Job 38:1-7 (34-41)
God answers Job, questioning where he was when God created the earth, who orders the clouds and lightning and can create rain, and who provides food for wild animals and birds.
Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c
In praise of God’s glory and majesty, for the way God established the earth and commanded the waters, and for the way God has filled the earth with God’s creation.
Hebrews 5:1-10
High priests offer gifts and sacrifices on behalf of the people and deals with them gently, because he is aware of his own weakness. In the same way, Jesus was appointed by God, and offered prayer for his life to God, who saved him. Now he offers salvation to those who trust him.
Mark 10:35-45
James and John ask Jesus to be allowed to sit at his right and left when Jesus enters glory. Then after assuring them that they will share in his suffering, Jesus teaches all the disciples that those who want to be great among his disciples must be the servant of all, just as Jesus came to serve and not be served.
(Summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Bible readings in landscape A4, folded, double sided COCU61B.Readings.2018

Church of Scotland: Starters for Sunday
Singing from the Lectionary

Components of worship
Acknowledgement of Land
Prayer of thanksgiving
Prayer of confession/prayers of who we are
Words of Assurance
Prayer for Illumination
Readings (see links above)
Prayers for others
Lord’s Prayer
Prayer of Dedication
Benediction and sending out

Opening prayer
God, this day we have come to share your view of humankind,
Your angle on the things of earth,
Your perspective on past and future.
Where we do not see things right,
where we have not done things right,
where we fail you and other people,
forgive us;
make us clean from our sin, and renew a right spirit within us.
God, this day we have come to learn about your kingdom,
to discover how things work when you are in charge.
Let your Spirit change us.
Instruct us by your wisdom, guide us by your word,
inspire us by what is said and done here today.
God, this day we have come to praise you,
to lift up your name in prayer and song,
to respond to the wonder of who you are with heart and soul and voice,
to seek the good of others,
to remember the poor and lonely and sick and hungry.
To find new strength to serve you on Monday and throughout our lives.
These are our desires.
Take what is weak in us, make it strong.
Take what is amiss in us, make it right.
See our hesitant steps towards you, and embrace us in the arms of your unfailing love, for the sake of Jesus –
Jesus our Saviour, Jesus our friend, Jesus our priest, Jesus our companion,
Jesus our leader, Jesus the holy fire of our hearts.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.
(Source: Rev Jock Stein, Church of Scotland)

Thanksgiving and intercession
We thank You, God, for everything we delight in –
sunlight in autumn days, colour in nature and art, rhythm in poetry and music;
human achievement and family success;
good humour; work well done; love and friendship
and all your gifts to body and soul.
Most of all we delight in your salvation,
the knowledge of your love, the assurance of eternal life,
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
We commend to you those who work in harsh conditions, and those who have no work; those whose lives are drab and grey;
those whose poor health takes away delight in living;
those who are lonely;
those who have no home of their own.
Grant them the human help and comfort which they need,
and the spiritual encouragement which will enable them to live with hope and courage, for the sake of Jesus Christ who leads us to salvation.
We pray for the elderly, asking for them clear faith and human support.
We pray for those in middle years, asking for them wisdom in their choices,
and the recovery of a sense of wonder.
We pray for the young, asking for them good opportunities,
and that their ambitions include the desire to serve.
May we all continue to seek the God of every age,
made known in Jesus Christ, the greatest friend of all.
We bless you, God, space-maker, cloud-rider, earth-lover.
We bless you for the great company of saints who have gone before us and now delight in your presence.
With them we honour and praise your holy name,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and as they were taught to pray so do we say,
Our Father …
(Source: Rev Jock Stein, Church of Scotland)

The Paradoxes of Being a Servant-Leader
Strong enough to be weak
Successful enough to fail
Busy enough to make time
Wise enough to say “I don’t know”
Serious enough to laugh
Rich enough to be poor
Right enough to say “I’m wrong”
Compassionate enough to discipline
Mature enough to be childlike
Important enough to be last
Planned enough to be spontaneous
Controlled enough to be flexible
Free enough to endure captivity
Knowledgeable enough to ask questions
Loving enough to be angry
Great enough to be anonymous
Responsible enough to play
Assured enough to be rejected
Victorious enough to lose
Industrious enough to relax
Leading enough to serve.
(Source: Brewer, as cited by Hansel, 1987: from a booklet, “Servant–Leadership Characteristics in Organisational Life” by Don De Graaf, Colin Tulley and Larry Neal)

