Sunday, 08 November: 1 Kings 17:10-16; Psalm 146:7-10; Hebrews 9:24-28; Mark 12:38-44 ~ simple gifts and expectations

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Opening Sentence and Prayer:

Gathering together in the Lord’s house, we bring simple gifts into God’s presence – our love, our care for each other, our worshiping hearts and voices.
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God, our provider, You are the orphan’s hope and the widow’s bread. Strengthen our faith, that with simplicity of heart we may come to trust in You alone and hold back nothing in serving You. Grant 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: “We Come Rejoicing” – The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir


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A Reading from the Old Testament: 1 Kings 17:10-16 (NLT)
[A poor widow’s hospitality to Elijah the prophet is rewarded.]

So [Elijah] went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.”

pot-of-oil-and-flour

But she said, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.”

But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!”

So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days. There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 146:7-10 (NLT)

He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The Lord frees the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down. The Lord loves the godly.

The Lord protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.

The Lord will reign forever. He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations.

Praise the Lord!
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“What Joy (Psalm 146)” – Sarah Emerson


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A Reading from the Letters: Hebrews 9:24-28 (NLT)
[Christ offers his sacrifice once and for all. When he comes in glory, he will reward those who wait for him.]

For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf. And he did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal. If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.

And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.
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A Reading from the Gospels: Mark 12:38-44 (NLT)
[Unlike the showy religious leaders, the poor widow gives with generosity of heart.]

Widows Mite james c christensen art

Widows Mite
james c christensen art

Jesus also taught: “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be more severely punished.”

Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.

Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
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Hymn: “Even So” – Terry MacAlmon

Even so / Come Lord Jesus come / Even so / Take your bride away / How my soul / Longs to be with you my Lord / Even so / Even so / Come Lord Jesus come
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Intercessions:

The Lord raises up those who are bowed down, so let us come before Him with confidence. Lord, hear our prayers:

+ For all Christian leaders – that their faith may be genuine and sincere…. Lord, hear us.
+ For Christians everywhere – that we may be generous to the poor…. Lord, hear us.
+ For ourselves – that we may be open to conversation with people whose convictions are different from ours…. Lord, hear us.
+ For church pastors – that they may help their congregations to have hope…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those with little to call their own – that their trust in You may bring many blessings…. Lord, hear us.
+ For peace in Syria, and for divine protection for the Syrian refugees who seek a temporary home in Europe…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who have died, particularly those who have lost their lives through war or violence – that they, and all we have lost to death, may enjoy eternal salvation…. Lord, hear us.

Loving God, You support those in sorrow or pain: help us in all our needs, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Hymn: “He Reigns” Newsboys


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Benediction:

May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)

+ 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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