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Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost "Healing Grace" by Pr. Jim


Grace Lutheran Church

Ashland, Oregon

The Rev. James A. Kabel, Intentional Interim

Don’t Get In The Way

26 September 2021


Welcome to Grace Lutheran Church. We are happy that you have joined us for worship this morning. May all present grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in a love and desire to serve him. If you are a guest or visitor and have not done so already, please honor us by signing our Guest Book in the entrance hall of the church as you leave. If you have no church home of your own in the area, we invite you to make Grace Lutheran Church the center of your worship, learning, fellowship, and service. Pastor Jim or this morning’s lay assistant will be happy to answer any questions you may have concerning our parish. Come to worship with us again and often!

AS WE GATHER   Faithfulness

Someone who isn’t part of Jesus’ own circle is casting out demons in Jesus’ name, and the disciples want him stopped. They appeal to Jesus, as Joshua did to Moses about the elders who prophesied without official authorization. Like Moses, Jesus refuses to see this as a threat. Jesus welcomes good being done in his Name, even when it is not under his control. The circle we form around Jesus’ word must be able to value good being done in ways we wouldn’t do it by people we can’t keep tabs on.


O God, you see how busy we are with many things. In this hour of worship and prayer, give us rest from all that would cause us to be anxious. Turn us to listen to you as you come to us in Word and Sacrament, assuring us of that peace which passes all understanding. We ask this in the Name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Haugen Setting adapted


In today’s Gospel, the disciples complain when they’ve found someone (else) casting out demons in Jesus’ Name. They sound like those who discovered Eldad and Medad

prophesying in Numbers 11 (The First Lesson). In both cases, people gifted by God seemed to be competing with his official workers. What to do? Doing the work God has given us means going to the Source. The epistle of James (The Second Lesson) urges prayer—and no respite in faithfully doing the work God has given us. We are blessed to be a blessing.

PRELUDE He Leads Me—Larry Shackley

Tatsiana Ascheichyk, Piano


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

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

   But if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive

our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Let us then confess our sins to God our Father, and in the presence of one


+ A Brief Silence for Reflection & Self-examination +

Most merciful God, we confess that we are imperfect. Our minds are filled

with hate and prejudice, our tongues are uncontrolled; our deeds do not

bear witness to our faith. As sinners we stand condemned. For the sake

of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and

lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways to the

glory of your holy Name. Amen.

For your sake Jesus Christ obeyed the will of God perfectly, even unto death. For

his sake and by his authority, I declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins,

in the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirt. Amen.



The grace of our Risen Savior, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

be with you all.

                 And also with you.

NOW THE FEAST      Refrain:     Now the feast and celebration,

All of creation sings for joy

to the God of life and love and freedom:

praise and glory forevermore!

  1. Now is the feast of the Lamb once slain,

whose blood has freed and united us to

be one great people of God.   Refrain

  1. Power and riches, wisdom and might,

all honor and glory to Christ forever.  Refrain

  1. For God has come to dwell with us, to make

us people of God; to make all things new.  Refrain         

God our Father, your Son gave his life that we might come to peace with

you. Give us a share of your Spirit, and in all we do empower us to bear

the Name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

FIRST LESSON Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29

[What constitutes legitimate need and legitimate leadership is the focus of this reading. God provides manna in the wilderness, yet the people crave meat. What is truly needful? God bestows the spirit on seventy elders, yet two men not designated as leaders prophesy in the power of God’s spirit. What constitutes real leadership?]

The rabble among them had a strong craving; and the Israelites also wept again, and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons,

the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.’

Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, all at the entrances of their tents. Then the Lord became very angry, and Moses was displeased. So Moses said to the Lord, ‘Why have you treated your servant so badly? Why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? Did I conceive all this people? Did I give birth to them, that you should say to me, “Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a sucking child, to the land that you promised on oath to their ancestors”? Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they come weeping to me and say, “Give us meat to eat!” I am not able to carry all this people alone, for they are too heavy for me. If this is the way you are going to treat me, put me to death at once—if I have found favor in your sight—and do not let me see my misery.’

