Silence and Centering – Pause for 5 minutes of Silence
“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:10
Heavenly Father, our lifelong tendency is to continually strive
to make ourselves righteous in our own eyes through our own merit.
We foolishly try to keep the law through our own good works,
attempting to keep the commandments in our own strength.
We confess this as the sin and pride that it is. Have mercy upon us, Lord.
We know that there is nothing we can do to make ourselves
pleasing in Your sight, except to abide in the life of Christ.
Therefore, help us to live instead in total dependence upon You.
Thank You that in Jesus we are completely justified, redeemed and clothed in His righteousness.
All glory goes to God. Amen.
FIRST READING: Job 7:1-21
SECOND READING: Mark 10:2-16
From the beginning of creation . . . (Mark 10:6)
“Is it lawful?” some Pharisees quizzed Jesus, hoping to trip him up (Mark 10:2). Everyone knew Moses had allowed divorce; it was fairly commonplace in Jewish society at the time. But Jesus didn’t take their bait. Instead, he redirected them to the Garden of Eden, to a time before Moses, a time before sin entered the world. “From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. . . . And the two shall become one flesh” (Mark 10:6, 8; see Genesis 1:27). By focusing on what was lawful, these Pharisees were asking the wrong question. The real question was What did God have in mind?
It’s natural to think small and want specifics: what’s allowed and what isn’t, who’s right and who’s wrong. But Jesus wanted his opponents to think bigger, to see God’s huge, glorious plan—and he wants to do the same thing for us.
God’s intention for marriage is so much greater than doing right and avoiding wrong.
It’s about creative, faithful, self-giving love. It’s about God knitting together a man and woman who are both in need of grace. It’s about reflecting the image of God: revealing his perfect love through the everyday, imperfect love of a husband and wife. And it’s a beautiful window into the loving, faithful relationship that God desires to have with every one of his children.
Jesus wants to lift our eyes to the greatness of God’s plan from the beginning. Our experiences of family love will fall short of this ideal because we are all sinners. But our families can still be beautiful and glorify God. Even troubled marriages and fractured families can still be windows into God’s love. As through stained glass, God’s love can still shine through us and point toward the one who made us. Because “all things are possible for God” (Mark 10:27).
“Jesus, teach me to love.”
In peace, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
In thanksgiving for Jesus Christ, David’s Son and Lord, on whose love hangs all the Law and the Prophets and in whose discipline we also make our beginning in love, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For the Church, that her preachers may be proven faithful, and that all Christians would be glad to enter into the house of the Lord, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For our congregation, that young and old may be enriched with the testimony about Christ, grow in every spiritual gift, and endure in Christ’s fellowship until the day of His revealing, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For the fatherless, for widows, for sojourners and refugees, and for all who suffer instability, that they may find a solid rock in Christ Jesus and a family in the communion of the Holy Christian Church, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For our republic with its lawmakers and executives, that the common good would be served, and that its justice would accord with our God’s good order and command, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For the needy, the troubled, the joyful and the expectant, [especially _____________,] that they may look confidently to Christ, seated at the Father’s right hand and subjecting every enemy under His feet, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For all who commune, that strengthened by the forgiveness of our sins delivered in the body and blood of Christ, we may grow in the fear, love and service of God, who is our praise, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
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.