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Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost - "Sacrifice Comes With the Cross" by Pr. Jim


The Son of Man Must Suffer

12 September 2021


Welcome to Grace Lutheran Church. We are happy that you have joined us for

worship this morning. Through Word and Sacrament, Christ our Lord promises to

lead and guide us by the power of his Spirit. May today’s worship be a blessing to

you as he reveals his love for you and assures you of his presence in your life.

Guests and visitors, please honor us by signing our Guest Book in the entrance hall

of the church as you leave. The fellowship of this morning continues with a Coffee/

Fellowship Hour following worship. Do join us and let us become better acquainted

with you as you get to know us better. 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        Living Faith

Three weeks ago we heard Peter’s confession of faith as told in John’s gospel. This week we hear Mark’s version, when Peter says, “You are the Messiah.” In John, the stumbling block is Jesus’ invitation to eat his flesh, given for the life of the world. In Mark too the scandal has to do with Jesus’ words about his coming death, and here Peter stumbles over Jesus’ words. But Jesus is anointed [the meaning of messiah] in Mark only on the way to the cross (14:3); so we are anointed in Baptism with the sign of the cross.


Lord God, we thank you for planting in us the seed of your Word. By your Holy Spirit

let us receive it with joy, live according to it, and increase in faith and hope and love; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


With One Voice




Today we focus on aspects of faith. The Gospel Lesson highlights Peter’s heartfelt confession of Jesus as the Christ (Messiah). Words full of faith are evidenced in faith-filled deeds. In the Second Lesson, James exhorts his hearers to impartial service to all people. Even when suffering is a consequence of faith, as echoed in the servant song of Isaiah in the First Lesson, it has the power to work for eternal good for the faithful person.

PRELUDE Day by Day—Benjamin David Knoedler

Tatsiana Ascheichyk, Piano

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

“Those who want to save their life will lose it,” Jesus said.

     “And those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the

gospel, will save it.”

As those who seek to follow faithfully, let us confess our sins to God our Father

and in the presence of one another.

+ A Brief Silence for Reflection +

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 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.

The will of God is your redemption. The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord. In his Name and by his authority, I declare to you the full forgiveness of all your sins in the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Forgiven and reconciled by God, let us be reconciled with one another and share

the peace of the Lord as we greet each other.



The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. And also with you.

KYRIE (Please join in singing The Kyrie)

Refrain:  Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison     

Lord Jesus, you came to gather the nations into the

peace of God’s Kingdom.  Refrain

You come in Word and Sacrament to strengthen us

in holiness. Refrain

You will come in glory with salvation for your people.



O God, through suffering and rejection you bring forth our salvation, and by the glory of the Cross you transform our lives. Grant that for the sake of the gospel we may turn from the lure of evil, take up our cross, and follow your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

FIRST LESSON Isaiah 50:4-9a

[The image of the servant of the LORD is one of the notable motifs in the book of Isaiah. Today’s reading describes the mission of the servant, whom early Christians associated with Jesus. Like Jesus, the servant does not strike back at his detractors but trusts in God’s steadfast love.]

But The Lord God has given me

the tongue of a teacher,

that I may know how to sustain

the weary with a word.

Morning by morning he wakens—

wakens my ear

to listen as those who are taught.

The Lord God has opened my ear,

and I was not rebellious,

I did not turn backwards.

I gave my back to those who struck me,

and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;

I did not hide my face

from insult and spitting.

The Lord God helps me;

therefore I have not been disgraced;

therefore I have set my face like flint,

and I know that I shall not be put to shame;

he who vindicates me is near.

Who will contend with me?

Let us stand up together.

Who are my adversaries?

Let them confront me.

It is the Lord God who helps me;

who will declare me guilty?

All of them will wear out like a garment;

the moth will eat them up.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God!

PSALM 116(Read responsively)

Refrain:  I will walk in the presence of the LORD, in the land of the living.

I love the LORD, for he heard my cry for mercy.

Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as

long as I live.

The LORD is gracious and righteous; when I was in great need, he saved me.

   I will walk in the presence of the LORD, in the land of

the living.

For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my

eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling

   How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me?

I will lift the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.

   I will walk in the presence of the LORD, in the land of

the living.

