September 26, 2021
18th Sunday after Pentecost
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.


Blessed be the holy Trinity, one God,
whose teaching is life,
whose presence is sure,
and whose love is endless.

Let us confess our sins to the one who welcomes us with an open heart.

God our comforter:
like lost sheep, we have gone astray.
We gaze upon abundance and see scarcity.
We turn our faces away from injustice and oppression.
We exploit the earth with our apathy and greed.
Free us from our sin, gracious God.
Listen when we call out to you for help.
Lead us by your love to love our neighbors as ourselves.

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
By the gift of grace in ☩ Christ Jesus, God makes you righteous.
Receive with glad hearts the forgiveness of all your sins.


ELW 675 -O Chirst, Our Light, O Radiance True (vs. 1 & 3)

Verse 1

    O Christ, our light, O Radiance true,
    shine forth on those estranged from you,
    and bring them to your home again,
    where their delight shall never end.

Verse 3

    Lord, open all reluctant ears
    and take away the needless fears
    of those who tremble to express
    the faith their inmost hearts confess.


P: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God, and the Communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
C: And also with you.


Generous God, 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.

God speaks to us in reading, preaching and song.

Scripture Reading Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29

4The rabble among them had a strong craving; and the Israelites also wept again, and said, “If only we had meat to eat! 5We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; 6but now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”
10Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, all at the entrances of their tents. Then the Lordbecame very angry, and Moses was displeased. 11So 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? 12Did 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’? 13Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they come weeping to me and say, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14I am not able to carry all this people alone, for they are too heavy for me. 15If 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.”
16So 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.”
24So 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. 25Then 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.
26Two 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. 27And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, “My lord Moses, stop them!” 29But 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!”

P: The Word of the Lord. C: Thanks be to God.


The commandment of the Lord gives light to the eyes. (Ps. 19:8)

7The teaching of the Lord is perfect and re- | vives the soul;
  the testimony of the Lord is sure and gives wisdom to | the simple.
8The statutes of the Lord are just and re- | joice the heart;
  the commandment of the Lord is clear and gives light | to the eyes.
9The fear of the Lord is clean and en- | dures forever;
  the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous | altogether.
10More to be desired are they than gold, more than | much fine gold,
  sweeter far than honey, than honey | in the comb. R
11By them also is your ser- | vant enlightened,
  and in keeping them there is | great reward.
12Who can detect one’s | own offenses?
  Cleanse me from my | secret faults.
13Above all, keep your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not get dominion | over me;
  then shall I be whole and sound, and innocent of a | great offense.
14Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable | in your sight,
  O Lord, my strength and | my redeemer. R

Scripture Reading James 5:13-20

13Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. 14Are 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. 15The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. 16Therefore 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. 17Elijah 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. 18Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.
19My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, 20you 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.

P: The Word of the Lord. C: Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation
Please stand, if able.

Gospel Reading Mark 9:38-50
The gospel is introduced:.
P: The holy gospel according to Mark the 9th Chapter.
C: Glory to you, O Lord

38John said to [Jesus,] “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40Whoever is not against us is for us. 41For 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.
42“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. 43If 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. 45And 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. 47And 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, 48where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.
49“For everyone will be salted with fire. 50Salt 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.”

The gospel concludes:
P: The gospel of the Lord.
C: Praise to you, O Christ.
P: Alleluia. Christ is risen.
C: Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Please be seated.

The Sermon      

The Hymn of the Day

ELW 712- Lord Whose Love in Humble Service (vs. 1 & 3)

Verse 1

    Lord, whose love in humble service
    bore the weight of human need,
    who upon the cross, forsaken,
    worked your mercy's perfect deed:
    we, your servants, bring the worship
    not of voice alone, but heart;
    consecrating to your purpose
    ev'ry gift which you impart.

Verse 3

    As we worship, grant us vision,
    till your love's revealing light
    in its height and depth and greatness
    dawns upon our quickened sight,
    making known the needs and burdens
    your compassion bids us bear,
    stirring us to ardent service,
    your abundant life to share..

Prayers of Intercession

P: Made children and heirs of God’s promise, we pray for the church, the world, and all in need.

A brief silence.

We pray for the church and its ministry. Bless the newly baptized and encourage them in their journey of faith. Sustain all members of the body of Christ in lives of prayer, service, and worship. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray for natural wonders of your creation (local waterways, forests, and natural areas may be named). Restore damaged forests, waterways and natural habitats and lead us to be good stewards of what you have provided. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray for those in authority. Give them wise minds and compassionate hearts. Strengthen in them a desire to protect the vulnerable and care for those underserved. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray for those who are struggling with cancer, dementia, or any other disease. Provide them with peace and resilience for the days ahead. Sustain caregivers with energy and patience. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray for the worship leaders of this congregation: musicians, readers, acolytes, and ushers (other roles may be added to reflect your context). Bless us through their ministry and grant them the passion to continue in their service. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Here other intercessions may be offered

We give thanks for all your saints, those we have loved and known and those from every time and place. Continue to guide us by their example and reassure us of your promised salvation. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

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

The Passing of Peace

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

God feeds us with the presence of Jesus Christ.

Offertory Prayer

God of abundance,
you cause streams to break forth in the desert
and manna to rain from the heavens.
Accept the gifts you have first given us.
Unite them with the offering of our lives
to nourish the world you love so dearly;
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


Great Thanksgiving

Proper Preface

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy,
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks and praise to you, almighty and merciful God,
through our Savior Jesus Christ;
who on this day overcame death and the grave,
and by his glorious resurrection opened to us the way of everlasting life.
And so, with all the choirs of angels,
with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven,
we praise your name and join their unending hymn:


Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Thanksgiving at the Table and Words of Institution

Holy God, our Maker, Redeemer, and Healer, in the harmonious world of your creation, the plants and animals,
the seas and stars were whole and well in your praise.

When sin had scarred the world, you sent your Son to heal our ills and to form us again into one.

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, given for you.
Do this for the 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 for the remembrance of me.

Remembering, therefore, his acts of healing, his body given up,
and his victory over death, we await that day when all the peoples of the earth will come to the river to enjoy the tree of life.

Send your Spirit upon us and this meal:
as grains scattered on the hillside become one bread, so let your Church be gathered from the ends of the earth, that all may be fed with the Bread of life, your Son.

Through him all glory and honor is yours,
Almighty Father, with the Holy Spirit, in your holy Church,
both now and forever.

The Lord’s Prayer

P: Lord, remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray.
C: 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.

Invitation to Communion
P:All who hunger and thirst, come. The table is ready.

Here at St. John’s all who believe in the love of God and in Jesus are welcome to the table. 

Communion Song

Post-Communion Blessing
P: The body and blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, strengthen you and keep you in God’s grace.
C: Amen.

Prayer after Communion
P: Lord of life,
in the gift of your body and blood
you turn the crumbs of our faith into a feast of salvation.
Send us forth into the world with shouts of joy,
bearing witness to the abundance of your love
in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


The Blessing
P:People of God,
you are Christ’s body,
bringing new life to a suffering world.
The holy Trinity, ☩ one God,
bless you now and forever.

Closing Hymn

ELW 540 - Go Make Disciples (Sung Twice)

   "Go, make disciples,
    baptizing them, teaching them.
    Go, make disciples,
    for I am with you till the end of time.
    Go, be the salt of the earth.
    Go, be the light for the world.
    Go, be a city on a hill,
    so all can see that you're serving me.
    Go, make disciples."

The Dismissal

Go in peace. The living Word dwells in you.
Thanks be to God. 


Photo by Erika Giraud on Unsplash