September 30, 2012

For Sunday September 30, 2012
Year B, Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost :: Green :: Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29:: Psalm 19:7-14 :: James 5:13-20 :: Mark 9:38-50
  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 19
L: The law of the LORD is perfect,
P: It revives the soul.
L: The decrees of the LORD are sure,
P: They make the simple wise.
L:The precepts of the LORD are right,
P: They make our hearts rejoice.
L: May the words of our mouths and meditations of our hearts be acceptable to you,
P: O LORD our rock and our redeemer.
Almighty and wonderful God, giver of all good and perfect things, we come into your sanctuary with confession on our lips.  We confess O God, that we can be a grumbling and difficult people, always asking for more when you have provided for us sufficiently.  We are certain God, that we grate on those you have called into leadership as our demands weigh upon their souls. As we seek to be more aware of your presence in this time of worship, guide and direct our hearts.  Help us to hear your voice and see all you have provided.  Hear our prayers and praise, O God, and know we are earnest.  Help our words and meditations be acceptable in your sight.
Stewardship Moment:
In the Ninth chapter of Mark’s Gospel Jesus puts out a hard teaching: If your hand causes you to stumble . . . cut it off; If your foot . . .cut it off; If your eye . . . tear it out;  If your wallet . . . .  (Pause) Okay, in fairness, your wallet is not in Jesus’ list.  Should it be? (Pause)
We will now receive the tithes and offerings to the glory of God.

 Offertory Prayer:
Wonderful and gracious God, we bring before you these our gifts.  We confess they are not all they could be, but they are all we are able to bring before you today.  Bless and multiply these gifts for the sake of your reign on earth that it may one day be as it is in heaven.  We offer them out of our love and devotion, and are thankful for your blessing.   Amen.
Communion Meditation:
Friends, in James’ letter to the believers in the Dispersion, he closes reminding us that “if anyone wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”  It is at this table that we welcome our brothers and sisters back.  Here we remind ourselves and each other that Jesus gave his blood to form a new covenant which forgives us our sins.  Come to Christ’s table, and remember.
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