Silence and Centering – Pause for 5 minutes of Silence
“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:10
Eternal God, your good news to us in Jesus Christ Changes our lives forever. Yet we confess to You That we are reluctant to live as changed people. We are enslaved to our old ways. We are angry, judgmental, and devious. We are hypocritical, prideful, and faithless. We do not love You, nor do we love our neighbors as ourselves. Forgive us, O Lord. Restore to us a love of Your Son, Jesus. Renew in us the strength of Your Holy Spirit. Return us to a life that lives in Your grace as we have been saved by Your grace. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
FIRST READING: Mark 9:38-43
SECOND READING: NUMBERS 11:25-29
Reflection: NUMBERS 11:25-29
Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets! (Numbers 11:29)
It wasn’t about him. Moses was very clear about that fact. When Eldad and Medad received God’s spirit and prophesied, even though they were not gathered with him at the tent of meeting, Moses was not diminished in any way.
Why not? Because the initiative and the spirit came from God, not from Moses. It was not Moses who would be glorified by the spiritual gifts poured out on the elders; it was the Lord. As he himself said, he’d be happy if all God’s people were prophets! He would be delighted if they all knew the Lord as intimately as he did and spoke his word as freely. Like Joshua, though, we sometimes want to make a script for how God can work in people’s lives. Moses teaches us to be open when the Lord works in unexpected ways.
Jesus had a similar response to his disciples in today’s Gospel. When they complained that someone who didn’t follow them was casting out demons in his name, Jesus told them not to worry. God was working through that person too. Again, like the disciples, we might think that things should be done a certain way. Then we feel threatened when people don’t follow our “script.” But as Jesus said, “Whoever is not against us is for us” (Mark 9:40). He was trying to broaden the disciples’ view so that they could be free to recognize and follow the working of his Spirit in the future. That attitude became extremely important when Gentiles started believing in Jesus.
God sometimes looks at things differently than we do. We might be weighed down by a reluctance to change or a dislike of the unexpected. But God wants to work in the lives of his people, and he is so eager to pour out his Spirit that he won’t always follow our script. He challenges our narrow viewpoint. And that can be a really good thing!
“Lord, broaden my expectations of how you might work today.”
Let us pray for the whole Church of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs.
Almighty Father, unite Your Church in the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace. Lead Christians who are at odds with one another to seek reconciliation in Christ and, as brothers, to bear with each other in love. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Preserve and give success to the preaching of Your Holy Word. Through pastors, missionaries, church workers and the priesthood of all believers, send forth Your Son’s gracious invitation to repent and believe and cause it to be received with joyful faith. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Holy Lord, You have given Your gift of holy marriage, and You preserve this estate against the forces of sin and Satan. Bless all married couples. Keep them faithful to each other in their vows and ready to welcome Your gift of children in their union, according to Your will. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Blessed Father, strengthen fathers to devote their households to Your Word and prayer, to bring their children faithfully to Christ’s font, and faithfully to instruct their children in regular attendance at the Divine Service. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Almighty God, uphold Joseph, our president; ____________, our governor; and all our leaders. Direct their work toward the common good of all people, which is found in God’s Law written on our hearts and in Your righteous decrees — especially for the protection of the unborn and those who cannot speak for themselves. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Merciful Father, spare those who are ill, suffering or in sorrow [especially ____________]. Comfort them with Your promise of constant care and mercy. Show compassion also to the bereaved. Comfort them with Your promise of a joyful reunion with Christ and their loved ones who have died in the faith. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Bless all who will receive the Lord’s Supper today to eat and drink in repentance and faith. Strengthen all believers through the forgiveness of sins promised in the Holy Scriptures, until at last we are welcomed together at Your eternal marriage feast. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
1 CORINTHIANS 11:23-26NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which 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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.