Prayer of the Day
Our Lord Jesus healed many as a sign of the reign of God come near and sent the disciples to continue this work of healing–with prayer, the laying on of hands, and anointing. In the name of Christ, the great healer and reconciler of the world, we now entrust to God all who are in need of healing. Amen. (From ELW Pastoral Care)
1 Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. 3 Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” 4 When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. 7 Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, 8 and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9 The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. 10 So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12 He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.” 13 But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I am has sent me to you.'” 15 God also said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, “The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’: This is my name forever, and this my title for all generations.
Psalm 105: 1-6, 23-26, 45b
1 Give thanks to the LORD and call upon God’s name; make known the deeds of the LORD among the peoples. 2 Sing to the LORD, sing praises, and speak of all God’s marvelous works. 3 Glory in God’s holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. 4 Search for the strength of the LORD; continually seek God’s face. 5 Remember the marvels God has done, the wonders and the judgments of God’s mouth, 6 O offspring of Abraham, God’s servant, O children of Jacob, God’s chosen ones. 23 Israel came into Egypt, and Jacob became a sojourner in the land of Ham. 24 The LORD made the people of Israel very fruitful, more numerous than their enemies, 25 whose hearts God turned, so that they hated God’s people, and dealt unjustly with the servants of God. 26 O LORD, you sent Moses your servant, and Aaron, your chosen one. 45b Hallelujah!
9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
21 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” 24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? 27 “For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. 28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
Reflection/Guided Meditation by Pastor Meggan Manlove
When I read through this Sunday’s constellation of texts, I grimaced and flinched. August 30 was the fifth Sunday of the month, a day when we are scheduled to incorporate a healing service into worship. How would I do that on the day Jesus asks us to take up our cross?
But then I remembered Trinity member Di Seba’s devotion from tvprays.org, published August 20. In her devotion, Di juxtaposes, or sets side-by-side Jesus demand to take up their cross with his words earlier in Matthew’s gospel, “Take my yoke upon me and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart; and you will find rest. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Our God is big, to big to put any parameters around. The same God who calls Moses from the burning bush, calls us to take up our cross. The Apostle Paul writes about our multifaceted God today in his letter to the Romans. And now, in the time when I usually preach a sermon, I am going to help all of us remember and receive God’s compassion.
(From Thriving Leaders Materials)
Part of the work of the Christian life is to receive the love of God and claim our belovedness in Christ. “Love others as you love yourself,” is the golden rule. For some of us this is quite a low bar—we don’t love ourselves very well. There is an inner voice of judgment that speaks far more harshly than we would ever speak to someone else. For some of us in ministry the golden rule should be reversed! Love yourself the way you love others.
One of the ways we are invited to claim our belovedness is by receiving deep into our hearts the kindness and compassion of others. When we slow down and really take in the love, compassion, and kindness of friends, family, workmates, strangers it can be a healing and even liberating experience. All of us have been graced with persons who, at one time or another, have expressed compassion or kindness to us. As a way of remembering what compassion is and preparing the soil for cultivating our own capacities for compassion, we will do a brief meditation on a time when we experienced compassion and then share stories of what this experience was like.
- Take several deep breaths and ease into an interior silence. You may close your eyes or find something to focus on.
- Remember various moments from your life when compassion was extended to you. Of the various experiences that occur to you, allow one to become the focus for this meditation.
- Once a moment comes into your awareness, return to it by recalling the context of your life. Remember the setting in which you received compassion. Recall that person and remember the compassion they extended to you.
- Make that moment concrete and more real by seeing the setting, the look in their eyes, and the various details that made up their expression of compassion or kindness.
- Like a radiant light flowing on and into you, allow their compassionate energy to soak into you. If any feelings, thoughts, or impulses become stirred within you, allow them to soak in their compassionate grace as well.
- If it feels right, become aware of God’s presence (or Christ’s presence) within this experience of compassion. Allow God’s presence to wash over you as well. At some point, allow the images to recede and simply dissolve into the Christ’s compassionate love for the remainder of the practice.
- Before surfacing from this meditation, notice if there is any invitation from the Spirit for one way you might live more fully in the restoring power of God’s compassionate grace.
I now invite you to offer thanks within you for whatever has occurred within your prayer and then, as you’re ready, gently begin to bring your attention back to this space.
Prayers of Intercession (for healing) (adopted from ELW Occasional Services for Assembly by Mary Braudrick)
Together in spirit, though physically apart, let us pray as your united children…for the church, the world and all those in need of your healing. LET US PRAY. (Brief silence)
LOVING GOD, both our source of life and final home, we give you thanks for the gifts of our life on this fragile earth, for our complex and intricate human bodies, and all the life you have created. In your great mercy, hear us, O God.
MERCIFUL GOD, by the wounds of your Son we are healed. Bring your saving and complete health to ALL people, everywhere. In your great mercy, hear us, O God.
HOLY GOD, your spirit came upon us in the clear and holy water of baptism and brought us into the communion of saints. Renew in us the grace of baptism, which we share in Christ’s death and resurrection. Remind us that we are the body of Christ in this time and place. In your great mercy, hear us, O God.
MIGHTY GOD, your Son, Jesus, in his ministry on earth brought healing and wholeness to all who came to Him. Bring your healing presence now to all who are sick or in pain. We remember those who are being affected by COVID in it’s varying stages of infection, the fears involved and the grief caused by its unpredictability. We bring to your heart those whose other physical conditions need attention and care. In your great mercy, hear us, O God.
COMPASSIONATE GOD, you are the strength of those who suffer. Bring your hope and peace to all who are in mental, physical, emotional, for spiritual distress. Those whose feelings of depression, despair and discouragement seem insurmountable. We lift them up to your light and warmth. In our great mercy, hear us, O God.
ALMIGHTY GOD, source of human knowledge, give skill, wisdom and compassion to all who provide medical care. Protect them and give them strength. Especially those who risk their lives to provide that care. Thank you for them. May we always express our gratitude to them when possible. In your great mercy, hear us, O God.
LOVING GOD, 0ur creator and redeemer, give gentleness and courage to family members, friends and the caregivers of those who suffer. May we help carry, with kind actions and prayer, the burdens of those around us who are suffering. In your great mercy, hear us, O God.
GOD of great and abundant mercy, with your presence sustain all for whom we pray. Drive away their suffering, give them firm hope, and strengthen their trust in you; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. AMEN.