SECOND LESSON James 3:1-12

[This text uses various images to illustrate how damaging and hurtful the way we speak to and about others can be. Not only are we to control our speech, but what we say and how we say it are to reflect our faith.]

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits.

How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can saltwater yield fresh.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God!

SPECIAL MUSIC Lord, Keep Us Steadfast In Your WordZach Unke

Tatsiana, piano

GOSPEL Mark 8:27-38

The Holy Gospel according to Mark, the 8th chapter. Glory to you, O Lord.

[This story provides the turning point in Mark’s gospel. Peter is the first human being in the narrative to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah, but he cannot accept that as the Messiah Jesus will have to suffer. Moreover, Jesus issues a strong challenge to all by connecting discipleship with the cross.]

Then Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’ And they answered him, ‘John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’ He asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.’ And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

     Praise to you, O Christ.

HYMN of THE DAY LSB 554 O Jesus, King Most Wonderful

Sacrifice Comes with The Cross

(The Cost of Following)

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

‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.”

Here are two imagined journal entries written by someone who took today’s Gospel lesson seriously:

Entry 1:

Deny yourself? You’ve got to be kidding! No!! I say “LIVE.” You

heard it wrong, Mark. Life is a banquet … every speck of it was

created good. You’d squelch it with centuries of “deny yourself?”

I don’t think so!

Entry 2:

What have I really gained by chasing the buck … buying the latest

toy … after “looking good” and after being “better than?” Lord, as

hard as it is sometimes for me to see how right You are, and as long

as it takes me to really learn it in my heart as well my head, You are

right. If only I—if only we could hear your voice that says, “I have

come to bring you life,” instead of settling for the counterfeits of

living that we make for ourselves, what a difference it would make.”

What are you willing to sacrifice by taking up the cross and denying yourself?

Make no mistake about it … “denying yourself and taking up the cross” isn’t very popular. It’s not what everybody wants to hear. Nor is it what you and I want to hear. Yet it’s what everybody needs to hear … what we need to hear … beginning with me.

21st Century life … as we know it … is not built upon deny yourself but indulge yourself. And if truth be told … most of us can do what no group of people ever dreamed of being able to do in previous centuries … purchase pretty much whatever our hearts desires. Perhaps … sometimes later rather than sooner. Most of us have it good … very good … compared to the rest of the world.

With all the technology and gadgetry of a consumer culture, however, we still live in a world where people are murdered … where the gap between the haves’ and have nots’ continues to widen … where soul and mind are bombarded with commercials … billboards … pop-ups … and the increasing infusion of violence into television, movies, and video games. But then what’s new? … We live in a culture no less broken or cruel than Jesus did (lived in) … and for whom living a different way led to rejection and the Cross.

Do we not know deep down inside that in denying our foolish … thoughtless … faithless selves that our lives are clearest … truest … and most deeply centered? In times of giving … real giving of ourselves … do we not experience a joy and satisfaction that comes from deep within us? Isn’t there something that brings heaven near when denying one’s self happens out of love rather than out of obligation?

To be a disciple of Jessus means not only following His example but having a commitment to love and serve Him with a love that surpasses all other commitments. The paradox in all this is that we also know life to be truest and clearest in the times that we walk hand in hand with our Lord. It is then that our heart sings … and our spirit dances … as we touch others with the gracious love of God that we ourselves have experienced. It is in those moments that deny hardly seems like the right word for what happens in us. It is more like relishing the wonder of the simple life of grace.

You see … it is in seeking life on Christ’s terms that we find it. Certainly, the angels rejoice with God in those times. For in seeking that new self by faith in Him who died and rose again for us … in forgiving as we have been forgivenin serving as we have been served without expecting anything in return … it is there that we find life … life filled to the brim and overflowing.

If you take a close look at the Gospel of Mark, you’ll find that today’s Gospel lesson occurs at the mid-point of Mark’s story of Jesus. The first half begins with John the Baptist preparing The Way for the Messiah. It closes with the question Jesus addressed to His disciples, “Do you not yet understand?” (8:21). The second half opens “on The Way” (8:27) with yet another question: “Who do you say that I am?” (v. 27)

That’s not a rhetorical question. On this 16th Sunday after Pentecost, do we know … really know … who Jesus is and what he is about?

