OT 29 — (PE+ 20) — October 17, 2021

Lectionary Texts

In Job 38. 1-7 Job has finally broken down and asked God, “OK, I give up. Why do bad things happen to good people? God answers: “I can’t tell you. Did you create the world? Do you understand the cosmos? You can’t understand this, either.” But even in his suffering Job belongs to that vast, wonderful universe.

Psalm 104 sings in awe of God’s power and presence in Creation.

Hebrews 5.1-10: Jesus was called by God to a priesthood that he himself had not chosen. He accepted vulnerability and suffering, and surrendered to God’s grace. In this way he became a priest, one who leads us to God.

In Mark 10. 35-45 James and John (like all of us) desire the security of esteem and belonging. But Jesus says real life is to be found not in status, but in serving, in attending to others. We don’t lord it over others. We renounce coercion; instead our power is from beneath, to lift others up.

Call to Worship

Leader: Eternal Creator, in the silence of galaxies
       All: your Word shines.
Loving Christ, in the voices of the hurting
       your Word cries out.
Holy Spirit, in the secrets of our own hearts
       your Word whispers.
       Give us faith to listen for your voice,
       and answer. 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.

Leader: Creator God, you hold all the universe in your loving hands.
       All: Eternal and almighty God, we praise you.
Gentle Christ, both human and divine, you chose the most humble path among us.
       Loving servant, we praise you.
Holy Spirit, you unfold your compassion within and among us.
       Present and life-giving Spirit, we welcome you into our hearts.
       In the name of Christ we worship you.

Leader: Mighty God, Creator of the universe, you reign over all things,
and yet you stoop to help us, and humbly serve our needs.
       All: Radiant Christ, you who hold the worlds in your hands,
       you kneel to wash the feet of your betrayers,
       and humbly sit with the poor.
Eternal God, grant us your spirit of humble service.
       Alleluia! Come, Holy Spirit, and transform us by your grace. Alleluia!

Collect / Prayer of the Day

Loving God, open the windows of our hearts, that the light of your love may flow in. Open our ears, that we may hear your Word. Open our arms, to embrace your way. Open our hands, that we may serve you with strength and joy. Speak to us; we are listening. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

Loving God, we confess
we want to be safe, we want to be respected,
we want to feel good about ourselves,
we want to be in control,
more than we want to be faithful.
We confess our self-centeredness,
and surrender it to your grace.
Forgive us, open our hearts to your gift,
and strengthen us to follow Christ
in humble service.

Response / Creed / Affirmation

We love a God who reigns over us not with force and manipulation but with the power of love, to lift us up and set us free.

We follow Jesus, God’s Anointed, who shared the power of healing and forgiveness. He was crucified by the powers of domination, but he was raised by the power of love.

We live by the grace of the Holy Spirit, who empowers us to serve humbly, to bless and not to threaten, to create and not destroy. By that Spirit we seek to serve, to forgive, to heal, and to lift up those who are oppressed. By that Spirit alone, and not by any power of this world, we receive life that is eternal and joy that sustains us always. Alleluia!

Suggested Songs

(Click on titles to view songs on the Music page.)

At Your Feet

Jesus, at your feet I bow.
I am yours completely now.
By your mercy show me how
to be loving.

Jesus, Master, you who save,
you have served me as a slave.
This, the perfect gift you gave:
to be loving.

In each hurting one I meet
it is you, O Christ, I greet.
Make my faithfulness complete,
to be loving.

God, I Surrender

God, I surrender myself to you,
all that I have and all I do.
All my desires I give to you.
Take them from me and make me new.

God, I surrender myself to you,
all that I have and all I do.
Trusting you wholly I follow you
Take my life and make me new.

I Am Listening

Speak, for I am listening.
My heart is open.
Speak, for I am listening,
open to your word.

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