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Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost - "Servanthood - God's Kind of Greatness" by Pr. Jim


Not to Be Served But to Serve

17 October 2021


A warm welcome to all who have gathered for worship this morning, especially to our guests and visitors. Today we gather around Word and Sacrament through which God equips, directs, and supports his people in the mission and ministry of his Kingdom. All that God promised in his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, comes together by the power of the Spirit as we worship. Guests and visitors, 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 regarding our parish. The fellowship of this morning continues with coffee following worship. Do join us and let us become better acquainted with you as you get to know us better. Come to worship with us again and often!

AS WE GATHER   Servanthood

Today’s gospel starts with the disciples obsessing over who will be closest to Jesus, leading to Jesus teaching his followers about God’s take on importance and power. Jesus makes it explicit that the reversal of values in God’s kingdom is a direct challenge to the values of the dominant culture, where wielding power over others is what makes you great. Gathered around the Cross, a sign of great shame, we pray that we may be transformed to be servants.


Lord God, it is through our lives that your love touches others. Stir us by your Spirit to serve all people with willing hearts and bring them the message of your love. We ask this in the Name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Jazz Mass Setting




To what do you aspire? Do you aspire to the high calling of servanthood? That’s where our Lord leads, as Isaiah prophesied (today’s First Lesson). His perfect example in Hebrews 5:1-10, which tells us how he “offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears” is beyond our abilities. That’s why we call his obedience our “salvation.” Faithfulness means trusting him and servanthood (today’s Gospel). God’s love has embraced us in our Servant Lord. How shall we do this for each other and for those who are in need?

PRELUDE Blessed Hope—David Foley

Tatsiana Ascheichyk, Piano

HYMN Greet the Rising Sun LSB 871


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 to you our disobedience and our unworthiness. Without your grace, we could not stand in your presence. Without your mercy

we would be doomed on the day of judgment. 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.


In the mercy of almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for you. 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 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 the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. And also with you.

GLORY TO GOD        Refrain:     Glory to God, glory to God,

Glory to God in the Highest

And peace to his people on earth

  1. Lord God, heavenly King, Almighty God, and Father, we worship

you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.Refrain

  1. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.You are

seated at the right hand of the Father; receive our prayer.Refrain

  1. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy

Spirit in the glory of God the Father.

   Refrain:       Glory to God, glory to God,

Glory to God in the Highest

And peace to his people on earth.

Amen, Amen, Amen


Lord God, you turn greatness into goodness for all the peoples of the earth. Shape us into willing servants of your kingdom, and make us desire always and only your will; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

FIRST LESSON Isaiah 53:4-12

[This reading is from the last of four passages in Isaiah that are often called “servant songs.” Christians are probably most familiar with this servant song. In light of Christian faith, the servant’s healing ministry and redemptive suffering are understood to be fulfilled in the life and death of Christ.]

Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.

Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God!                        

PSALM 91 (Read responsively)

Keep me, as the apple of your eye. Hide me in the shadow

of your wings.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.” Keep me, as the apple of your

eye. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.

You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies

by day.

If you make the Most High your dwelling, then no harm

will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you

in all your ways;

they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Keep me, as the apple of your eye. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.

SECOND LESSON Hebrews 5:1-10

[Using imagery from scripture and from Jewish worship practices, Jesus is presented as the great high priest who was obedient to God’s saving plan. Through his suffering and death he has become the source of eternal salvation.]

Every high priest chosen from among mortals is put in charge of things pertaining to God on their behalf, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness; and because of this he must offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not presume to take this honor, but takes it only when called by God, just as Aaron was.

So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him,

‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you’;

as he says also in another place,

‘You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.’ In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God!   

SPECIAL MUSIC Fairest Lord Jesus—Matt Schinske

GOSPEL Mark 10:35-45

The Holy Gospel according to Mark, the 10th chapter.

ALLELUIA  [Sung before the reading of the Gospel]

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Give the glory and the honor to the Lord!

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Give the glory and the honor to the Lord.

