OT 24 (PE+15)

September 12, 2021

Lectionary Texts

Proverbs 1.20-33 Sophia, the Wisdom of God, calls out to us to listen to her and avoid the tragic perplexity of those who ignore God.

Psalm 19: all Creation is an expression of God’s glory. It doesn’t use words, but it speaks of God’s truth, or “law.” Attending to God’s Word is more important than anything. It’s hard to see our own failings, so we rely on God’s wisdom.

James 3.1-12 speaks of the difficulty, and importance, of taming the tongue, speaking only what is true and loving.

In Mark 8. 27-38 Jesus asks the disciples “Who do you say I am?” To Peter’s answer that he is the Messiah, Jesus says not to tell anyone that. Contradicting the popular expectation of a messiah, he says he will be rejected and die, yet rise again. Peter objects, but Jesus reprimands him, and teaches the crowd that if you lose your life for the sake of love, you will gain it.

Call to Worship

Leader: Jesus, we come to you in need.
All: We reach out in brokenness, and you heal us.
We stay with you in love.
You are the fountain of life, and you give us your spirit.
We follow you in service.
In gratitude we offer ourselves in openness and anticipation,
that you will shape us by your Word and send us in your love.
Alleluia! Come, Holy Spirit, come. Alleluia!

Leader: God of life, we praise you!
All: God of all Creation, we are in wonder!
Mother of all people, Father of the poor, all humanity is your praise.
In the Spirit of Christ, who calls us, we honor you.
In the name of all who love you, we thank you.
In the company of all who all who long for life, we worship you.
Your Christ calls us to life, calls us to compassion, calls us to follow.
Alleluia! Rise in us, Spirit of Life, and transform us by your grace. Alleluia!

Leader: The heavens are telling the glory of God!
All: The law of God is perfect, reviving the soul.
Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me.”
We come, O Christ, to lay down our lives,
to take up our cross, and to follow you.
Lead us, Lord, to abundant life.
May the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts
be delightful to you, O giver of Life. Alleluia!

4. [Psalm 19.1-6]
Leader: The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims God’s handiwork.
All: Day to day pours forth truth;
night to night reveals wisdom.

There is no speech, nor are there words;
no voice is heard.
Yet their truth goes out through all the earth,
and their message to the end of the world.

In the heavens God has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,
and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and nothing is hid from its heat.
We join all creation in praising God!
We join in harmony to worship our God!

Collect / Prayer of the Day

Spirit of mercy, though you are infinite, you come to us, embodied, near, and intimate. We thank you for the presence of Jesus; he is a mystery to us, and yet we love him. Open our hearts so we may behold him among us: teaching, healing, loving, setting us free. We pray in the grace and power of your Spirit. Amen.

God of all life, God of new life,
let your wakening Word come to us like morning
and call us up out of our little selves
to become your people, great with love.
Call us, revive us, and make us new,
in the grace of Christ. Amen.

God, you have given us the world, but it will not profit us to gain the world but lose our life. There is nothing we can give in exchange for life. Therefore we come to you, to hear your Word, to be changed into the likeness of Christ, so that we make truly take up our cross and follow Jesus. We pray in the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Gracious God, you reveal yourself to us in word and silence, in clarity and mystery, in the song of our souls and the work of our hearts. Source of all compassion, you call us to receive your love, and to become your love in this world. We open our hearts to your presence. We open our spirits to your will. We open our souls to your Word. In your presence for us, may we be present for you, for the sake of the world. Amen.

Gracious God, we proclaim Jesus as the Messiah but we still want to know what that means. We need to hear his word to us, to see what it is to follow him. May your Spirit move us closer to him, that we may follow him more faithfully. Amen.


Adapted from Psalm 19

All Creation expresses God’s nature.
It silently speaks a deep wisdom.
There are no words; our reason cannot grasp it.
But God’s will is in it, infinite in wisdom.
What God has in mind is a Truth that gives life.
To understand this is wisdom;
to see this clearly is deep joy.
To know God’s will is life’s deepest treasure.
But how can we know?
How can I see myself accurately?
God forgive me for all the faults
I don’t see in myself.
Grant me your wisdom, and show me your ways.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart
be in harmony with your grace,
O God, our rock and out redeemer.

