Sharing Our Faith Together

Worship for Sunday 26 September 2021

by Peter Nelson 26 September 2021

Good morning and welcome to our worship. The hymns for today have been chosen by our preacher, Peter Nelson. The prayers have been adapted from original material by Heather Wilson.

Call to Worship - Psalm 19:7-8
The Law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the LORD are sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eyes.

Hymn: Come let us join our cheerful songs

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You have been with us all these months, through the storm of Covid and you truly have been our anchor. We put our hope and trust in you. Whatever we face in the future, we do not face it alone. Your Holy Spirit is with us to pick us up again, set us on our feet, and we go forward in and with the love of our precious Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Hymn: All I once held dear

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Reading: Mark 9:33-50

Just before our reading, from verse 30, Jesus had once again tried to tell his disciples what is going happen to him. He is to be betrayed into the hands of men, who will kill him, and after three days he will rise again from the died. How difficult that must have been to take in, to accept, or under stand. We are told they were afraid to ask him about what he had told them.

Our reading begins where Jesus is journeying with his disciples to Capernaum. Like most groups of people walking, some walked faster than others, so the group of twelve or more would split into smaller groups so that they talk more intimately. The subject was not what Jesus had shared with them about his death and resurrection, but who is the greatest! Top dog! Jesus heard them, not only debating, but arguing! Heated arguments no wonder he was a little upset by what he heard, so he asked the question, “What were you arguing about on the road?”  He may not have heard the words that were spoken, but would pick up on their body language and volume of how loudly they were speaking, to make their points! But they kept quiet because they would have very embarrassed to admit the subject they had been arguing about.

Jesus had shared what was going to happen to him, to become a sacrifice for them, their sin and short comings. How was he going to be, not the greatest but the least among them, giving his life for them. They could only see what they wanted to see, their own selfishness made them try and gain the highest position in the group. They had not been together long, but their humanity took over. I wonder what reasons they gave to justify them having the greatest position. Luke, a doctor, Matthew an accountant working for the tax authorities, Peter, Andrew, having a family business, Mark something of a scribe. And John, being the one Jesus seems to have taken to!

Jesus had to teach them a lesson. So a riddle! “Who ever wants to be first must be the very last and servant of all.”  

The foolishness of God is wiser then the wisdom of Men.

Who would send their only child to die for the salvation of the world?

God did!  He doesn’t always do things our way, in fact not very often.

Verse 38 the disciples complained because hey had seen a man driving our demons in Jesus’ name. Earlier on in the chapter we read about Jesus healing a boy with an evil spirit, so these kind of miracles were foremost in the disciples minds.

They were still thinking about who was to be the greatest because they became very jealous of someone doing good works like Jesus, their teacher, was doing.

When we are doing the Lord’s work do we get jealous of some one who gets the praise when we have done all the work!

Do we like a pat on the back to make us feel good? Or do we give God all the glory because we rejoice in doing his will?

Verse 40 ‘for whoever is not against us is for us.’ And they may not know it.  

A small act done in humility, like a cup of water given in my name, because you belong to Christ, that’s the important part, belonging to Christ.

The last verse of our reading verse 30 reads ‘salt is good, but if it poses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt I yourselves, and be at peace with each other.’

Lessons we must learn if we are to make an impact in the New Normal after the pandemic. We have a great opportunity to help change the world. It will take commitment, not to be who we are, what we want, but to do the Master’s will as He did His Father's.  

‘A cup of water given in my name,  BECAUSE YOU BELONG TO CHRIST.  

Hymn: The Lord's my Shepherd 

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We represent God, the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ our Saviour. We pray today for those struggling in any way in the aftermath of the pandemic. We have lost family members and friends, and as a nation we have lost any economic stability we thought was possible. May we be salt to those around us. In the name of Christ.

We pray for the results of global warming throughout the world: forest fires, mud slides, flooding, higher than usual temperatures, and much more. May we be salt to those around us. In the name of Christ.

We pray for the activities of this church, thinking especially of the work with children, schools and families at this time of change. May we be salt to those around us. In the name of Christ.

Hymn: To God Be the Glory - This version requires you to raise your own voices at in praise of our Lord!

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A prayer of blessing
Peace to you - to all who walk in Christ’s ways. Amen.