Community of Christ

Worship Resources - 24 June 2018

Worship Suggestions

Ordinary Time (Proper 7)

MARK 4:35–41/4:28–33 IV

Peace! Be Still!

Additional Scriptures

Job 38:1–11; Psalm 107:1–3, 23–32; 2 Corinthians 6:1–13; Doctrine and Covenants 165:2d–f


Prelude

Moment of Reflection

Ministry of Music

Play the song or have a soloist or choir sing to center the congregation.

“Be Still”     The Fray, Scars & Stories, 2012

Similar versions can be found by other recording artists or have it sung as a ministry of music. (Follow copyright guidelines.)

OR “As the Deer”              CCS  148

OR “Be Still”       CCS 156

Prayer for Peace

Light the peace candle.

Prayer

Almighty God,

We pray this day for peace in lands distant from our own, as well as our homeland. We know our hopes and dreams are not unlike the hopes and dreams of people living far from us. God of all, we pray for peace in every nation of the world.

We see the brokenness in our world. We acknowledge the choosing of sides. We are witness to the ugliness across the earth. Grant us the impatience to do something about it. Encourage us to pursue peace.

May we be so aware of our brothers and sisters that prejudices and suspicions of humanity will never slip past us. May we be peacemakers and a blessing to all. 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.

Welcome

Call to Worship

Leader: O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good;

People: For God’s steadfast love endures forever.

Leader: Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,

People: Those God redeemed from trouble

Leader: And gathered in from the lands,

Left:  From the east and from the west,

Right:   From the north and from the south.

Leader: Let us thank God for this steadfast love,

People: For the wonderful works done for all people.

Leader: Let us praise God in this congregation,

People: And give praise to the Holy One.

               —Psalm 107:1–3, 31–32, adapted

Hymn of Praise

“Creation Flows Unceasingly”      CCS 107

OR “For the Beauty of the Earth”               CCS 130

OR “Come Away from Rush and Hurry”    CCS 83

Prayer of Awareness

Offer a prayer of recognition that God is already present; pray to be open to the awareness of God’s presence and movement with us in worship.

Sung Response

“Calm to the Waves” (soloist or congregation)      CCS 158

Disciples’ Generous Response

Scripture: Doctrine and Covenants 165:2d–f

Reflection and Song

Hymn

“From You I Receive”   (sing twice)    CCS 611

Question to Ponder (project or print the question)

  • When did you recently experience generosity from someone else?

Moment of Silence

Hymn

“From You I Receive”   (sing twice)    CCS 611

Question to Ponder (project or print the question)

  • When have you recently experienced God’s generosity?

Moment of Silence

Hymn

“From You I Receive”   (sing twice)    CCS 611

Question to Ponder (project or print the question)

  • In what ways can you share generously with the church and others?

Moment of Silence

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.

Scripture Reading

Mark 4:35–41/4:28–33 IV

Hymn of Assurance

“All My Days”     CCS 266

OR “My Life Flows On in Endless Song”     CCS 263

Message

Based on Mark 4:35–41/4:28–33 IV

Pastoral Prayer

Ask an evangelist or member of the pastorate to offer a special prayer for the needs of the congregation.

Hymn of Blessing

“Peace Be with You”       CCS 662

OR “I Wish God’s Love to Be with You”    CCS 663

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.

Sending Forth

May you go forth with the assurance that the love of God and the love of this faith community will always be with you as you navigate the joys and interruptions of life.

Postlude

Sermon Helps

Ordinary Time (Proper 7)

MARK 4:35–41 

Exploring the Scripture

In Mark 4:35–41, Jesus crosses the Sea of Galilee with his disciples. It is the first of four crossings (Mark 4:35–41, 5:21, 6:45–52, and 8:13). Jesus is teaching and ministering on both sides of the Sea of Galilee, among Jews and Gentiles. The two longest passages, today’s reading and the story of walking on the water in chapter 8, are linked by a common theme: Jesus’ power over the sea and wind. In both, the disciples fear and wonder about Jesus. 

After a long day of teaching Jesus leaves the multitude to cross the Sea of Galilee to Gentile territory with his disciples. Other boats accompanied the journey. Mark does not tell us who was in them and does not mention the other boats again. One possibility is that Mark is providing credibility. Others had been on the sea that day and can testify to the storm and sudden calm. Another possibility is that Mark is expanding the story to include all people who experience life’s storms, not just Jesus’ disciples.

The storm arose quickly, as storms still do in that area. Details paint the picture clearly in our minds. Waves “beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped” (v. 37). Jesus was “in the stern, asleep on the cushions” (v. 38).

In fear of their lives, the disciples wake Jesus with phrases that contradict one another. On the one hand, they call him “teacher,” showing respect, loyalty, and devotion. On the other hand, they question his loyalty and devotion to them: “Do you not care…?” (v. 38).

The contrast between Jesus resting in trust and the disciples struggling with fear and confusion speaks to the hearer about the nature of faith in God. The violence of the storm may recall the watery chaos preceding creation in Genesis 1:2. God took control of that stormy chaos and brought about order.

