EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 26TH SEPTEMBER 2021

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OPENING SENTENCE- Our help is in the name of the Lord

HYMN

GREETING

Grace and peace to you from God our Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

COLLECT FOR PURITY

Almighty God

to whom all hearts be open

all desires known

and from whom no secrets are hidden;

Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you

and worthily magnify your holy name

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

SUMMARY OF THE LAW

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these. Amen. Lord, have mercy.

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CONFESSION

God is love and we are God’s children.

There is no room for fear in love.

We love because God loved us first.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.

God our Father, we confess to you

and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ

that we have sinned in thought, word and deed,

and in what we have failed to do.

We are truly sorry.

Forgive us our sins,

and deliver us from the power of evil,

for the sake of your Son who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

ABSOLUTION

May the God of love and power

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by his Spirit

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

GLORIA
sung by Sue Turner

COLLECT

O Lord,

may your grace at all times go before us,

and follow on behind:

and so continually direct us to good works;

through Jesus Christ, our Lord

who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, world without end. Amen

FIRST READING
Esther 7:1-6,9-10; 9: 20-22
read by Simon Lidwell

So, the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. On the second day, as they were drinking wine, the king again said to Esther, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have won your favour, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me—that is my petition—and the lives of my people—that is my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have held my peace; but no enemy can compensate for this damage to the king.” Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has presumed to do this?” Esther said, “A foe and enemy, this wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen.

Pin by Alan Hedquist on Inspiring images | Faith, Daughter of god, Lds  quotes

 Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, “Look, the very gallows that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, whose word saved the king, stands at Haman’s house, fifty cubits high.” And the king said, “Hang him on that.” So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the anger of the king abated.

Mordecai recorded these things, and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, enjoining them that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar and also the fifteenth day of the same month, year by year, as the days on which the Jews gained relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and presents to the poor.

SECOND READING
JAMES 5:13-20
read by Kate Lidwell

The Prayer of Faith

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Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.

My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

HYMN

GOSPEL READING
Mark 9: 38-50
read by Rev Janice Aiton

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St Mark chapter 9 beginning at verse 38

Glory to Christ our Saviour.

Another Exorcist

John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

Mark – The Bible Wallpapers

Temptations to Sin

“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched. “For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious gospel

Praise to Christ our Lord

SERMON

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Getting the right perspective is so important in life and this letter of James helps us to achieve that. When girl called Jane wrote a letter to help her parents get the right perspective. Here is this letter -Dear Mom and Dad, it has now been three months since I left for college. I am sorry for my thoughtlessness in not having written before. I will bring you up to date but before you read on you had better sit down. Okay?

I am getting along pretty well now. The skull fracture and concussion I got when I jumped out of my apartment window when it caught fire after my arrival here is pretty well healed. I only spent two weeks in the hospital and now I can see almost normally and only get these sick headaches once a day. Fortunately, the fire and my jump were witnessed by Roger an attendant at the gas station, and he was the one who called the fire department. He also visited me in the hospital, and since I had nowhere to live, he was kind enough to invite me to share his apartment with him. He is a very fine man, and we are planning to get married. We haven’t set the date yet, but it will be before my pregnancy begins to show. His divorce is final now, and he shares custody of his 3 children. Now that I have brought you up to date, I want to tell you that there was no fire, I did not have a concussion or skull fracture, I was not in the hospital, I am not pregnant, I am not engaged and there is no divorced man in my life. However, I am getting a “D” in Art and an “F” in Biology and I wanted you to see these marks in the proper perspective. Your loving daughter, Jane

The book of James and especially this fifth chapter is a guide to getting the right perspective in the different situations we face. The first situation he mentions is if anyone is in trouble – he/she should pray? James is recognising that life is made up of triumph and tragedy, of sorrow and joy, illness and sickness can trip us up and sin entangles us. Life is totally unpredictable. Anyone who has had an accident or a family member suddenly gets sick- can attest that life can change radically in just a matter of seconds. In addition, we all know first-hand how sin can hurt and damage us and some of us are living with the consequences of wrong choices.

James 5:13 KJV - Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any

So, when we are in trouble we are to pray. Don’t miss what James is saying here. Remember too that James was well acquainted with suffering and persecution and so he says no matter the situation you need to be facing God, communicating freely with God. Martin Luther said, ‘as it is the business of tailors to make clothes, and cobblers to mend shoes, so it is the business of Christians to pray.