The God who serves
Though you are God,
with all the influence and status that the name implies,
you refused to pull rank,
and parade your power among us.
Instead, you chose to step down into our experience,
living among us, as one of us,
with all the struggle and suffering
that goes with being human.
More than that, you adopted the role of slave,
washing feet, serving people of no reputation or social standing,
and giving of yourself completely.
As incredible as it sounds,
you are the God who serves,
and we can respond in no other way
than to give ourselves to you in praise. Amen.
(Source: John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Where are the leaders?
There are so many people of influence in our world, Jesus,
Those with loud voices and deep pockets,
those with large lives and wide networks.
But, where are the leaders?
As we struggle to keep our broken humanity
from splintering into countless irreparable fragments;
As we wrestle with our greed and arrogance,
our ignorance and short-sightedness,
our violence and coldness,
our carelessness and narcissism,
Where are the leaders?
Raise up for us, O God, leaders worthy of the name,
men and women who like Christ
are unafraid of challenge,
unashamed of serving,
and unattached to their own personal gain;
men and women who like Christ
call to the best within us,
and then lead the way.
And, in our own small spheres, God,
may we be the leaders we seek. Amen.
(Source: John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Counting the cost
How do we do what’s right, Jesus,
when it costs us so much to follow you?
when the good and the true and the beautiful
cannot be purchased
in a ‘buy-now-pay-later’ scheme
as a quick-fix solution to our longing for life?
How do we do what’s right when it takes so much time,
and when the life it brings comes
according to the timetable of eternity,
not the stopwatch of our up-to-the-minute world?
How do our leaders do what’s right, Jesus,
for the weak and marginalised,
for people beyond our borders,
when the cost could be to forfeit their opportunity to lead?
How do our corporations do what’s right, Jesus,
for our suffering planet,
for the rights and needs of the poor,
when the cost could be to lose investors,
and sacrifice the lives of their own workers?
How do our protectors do what’s right, Jesus,
for the broken and desperate,
for our allies and enemies,
when the cost could be to face the attacks
of those they seek to defend?
We need to learn how to do what’s right, Jesus,
our world needs us to learn it;
we need to count the cost of your call,
and measure it against the abundant life you promise.
Help us, in our own small way, to be those who do the right thing,
and in so doing, demonstrate the goodness
that following you brings to all. Amen.
(Source: John van de Laar, Sacredise)

A meditation on the Gospel reading

james and john


James and John in the “Chosen”

What do you know about the “Sons of Thunder” James and John? How do they change from this power hungry pair to people who go and change the world?

Why don’t we like the thought of being last rather than first?

What makes it hard for us to deal with suffering?

What does Jesus say about how we are to live differently than the world’s leaders?

Pick a world leader or two and pray for them to be encouraged.

Pick a leader who “lords it over others” and pray for them to have a servant’s heart.

empty cup


Jesus took the CUP for us!

GRAB a COFFEE CUP and USE it as a prayer tool.

JESUS took the CUP of SUFFERING for each of us. He takes the CUP for YOU!

As you hold your cup, consider:

What are the things causing you pain right now? Physical, Spiritual, Emotional, etc

What things hurt your soul?

What are the things you are grieving or need to grieve?

Talk to Jesus about all of these things….IMAGINE these things held in your cup. IMAGINE giving this cup of pain and suffering over to Jesus to hold for you!

JESUS thank you for taking the CUP OF SUFFERING FOR ME and holding all of these things!

NOW HOLD YOUR CUP AND PRAY AGAIN! Actually pause, hold your cup and pray for these people and places.

PRAY for people you know who are suffering today.

PRAY for People who are in pain because illness or disease.

PRAY for People who are hurting, dealing with depression or other mental health issues.

PRAY for People hurting because of broken relationships or loneliness.

PRAY for places in our world that are suffering due to natural disasters.

PRAY for places in our world like Afghanistan and Lebanon that are dealing with the suffering of unrest and war.

PRAY for People who are suffering as refugees or due to immigration status, and pray for those fleeing oppression.

PRAY for groups who are suffering due to discrimination due to race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

PRAY for the First Nations people who have suffered for so long due to colonialism, oppression, and discrimination.

Jesus, you took the CUP OF SUFFERING for all of these people and places.

You took the CUP for each of us and our pain and suffering too.

HOLD THIS SUFFERING. HOLD THIS PAIN for us and for all of these people and places.

We praise and thank you Jesus for taking this CUP. AMEN

(Source: lillylewin and

Communion resources – John van de Laar, Communion.A-Liturgy-for-the-Celebration-of-Sacrifice
Links on this website:
Communion Hymns


Sons of Thunder, James and John
Tune: ST. KEVIN D (“Come Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain”)
Sons of Thunder, James and John, left their father fishing –
For they found that they were drawn into Jesus’ mission.
Christ had strength to calm the sea and to bring great healing;
He taught with authority – God’s own way revealing.

As they heard the things he taught – love of God and neighbour –
Those ambitious brothers thought they would ask a favour.
So they said, “Give just one thing; let our words here guide you:
Jesus, when you reign as king, let us sit beside you.”

“Can you drink the cup I drink? Can you take the suffering?”
Jesus told them, “Stop and think! This is what I’m offering.
Tyrants reign o’er other folk, rising to high places.
You must bear a servant’s yoke if you want true greatness.”

Christ, we love the honored place and the seat of glory.
Now, remind us, by your grace, of the gospel story:
You gave up your life – it’s true! – with a love unswerving.
May all those who follow you seek a life of serving.
Tune: Arthur S. Sullivan, 1872 (“Come Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain”)
Text: Copyright © 2015 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette,
This hymn is copyrighted and is not covered by any organization (such as CCLI or OneLicense) that gives churches permission to use church music. If you would like to use this hymn, please contact Carolyn and Bruce Gillette ( for permission and to get a copy of the hymn in MS Word format for bulletin use.

Pilgrim services – various

COCU61B PENT22 9.30 2012




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Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon). This blog may be a help to people planning worship services.
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