Psalm 89:9 and Job 38:8–11, as well as other passages in the Hebrew Scriptures, repeat the assurance that God controls nature and can bring calm and order. Mark affirms Jesus as God’s Son by relating how Jesus, as God’s agent, also commands natural forces, and brings order.

Like the episodes of exorcising demons, Jesus “rebukes” the wind and commands the sea to be silent and calm. His words are translated as “Peace! Be still!” in the NRSV Bible. The original Greek words were strong and powerful, echoing with authority. With that same authority, Jesus then turns and rebukes the disciples for their lack of trust and their fear.

Ironically, Jesus’ power over the storm does not dispel their fear. The scene ends with the disciples still fearful— this time of Jesus himself. That fear resurfaces in the coming scene, when Jesus walks to them on the waves. They still do not understand who Jesus is.

Those who heard the Gospel of Mark were similarly challenged to declare their trust and confidence in the Son of God, rather than retreat in fear when storms come. Jesus’ power is always greater than the storm for those who believe and trust. But the closing question in Mark 4:41 continues to haunt Jesus’ followers today: “Who is this, that even the wind and sea obey him?” 

Central Ideas

  1. Jesus was teaching and ministering to Jews and Gentiles regularly.
  2. God, the Creator, is not identical with creation. God has power over nature and can bring order from chaos. 
  3. Mark presents Jesus as God’s agent, able to rebuke the storm and wind and bring calm.
  4. That same power can bring calm amid destruction in our everyday lives. We are challenged to trust and believe.

Questions to Consider

  1. When have you felt like God didn’t know or care about your problems? What did you do to try to wake God up?
  2. When have you been overwhelmed with fear? How did trust and peace return?
  3. Whom do you say that Jesus is? Why do you believe that?
  4. How does hidden fear continue to color your belief?

Small-group Worship Suggestions

Ordinary Time

Mark 4:35–41 NRSV

The Facilitator Notes provide an overview of Sacred Space and how to use the resource to best meet ministry needs. This is a must read for first-time users.

The weekly outline and handouts provide everything needed to plan and facilitate a scripture-focused Sacred Space gathering and includes additional options such as Thoughts for Children.


Gathering

Welcome

Prayer for Peace

Ring a bell or chime three times slowly.
Light the peace candle.

We pray this day for peace in lands distant from our own, as well as our homeland. We know our hopes and dreams are not unlike the hopes and dreams of people living far from us. God of all, we pray for peace in every nation.

We see the brokenness in our world. We acknowledge the choosing of sides. We witness the ugliness across the Earth. Grant us the impatience to do something about it. Encourage us to pursue peace.

May we be so aware of our brothers and sisters that prejudices and suspicions of humanity will never slip past us. May we be peacemakers and a blessing to all. Amen.

Spiritual Practice

Gratitude

Materials: paper, pens or pencils

The practice of gratitude transforms our outlook and attitude into one of thanksgiving and gratefulness. We begin to recognize God’s abundant Spirit at work in our lives and the world. Even when things do not go well, we are grateful that God is always present.

  • On your paper, list things that are abundant in your life (friends, family, laughter, belongings, ideas, tasks).
    • Wait a few moments for people to write.
  • Next to each listing note how you feel about having this abundance in your life.
    • Wait a few moments for people to write.
  • In silent prayer, express gratitude to God for each thing you have identified.
    • Wait a few moments for people to offer silent prayer.
    • Close with Amen. 

Sharing Around the Table

Mark 4:35–41 NRSV

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.”  And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

After a long day of teaching Jesus left the multitude to cross the Sea of Galilee to Gentile territory with his disciples. A severe storm arose quickly, as storms do in that area. Even as waves crashed into the boat, Jesus remained asleep in the stern.

In fear for their lives, the disciples awakened Jesus. While they were respectful of him as Teacher, they were annoyed that he was not more concerned for their safety.

The contrast between Jesus resting in trust and the disciples struggling with fear and confusion speaks to us about nature of faith. The storms of violence and chaos may crash around us, but even then, God is in control.

Jesus “rebukes” the wind and commands the sea to be silent and calm. His words are translated as “Peace! Be still!” A strong and powerful, command! Jesus then turns and rebukes the disciples for their fear and lack of trust.

Ironically, Jesus’ power over the storm does not dispel their fear. The scene ends with the disciples still fearful or full of awe as they try to understand fully who Jesus is.

Questions

  1. When have you felt like God didn’t know or care about your problems? What did you do to try to wake God up?
  2. Who is Jesus to you? Has your perception of Jesus changed over your lifetime?
  3. The disciples who walked with Jesus showed fear and doubt. When have you experienced fear and doubt in your faith journey?

Sending

Generosity Statement

“Sharing for the common good is the spirit of Zion” (Doctrine and Covenants 165:2f).

We receive God’s grace and generosity. The offering basket is available if you would like to support ongoing small-group ministries as part of your generous response.

This offering prayer is adapted from A Disciple’s Generous Response:

Covenant God, As we navigate our world of debt and consumerism, help us to save wisely. In this way may we better prepare for the future and create a better tomorrow for our families, friends, the mission of Christ, and the world. Amen. 

Invitation to Next Meeting

Closing Hymn

CCS 158, “Calm to the Waves”

Closing Prayer

Optional Additions Depending on Group

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