Those in trouble are to pray. Now this is the only place in the New Testament where the word trouble is used. It means suffering through tough times, not related to physical problems. This is the time when there is not enough money to pay the bills. When the storm comes and floods the house and the office and destroys your business and your home. James says pray. When your friend is acting like a jerk and destroying your friendship, James urges you to face God in that time of trouble. When the rug is pulled from under you – you are to pray! That is not too difficult to understand, but notice what is not said. You can look all over the book of James and even all over the Bible and you will not find the verse you would like to find there. Is any of you in trouble-pray and God will take the trouble away! It simply isn’t there! As a matter of fact, James reminds us in a previous chapter that trouble is part of life and in the midst of it we have a choice. We can allow anger, bitterness and resentment to set in or we can through prayer ask God to mould us into who He wants us to be, or we can allow it to beat us down into something less than God’s will for us. James says we choose the outcome of our troubles by turning toward God in their midst. “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray.”

Living Out Our Faith through Prayer and in Community [James Study Week 12, James  5:13-20] — Sarah J. Hauser | nourish your soul

George Muller did just that “The children are dressed and ready for school. But there is no food for them to eat,” the housemother of the orphanage informed George Mueller. George asked her to take the 300 children into the dining room and have them sit at the tables. He thanked God for the food and waited. George knew God would provide food for the children as he always did. Within minutes, a baker knocked on the door. “Mr. Mueller,” he said, “last night I could not sleep. Somehow, I knew that you would need bread this morning. I got up and baked three batches for you. I will bring it in.” Soon, there was another knock at the door. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. The milk would spoil by the time the wheel was fixed. He asked George if he could use some free milk. George smiled as the milkman brought in ten large cans of milk. It was just enough for the 300 thirsty children.

Hudson Taylor was the founder of the China Inland Mission and did a great work for God in China. This experience took place when he was journeying to China for the first time. He writes-I have had all sorts of experiences in all sorts of circumstances, and when I have come to God and pleaded His own promises in His own Word, I have never been disappointed. I have been in circumstances of great difficulty, and have been led to ask Him for remarkable help. I was nearly wrecked when I was going out to China the first time. Our vessel was becalmed, and gradually drifting upon the coast of New Guinea. We could see the savages on the shore. They had kindled a fire, and were evidently expecting a good supper that night. The captain said to me: “We can’t do anything else but let down the long-boat.” They had tried to turn the head of the vessel around from the shore, but in vain. We had been becalmed for several weeks, with never a breeze, or any sign of one. In a few minutes we would be among the coral reefs. We would be at the mercy of those savages, and they didn’t look as if they had much mercy.  “Well,” I said, “there is one thing we haven’t done yet. Let the Christians on board pray about it.” After prayer I went up on deck. There was the second officer, the chief mate—a very godless man. I went up to him and said: “If I were you, I would let down the mainsail.” Said he: “What do you want me to let down the mainsail for?” I said: “We have been praying for a breeze, and it is coming directly, and the sooner we are ready for it the better.” With an oath he said he would rather see a breeze than hear of one. 

Voyage to China - OMF (U.S.)

As he was speaking, I instinctively looked up, and noticed that one of the sails was quivering with the coming breeze. Said I: “Don’t you see that the corners of the royals are already shaking? My dear fellow, there is a good breeze coming, and we had better be ready for it.” Of course, the mate went to work, and soon the sailors were tramping over the deck. Before the sails were set the wind was down upon us. The captain came up to see what was the matter. He saw that our prayers had been answered; and we didn’t forget to praise God for the deliverance from the perils to which we were exposed. Writing of this and similar experiences later, Hudson Taylor said: “Thus God encouraged me, ere landing on China’s shores, to bring every variety of need to Him in prayer, and to expect that He would honour the name of the Lord Jesus and give the help which each emergency required.”

