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September 23, 2018

AS WE GATHER…All three Readings today ring out with the gift of humility.  Jeremiah, deeply hurt by those who sought to destroy him, still humbly leaves vengeance to the Lord.  James exhorts believers not to think of themselves as wiser than anyone else, especially when the evidence of their lives was full of bitter jealousy and selfish ambition.  James urges the wise to repent and to exhibit the humility of Christ demonstrated by being “peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”  When Jesus makes clear that He is on a path that leads to humiliation on the cross, the disciples haughtily argue about who among them is the greatest.  We live in a world still ruled much of the time by brashness, boasting, and exulting in lording it over others.  At times we are tempted to treat others who are not Christians in these sinful ways.  Yet these Readings work together to show us another way to live—humbly trusting God.



P:  In the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

C: Amen. 



P:  God is our helper.  The Lord is the upholder of our lives.  Let us then, assured of God’s love, confess our sin before God and one another with the words of Psalm 25.

P:  We confess to You that we are by nature sinful.

C: We have sinned in thought, word, and deed.  We cannot free ourselves. 

P:  We thought we were wise, when we were actually foolish.

C: We have acted out of jealousy or selfish ambition. 

P:  We have relished and reveled in conflict both within and outside the Christian community.

C: We have failed to seek Your help in resolving differences great and small. 

P:  We have laughed when we should have mourned.

C: We have had joy when we should have sorrowed.  Forgive us our sins, both what we have done and left undone.  Have mercy on us.  Seek us, for You alone can find us and restore us. 


A time of silence is observed.


P:  Remember Your mercy, O Lord, and Your steadfast love; for they have been from of old.  Remember not the sins of our youth or my transgressions; according to Your steadfast love remember us, for the sake of Your goodness, O Lord!  As a called and ordained servant of Christ, and by His authority, I therefore forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

C: Amen. 

SONG OF PRAISE:                                                 “Seek Ye First”  

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God,

And His righteousness.

And all these things shall be added unto you!

Allelu, alleluia!

Ask and it shall be given unto you,

Seek and ye shall find,

Knock and the door shall be opened unto you,

Allelu, alleluia!

Man does not live by bread alone,

But by every word

That proceeds from the mouth of the Lord,

Allelu, alleluia!



P:  Let us Pray…Lord God, You call us to speak Your Word in a world that would rather not hear it.  Fill us with humility and faithfulness in the face of scorn, so that by Your grace we become people who are peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C: Amen. 


FIRST LESSON:                                                    Genesis 39:1-21

  Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands.So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field. So he left all that he had in Joseph’s charge, and because of him he had no concern about anything but the food he ate.

Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” 10 And as she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie beside her or to be with her.

11 But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, 12 she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house. 13 And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house, 14 she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. 15 And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house.” 16 Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home, 17 and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to laugh at me. 18 But as soon as I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment beside me and fled out of the house.”

19 As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, “This is the way your servant treated me,” his anger was kindled. 20 And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.




GOSPEL:  Who is the greatest?                                  Mark 9:30-37

 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.

And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”


CHOIR ANTHEM                                      “If Anybody Asks You”

Arranged by: Mark Hayes

If anybody asks you, anybody asks you, tell ‘em a child of God. 

If anybody asks you who I am, who I am, who I am,

if anybody asks you who I am, tell ‘em I’m a child of God.  (repeat x2)

You know I would not be a sinner, and I’m gonna tell you why:

the Lord might call, He’ll call me on home before I’m ready to die, die, die. 

If anybody asks you who I am, who I am, who I am,

if anybody asks you who I am, tell ‘em I’m a child of God.

You know one of these mornin’s, won’t be very long,

You know people will be lookin’ for me, I’ll be gone. 

I’m goin’ up to heaven to a higher plane.

Saint Peter will be waitin’, and he’ll call my name. 

Jesus made me (yes He did,) who I am, (yes, He did,) who I am, (yes, He did.)

Who I am.  Jesus made me who I am.

Yes, I’m a child. (Yes, I’m a child.) I said, “Yes, I’m a child.”

