October 21, 2012

For Sunday October 21, 2012
Year B, Twenty first  Sunday After Pentecost
Twenty first Sunday after Pentecost :: Green :: Isaiah 53:4-12:: Psalm 91:9-16 :: Hebrews 5:1-10:: Mark 10:35-45

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 91
L: Come all who have made the LORD your refuge,
P: The most high is our dwelling place.
L: Those who love the LORD, will be delivered.
P: Almighty God, will protect us.
L: Call out to the LORD, and the LORD will answer you;
P: The LORD will rescue and honor us.
L:Make the LORD your refuge and dwelling place;
P: And no evil shall befall you. Amen.
Here we are LORD, once again gathered in your holy sanctuary.  Once again seeking the comfort of knowing you are with us.  We come to proclaim your Son, the beloved, who took on the weight of the world.  Help us release some of that weight today.  We come to seek and know your grace.  Help us to be eager recipients of that which you so freely give.  We come seeking a boost for the week to come.  Help us to know that you surround us and lift us and that your WILL shall be done on earth as it is in heaven.  We ask these in the wonderful name of your Son, Jesus the Christ.
Stewardship Moment:
October is the month of the ministry.  A time we set aside to celebrate ministers: both those who currently serve the LORD in caring for us, and those who have gone before.  To paraphrase the author of Hebrews: it is a hard task to be a minister [priest].  For one, you must deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, recognizing that as a human, the minister too is subject to weakness.  Yet faithfully our ministers, through the gifts of our church, do just that: minister gently to all who seek our help.  As we bring our tithes and offerings, let us do so remembering the challenges of ministry, and seeking to empower those who serve.

 Offertory Prayer:
Everlasting God, who calls forth those who serve as ministers in your church, we bring before you our tithes and offerings.  We bring them in thankfulness for those who serve, and offer them in hopes of making their task easier.  Bless these offerings, and all who have brought them to your service.  We offer them in the name of our ultimate high priest, Christ, our LORD.  Amen. 

Communion Meditation:
One of the beautiful things about communion is the way the table is expanded.  Sure right now you are looking at a table with elements on it: bread and cup.  You are preparing to receive the gifts of Christ.  You are even seeing people who have been called forward and honored by the opportunity to serve you.  And that is the key to the table of our LORD.  No one up here was placed in this position because they were seeking honor.  We are here because we are called to serve.  As we serve you this spiritual feast, we do so to honor and glorify the ONE who came not to be served , but to serve.  Take, eat, drink, and remember..
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