Blessings to you, this day! Thank you to all who made service great today and for the opportunity to hear about the discipleship/stewardship practice of Invite! Who/How will you invite someone into deeper relationship this week?
Peace, Pastor Chris Lee
Order of Service for Sunday, October 3, 2021:
Prelude: “How Firm a Foundation,” arr. Wood. Senior Choir.
Stewardship and Discipleship: Invite
Today’s gospel combines a saying that makes many of us uncomfortable with a story we find comforting. Jesus’ saying on divorce is another of his rejections of human legislation in favor of the original intent of God’s law. Jesus’ rebuke of the disciples who are fending off the children should challenge us as well. What does it mean to receive the kingdom of God as a child does?
Confession and Forgiveness
Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, whose teaching is life, whose presence is sure, and whose love is endless.
Let us confess our sins to the one who welcomes us with an open heart.
God our comforter:
like lost sheep, we have gone astray. We gaze upon abundance and see scarcity. We turn our faces away from injustice and oppression. We exploit the earth with our apathy and greed. Free us from our sin, gracious God. Listen when we call out to you for help. Lead us by your love to love our neighbors as ourselves.
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. By the gift of grace in ☩ Christ Jesus, God makes you righteous. Receive with glad hearts the forgiveness of all your sins.
Opening Hymn: ELW 876- “Let the Whole Creation Cry,” all verses.
Prayer of the Day
Sovereign God, you have created us to live in loving community with one another. Form us for life that is faithful and steadfast, and teach us to trust like little children, that we may reflect the image of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
First Reading: Genesis 2:18-24
Genesis 2 stresses that people are not meant to live in isolation but in relationship. Out of love for humanity, God creates them male and female, to provide companionship for each other and to become with each other “one flesh.” The Hebrew words used here are ish (man) and ishshah (woman).
18The Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” 19So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. 21So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called Woman,
for out of Man this one was taken.”
24Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Second Reading: Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12
Quoting from the psalms, this passage from Hebrews emphasizes that Jesus, the one through whom God created everything and who sits at God’s right hand, is also the one who experienced human suffering and death in order to blaze the path of salvation for us.
1Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 3He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
2:5Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. 6But someone has testified somewhere,
“What are human beings that you are mindful of them,
or mortals, that you care for them?
7You have made them for a little while lower than the angels;
you have crowned them with glory and honor,
8subjecting all things under their feet.”
Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them,9but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
10It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, 12saying,
“I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters,
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.”
Gospel: Mark 10:2-16
Jesus announced and enacted in history the new reality of God’s surprising activity. These two stories demonstrate this new reality: Women and children are accepted and valued, not dismissed as inferior to adult men.
2Some Pharisees came, and to test Jesus they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” 5But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. 6But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
10Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; 12and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
13People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 15Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” 16And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
Sermon: Pastor Chris Lee
Hymn of the Day: ELW 769- “If You But Trust in God to Guide You,” all verses.
Prayers of Intercession
Made children and heirs of God’s promise, we pray for the church, the world, and all in need.
A brief silence.
Holy One, you have raised up faithful leaders throughout history. Empower those discerning a call to ministry and all seminarians, that they continue to be formed for the sake of the gospel. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
You have established a diverse and beautiful creation. Revive declining species and preserve endangered lands. Cultivate in us a sense of wonder for the world you created. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
You desire for us not to be alone and to live in community with one another. Strengthen relationships between nations and peoples, that we celebrate and support one human family. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
You share in our experiences and struggles. Bless all who live with any mental or physical disability. Inspire creative communities, spaces, and environments that are accessible and hospitable. Bless those with any illness or struggle especially Everett Noah; Richard Miklos; Wayne Esping; Libby Hofsas; Noah Stoutt; Bonnie Sellers; Shelley Collis; Barbara Witt; Barb Martin; Deb Schafer; Alivia DeWitt; Bill and Virginia Thorpe; Richard Hotchkiss; Marijane Cook; Nancy and Bob Bosco; Charysse and Adean Heritage and Family; Randy McIntyre; Karen Bemowski; Marilyn Hubbard; Helen Schubert, and all those we name before you aloud or in our hearts. Give them tangible signs of your steadfast love. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
You have established and nurtured relationships that extend beyond those gathered here today. Bless members who can no longer travel to worship with us and remind us of their continued role in this community of faith. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
You promise eternal life to all your children. Thank you for the people of faith who have gone before us especially Kim Hubbard. Strengthen our trust we have in you. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Receive these prayers, O God, and those in our hearts known only to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Lord’s Prayer
Communion: ELW 790- “Day by Day.”
Communion: – ELW 644- “Although I Speak with Angel’s Tongue.”
Prayer after Communion
Lord of life in the gift of your body and blood you turn the crumbs of our faith into a feast of salvation. Send us forth into the world with shouts of joy, bearing witness to the abundance of your love in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Siblings in Christ, people of God, you are Christ’s body, bringing new life to a suffering world. The holy Trinity, ☩ one God, bless you now and forever.
Sending Hymn: – ELW 543- Go, My Children, With My Blessing,” all verses.
Go in peace. The living Word dwells in you.
Thanks be to God.
Postlude: WOV 748- “Bind Us Together, Lord.”
Facebook Link to October 3, 2021, Worship Service:
Image credits: Image of Jesus Christ with Children, catholicsteward.com and Jesus-Children-14, blogspot.com
Song Leader: Miriam Anderson
Pam Edwards: Music Director/ Organist/ Pianist
“How Firm a Foundation,” arr. Dale Wood. Tune copyright 2001 The Sacred Music Press, a division of the Lorenz Corporation (Admin. by Music Services). One License #1017306 All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“Let the Whole Creation Cry.” Text: Stopford A. Brooke, 1832 – 1916, alt.. Music: Jakob Hintze, 1622 – 1702; arr. Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685 – 1750, adapt.. Public domain.
“If You But Trust in God to Guide You.” Text: Georg Neumark, 1621 – 1681; tr. composite. Music: Georg Neumark. Text copyright 1978, 2006 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“Day by Day.” Text: Carolina Sandell Berg, 1832 – 1903; tr. Robert Leaf, 1936 – 2005. Music: Oskar Ahnfelt, 1813 – 1882. Text copyright 1992 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“Although I Speak with Angel’s Tongue.” Text: Andrew Donaldson, b. 1951. Music: English traditional. Text copyright 1995 Andrew Donaldson. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“Go, My Children, With My Blessing.” Text: Jaroslav J. Vajda, b. 1919, alt.. Music: Welsh traditional; arr. Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1872 – 1958. Text copyright 1983 Concordia Publishing House. Arr. copyright Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“Bind Us Together, Lord.” Text: Bob Gillman, b. 1946. Music: Bob Gillman, b. 1946. Copyright 1977 Thankyou Music, admin. (in Western Hemisphere) Integrity’s Hosanna! Music. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI with license #11114590.
Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Reprinted/ streamed with permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS006904. Duplication in any form is prohibited without permission or valid license from the copyright administrator.