September 30, 2018

September 30,  2018               

Pentecost 19

Esther 7:1-6, 9-10, 9:20-22      Psalm 124

James 5:13-20        Mark 9:38-50

Call to Worship  (inspired by Psalm 124)

One:  Blessed be the Lord!
Many:  The Lord is on our side, and we rejoice!
One:  Our help is in the name of the Lord —
Many:  the same Lord who made heaven and earth!
One:   So we’ve come to praise God.
Many:  From this day forth and forevermore,
our help is in the name of the Lord.

 Opening Prayer    (adapted from K. HawkerSelf,

God of the salt, God of the fire
God of anger, God of laughter
God of parables and riddles
God of story and proclamation
God of comfort, God of affliction
God of the salt
God of the fire
you are here now
help us be salty Christians,
here and every place we go.  Amen.

Stewardship Moment

Have you heard these expressions:
“worth her salt”,
“earning his salt”,
“that’s pretty salty”?

All of them help us connect the common word “salt” to something of great monetary worth or value.

Although not true today, long ago, salt was incredibly valuable.  The Roman army was at one time paid in salt.  Our word “salary” comes from the Latin word “sal” (“salt”).

So no wonder Jesus encouraged his followers; “have salt in yourselves”.

Jesus recognized his followers as valuable.  Each of them, and each one of us, has worth.  As we come to this time of sharing our lives, represented in our tithes, offerings and financial gifts, we can demonstrate our saltiness through our giving.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Blessed One, you have set us free to live as followers of Jesus the Christ.
So receive these gifts as symbols of our very lives,
salt at the center of our existence.
We offer you our most valuable substance,
and pray this offering will help build up your Realm on earth,

Invitation to Communion

Although salt is no longer considered a rare and valuable commodity, it is an amazing and multi-faceted natural element.  Salt preserves, cleans, purifies and flavors.

When we come to the Table, we see before us the elements of bread and juice which are not rare or valuable.  Rather, they are simple items offered as amazing and multi-faceted elements for the body of Christ known as “church”.  Bread and cup nourish, strengthen, remind and restore us.

It is in our sharing of these elements we are re-formed into rare and valuable parts of the one Body of Christ on earth.

So come, for the table is spread, and you are invited to drink deeply.
Come, because your saltiness, supplied with this bread and cup, will surely season the whole of God’s world!