Ordinary Time (Proper 25)
Mark 10:46–52/10:46–54 IV
Jesus Is Calling You
Jeremiah 31:7–9, Psalm 126, Hebrews 7:23–28
Plan to have drums available to accompany the Calling Song or be prepared to use Community of Christ Sings Audio Recordings. If some of today’s hymns are unfamiliar to the congregation, take the opportunity to learn them before the worship service begins. In preparation for the Four Directions Prayer, ask one leader or four different leaders to participate. Inform them about the special attributes for each cardinal direction ahead of time.
In the Native American tradition, as followers of Jesus, we hear his call and travel with him on “the Red Road.” In today’s scripture lesson, we learn that after the blind man, Bartimaeus, was healed, he journeyed down the road, walking with Jesus. Let our worship today be focused on moving down the road with the One who heals and directs our ways.
Call to Worship
Psalm 126:3, 5
Calling Song to Creator
“Ate, Wakaŋtaŋka, hoyewayelo” CCS 189
Use Community of Christ Sings Audio Recordings if the congregation is not familiar with the words or if drums are not available to accompany the singing. Notice the interpretation of the text at the bottom of the song.
OR “Soften My Heart” CCS 187
Four Directions Prayer
The Four Directions Prayer focuses on the sacredness and gifts we receive from each direction as we travel in balance with our Creator. In the journey of the Four Directions there is interconnectedness with no end.
The congregation is asked to stand and face each direction as the leader prays—facing east, then south, then west, and ending with north. In the prayer, draw out those special attributes we gain from each cardinal direction. A few examples are:
East: light, beginnings, renewal, warmth of Spirit, capacity to believe in the unseen
South: summer, generosity, compassion, ability to express joy
West: sunsets, silence, going within, sense of possibilities, review of day
North: justice, elders’ wisdom, cold and wind, completion, living a balanced life, discernment, clarity of thought
Reader 1: They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside.
Reader2: When he heard it was Jesus, he began to shout, saying “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Reader1: Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.”
Reader 2: Throwing off his cloak, Bartimaeus jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
Reader 1: Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”
Reader 2: “My teacher, let me see again!”
Reader 1: And Jesus said to him, “Go, your faith has made you well.”
Reader 2: Immediately, Bartimaeus received his sight, and followed Jesus along the road.
—Mark 10: 46–54, adapted
Meditative Ministry of Music or Congregational Hymn
“Come to Me, O Weary Traveler” CCS 230
OR “Come and Fill/Confitemini Domino” (repeat several times) CCS 235
Ask someone to give a testimony centered on Bartimaeus following Jesus and the following ideas:
- Often, we ask Jesus to follow us rather than accepting the adventure of following Jesus.
- We assume that Jesus has made us well rather than our faith making us well.
- What are our own causes of blindness?
“O Holy Dove of God Descending” CCS 44
OR “Let Us Give Praise to the God of Creation” CCS 607
OR “Sing to the Lord No Threadbare Song” CCS 111
Disciples’ Generous Response
Out of our healed lives we joyfully give. As Jesus tenderly cares and provides for our needs, we are also aware of our blessings and Creator’s abundant faithfulness to us.
As you share financially through Mission Tithes, or if you give regularly through eTithing, please use this time to consider your commitment and how you will tithe to your true capacity of time, talent, and testimony.
Blessing and Receiving of Local and Worldwide Mission Tithes
For additional ideas, see Disciples’ Generous Response Tools at www.CofChrist.org/disciples -generous-response-tools.
Prayer for Peace
Light the peace candle.
Hymn of Peace
“One Common Prayer” (repeat several times) CCS 313
OR “O God of Love, Grant Us Your Peace” CCS 316
Prayer for Peace
May the holy flame of Creator’s peace now be felt and lived out in our needy world. Amen.
