Silence and Centering – Pause for 5 minutes of Silence
“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:10
Lord Jesus, we thank You for emptying out Your life for our sins, just as our Father planned. Without Your death and resurrection, we would have no rescue from the evil of this world. But we confess to You, Lord, our human tendency to turn back to old patterns of thinking and doing as we try to take back control of our lives. Have mercy on our foolishness, and forgive us completely for resisting the grace of Your gospel. Align our thinking again with the truth of Your Word, so that we might walk once again in true freedom. We ask this humbly in Christ’s name. Amen.
FIRST READING: Psalm 92:1-4
It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
2 to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
and your faithfulness by night,
3 to the music of the lute and the harp,
to the melody of the lyre.
4 For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
SECOND READING: Mark 4:1-20
Again, he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2 He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching, he said to them: 3 “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8 Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”
10 When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret[a] of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; 12 in order that
‘They may indeed look, but not perceive,
and may indeed listen, but not understand;
so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.’”
13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. 17 But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.[b] 18 And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. 20 And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”
In peace, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
In thanksgiving to the Most High, who has planted His Holy Word among us; and for the Church’s healthy growth, that we may weather the storm-winds of this world steadfast in Christ, ever bearing the fruits of love and singing praises to His name, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For the preaching and teaching of God’s Holy Word, that by His Spirit it may sprout and grow when and where it pleases God, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For this and every congregation, that God’s kingdom may be extended and we may have thankful hearts to marvel at His work, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
And that God would send faithful laborers into His fields to scatter His seed here and abroad, so in due time a harvest may be reaped for His glory, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For our homes and families, that the Lord would make the efforts of parents fruitful in the teaching of their children and preserve them in the saving faith of Jesus according to the promises He has spoken and will surely fulfill, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For those in positions of authority among us, [especially _____________,] that God would guide them by His Spirit to be high in purpose, wise in counsel, firm in good resolution and unwavering in duty; and for our nation and its people, that we may be governed quietly and peaceably, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For those in every need, [especially ________________,] let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For all God’s servants who groan under the burdens of this earthly tent and long to be clothed with His eternal life, which will swallow up all mortal sorrow [especially those who mourn _______________]; that He would give them good courage to walk by faith and not sight, to mourn the dead in the hope of the resurrection, and to make it their aim to please Him while here in the body, until at last we are all at home with Christ, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
Holy Father, from Israel You have taken a tender sprig, your chosen Messiah, Jesus, and planted Him on the mountain for our salvation. By His death on a tree, you have reversed the curse of sin and brought life again to dry, dusty souls. Do not let us despise Your Christ, His humility or His suffering, but bring us with all Your Christians into the shade of His eternal rest; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.