Pentecost 20: Sunday, 10/10/2021

The Rich Young Ruler!

OPENING SENTENCE-

We shall rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.

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 Dougie Byers

COLLECT

O Lord,

since without you we cannot please you:

let the work of your mercy in all things guide our hearts;

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 Job 23:1-9, 16-17 read by Liz Ballard

Then Job answered:

Evening, November 19th (Spurgeon's Devotional)

“Today also my complaint is bitter;
his hand is heavy despite my groaning.
Oh, that I knew where I might find him,
that I might come even to his dwelling!
I would lay my case before him,
and fill my mouth with arguments.

I would learn what he would answer me,
and understand what he would say to me.
Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?
No; but he would give heed to me.
There an upright person could reason with him,
and I should be acquitted forever by my judge.

“If I go forward, he is not there;
or backward, I cannot perceive him;
on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him;
I turn to the right, but I cannot see him.

SECOND READING Hebrews 4: 12-16 read by Margaret Morton

The Living... — Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) - For the word of God is alive...

Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.

Jesus the Great High Priest

Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested[a] as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

HYMN

GOSPEL READING Mark 10:17-31 read by Rev James Clark Maxwell

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St Mark chapter 10 beginning at verse 17

Glory to Christ our Saviour.

The Rich Man

As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.’” He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

Of Camels & Needles - Mark 10:17-31

Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”

Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious gospel

Praise to Christ our Lord

SERMON

I love musicals and when I was thinking of this gospel passage, my thoughts turned to Fiddler on the roof. You probably have guessed what song I am going to refer to, it is a song sung by Tevye the main character in the musical. It is entitled if I were a rich man.

Fiddler on the Roof (Touring) Tickets | Event Dates & Schedule |  Ticketmaster.com

“Oh, Lord, you made many, many poor people
I realize, of course, it’s no shame to be poor
But it’s no great honour either!
So, what would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune?”

If I were a rich man
Ya ba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dum
All day long, I’d biddy biddy bum
If I were a wealthy man
I wouldn’t have to work hard
Ya ba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dum
If I were a biddy biddy rich yidle-diddle-didle-didle man

Is Tevye right that his life would be so much better if he was rich, and that he could be in a better position to fulfil his dreams and longings?

3,609 Lottery Sign Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime

Thinking about this, I turned my mind to those who have become almost overnight rich… national lottery winners. For most winners of the National Lottery, that jubilant moment of realisation that their ticket is worth millions of pounds is one they will remember fondly for the rest of their days. Some experience tears of joy, others are simply numb with shock, while a few cannot help but shout from the rooftops that they’ve beaten such massive odds and scooped life-changing sums of cash. Those that buy lottery tickets dream of experiencing such a moment and being blessed with riches. However, is the winning of millions of pounds a blessing or curse? Few lottery winners are endowed with the ability to manage vast sums of money with ease. Most encounter problems and some winners have even wished that they could turn back time and forget their fortunes altogether. So being rich might not be all it is made out to be! Today in our gospel we met a rich young man. We are not told in our Gospel passage how the young ruler became rich, but it does not look as though he wanted to turn back time or to forget his fortunes.

What he did want was an answer to a question that had been bothering him? He seemed determined to meet Jesus and he was not going to be thwarted. In many ways this young ruler was courageous. Why do I say such a thing? Well, he is described by Luke as a ruler. In other words, he belonged to the upper class- a group that was highly critical of Jesus. Perhaps it was his youth or maybe it was his willingness to learn but he did not let his social position keep him from Jesus, he did not buy in to his peers’ assessment of Jesus. This young man saw something in Jesus and his teachings that convinced him that Jesus was the real thing.

Church Preaching Slide: Rich Young Ruler - SermonCentral.com

Did you notice that this rich young man came running to meet Jesus? Elite people did not run, as it was considered undignified. Yet this young rich ruler ran up to Jesus and knelt before him, in the middle of the road in broad day light for all to see. If his friends saw him, there would be no end to the ridicule, but he didn’t care. He comes across as a humble man, and his honest and direct manner warm him to Jesus. He did not come to Jesus with verbal puzzles, mental gymnastics, and pious theological jargon, as was the habit of the arrogant Pharisees. He was refreshing in his genuine sincerity. “Good Master,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He had gotten down to the fundamentals. He was in effect saying: Jesus, you clearly have the secret to authentic living. Tell me the secret so that I too may be fulfilled.

What is the secret to inheriting eternal life? Tell me what must I DO! Here we see something wrong in his way of thinking. He believes that he must Do something. He thinks that by performing outward exercises he will arrive at internal truths. He is conforming outwardly instead of obeying inwardly. He was living by law rather than by grace. That was what he was doing wrong! He thought by his own actions that he could gain salvation and eternal life. How wrong he was!

1,000 Points | Driving Thought

His type of thinking comes over in this short fun story. A man dies and goes to heaven. Of course, St. Peter meets him at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter says, “Here’s how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you’ve done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in.” Okay, “the man says, “I was married to the same women for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart.” That’s wonderful,” says St. Peter, “that’s worth three points.” Three points?” He says. “Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service.” Terrific!” say’s St. Peter. “That’s certainly worth a point.” One point! Well I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans.” Fantastic, that’s good for two more points,” he says. “Two points!” The man cries. “At this rate the only way to get into heaven is by the grace of God!” St. Peter smiled. “There’s your 100 points! Come on in!” To inherit eternal life, you do not need to do anything- it is simply a gift from God and all that is asked of us is our wholehearted devotion to God.

Stream One Thing You Lack, Luke 18:15-30 by Bret Hammond | Listen online  for free on SoundCloud

Wholehearted devotion to God was something the rich young man had tried in his own way to do. He claims to have kept the commandments and yet feels he has to do more. Clearly this observance of the law is not enough for the rich young man- it does not satisfy. There is an enthusiasm and hunger in this young man that Jesus admires. He looks on this young man with love and he invites him to become one of his disciples. So, Jesus throws out a challenge. One thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and come follow me. Why does Jesus say go and do something when he is trying to teach the young man that it is not outward acts that bring life but inward obedience. Jesus does this for the man’s own sake. He can see that this man’s wealth, possessions and comforts tie him down. He sees the need to free this young man from his addictions to possessions.

His addiction was preventing him from enjoying life to the full. Addiction can hold us back from enjoying life. This truth comes across in this short French story. The French have a story about a millionaire in his palace, who spent his days counting his gold. Beside the palace was a poor cobbler who spent his days singing as he repaired people’s shoes. The joyful singing irritated the rich man. One day he decided to give some gold coins to the cobbler. At first the cobbler was overjoyed, and he took the coins and hid them. But then he would be worried and go back to check if the coins were still there. Then he would be worried in case someone had seen him, and he would move the coins and hide them in another place. During all this, he ceased to sing. Then one day he realized that he had ceased to sing because of the gold coins. He took them back to the rich man and said, “take back your coins and give me back my songs.”

Songs are what Jesus would like to give this young man. He wants him to enjoy an inner independence so that who he is, is not dependent on what he has. It is also to encourage him to trust more in God. The young man stood on the brink of a new and exciting world. However, he realised at once that he could not enter this new world without saying goodbye to the old world. He hesitated. He thought about it, and realised he couldn’t do it. There was too much in the old world that he loved and wanted. So, he refused Jesus invitation and went away sad. The young man was not ready for this momentous decision but we are not told if later in life he was ready and willing. I hope so!

Today, we are in the season of autumn, a time when trees shed their leaves, a time of beauty, a time of preparation for new life. Autumn is a good time to examine our own lives and shed what might be hindering us in deepening our relationship with God. What would Jesus say to you and I this morning- What is the one thing we lack? What attachments do we need to let go to become more real and true to ourselves? What each of us lacks will be different, and whatever we have to let go of, is to free us from our attachment to it. In our letting go we are embarking into a new level of being, into a greater enjoyment of life. May it be so. 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

PRAYERS

God our strength

We put our trust in you

God of goodness, you inspire our hearts

to reach beyond personal wealth.

Excite your church with the treasure

of your eternal presence.

Help us to not to be attached to things,

but instead to place our trust

in your grace and mercy alone.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

TRUE TREASURE: The Treasure of God's Presence — Destiny

God of goodness, you puncture the flattery of our words

with the honesty of your truth.

Direct our gaze beyond personal aggrandizement

to the issues and matters of true importance and value.

Guide our political leaders in your ways of justice and freedom

and give them wisdom to serve those they represent.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

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God of goodness, you desire peace in your world.

We pray for peace in our communities this day.

We commit to you all who work for peace and an end to tensions, and those who work to uphold law and justice.

We pray for an end to fear, for comfort and support to those who suffer.

For calm in our streets and cities, that people may go about their lives in safety and peace.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

God of goodness, you know that we live

in disturbing times across the world,

With fuel prices rising,

empty shelves, markets in turmoil,

jobs lost, and financial security under threat.

Loving God, meet us in our fear and hear our prayer:

be a tower of strength amidst the shifting sands,

and a light in the darkness;

Help us receive your gift of peace,

and fix our hearts, where true joys are to be found,

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

68,840 Struggle Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

God of goodness, you know the struggles of your people

We pray for the many, who are trapped

by growing burdens of debt,

especially as furlough finishes

and universal addition monies are withdrawn,

For those who see no way out,

and who despair for their future: give them –

courage to tackle the problems they face,

clarity in taking decisions which will turn their situation around,

and faith that, as they cry to you in their trouble,

you will deliver them from their distress.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

50,000 Free Love Pictures to Download [HD]

God of goodness, make our homes,

places of love and growth,

welcoming to all who visit

accepting and forgiving of all

who are nurtured there.

Help us to work through disagreements and heartaches

and grant us the grace at all times

to respect and honour one another.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

God of goodness, your love sees our strengths and weaknesses

draw near to those who are weak in body, mind or spirit.

Grant them your healing touch,

your loving companionship

and your comforting and strengthening power.

Help us to be more ready

to support and befriend one another

through the difficult times.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

Healing Stock Photos & Royalty-Free Images | Depositphotos

God of goodness, you know our hearts,

you feel our pain and share our sorrows.

We are hurt by our parting

from those whom we loved:

when we are angry at the loss we have sustained,

when we long for words of comfort,

yet find them hard to hear,

turn our grief to truer living,

our affliction to firmer hope

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

God of goodness, deliver us from all

that hinders our spiritual growth

increase in us your heart of love,

empower us to be real and true.

Merciful Father accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,

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.