Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Lectionary Readings

Jeremiah 11:18-20

18 It was the Lord who made it known to me, and I knew;
then you showed me their evil deeds.
19 But I was like a gentle lamb
led to the slaughter.
And I did not know it was against me
that they devised schemes, saying,
“Let us destroy the tree with its fruit,
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will no longer be remembered!”
20 But you, O Lord of hosts, who judge righteously,
who try the heart and the mind,
let me see your retribution upon them,
for to you I have committed my cause.

Psalm 54

1 Save me, O God, by your name,
    and vindicate me by your might.
2 Hear my prayer, O God;
    give ear to the words of my mouth.

3 For the insolent have risen against me,
    the ruthless seek my life;
    they do not set God before them.

4 But surely, God is my helper;
    the Lord is the upholder of my life.
5 He will repay my enemies for their evil.
    In your faithfulness, put an end to them.

6 With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;
    I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.
7 For he has delivered me from every trouble,
    and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. 15 Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. 16 For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

1 Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? 2 You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures.

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Mark 9:30-37

30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” 32 But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.

33 Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34 But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 35 He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

Liturgical Elements

Call to Worship

Psalm 54:6-7

With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;
    I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.

For he has delivered me from every trouble,
    and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

Prayer of Confession

Based on Mark 9:34-37

Gracious God,
you told the disciples that whoever wants
to be first must be last of all and servant of all.
We confess that we are often driven
by selfish ambition and a desire to be the greatest.
Grant us a humility of heart that, in your name,
we would welcome the children among us,
the least among us, the broken among us.
Help us to serve others rather than ourselves;
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness

Based on Psalm 54:4

Hear the good news:
God is your helper;
the Lord is the upholder of your life.
Through the blood of Christ, we are forgiven.

Affirmation of Faith

Based on James 3:16-18; 4:7-8

We believe that where there is envy and selfish ambition,
there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. 

We believe that the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle,
willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. 

We believe that a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

We believe that we are to submit ourselves to God.

We believe that if we resist the devil, he will flee from us;
and when we draw near to God, he will draw near to us.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required