Notice in that trial that when prayer was answered Hudson Taylor praised God. We teach our children to say thank-you when they receive something from someone, but often we never learn to be genuinely thankful to the one who gives us everything. It is often the prayer of thanksgiving that we neglect- when we are in the deepest trouble it is not hard to remember to turn to God but when we are on the mountain-top we can easily forget the giver of that gift- God himself. Keep the right perspective- when we are happy- we are to pray – we are called to sing songs of praise because good times can lead to indifference. So, to keep the right perspective we are to pray in trouble, in happiness and also in sickness.

A Call to Prayer in All Circumstances – Seeking Passionate Prayer in  Spiritual Warfare

Pray in sickness and indeed call upon the priest to anoint with oil and seek healing. Oil is used as a symbol of God’s presence and a reminder of God’s power to heal. Our prayers and anointing with oil do not always bring the hoped for and longed for healing we seek. However, I believe with all my heart that God does bring healing in some form or another when we pray. Let me conclude with this true story- Tony Campolo tells a story about being in a church in Oregon where he was asked to pray for a man who had cancer. Campolo prayed boldly for the man’s healing. That next week he got a telephone call from the man’s wife. She said, “You prayed for my husband. He had cancer.” Campolo thought when he heard her use the past tense verb that his cancer had been eradicated! But before he could think much about it she said, “He died.” Campolo felt terrible. But she continued, “Don’t feel bad. When he came into that church that Sunday he was filled with anger. He knew he was going to be dead in a short period of time, and he hated God. He was 58 years old, and he wanted to see his children and grandchildren grow up. He was angry that this all-powerful God didn’t take away his sickness and heal him. He would lie in bed and curse God. The more his anger grew towards God, the more miserable he was to everybody around him. It was an awful thing to be in his presence. But the lady told Campolo, “After you prayed for him, a peace had come over him and a joy had come into him. Tony, the last three days have been the best days of our lives. We’ve sung. We’ve laughed. We’ve read Scripture. We prayed. Oh, they’ve been wonderful days. And I called to thank you for laying your hands on him and praying for healing.” 

The Gift of Prayer | Unity

Prayer is God’s gift of power and love to us, why would we neglect it when it draws us so close to God and influences so wonderfully our lives. When in trouble, happiness or sickness turn always to God in prayer. Amen.

Christ The Savior Lutheran Church

NICENE CREED

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one substance with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven;

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father.

With the Father and the Son,

he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism

for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Praying Moms – LRPC HOME

Lord you call your church to be purified for your service.

Set our wills on your kingdom alone.

Help us to be people of prayer,

coming to your throne

in times of joy and sorrow,

deeply concerned for the care of others.

We call your name O Lord

Incline your ear to our prayer.

Lord you call the nations to be at peace with one another.

Be with those countries like Afghanistan

that are in a state of turmoil,

with a new but largely unwelcome regime.

We pray for wisdom and negotiations in that country,

remembering those that are most vulnerable there.

Unite the nations in their pursuit of the good for all

so that none prosper at the expense of the other.

We call your name O Lord

Incline your ear to our prayer.

Lord, you call us to care for your creation,

help us to better stewards

of all that you entrust to us.

We pray about climate change

and environmental issues,

asking that you will give us

the will- power and determination

to make a positive difference and impact.

We call your name O Lord

Incline your ear to our prayer.

Lord, you call us to rejoice with those that rejoice

and to weep with those that weep.

We lift to you those whose lives are in disarray

as a result of natural disaster or warfare.

Draw the right people and resources to their aid,

that restoration and new beginnings might occur.

We call your name O Lord

Incline your ear to our prayer.

Lord, you call us to care

for those who are sick,

physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.

Anoint them with your Holy Spirit,

bring your healing and balm,

and meet each one at their point of need.

We call your name O Lord

Incline your ear to our prayer.

Lord, your call brings us home.

Be with all who mourn at this time.

Be with those whose lives are ebbing away

and are ready to come to you.

Surround all with your love and peace.

We call your name O Lord

Incline your ear to our prayer.

Lord, you call us to come to you

and spend time in your holy presence.

Thank you for the gift of prayer

and for the privilege of drawing close to you.

Teach us how to pray and

how to discern your voice in our world today.

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ who taught us to pray together

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Do not bring us to the time of trial

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

HYMN

BLESSING

The peace of God,

which passes all understanding,

keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,

and of his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord:

and the blessing of God the Father,

the Son and Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always. Amen

DISMISSAL

Go or stay in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ.