Sunday: 13 September – Isaiah 50:5-9; Psalm 116:1-6, 8-9; James 2:14-18; Mark 8:27-35 ~ turn, take, and follow

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentence and Prayer:

In our journey through life, we walk the path Jesus walked: we cannot escape suffering, any more than He could.
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Make us one, O God, in acknowledging Jesus as Christ and Lord. As we proclaim Him by our words, let us follow Him in our works; give us strength to take up the cross and courage to lose our lives for His sake. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
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Hymn: “Majesty / All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”


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A Reading from the Old Testament: Isaiah 50:5-9 (NLT)
[Isaiah describes someone suffering nobly. Christians think of Jesus when they hear these words.]

Jesus in stone

The Sovereign Lord has spoken to me, and I have listened. I have not rebelled or turned away. I offered my back to those who beat me and my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard. I did not hide my face from mockery and spitting.

Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame. He who gives me justice is near. Who will dare to bring charges against me now? Where are my accusers? Let them appear! See, the Sovereign Lord is on my side! Who will declare me guilty?
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 116:1-6, 8-9 (NLT)

I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!

Death wrapped its ropes around me; the terrors of the grave overtook me. I saw only trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Please, Lord, save me!”

How kind the Lord is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours! The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me.
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He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. And so I walk in the Lord’s presence as I live here on earth!
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“Psalm 116 – Sons of Korah”


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A Reading from the Letters: James 2:14-18 (NLT)
[James challenges all Christians to put their faith into action.]

faith and works

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well” — but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”
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A Reading from the Gospels: Mark 8:27-35 (NLT)
[Jesus tells his followers about the kind of end he will have, and tells them they too may have to suffer.]

Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”

“Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other prophets.”

Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.”

But Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.

take up cross

Then Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but three days later he would rise from the dead. As he talked about this openly with his disciples, Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things.

Jesus turned around and looked at his disciples, then reprimanded Peter. “Get away from me, Satan!” he said. “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.

Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.
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“Wonderful Merciful Savior” – Selah


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Intercessions:

The Sovereign Lord is our helper and protector: with confidence we approach His throne of mercy and grace.

+ For Christian families around the world – that our family life may be renewed in Christ…. Lord, hear us.
+ For Christians being persecuted for their faith, in Syria and Iraq and throughout the Middle East — that they may know Christ’s presence as they carry the cross…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those seeking safety in Europe — that they receive the necessities of life that they need…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the Christians of Europe — that their actions may match their faith…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those in need in our own country — that they may find shelter, food, clothing, and the medical help they need…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all of us, as we begin a new week – that we may learn to live each day as followers of Christ…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those who have died – especially those who died on 9/11, and subsequently, through Islamist violence – that they may live forever in Your presence…. Lord, hear us.

God of all compassion, You protect Your people in every difficulty: hear our prayers and grant us Your grace, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Hymn: “Take Up Your Cross” by The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir


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Benediction:

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life around the World, Life in America, Life in Christ

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