From the text, one thing is certain: discipleship is not about correct answers, as important as they may be. Discipleship is about The Way of the Cross. In his book, The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer put it this way, “When Jesus Christ calls us to follow Him, He calls us to die.” Dying means dying to all that brought God’s Son to die on the Cross. Jesus did not save His life. He lost His life on a Cross, making no objections. And three days later, He rose again. Odd … but by losing His life He saved it and our lives as well. The life He gives us is everlasting life with Him and in Him. In Him, we can take up our death … not deny it … confessing that we are mortal and that all we depend on to give life will fail us. As children of God, we have Jesus for life … life in abundance … life filled to the brim and overflowing.

On this 16th Sunday after Pentecost, the call to follow by taking up our cross is the call to walk the way of our Savior’s redeeming and empowering love. That love, to be sure, clashes with all that the world values … so expect a battle. Be that as it may, true Christ-given love refuses to place the self at the center of the universe.

We see it best in the lives of those who—for the right reasons and in the spirit of faithful obedience—carry their cross in the power of our Crucified and Risen Lord. Look around you … every day you and I live and walk in the company of men … women … and children who are witnesses to finding real life by losing it for the sake of the Gospel. Though we may not always recognize them, there is something important in the way they show mercy and forgiveness to others, so that they also may trust Jesus for life.

We, too, are to be such persons upon whom our Lord looks with favor … followers of Jesus to whom He will say on the Last Day: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

+ 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, you have made yourself known through bread and wine, water and word. Continue to nurture your Church that it remains a welcoming place where your presence is experienced and shared by all. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of creation, you brought life into being and called it good. Bring new creation to lands devasted by tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fires, and earthquakes. Protect and strengthen all 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 others of those who have lost their homes due to floods, tornadoes, and forest fires. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of the nations, you desire all people to live in peace and safety. Increase justice in all nations. Raise up wise and discerning leaders and encourage them to work with one another for the good of our common world. Watch over all who are fleeing violence, persecution, or death and sustain them through uncertain and unstable times. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of comfort and healing, you accompany 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 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, and those we name on our hearts that they may be assured of your presence through our prayers and care for them. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of love, you support the work of your disciples who take up the Cross and follow. Continue to nurture the leadership and ministries of this congregation. Guide the members of our call committee by the power of your Spirit as they review and evaluate

the interviews of potential candidates for the pastoral office of our parish. Keep us mindful that you hear our prayers and will at length provide us with a tenured pastor to join us in serving our community and seeking the lost. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Redeeming God, we give thanks for all those who have gone before us with the sign of faith and showed 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, Maker of all things. Through your goodness you have

blessed us with these gifts. Receive what we have to offer, that others

might know and enjoy life in your Son 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.

Remembering, therefore, the sacrifice of his life and

death and the victory of his Resurrection, we await

with all the saints his loving redemption of our suffering


                Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Send your Spirit on these gifts of bread and wine and on all who

share in the body and blood of your Son; teach us your mercy and

justice and make all things new in Christ.

                Amen. Come, Holy Spirit.

Through Him all honor and glory are Yours, Almighty Father, with

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

The peace of the Lord be with you always.

   And also with you.

Lord, remember us in your Kingdom and teach us to pray:

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.


Distribution Music The Summons



Jesus, Bread of life, at your table we have received more that we could

ever ask. As you have nourished us in this meal, now strengthen us to

love and serve the world with your own life. In your Name we pray. Amen.


SONG LSB 806 Give Thanks




Go in peace. Serve the Lord. Thanks be to God!    

+ The Worship is Over … Let the Service Begin! +



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


STUDY OPPORTUNITIES resume this week with weekly Women’s Study on Tuesdays, beginning at 10:00 am in the Fireside Room. Set the time aside to join us as we begin our study of the Book of Acts. Next NewMen’s Coffee Study is scheduled for Saturday morning, October 9th, beginning at 8:30 am. Set the time aside now for a good discussion and fellowship.


TODAY: Coffee Hour 11:00 am

TUESDAY: Women’s Study 10:00 am

Council Zoom Meeting 6:30 pm

NEXT SUNDAY: Worship 10:00 am

Coffee Hour 11:00 am

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