October 3, 2021 - World Wide Communion

October 3, 2021 – World Communion Sunday

Call to worship: Psalm 8

L: O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens.

P: Out of the mouths of babes and infants You have founded a bulwark because of Your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.

L: When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars that You have established; what are human beings that You are mindful of them, mortals that You care for them?

P: Yet You have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.

L: You have given them dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under their feet,

all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

P: O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!

Hymn #141 Children of the Heavenly Father

1 Children of the heavenly Father safely in His bosom gather;

Nestling bird nor star in heaven such a refuge e’er was given.

2 God His own doth tend and nourish; in His holy courts they flourish;

From all evil things He spares them; in His mighty arms He bears them.

3 Neither life nor death shall ever from the Lord His children sever;

Unto them His grace He showeth, and their sorrows all He knoweth.

4 Though He giveth or He taketh, God His children ne’er forsaketh;

His the loving purpose solely to preserve them pure and holy.

Morning prayer

Holy God, we greet You this morning with our acts of worship; song, prayer, praise and our attention. May it be pleasing unto You and bring glory to Your name. Welcome us to Your table and remind us of Your mighty acts of salvation and link the hearts of all believers together for the coming of Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Children’s message: Scripture: Mark 10:2-16

Some Pharisees came, and to test Him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Then in the house the disciples asked Him again about this matter. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

People were bringing little children to Him in order that He might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But 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. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.

How did you get to church this morning?

I imagine most of you came with your parents. Perhaps others came with grandparents. Some children may have come with aunts, cousins, or an older brother. Maybe a Sunday school teacher or friend brought you to church. One thing I’m pretty sure of is that unless you live close enough to walk to church, someone had to bring you here. I don't think any of you are old enough to drive your own car, are you? I didn't think so!

It’s great that someone cared enough about you to bring you to church today. That tells me the person wanted to make sure you would learn about Jesus and His love for you.

The Bible tells us about a time Jesus was teaching His disciples, and a large crowd of other people were following Him to hear what He was saying.

As Jesus was teaching, people started to bring their children to Him so He could touch them. The disciples didn't like these children interrupting Jesus. They told the people to get the children away.

  • What do you think about the disciples trying to make the children leave?

Jesus was very upset. "Let the children come to me, and do not stop them," Jesus said. "The kingdom of heaven belongs to these little ones." Then Jesus took the children in His arms and blessed them.

Let’s always remember how Jesus loved the children and took them into His loving arms. We‘re thankful for each of you here today and thankful someone loved you enough to bring you.

Dear God, we want to love Your children just as Jesus loved them. Thank You that these children here today have someone who loves them enough to bring them to Jesus. In Jesus' name, amen. (www.sermons4kids.com)

Prayers of Intercession: Kind Heavenly Father, Thank You for the opportunity to pray for those who are on our own hearts, as well as those on the church prayer list, friends who we know and those who we don’t know. Thank You Jesus, for teaching us this prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Offering Spotlight: Missions funding is set aside each year for church members who use their time to go on missions service trips. The General Fund has budgeted seed funds for new ministries. Any church member is welcome to ask for the financial support of LUMC to spread the love of Jesus while serving the needs of those who are hurting and in desperate situations.

Offertory prayer: God of grace and goodness, Your blessings in our lives have been so abundant that when trials come, we become disoriented. Our needs have so often been met that when we’re challenged in life, we wonder what’s wrong. Why isn’t the world perfectly aligned to meet our desires? This morning, we give our tithes and offerings, with hope that we might ground ourselves in gratitude for the blessings that we so easily come to take for granted. We pray for eyes to see clearly the bright mountains and the dark valleys, with grateful hearts for both. In Christ, we pray. Amen. (Discipleship Ministries)

Preparation Hymn: #191 Jesus Loves Me

1 Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to Him belong; they are weak, but He is strong.

Refrain: Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.

2 Jesus loves me! This I know, as He loved so long ago,

Taking children on His knee, saying, “Let them come to me.”

3 Jesus loves me still today, walking with me on my way,

Wanting as a friend to give light and love to all who live.

Message scripture: Mark 10:2-16

Some Pharisees came, and to test Him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Then in the house the disciples asked Him again about this matter. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

People were bringing little children to Him in order that He might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But 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. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.

Message – Watch What Jesus Does

We are still in the midst of a season of questions. The questions we have for each other, the questions James just posed to us and the questions we have for our future together. We get a lot of information from questions and the answers. Or maybe more correctly, the way the answers don’t necessarily answer the question.

Let’s look again at the exchange between Jesus and the religious leaders.

“Some Pharisees came, and to test Him they asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"

10:3 He answered them, "What did Moses command you?" They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her."

The leaders didn’t answer Jesus’ question. they gave Him the “out” – of what they were allowed to do, once the decision to divorce was made. Jesus points them to the ideal – what had been given to Moses by God. “But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.'

'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,

and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one flesh.

Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."

Jesus does the same thing again with His disciples – giving the ideal, what is right for one is right for the other on the question of divorce – He is equalizing the field.

Then to show what the ideal looks like, Jesus elevates the view of children. Children become the rightful owners of the Kingdom of God. He points to how we are to become like little children. They don’t come first because they are of more value in the world; it is the opposite. Before they can be tainted by the world, they rightfully belong.

This is good news for us, because we all come from broken relationships, broken families. But Jesus shows us how we can, through Him, overcome the brokenness to enter the Kingdom of God. Divorce and adultery are part of our humanity, and neither prevent us from being rejoined to God.

God’s ideal is that we are joined to Him. Jesus is quoting Genesis and we need go no further than what God did in chapter 3 after Adam and Eve sinned. Remember? God banished them from the garden. God posted an angel to guard the entry. They, nor we, could ever return. But what did God do? God went with them and with us. God refuses to let anything separate us from God. Paul tells us in Romans 8: 38-39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Jesus is always pointing us to the answers of unity in God and with God. The world looks to divide us, and the questions can and may come from places in which we once had confidence in their authority and judgment, and the answers may sound like Jesus, but we have to be sure the answers are Jesus.

Let us pray: Lord God, You sent Jesus to show and heal our brokenness. Let us truly live in that forgiveness and new life and let others live in their forgiveness, without labels, without shame, all for the glory of the Kingdom of God. You have entrusted us with Jesus, and His mission, but you never made us gatekeepers of His kingdom. Reveal to us, what we need to let go of and what we need to grab a hold to for the coming of the kingdom. Amen.

Closing Hymn Go Now in Peace

Go now in peace. Never be afraid. God will go with you each hour of ev’ry day.

Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true. Know He will guide you in all you do.

Go now in love and show you believe. Reach out to others so all the world can see.

God will be there watching from above.

Go now in peace, in faith, and in love.

Benediction: Go into this week with the blessings of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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