The Ten Vows

The Celebration of the Gospel
October 8, 2017 —18th Sunday after Pentecost

I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
out of the house of slavery;
you shall have no other gods before me.
— Exodus 20.2-3

________We Gather as the Body of Christ______

GREETING
PRELUDE How Deep The Father’s Love For Us Stuart Townsend, arr: Mark Hayes
[As we listen to the music we quiet our minds and bodies,
listen for our hearts’ deepest desires,
and become present to the Holy One who is lovingly present for us.
]

* CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: It is you, God, who have created us and set us free from all that oppresses.
All: We sing your praise!
It is you, gentle Christ, who have transformed our lives with God’s love.
We declare our thanks!
It is you, Holy Spirit, who give us a new way to live.
We give to you our whole being.
May we worship you in all we do!

* SONG Christ Beside Me Black hymnal # 2166

(10:30) CHILDREN’S TIME

_________ We Attend to the Word__________

(10:30) THE WORD IN SONG How Great Thou Art arr. Lloyd Larson
PRAYER
God of mercy, God of Steadfast Love, our faithful One, you create us and make covenant with us to be our God, and you call us to be your people. Speak your Word to us, and by your Spirit in us shape us into the name and image of Christ, your living Word. Amen.

OLD TESTAMENT from Exodus 20.1-20
[God gives the Israelites the Ten Commandments, not as a set of universal rules, but as a way of living that signifies Israel’s faithfulness to God’s Covenant.]

Then God spoke all these words: I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of Yahweh your God, for God will not acquit anyone who misuses the holy name.

Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to Yahweh your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.

Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
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PSALTER Psalm 19
[All creation celebrates God’s glory. God’s Way gives life, and we seek to follow it.]

The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims God’s handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In the heavens God has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a wedding party from the wedding canopy,
and like a strong athlete runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them;
and nothing is hid from its heat.
The law of God is perfect, reviving the soul;
the decrees of God are sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of God are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of God is clear, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of God is pure, enduring forever;
the ordinances of God are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can detect their errors?
Clear me from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from the insolent;
do not let them have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
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NEW TESTAMENT Philippians 3.4b-14
[Paul has every reason to be confident of his religious accomplishments; but none of that is worth anything to him, compared to the value of knowing Christ. Knowing Christ is not just a matter of being chummy with Jesus, but joining with him in suffering for the sake of the healing of world. In this way we experience true resurrection.]

When it comes to following religious rules, I was the best: I was circumcised on the eighth day, a full-blooded member of the people of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin, an insider if ever there was one, the most observant of the law of all the Pharisees—so zealous in following religious laws that I persecuted the church for it! As to meeting expectations, I have been blameless.

But none of that means anything, anything at all. What matters is knowing Christ. All this other stuff is just garbage. It gets in the way. For the sake of an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, I have lost everything—but I don’t think of it as a loss; I gladly throw it away, because knowing Christ as the Ruler of my life is of the highest value. It’s not that I’m righteousness because I’m a good person; I just trust in Christ. I simply receive the love God gives me. I believe that this trust is good enough for God.

ll I want is to be close to Jesus Christ, and for his resurrection to be the essential power of my life. That means I also have to share his sufferings and his death. You have to know death to be raised from the dead, and being raised is what I want.
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GOSPEL Matthew 20.20-28
[Jesus speaks to our desire for our faith to give us power, status or security. That’s not what it’s about, Jesus says: it’s about giving of ourselves for the sake of the world.]

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Abba God.”

When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Chosen One came not to be served but to serve, and to die as a ransom for many.”
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SERMON

SONG     Take My Life, and Let It Be     Blue hymnal # 399

* AFFIRMATION OF FAITH From the United Church of Canada
We are not alone,
we live in God’s world.

We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others
by the Spirit.

We trust in God.

We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
our judge and our hope.

In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.

Thanks be to God.

* SONG    Lead Me, Lord     Blue hymnal # 473

THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
[Anyone who wishes may share a prayer concern at the microphone.]
THE PRAYER OF JESUS
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen.

SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST

_____ We Are Sent in Ministry to the World____

OFFERING OUR GIFTS

* OFFERING SONG Lead Me, Lord Blue hymnal # 473

* PRAYER
Gracious God, we give you our lives, symbolized in these gifts. Receive them with love, bless them with grace and use them according to your will. Uphold us by your Spirit in your Covenant of Grace, that we may be your faithful people, formed by your Word and given in steadfast love for the sake of the healing of the world, in the name of Christ. Amen.

THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD

* SONG Make Me A Channel of Your Peace Blue hymnal #2171

* THE BLESSING AND SENDING FORTH
RESPONSE We stand and sing to our neighbors:
May the grace and peace of Christ be with you my friends.
Go and share the love of God, love that never ends.

POSTLUDE
Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above Tune: MIT FREUDEN ZART, arr: Gilbert M. Martin

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