Hallelujah, I’m a child. 

I’ve been washed in the blood, in the blood of the Lamb. 

I’ve been saved and sanctified, saved and sanctified. 

I’m saved, saved.  Hallelujah, I am saved!

(similar lyrics to the end overlapped in parts)


SERMON        “Facing Temptation”


SERMON HYMN:                     “How Great is our God”  

The splendor of the King, clothed in majesty,

Let all the earth rejoice, all the earth rejoice.

He wraps Himself in light, and darkness tries to hide,

And trembles at his voice, trembles at his voice.


How great is our God, sing with me,

How great is our God, all will see,

How great, how great is our God.

Age to age He stands, and time is in His hands,

Beginning and the end, beginning and the end.

The Godhead, three in one:  Father, Spirit, Son,

The Lion and the Lamb, the Lion and the Lamb.


Name above all names,

Worthy of all praise,

My heart will sing

How great is our God.




C: I believe in God, the Father Almighty,

           Maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,

           Who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit,

           Born of the virgin Mary,

           Suffered under Pontius Pilate,

           Was crucified, died and was buried.

           He descended into hell.

           The third day He rose again from the dead.

           He ascended into heaven

           And sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

           From thence He will come to judge the living and the


I believe in the Holy Spirit,

           The holy Christian Church,

                  The communion of saints,

           The forgiveness of sins,

           The resurrection of the body,

           And the life + everlasting.  Amen 



The offerings gathered are a sign of our whole lives offered to God in humble gratitude for his greatest of all offerings, his Son offered for our salvation.



P:  The Lord God calls us to turn to Him and live.  So now let us turn to God in prayer, looking not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others.

P:  For the Church throughout the world, that, rather than argue about who is the greatest, we serve the lost and the least of this world and share the hope that is ours in Jesus.  O God,

C: hear our prayer. 

P:  For the world, that the leaders of our nation and of nations throughout the world promote peace and well-being for all whom they serve.  For those who serve in dangerous occupations that help to keep the peace—soldiers, police officers, judges—that they be kept safe from harm and fulfill their tasks confident that they are part of establishing and keeping the good order of society that God desires for us.  O God,

C: hear our prayer. 

P:  For the needs of our local community, that the hungry are fed, that the homeless find shelter, that the unemployed find work, that the wealthy share generously, that the peacemakers not lose heart.  O God,

C: hear our prayer. 

P:  For those who are experiencing distress, (especially…).  For those who are sick, that, according to God’s holy will, they experience healing and renewal.  For those who are dying, that they take comfort in knowing that nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.  For those who are grieving, that they experience peace in the hope of the resurrection.  O God,

C: hear our prayer. 

P:  For our own congregation, that we live by the wisdom from above—pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.  O God,

C: hear our prayer. 

P:  Fill us, Lord God, with Your wisdom that is from above.  Keep us from jealousy and arguments.  Fill us with mercy and good fruits.  These petitions, and all else You know that we need, we submit to You in the name of Jesus, our Lord.

C: Amen. 





P:  James 3:17 states, “The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

P:  The Lord bless you and keep you.  The make His face shine on you and be gracious to you.  The Lord look upon you with favor and + give you peace.


CLOSING SONG                                     Chosen by Congregation

“Holy God, We Praise Your Name”

1 Holy God, we praise your name;

Lord of all, we bow before you.

All on earth your scepter claim,

All in heav’n above adore you.

Infinite your vast domain,

Everlasting is your reign.


2 Hark! the glad celestial hymn

Angel choirs above are raising;

Cherubim and seraphim,

In unceasing chorus praising,

Fill the heav’ns with sweet accord:

“Holy, holy, holy Lord!”


3 Lo, the apostolic train

Join your sacred name to hallow;

Prophets swell the glad refrain,

And the white-robed martyrs follow;

And from morn to set of sun

Through the Church the song goes on.


4 Holy Father, holy Son,

Holy Spirit, three we name you,

Though in essence only one;

Undivided God we claim you

And, adoring, bend the knee

While we own the mystery.