October 17, 2021
WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Let me remind you quickly of our protocols for everyone’s safety.
· Attendance was taken by Ushers as you entered.
· masks are required by Session, as well as social distancing
bulletins are placed in the pews to help with social distancing
· Offerings may be placed in the plate by the doors.
· Please write your prayer request on the Yellow cards. An usher will pick them up during the 1st hymn.
· Please join us after service for fellowship will be continuing with beverages only, in Calvin Hall
Gary Iverson, Bob Bock, Joan Boyd, Jack Braden, Wanda Hirl, Marilyn Neymeyer, Joan Pinkston, Maxine Wagner, Valerie Jerez, Annette Conzett, Jo Lefleur, Dr Dyke, Jane , , Amy Jacobs, Bonnie Pillers, Mike Niles, Harlan Marx had a knee replacement and Tom Kelly who is recovering from surgery. Lois Seger is moving to Council Bluffs, IA to be near her daughter and will be living in an assisted living -we send her with love, the Steven’s Family, Reed Family, Patti Thomas’s Family, Lassen Family Death Uwe’s son Robert, Family of Elise King, and Lucy Melvin hip surgery October 25
Call to worship (based on Hebrews 4:12 )
The word of God is living and active. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart
God of unchangeable power, when you fashioned the world the morning stars sang together and the host of heaven shouted for joy. Open our eyes to the wonders of creation and teach us to use all things for good, to the honor of your glorious name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
HYMN Great is Thy Faithfulness No. 276
Prayer of Confession
Eternal God, in whom we live and move and have our being, whose face is hidden from us by our sins, and whose mercy we forget in the blindness of our hearts: Cleanse us from all our offenses, and deliver us from proud thoughts and vain desires, that with reverent and humble hearts we may draw near to you, confessing our faults, confiding in your grace, and finding in you our refuge and strength; through Jesus Christ your Son. Amen
Assurance of Pardon
My friends, God has listened to our prayer of confession and offers to each of you his loving forgiveness.
*THE PASSING OF THE PEACE
THE OFFERING AND OFFERTORY
Creator God, we offer you our gifts this day. We ask for you to bless these gifts and those who gather to offer them. Receive what we have given that the church may use it for the good the congregation, in the name of Jesus we pray, Amen
Prayer for Illumination
O Lord our God, your Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Give us grace to receive your truth in faith and love, that we may be obedient to your will and live always for your glory; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen
Surely, he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people, he was punished. 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. 11 After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” 36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. 37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.” 38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” 39 “We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
SERMON “What is True Service”
The suffering servant, this is the reading we have from Isaiah today, there are a few verses we miss, but we have here the most important piece.
The beauty of the text shows forth the beauty of the action taken. This action, this story is the prophetic depiction of Jesus. This is the scripture that the people of Jesus day had as reverence to the Messiah to come. But this wasn't the messiah they wanted or hoped for. They wanted power not servitude. They wanted a military ruler, not a pacifist who would teach you to turn the other cheek. They wanted someone who would be able to overthrow Rome and remove them from control over them, not someone who saw peace as something to be achieved internally. Jesus just wasn't
what they were looking for. He didn't follow the rules they followed. He did not conform to their image. He did not take the easy way out.
James and John, now here are two ambitious young men. But you cannot get anything if you don't ask. They have been with Jesus since the beginning. We often hear of John referred to as the one who was closest to Jesus in friendship. Peter did become the leader, but John is the one who Jesus loved. In the letters of John in the Bible we get the teaching of how God is love. John was also the one Jesus turned to before his death to take care of Mary his mother.
These two brothers wanted to have the seats of honor. They wanted to be there to see what Jesus was going to be seeing. They wanted to have some power, though they really did not know what that view was going to be. They thought only of this world when they asked the question. They had not remembered the "Suffering Servant" that was predicted by Isaiah.
Most of the images portrayed by Isaiah are hard to imagine. It had to be especially so for these men. They have been doing so many wonderous things in the last 3 years. They had been traveling with the one they knew was the Messiah. They were there to learn from him what it meant to be his true follower. But they still got things wrong. Much like we do when we look at the life we live and the one we are called to live by God as a follower of Jesus. It is made clear to us by Jesus himself in our gospel today.
I want to back up just a moment and look at the images of what was going to happen to Jesus. I am not going to explain or talk about them, I just want you to hear the images again and give you a few seconds to think about what you know Jesus went through on that last day here on earth.
We thought of him as stricken as one smitten by God and afflicted.
He was pierced for our offenses,
Crushed for our sin,
Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole,
by his stripes we were healed.
the Lord laid upon him the guilt of us all
Though he was harshly treated, he submitted and opened not his mouth
When he was cut off from the land of the living and smitten for the sin of his people,a grave was assigned him among the wicked and a burial place with evildoers.
The LORD was pleased to crush him in infirmity
These are the images of the suffering servant. This is what and who Jesus was. This is what he came to be and do. But why? Why is this what it means to be a true servant? What are we who follow him supposed to do? What is the reason for all this?
It is right there in the reading. This is why Jesus did all that he did. Why he spent three years wondering around preaching, teaching, performing miracles, curing people, casting out evil spirits. He did all these actions to get to this final point. To be this servant.
Here is the answer: Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days; through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear.
So, what does it mean to be a servant? Are we expected to do what Jesus did? No, he didn't say we were supposed to be just like him. Though the Apostles and many who followed after them, even to the present day do suffer many of these same afflictions, that is not what Jesus predicted for us.
To be a true follower of Jesus is to be servant to all. Everyone we encounter should know who we belong to. They should see by our actions that we have a Lord who would do anything and everything to ensure that we one day are with him in paradise.
When James and John asked him if they could sit one on his left and one on his right, they were missing a big piece of the picture. Frist of all the picture was created before Jesus even came to earth. The plan has been from the beginning of creation. Jesus was not in charge of choosing where people would be or how they would be. He was in charge of being sure we all knew just how much our God truly loves us.
This is how Jesus answers the question: "whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Jesus was telling them that they would suffer, perhaps not as much as he did physically, but already they had given up everything to be one of his followers. They were to serve the people. Bring them in and teach them. Just as he had done for them. They were to continue to teach and guide and do what he taught them and to teach others to do so after them. It was not something that would end. He wanted his story to go to the ends of the earth, to touch all the peoples of the world.
This is still the way of it. This is what we are called to do. Serve our neighbors, be what is needed, preach Jesus when needed and treat the world with love.
It seems easy doesn't it? Yes, we sometimes suffer for what we believe. We sometimes receive all that is needed as well. If we are truly servants of God we know that we will never want for what is necessary for us to complete the act of being servant.
My friends the best way to end this is to share with you another scripture. If you are a true servant you will be aware of the needs of those around you, your neighbor. You will be humble and not boast. You will follow the teachings of Jesus.
And above all this you will remember this one line that each of us knows, I am certain. It is the last verse of Paul's great teaching on love from 1 Corinthians 13: 13.
"So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
*Hymn In Christ There is No East or West No.439
AFFIRMATION Apostle’s Creed, Ecumenical Version
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven,
He is seated on the right hand of the Father,
And he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
MORNING PRAYER AND LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done in earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever. Amen.
*HYMN Take My Life No 390
CHARGE & BLESSING
And now, may the grace, mercy, and peace which proceeds from God the Father, through Jesus Christ, the Son, and into the Holy Spirit within us, may it rest and abide within us, now and forever more. Amen
*Stand as you are able.