings in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Psalms which supplement them. The New Testament Readings are also sequential week to week, but do not necessarily fit a theme. Given this, I will be attempting to tie Call to Worship and Invocation to Hebrew Scriptures; Stewardship and Communion to Gospel and Epistle with little concern for overarching theme.
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 116
L: Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
P: Our God is merciful.
L: The LORD protects the simple;
P: When I was brought low, the LORD saved me.
L: The LORD has delivered our souls from death,
P: and delivered my eyes from tears and feet from stumbling.
L: I walk before the LORD in the land of living and proclaim:.
P: Praise the LORD!
O Great and Wonderful God, giver of all good and perfect gifts, we come together today in your presence. Grant those who lead us in worship today the tongues of teachers, that they may sustain the weary with a word. Grant those who participate awakened ears to listen as those who are taught. It is you, O God who helps us. Make us aware of your presence and eager recipients of your care. Guide us in this time of worship, to stand together growing in your word, and thriving in your faith. We ask it humbly in the name of Christ our Lord.
Have you ever found yourself amazed at the fact that you said what needed to be said? That beyond your expectations you spoke truth to power? Have you ever tried and regretted the way it came out? I know I have. I suspect most of us have. Speaking out requires courage and control. As James reminds us: no one can tame the tongue. Yet as a church, when we speak out together, it is most often prayerful, thoughtful, and makes a difference. It is one of the reasons we come together as Disciples, to discern on what and in what way we are called to speak out against injustices in this world. It is not cheap, and we do not always get it right, but together we are better than we might be alone. One of the ways we do it is through the Disciples Justice Action Network, a shared ministry of the whole church. Today as you consider making your tithes and offerings, consider the all the ministry your gifts support. Especially the ones which help us in being our best together.
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, we come together offering our gifts before you. We ask your blessing on them and each of us as we seek to be the positive presence for justice you call us to be. Help us to speak well and wisely as we strive to speak truth to power. Guide and direct us in all that we do in Christ’s name and by Christ’s grace. Amen.
On the way to Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asks the Disciples, “Who do people say I am?” and “Who do YOU say that I am?” We all know the answer Peter gave. We give the same answer as a part of our confession of faith. At this table we say even more. Not only that Jesus is the Messiah, but that we believe and accept the gift of life Jesus offers here. We proclaim Christ as Lord AND Savior at this table. When you eat this bread and drink from this cup, you are saying who Christ is, and are blessed for it.
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