[On the way to Jerusalem the disciples ask Jesus to grant them seats of honor. Jesus responds

by announcing that he and his followers will “rule” through self-giving service.]

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, ‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.’ And he said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’ And they said to him, ‘Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ They replied, ‘We are able.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my

right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.’

When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

     Praise to you, O Christ.     

HYMN of THE DAY Lord, Help Us Walk Your Servant Way LSB 857

HOMILY Servanthood—God’s Kind of Greatness Pr. Jim Text: The Gospel Lesson

Servanthood—God’s Kind of Greatness

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

There’s one thing that can be said about James and John in today’s gospel lesson – they weren’t lacking chutzpah!

In all of the gospels, there’s probably none that surpasses this one in sheer assertiveness. It’s like high school graduates meeting Jeff Bezos and asking that one of them be made executive vice-president of Amazon and the other chairman of the board. In effect, James and John came to Jesus and said the same thing: “Jesus, we’d like the top two positions in your kingdom when you come to power. Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left [Mark 10:17].”

One wonders what through Jesus mind and emotions when he heard this self-serving request that immediately followed his announcement that he was bound for Jerusalem where his condemnation, suffering, and death awaited him … and that he would rise again on the third day. Was there something of slight shake of Jesus’ head along with a sigh. Listen to him as he answers their question about greatness with several of his own. “Are you ready for greatness? Are you prepared to pay the price?” What Jesus is asking is whether they are prepared to understand what greatness means … whether they are ready to seek greatness on his terms … the terms of servanthood. Note what’s happening here … Jesus doesn’t condone James’ and John’s selfish, self-seeking ambition. But neither does he destroy their ambition and desire. Rather what Jesus does is turn their attention … not on who you are or “wanna be” BUT upon service … upon what you do and why you do it.

Whoever would be great among you must be servant. And whoever would

be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be

served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.

“Are you ready for greatness?” Jesus asks. “Are you prepared to pay the price?” That’s the question asked of each and every generation of those who follow Jesus … the ultimate question of servanthood that challenges every generation … including our own.

Servanthood … you see … is not an abstraction but grasped by a Spirit-given experience of putting it into practice.  Jesus himself is the source of such servanthood. Servanthood is life lived in Jesus … in his mercy and grace by the power of his Spirit … in the community of his people. Servanthood exalts the Servant whose coming is about nothing other than serving in the ultimate sense … even to the point of dying on a Cross.

Today’s second reading from Hebrews teaches the essential importance of being called to priestly service. In the waters of Baptism, you and I are called to serve as members of the royal priesthood of all believers.

In Baptism, we have been freed from the powers of sin, Satan, and the grave … we are freed in order to serve. Free to recognize in people … regardless of who they are … freed to recognize in them an opportunity to serve Christ himself. “Inasmuch,” Jesus says, “as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me.” That’s God’s kind of servant greatness. It’s the image of your life and mine in Christ that’s reflected in the waters of Baptism … to love as we have been loved … to forgive as we have been forgiven … to serve as we have been served.

That calling is inseparable from true servanthood. As God’s people here in this place, we are privileged to carry out this spirit of greatness … this spirit of servanthood. God has blessed each of us with the gifts of time … abilities and resources … so that we may faithfully serve him and others.

On this 21st Sunday after Pentecost, I’m sure you’re well aware that being a servant is not an overcrowded position in life. BUT … it is the only way to live. It is the God-pleasing way to live. It a way of living with lasting satisfaction … meaningful fulfillment … and YES, all the headaches that go with it.

So … in light of today’s Gospel … how will you serve? What kind of difference will you make? What kind of difference will you make in the life of this parish and the community in which you live? The vitality and meaning that we long for in our lives … in our church … and in our world depends on how you will answer those questions.

To be sure, if we look only to ourselves and self-interests, we will founder. And our answer to the Lord’s question, “Are you able?’ will be “I doubt it.”

BUT if like James and John, we look at Jesus and gaze by faith into his eyes of understanding … compassion … and grace that are fixed on us, then surely the answer we can give is the answer the Lord deserves, “Yes, Lord, with your help, I am able.”