So the Lord said to Moses, ‘Gather for me seventy of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tent of meeting, and have them take their place there with you. So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.

Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, ‘Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.’ And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, ‘My lord Moses, stop them!’ But Moses said to him, ‘Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!’

The word of the Lord.

                Thanks be to God!

PSALM 19 (Read responsively)

LORD, you have the words of everlasting life. The law

of the LORD is perfect, giving joy to the heart.

The commands of the LORD are radiant giving

light to the eyes.

They are more precious than gold; they are sweeter

than honey.

By them is your servant taught; in keeping them

is great reward. LORD, you have the words of

everlasting life.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my

heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Redeemer.

LORD, you have the words of everlasting life.

SECOND LESSON James 5:13-20

[Marks of the Christian community include praying for those who are sick and in need, celebrating with those in good health, restoring those who have strayed, confessing sins to one another, and offering forgiveness to each other.]

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.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God!

SPECIAL MUSIC Forward in His Name—R. Kevin Boesiger

GOSPEL Mark 9:38-50

The Holy Gospel according to Mark, the 9th chapter. Glory to you, O Lord.

[On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus teaches his disciples about ministry that involve service and sacrifice. His disciples are slow to realize that these words apply to them as well as to others.]

John said to him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons

in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not follow-ing us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterwards 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.

‘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.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

     Praise to you, O Christ.

HYMN of THE DAY Eternal Spirit of the Living Christ LSB 769

Eternal Spirit of the living Christ,

I know not how to ask or what to say;

I only know my need, as deep as life,

And only You can teach me how to pray.

Come, pray in me the prayer I need this day;

Help me to see Your purpose and Your will—

Where I have failed, what I have done amiss;

Held in forgiving love, let me be still.

Come with the strength I lack, bring vision clear

Of human need; O give me eyes to see

Fulfillment of my live in love outpoured,

My life in You, O Christ; Your love in me.

HOMILY Healing Grace—Pr. Jim Text: The Gospel Lesson

Healing Grace

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

This past Wednesday was officially the first day of fall, but an even more reliable barometer of the seasons is the cool we now feel in the mornings. The cooler temperatures bring back memories of growing up in Wisconsin when the City of Sheboygan began stockpiling huge mounds of salt and sand to be spread on the icy, snow-packed streets come winter.

As our Lord speaks of salt today, all of our Scripture readings tell us of the similar overflowing … uncontrollable … nature of God’s grace—Grace, which means God’s favor and undeserved kindness to us in Jesus Christ. G.R.A.C.E. is a useful acronym for “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense,” or “Gifts we Receive And Cannot Earn”—and today’s lessons tell us that God’s grace for us in Christ is like salt that slops over the top of a measuring cup … his grace and lovingkindness finds a way to pour out in ways that can’t be controlled … his grace flows out all over in places we think it shouldn’t.


In today’s First Lesson the people of God are complaining. Surprise … surprise. It isn’t the first time they grumbled and complained. They’re tired of being in the desert on the way to the Promised Land. They want to go back to Egypt where the food was better. Moses can’t take it anymore, so he says to God:

“Put me out of my suffering, I’m ready to die,” and so God says,

“All right, gather some other leaders, gather 70 leaders and bring

them before me.”


God takes some of the spirit that rested upon Moses and gave it to these 70, to help lead and guide God’s people … and take some of the load off Moses. Grace grows exponentially … it multiplies 70-fold, from just one person leading alone, to a whole community leading each other. But all of a sudden some of God’s spirit overflows onto two people who weren’t supposed to be there, Eldad and Medad, and they began prophesying … which means they began speaking the truth about God … giving witness to the living God, but they were numbers 71 and 72! So, Joshua … Moses’ assistant … steps in to sort things out. “Moses, stop them” he says! Joshua ... like us … wants order. He doesn’t want things to get out of hand. He wants control. He knows that there are limits … there are procedures … things can only go so far … there’s a committee now with a president and vice president and secretary-treasurer of Israel, all 70 of them, and Joshua thinks a little grace is fine … but not too much … not overflowing … not messy … not spilling over the top. BUT grace means God is in charge … God is God and we’re not, and we don’t like that!

Note how Moses responds. “Are you jealous? I wish all God’s people were prophets, and that he would put his Spirit upon everybody.” Grace pours over … grace spills over … for in baptism all of us have been given God’s Holy Spirit …all of us have been given grace in abundance … filled to the brim and overflowing. It isn’t us in control anymore, for now we have a living Lord, who died for us on the Cross, and who now lives and reigns over us, keeping us as his own forever.

In the Second Lesson, James tells us what living in overflowing grace looks like. He begins by telling us that when we’re suffering, we should all pray. Suffering by its nature separates us off from one another, we can feel totally alone in suffering. BUT James tells us that faith calls us to actively stay as connected as possible to one another.


“If any among you is sick, they should call together 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.”

That’s why we pray for each other. Because of God’s grace we are bold to pray for healing, even if that healing is a final and ultimate healing in heaven. I know there are members of Grace right now who bear witness to what God can do and does through our prayers. And so once again today we will pray for healing and blessing because, God’s grace overflows.

Finally, in today’s Gospel Lesson, Jesus’ disciples come up to tattle on a man who was performing healings in the Name of Christ but was not following along with the disciples. The disciples want Jesus to stop him … to send him a cease-and-desist message. But we know, because of what our Lord has done for us, that grace overflows … spills over … and is messy at times. Jesus says,

“If they’re not against us they’re for us, and even somebody

who gives a glass of water because you bear the name of

Christ won’t lose their reward.”


Grace pours out and spills over, so that even the littlest thing becomes great in God’s sight. The tiniest thing can make the biggest difference and is worthy of the biggest reward. Think about a hug from a grandchild … an encouraging message from a friend … a thoughtful gesture from a neighbor. We can all change the world just with that. Every little thing you do this week … even when you don’t know you’re doing it for God can make a difference … your listening to someone else’s pain with empathy; your doing the everyday chores and little things you do for your family … the humdrum details at work or on campus … every little humble task here at church. In every hidden kindness that we do because of Christ, grace flows in and overflows makes little things great!


And if indeed we want to live rightly in his amazing grace, then we are called, Jesus says, to be salt, and to be at peace with one another. “Have salt in yourselves,” Jesus says. Salt can melt even the most frozen heart, like salt which stings like crazy because it heals our sins and griefs … like salt which cleanses and disinfects our wounds … like salt that preserves food and so preserves life … like salt that gives zest and life and flavor to everything. It is the salt of faith in him and fervent love for one another that melts … heals … seasons … and preserves us as his children, so that we will indeed be at peace with one another, living in all times, and in all places, in his overflowing, overwhelming, undeserved grace.

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

APOSTOLIC CREED                             

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven

and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life + everlasting. Amen.


As children and heirs of God’s promise, let us pray for The Church, the world, and all in need.

