September 3, 2023 - Home Worship

For the week of September 3-9 – 14th Sunday after Pentecost

Morning Prayer Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of Your Name; increase in us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, 233)

Hymn #64 Holy, Holy, Holy

  1. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee.
    Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty, God in three persons, blessed Trinity!
  2. Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
    casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
    cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee, which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.
  3. Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,
    though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see,
    only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee, perfect in power, in love and purity.
  4. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
    All Thy works shall praise Thy name, in earth and sky and sea.
    Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty, God in three persons, blessed Trinity.

Psalm 26:1-8

26:1 Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.

26:2 Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and mind.

26:3 For Your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in faithfulness to You.

26:4 I do not sit with the worthless, nor do I consort with hypocrites;

26:5 I hate the company of evildoers, and will not sit with the wicked.

26:6 I wash my hands in innocence, and go around Your altar, O LORD,

26:7 singing aloud a song of thanksgiving, and telling all Your wondrous deeds.

26:8 O LORD, I love the house in which You dwell, and the place where Your glory abides.

Children’s Time Romans 12:16-17  Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.

Live in harmony with everyone. Harmony is a word we use to mean to live at peace and in peace with one another. It can also be a part of music. In music, a harmony refers to two or more complementary notes played or sung at the same time. For example, a choir may sing in harmony, with one section singing the melody while other sections sing the accompanying harmony. The point is they sing together to make something enjoyable to hear and enjoyable to sing. I think we can agree, it is much easier to listen to a song that makes us feel peaceful.

We encounter a lot of different people in our lives and they aren’t always going to be like us and that isn’t a bad thing. It actually gives us an opportunity to see God’s handiwork in action. If everyone were the same, it would get very boring and it wouldn’t give us an accurate picture of the vastness of God. Our job is to learn how to find ways to be in harmony with each other. I think that starts by thinking the best thoughts we can about others because that is what God would want us to do. Jesus tells us that loving people is equal to loving God. (Matthew 22:35-40)

Prayers of Intercession:  Thank You, Lord, for hearing our prayers for those dear to our hearts.  We now pray as You have taught us: 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 sins, as we forgive those who sin 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: LUMC Missions team uses some of your offerings to purchase new coats for children.  The team has secured grant funding as well, but they want you to know that they are serious about being good stewards of the funds you have entrusted to them.  Thank you for your faithful giving.

Offering prayer: God of power and might: We, like Peter, struggle with the image of a savior sent to suffer and die. We may seem to be doing great in following Christ, but we too stumble at this point. Perhaps we stumble because we know that what follows is Christ’s call to us to deny ourselves and pick up a cross of our own in order to follow. As we bring gifts for the work of building Your kingdom, help us to learn to deny, carry, and follow. In Christ’s holy name, we pray. Amen. (Discipleship Ministries)

Hymn: #402 Lord, I Want to Be a Christian

  1. Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart, in my heart;
    Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart.

In my heart, (in my heart) in my heart, (in my heart)

Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart (in my heart).

  1. Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart, in my heart;
    Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart.

In my heart, (in my heart) in my heart, (in my heart)

Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart (in my heart).

  1. Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart, in my heart;
    Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart.

In my heart, (in my heart) in my heart, (in my heart)

Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart (in my heart).

  1. Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart, in my heart;
    Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart.

In my heart, (in my heart) in my heart, (in my heart)

Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart (in my heart).

Scripture:  Matthew 16:21-28            

From that time on, Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

Then Jesus told His disciples, “If any want to become My followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? “For the Son of Man is to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay everyone for what has been done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

Message:                       Pastor Becky Cuddeback

In many ways, we know the story too well and in being too familiar, we have minimized the awe of Christ dying, Christ being risen and Christ coming again. We call it the mystery of faith and we affirm it every time we come to the Table together.

But, for Peter and the disciples, this is their first hearing and it is shocking to them. They have been on board with Jesus since He called them to be His disciples. They are learning as they go. We will witness times where they forget what they know, especially in the days after the crucifixion and into the surprise of Jesus’ resurrection. We see them sometimes as a bit foolish and we ask how it is possible that they don’t know, how do they not remember, and how do they not believe? Yet, the same can be said about us and we’ve had more time with Jesus than they did (with the exception of Judas Iscariot).

We’ve had the recorded gospel of Mark since 70 AD. This is merely 47 years short of 2000 years. 2000 years of possession of the recording of Jesus’s teachings and actions! Maybe it has been enough time to dismiss the call between the cross and the world.

We must reacquaint ourselves with the way of the cross, the way to our death and the death of the systems that kill others. To diminish the cross, capturing it as merely an instrument of atonement for our personal benefit negates the action of the cross and the need for it and our need to follow it.

Jesus was born into a world of brokenness and He spent His earthly life speaking to the same injustices Moses was charged to rectify in the establishment of Israel. Israel, the nation formed to worship God and to model what it means to care for all humanity and creation. That care was to include the support of the widow, the orphan, and how to treat the alien among them. There are prescribed offerings and alms so all would eat and receive care. Farming practices were established so all would be fed and jubilee as a reset, so no one would be removed from the land. Jesus came face to face with how far off track they had gotten, exemplified by how certain populations were treated; all while the precise tithe down to the leaves of herbs were counted. All the while, the suffering around them went unchallenged and unaided.

Jesus rebuked the unholy alliance between the temple and Rome. Jesus continually pointed out the failings and how these same folks entrusted with the temple and the things of God were leading the people astray and it continues today, all in the name of power and authority.

The cross was used to silence Jesus; God turned death into resurrection and a new birth. God empowered the disciples with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to continue in the ways of healing and preaching, instructing and sharing; that is choosing the way of the cross. The cross directly intersects what the world wants and what God wants. It is only in choosing the way of the cross that we get to keep our lives for eternity. How we choose has Kingdom ramifications: will we live in the Kingdom now or will it only be a hope for eternity?

Jesus calls Peter Satan, referring to Peter as a stumbling block because Peter is set on human things. We cannot be a stumbling block to the cause of Jesus. The divine things are the care of humanity, being agents of healing brokenness, reconciling the lost, and freeing the oppressed as a starting point. It is for us to listen and claim for ourselves God’s imagination in the care of the creation so none would be lost in this life and the life to come.

Hymn #399 Take My Life and Let It Be Consecrated

  1. Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.

Take my moments and my days; Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.

  1. Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.

Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.

Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.

  1. Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.

Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure-store.

Take myself and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.

Go into your week with the blessings of The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit.