October 21, 2018

Pentecost 22  October 21, 2018
Job 38:1-7, (34-41)

Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c

Hebrews 5:1-10

Mark 10:35-45

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Call to Worship

One:        Gathered in this place, we may believe we’ve come to a place of power.

Many:      Yet Jesus asks:  “Can you drink the cup I drink?”

One:        Jesus drank a life-cup of loneliness and love,
of pain and promise, of fear and faith.

Many:      Jesus asks: “Can you be baptized with my baptism?”

One:       Jesus was baptized into new life in the shadow of the cross.
Many:     ThenJesus challenges us:
“To become great you must become a servant!”

One:       We come today, not for power or position.
 Many:      We come to drink the cup of full life
and to serve side by side with Jesus.
One:         And so we pray:

Opening Prayer
God, we’re living in such a topsy-turvy world! Just when we think we know what life is about, we find new insight into what it means to follow Jesus.  
    We want to be great!  Teach us how to be great servants.
We want to be first!  Help us grasp what it is to be slaves.
Ransom us, God of Abundance.
Return us to you and your realm, which we yearn to experience more fully.

Stewardship Moment
(consider using Chalice Hymnal #490,Sister, Let Me Be Your Servant 
           as a choral call to stewardship.)
With 2 soloists, 1 sings verse 1, and alternate phrases of verse 3.
The second sings solo on verse 5, and alternate phrases of verse 3.
They sing verses 2 and 4 together.

As an alternative, have your deacons each hold a large poster with one letter and a word or two on each poster:

S    Sharing:
E      Everyone
R        Realizing
V           Value
A              And
N                 New Testament
T                     Truth

The worship leader or minister invites the congregation to become servants in our time of offering.  When the deacon hears her/his word, the poster board is held high for the congregation to see:
sharing our gifts as everyone realizes the value and New Testament truth of following Jesus, who “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”


Prayer of Thanksgiving
God of mercy, we want you to do what we ask of you.
  Please now receive our gifts and use them as you renew the world!
By your grace, may these gifts lay a foundation of hope for all in despair;
in your love, may they brighten the shadows of those who wander alone;
with your compassion, may they cause the voiceless
to join the morning stars in singing your praises.   Amen. 1

Invitation to Communion
What a gift it is to have such realistic descriptions of Jesus’ disciples.  
We see the jockeying for position and the impetuousness of James and John (brothers sticking together, preparing to stand over and against the other 10 disciples in order to have privileged position with Jesus!).
We hear the anger of the other disciples, who perhaps were concerned James and John had cornered the market with their request to sit on either side of Jesus when Jesus became ruler/king.

And we know this scenario, and the times we have acted like these disciples, as we come to the table.
We know in our own minds our desire to be “teacher’s pet”.
We recognize the jockeying for position; the yearning to be the chosen one.

Yet we come to the table today, preparing to share this feast with hearts open to becoming servant leaders, modeling on the life of Jesus.

Use verses 1-3 of “Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service” (CH #461) as your communion hymn.

1. Adapted from Thom Shuman’s prayer