Prayer of Confession

God of grace, we come to you in humble honesty.
Who can detect their errors?
Clear us from hidden faults.
Forgive the sins we know and those we don’t.
Transform our desires,
so that in all we do our thoughts and words and actions
may be pleasing to you.

Gracious God, Jesus calls us to let go of our attachments and to follow him. We confess that we cling to the things of this world. Forgive us, and heal our hearts, so that we may faithfully let go and follow freely. Speak your Word to us; bless us now, that we may clearly see our hidden faults, that our hearts may be changed, and that we may trust your grace. Amen.

[Psalm 19.11-14]
Pastor: Trusting in God’s tender mercy, let us confess our sin to God with one another.
God of mercy, your truth guides your servant;
in observing it there is great reward.
All: But who can detect their errors?
Clear me from hidden faults.
Save me from insolence;
do not let it have dominion over me.
Then we shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts
be acceptable to you, O God, our rock and our redeemer.
[Silent prayer… Words of grace]

Gracious God,
you are One; you are the source and the unity of all things.
But in our fear we have broken away;
Each of us has gone our own way.
Separate from you,
we have hurt ourselves and one another.
Faithful God, we, your creatures, are broken.
Receive us as we are; take us in your gentle arms.
Heal our wounds, forgive our sin,
and root us again in your grace,
that we may live in unity with you and with others.Amen.

Response / Creed / Affirmation

1. [ Col. 1.15-20, 26]
Christ is the visible appearance of the invisible God,
the beloved older sibling of all creation.
All things in heaven and on earth were created in Christ,
everything visible and invisible,
rulers and powers and systems and empires—
everything was created through Christ and for Christ.
Christ came before anything,
and in Christ everything holds together.
Christ is the head and the church is the body.
Christ is the Source of life, and has turned even death into a birth:
so Christ is first in every way.
In Christ God lives completely.
Through Christ we are reconciled to God—
all of us, and everything on earth and in heaven:
in dying on the cross, Christ brought God and humanity together.
This is the mystery, hidden for ages but now revealed:
that Christ is alive in us. Alleluia!

We give our hearts to you, O God,
Creator of all that is, and all that is to come.
We follow Jesus, your Word made flesh, who loved without limits.
For his love he was crucified; but in love you raised him from the dead.
He calls us to follow him, and so we pray that you enlarge our lives
and set us free from ourselves, that with his Spirit alive in us
we may love without limit, take up our cross, and join him.
We trust your Spirit in us to give us this life of love,
to lead us in forgiveness and healing,
to enter into the mystery of eternal life
in the name and the company of Christ. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication / Sending

Gracious God, we give you our lives, symbolized in these gifts. Receive them with love, bless them with grace and use them according to your will. We thank you that you come among us in the person of Jesus. Give us faith to receive him, to follow him, and to serve with him in healing the world, in the light of his name, and in the power of your Spirit. Amen.

Gracious God, we give you our gifts as symbols of our lives. Receive them with love, bless them with grace and use them according to your will. By your Spirit in us may we take up our cross and follow Jesus, willing to suffer for the sake of love. May we transcend our selves and become one with Christ, infinite in love, for the sake of the healing of the world. Amen.

Gracious God, by your grace may we take up our cross and follow Jesus into the streets and homes, into the prisons and shelters, to the hurting and also the powerful, in the name and the Spirit of Christ, for the sake of the healing of the world. Amen.

Eternal God, we give you our gifts as symbols of our lives. As we give, free us from our clinging and our fear. Pour out your Holy Spirit on us, that we might follow Jesus with all our hearts, and so find life that is eternal in you. Amen.

Suggested Songs

(Available in the Music Store)

Be Thou My Wisdom

I Take Up My Cross

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