+ 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, for the gift of The Church handed down through the ages and for all who carry on the servant ministry of Jesus, we praise you. Send your Holy Spirit upon all who are discerning calls to ministry in new locations, especially Pastor-elect Joshua Heimbuck. Guide him as he considers the call to join us in ministry as our pastor that in all things your good and gracious will may be done. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of creation, for the lush and abundant habitat you provide for all you creatures, we praise you. Provide healing for the earth ravaged by wildfires, flash floods, tornadoes, and volcanic activity. We give you thanks for the rains that have allowed the progress made by fire-fighters who are working in dangerous environments. Continue to strengthen them and the first responders and relief agency workers who are assisting those who have lost their homes and property. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of peace, for all who work toward peace and who lead nations with a servant’s heart, we praise you. Inspire them with wisdom and compassion to protect the vulnerable and care for those who are overlooked. Watch over all who are fleeing violence, persecution, or death, and sustain them and create safe places for all people. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of comfort and healing, for all who do the work of healing in mind, body, and spirit, we praise you. Surround and comfort those who need your touch this day, especially Cindy (Gary’s wife) who experiencing debilitating back problems, Sara who is experiencing cardiac problems, Steven (Bert’s nephew recovering from cancer surgery), together with those who are suffering with cancer, dementia, COVID-19 and its variants. Bless the hearts of all who are homebound and unable to worship with us, especially Sharon, Richard & Doris, Bonnie, Vernia, Elma, Marguerite, together with those we name in our hearts. Remind us of their continued role in this community of faith. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of life, as Jesus died for our redemption and was raised again for our eternal life, comfort Pearl who mourns the death of her husband Fred. Be present with The Baumgartner Family in their time of need and strengthen them with your unending care. Sanctify their tears, and fill their hearts with the sure and certain knowledge of the joy which you have promised to all who live—and die—as your beloved children. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of our redemption, we thank you for all those who have gone before us with the sign of faith and shaped your Church and shared your gospel. Inspire us by their example and strengthen our faith until we all are gathered 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, through your goodness you have blessed us with these

gifts. Receive what we have to offer, that others might know that life through

the gifts you give to us to use and to share in the Name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.


The Lord be with you.

   And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

   We will lift them up to him.

Let us give thanks always to the Lord our God.

   It is right, it is just, it is well.

Father, it is our duty and our salvation, always

and everywhere to give you thanks through your

beloved Son, Jesus Christ

         Holy, holy, holy, Lord

For our sake He opened His arms on the cross,

He put an end to death and revealed the resurrection

    Holy, holy, holy, Lord

In this He fulfilled your will and won for you a holy people. And so,

we join the angels and the saints in proclaiming your glory as we sing:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might

Heaven and earth are full of your glory

Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest

Blessed is he who comes

in the name of the Lord

Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest



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.

AGNUS DEI Join in singing

O Lamb of God

You take away the sins of the world,

Have mercy on us, have mercy on us.

O Lamb of God

You take away the sins of the world

Have mercy on us, have mercy on us.

O Lamb of God

You take away the sins of the world,

Grant us peace.


            Music during The Distribution You Satisfy the Hungry Heart



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. Amen.


SONG Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow LSB 805


+ The Worship is over … Let the Service begin! +


COFFEE CONNECTION The fellowship enjoyed in worshiping together continues with a time for coffee and conversation.

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

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

STUDY OPPORTUNITIES this week: Women’s Study on Tuesday, beginning at 10:00 am in the Fireside Room. Join us as we continue our study of the Book of Acts. Next NewMen’s Coffee Study is scheduled for Saturday morning, November 13th, begin-ning at 8:30 am. Set these times aside now for some good discussion and fellowship.


TODAY: Coffee Connection 11:00 am

TUESDAY: Women’s Study 10:00 am

LWML 1:00 pm

NEXT SUNDAY: Worship LWML Sunday 10:00 am

Coffee Hour 11:00 am

LOOKING *Newsletter DEADLINE Oct. 21

AHEAD *Circuit 1 Reformation Service Oct. 31

Faith, Rogue River 4:00 pm

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