For more ideas: The Daily Prayer for Peace services offered at the Temple in Independence, Missouri, can be found on the church’s website as Calendar Events at www.CofChrist.org /daily-prayer-for-peace.
Hymn of Sending Forth
“There’s an Old, Old Path” CCS 244/245
OR “De noche iremos/By Night, We Hasten” CCS 551
OR “When We Are Living/Pues si vivimos” CCS 242/243
Encourage participants to sing in languages other than their own.
Congregational Mission Prayer
Print or project this prayer so all in the congregation can share it.
God, where will your Spirit lead today?
Help me be fully awake and ready to respond.
Grant me courage to risk something new and
become a blessing of your love and peace. Amen.
We are all traveling companions on the path of life…let us go into a world of need being mindful of Jesus beside us ever present, bringing healing and life.
Play the vocal recording of “Heleluyan,” CCS 119, from Community of Christ Sings Audio Recordings.
Ordinary Time (Proper 25)
Exploring the Scripture
Mark’s Gospel is the shortest of the four and thought to be the first one written. It is full of metaphors and symbols that illustrate Jesus’ plain and simple power as the miracle-working Son of God. In the Gospel of Mark, people get to know Jesus early in his ministry as the one with power to cast out an “unclean spirit” from the man in the synagogue. We go on to read of Jesus healing Simon’s mother-in-law in her house. Then the whole city gathers at the door of the house to have Jesus heal its sick. One story of healing after another in this Gospel reminds us Jesus’ power is God’s power. These stories also remind us of God’s power in our lives today, and that God’s power is shown in acts of mercy.
Mark’s emphasis on Jesus’ healing ministry also alerts us to the need for spiritual healing in our lives. Even if we do not have a withered hand or are not physically blind, we need Christ to bring healing into our lives. This text calls us to think about physical illness or impairment in Mark’s Gospel as a symbol of all that is wrong in our lives and in the world. Jesus has the power to complete us, to make us whole again through faith, or in other words, if we’ll just trust in God. God’s power and desire to heal us spiritually is unceasing. God’s mercy never ends.
Blindness is particularly symbolic in poetry and scripture. In the Gospel of Mark, blindness may represent a failure to understand or to grasp the meaning of Jesus’ ministry. Scholars have found meaning in studying larger sections of Mark’s Gospel together. Even though Mark’s Gospel is shorter and generally more concise than the others are, Mark tells two stories about blind men being healed (Mark 8:22, 10:46). These two healings serve as markers of the beginning and ending of a lesson to the reader. Between these demonstrations of Jesus’ merciful power, Jesus works at teaching his disciples through word and deed about the nature of discipleship and about the purpose of his ministry. The message is one of powerful love and mercy and self-sacrifice for others. But repeatedly Jesus’ disciples fail to understand. They turn people away who need help. They argue about which one of them is the greatest.
By the time Jesus heals Bartimaeus in Jericho, readers are almost at the end of the gospel journey, practically all the way to Jerusalem. One might think the disciples had plenty of time by then to understand, to see Jesus’ message. But even Bartimaeus is told to be quiet when he asks for healing. It might be significant that Bartimaeus is instantly healed by Jesus while the blind man from Bethsaida in chapter 8, who is not named, was harder to heal (see Mark 8:24– 25). Peter is also said to have been from Bethsaida, so the first blind man may represent the disciples and how difficult it was to get the disciples “to see.”
- God’s power made known in Jesus Christ is tender and merciful.
- God wants to bring healing into the world rooted in God’s mercy.
- Sometimes our weakness, pride, lack of trust and vision are the only barriers to what God wants for us.
Questions to Consider
- When have you seen God’s mercy at work in the world?
- When have you been blessed by trusting in God’s ways?
- When have you been healed or seen others healed through God’s power and mercy?
- How does spiritual healing differ from physical healing?
- Do we try to get God to do powerful favors for us rather than seeing that God wants us to serve others with mercy? How can we become symbols of God’s mercy at work in the world?