October 14, 2018 Pentecost 21
Call to Worship (from Psalm 22)
One: Here we are, gathered to worship God.
Many: Why do we come to worship?
One: Because God is holy and delivers those who trust in God.
Many: We come because God holds us close, even when trouble is near.
One: Even when we feel forsaken, God will not leave us comfortless!
Many: So we come to praise the Maker of our days!
Opening Prayer (inspired by Mark 10:17-31)
Generous God, we’ve come to offer you our thanks and praise.
Thank you for your abundant gifts of life, love, laughter and learning.
Thank you for the ways you surprise us with your presence.
Help us recognize when Jesus challenged the man with many possessions,
that same challenge is ours as we seek to follow Jesus.
Encourage us in this hour to do all we can to put you first,
to choose once more to be a learner,
and to rejoice that all is possible for you. AMEN
(this will take a little preparation ahead, or a flexible group of children or youth, and an accommodating group of deacons)
Mark records some difficult teaching of Jesus, connected to those who are tied to their possessions and their wealth. We have images of what it might be like for a camel to attempt entrance through the eye of a needle; can you imagine what Pixar might do with this picture? Let us receive our morning offering, and then together, we’ll create our own image.
(Collect the offering, then have children line up on both sides of a center aisle, or in the chancel area. Reach out toward one another, like preparing to play “London Bridges”.
Have the deacons bringing the offering trays walk under the “bridges” on their way to the front.
If you only have 2 children, use them; the image will still be clear)
Prayer of Thanksgiving
God, we get it!
It’s tough for big people to walk beneath the bridges made by little people.
How much harder is it for a rich person to enter God’s realm?
May our gifts and offering this day be a sign of our true allegiance to you.
Help us keep practicing and recognize our dependence on you,
so we can truly have treasure in heaven.
In Mark’s gospel, Jesus looked at the man who was asking for assurance,
and loved him.
Out of love, Jesus responded to the reality he saw in the man.
In one of the most poignant lines of scripture, “he went away grieving for he had many possessions.”
When we come to this table, are we as eager to hear from Jesus of our place in God’s realm?
Gratefully, we do have a place at this table! This is an opportunity to act and then reflect. Today, we receive bread and cup and then have a few moments to think how our lives proclaim our identity as followers.
Thanks be to God, in whom all things are possible!