Holy God, we pray for The Church and its ministry around the world. Unite us in our love for you and sustain us as members of the body of Christ in lives of prayer, service, and worship. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of creation, we pray for this hurting earth. Restore lands devasted by tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes, and volcanic activity. Protect and strengthen firefighters who are working in dangerous wildfire environments as they seek to control and manage further devastation. Strengthen first responders and relief agency workers to help meet the complex needs of those who have lost their homes due to floods, tornadoes, forest fires, and lava flows. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of the peace, we pray for nations of the world embroiled in conflict. Inspire leaders and those in authority with wisdom and compassion. Strengthen in them a desire to protect the vulnerable and care for those underserved. Watch over all who are fleeing violence, persecution, or death and sustain them as they seek safe havens through uncertain and unstable times. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of comfort and healing, we pray for those who are in need and cry out for help. Feed those who are hungry, reassure those who are despairing, and accompany those who need your touch this day, especially those who are suffering with cancer, dementia, COVID-19 and its variants. Be close to the hearts of all who are lonely or homebound, especially Sharon, Richard & Doris, Bonnie, Vernia, Elma, Marguerite, together with those we name in our hearts (A brief pause) that they may be assured of your presence through our prayers and care for them. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of compassion, we pray for our congregation. Continue to nurture the leadership and ministries of this congregation. Bless our time with Pr. Hille and Rene this morning. Guide us by the power of your Spirit during this time of discernment as we move toward calling a pastor to join us in serving our community and seeking the lost. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of our redemption, we give thanks for all your saints, those we have loved and known and those from every time and place who have gone before us with the sign of faith and show us how to honor you with our hearts and lives. Inspire us by their example and renew our faith, trusting that we will be united with them in your eternal presence at The Feast which knows no end. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Receive the prayers, O God, and those in our hearts known only to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Heavenly Father, in Christ you have raised us to new life. Receive what

we have to offer, that others might know that life through the gifts you

give us to use and to share in the Name of your Son, Jesus Christ, our

Savior and Lord. Amen.


The Lord be with you.

   And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

   We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

   It is right to give him thanks and praise.

Holy God, our Bread of life, our Table, and our Food, you created a world in which all might be satisfied with your abundance.

You dined with Abraham and Sarah, promising them life, and

fed your people Israel with manna from heaven.

You sent your Son to eat with sinners and to become food for

the world..

In the night in which he was betrayed,

our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;

broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying:

Take and eat; this is my + body which is given

for you. Do this in remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,

And gave it for all to drink, saying:

This cup is the new covenant in my + blood

shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this in

remembrance of me.

By your Spirit bless us and this meal, that refreshed with

this heavenly food, we may be light for the world, revealing

The brilliance of your Son.

Amen. Come, Holy Spirit.

Through him all glory and honor are yours, Almighty Father, with

the Holy Spirit, in your holy Church, both now and forever. Amen.


Our Father who art in heaven;

hallowed be Thy Name,

Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses

as we forgive those

who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil;

For thine is the kingdom

and the power and the glory

forever and ever. Amen.


The peace of the Lord be with you always. And also with you.


Distribution Music Seed, scattered and sown



O God of love, you bind us to yourself in this sacrament, and strengthen us through this meal for service to the world. Guide us by your Spirit that we

may forever give witness to the Name of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Life. We

ask this in his Name. Amen.


SONG Thanks Be to You (Join in singing)

  1. Praise to you, O God of mercy: Thanks be to you forever!

Raising high the weak and lowly: Thanks be to you forever!

  1. From of old you loved and sought us: Thanks be to you forever!

Truth and justice you have taught us: Thanks be to you forever!

Strong is your faithfulness, strong is your love,

Rememb’ring your covenant of love with us.

  1. Praise to you, O God of mercy: Thanks be to you forever!

Raising high the weak and lowly: Thanks be to you forever!

Thanks be to you forever!


Go in peace. Serve the Lord.

               Thanks be to God!

+ With Great Boldness … Tell Everyone What He Has Done! +




We encourage everyone to participate in this very welcome hospitality ministry by signing up

to either host or assist with serving. For further details, please speak with either Pearl, Nan, or


Did you notice? Of course, you did. Our PARKING LOTS were repaired and sealed this past week. Our thanks and appreciation to Darryl Meierhoff and the Board of Trustees for seeing to the completion of this project.


TODAY: Coffee Hour 11:00 am

TUESDAY: Women’s Study 10:00 am

NEXT SUNDAY: Worship 10:00 am

Coffee Hour 11:00 am

Walk-up Communion 11:15 am

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