October 10, 2021
In Job 23. 1-9, 16-17 Job despairs that in his suffering he can’t find God anywhere. He wishes he could vanish as completely as God seems to have.
Psalm 22 is a naked cry to God out of the deepest suffering.
Hebrews 4. 12-16 says that God’s Word is alive, and sees us in our deepest reality. Jesus, the “great high priest,” sympathizes because he knows our weakness and shares our human travails.
In Mark 10.17-31 a rich man asks Jesus the way to salvation. Jesus tells him to let go of his money, but he can’t. Jesus says we can’t grasp the reality of God’s grace while hanging on to our possessions any easier than we can cram a camel through the eye of a needle. When the disciples say, “We’ve left everything to follow you!” Jesus replies, “Well, not yet. But whatever you let go of you will receive.”
Call to Worship
Leader: Giver of Life, you fill us.
All: We praise you.
Gift of Love, you save us.
We thank you.
Power of grace, you bear us into new life,
We serve you with joy. Alleluia!
Leader: Gracious One, you are our life.
All: You are our Source, our security, our beauty.
Loving Christ, you are our healing.
You are our courage, our healing, our hope.
Holy Spirit, you are our breath.
You are our compassion, our generosity, our love.
We worship you. Breathe new life in us, and set us free. Amen.
Collect / Prayer of the Day
God we hear your call and we want to follow… and our fears and desires pull us back. Speak to us again, call us again, and stir our hearts to move. Let your spirit move in us, that we may become more fully the people you create us to be. Amen.
God of mercy, we want to know what to do to inherit your love. Speak your truth to us, set us free, and bring us with you on the path of Life. We open our heart to your Word. Amen.
Loving God, to enter the realm of your grace there is only one thing needed: to let go of everything and be present. So in your Spirit we relinquish everything we cling to; we let go of our concerns and fears, to be present with you, to listen for your voice, to receive your grace. With empty hands and open hearts we wait in your presence. Amen.
Gracious God, we seek many kinds of wealth, but your Word is all that will give us life and make our living rich. Be generous with your Word now, so that as the Scriptures are read and your good news is proclaimed, we may hear with joy what you are saying to us today.
Prayer of Confession / Devotion
God, I confess all that I cling to,
all that stands between me and following Jesus.
I confess I need your grace;
all I have done, all I possess, is not sufficient,
but your grace is more than enough.
Help me release what I cling to,
give freely of al my gifts,
and follow you.
Holy God, fountain of life,
my love, my deepest hope and only treasure:
strip me of all that I cling to but you,
that I may come to you empty handed.
I will be poor for you; I will be hungry for you.
I will bring you no riches, no wealth with which to buy your love.
I open to you the simple treasure chest of my heart.
I yield all to you, that I may be yours.
Make me your treasure, yours and none other’s.
In the name of Christ, who gave all, I pray. Amen.
Response / Creed / Affirmation
We give our hearts to you, God, Creator of all, giver of life, Source of all that is; whose love is faithful, whose grace is abundant, whose heart is generous with mercy.
We follow Jesus, the Christ, the embodiment of God’s love, who taught and healed, who fed the hungry, who set us free from our fears and wants. He was crucified and died; but in the infinite generosity of your grace you raised him to life. He reigns among us, living proof of your steadfast love, calling us to faithful trust in you.
We live by the Holy Spirit, your Word unfolding in us, that leads us to live lives of gratitude and trust, compassion, courage and generosity. We believe in the power of forgiveness, the reality of resurrection, the gift of the community of the Body of Christ, and the mystery of eternal life. In gratitude to God, we commit ourselves to lives of abundant love, for the sake of the world, in the name of Christ, who lives and reigns with the Creator and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
(Click on titles to view songs on the Music page.)
Set Me Free (To Love) [Original song]
From all that binds me, Love, set me free.
Set me free, Love, set me free.
Oh Love, set me free to love.
From what I fear, O Love set me free….
From what I cling to, Love, set me free…
To live in perfect love, set me free….
All of the Gifts I Have (Tune: Fairest Lord Jesus)
All of the gifts I have, all that is within me,
you give to me, O God, with care;
all of my prayers and skills, passions and energies
you grant to me to freely share.
Here are my hopes and dreams, attitudes and deepest loves,
all of the treasure to which I cling.
I will not hold them in, stilling my ardent song,
but serving you I’ll freely sing.
In all I keep or give, may I do my very best
in everything I say and do,
in harmony with you, only to love and bless,
with joy, to serve and honor you.
The Giving Song [Tune: DOVE OF PEACE (I Come with Joy)]
God, send me out into the world to share all I possess.
My generosity shall be the faith that I confess,
the faith that I confess
For you have given me such gifts, grace infinite and deep,
that I can only share them all. There’s nothing I will keep,
there’s nothing I will keep..
And let my giving change me, Lord, to make me more like you:
to let your blessing flow through me, creating me anew,
creating me anew.
My life will not be known by what I have, but how I share,
courageously, with trust in you, with love and joy and care,
with love and joy and care.