CALL TO WORSHIP: Psalm 146
1 Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
My innermost being will praise you, Lord!
2 I will spend my life praising you and
singing high praises to you, my God, every day of my life!
3–4 We can never look to men for help;
no matter who they are, they can’t save us,
for even our great leaders fail and fall.
They too are just mortals who will one day die.
At death the spirits of all depart and their bodies return to dust.
In the day of their death all their projects and plans are over.
5 But those who hope in the Lord will be happy and pleased!
Our help comes from the God of Jacob!
6 You keep all your promises.
You are the Creator of heaven’s glory,
earth’s grandeur, and ocean’s greatness.
7 The oppressed get justice with you.
The hungry are satisfied with you.
Prisoners find their freedom with you.
8 You open the eyes of the blind
and you fully restore those bent over with shame.
You love those who love and honour you.
9 You watch over strangers and immigrants
and support the fatherless and widows.
But you subvert the plans of the ungodly.
10 Lord, you will reign forever!
Zion’s God will rule throughout time and eternity!
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
The Passion Translation (TPT):
The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC. Used by permission.
This week is our “Harvest of Joy” celebration, it is our response to the Father for his love, faithfulness, for all our blessings; and for the gift of faith that enables us to praise Him and trust in Him even during times of struggle and hardship. As the Psalmist sang out today: 2 I will spend my life praising you and singing high praises to you, my God, every day of my life! …. 5Our help comes from the God of Jacob!
- Can you identify with the Psalmist’s enthusiasm and commitment to praise the Lord “every day of my life’’? Why/Why not?
- A key focus during September is the need to grow in your understanding of “Grace”. To assist you make a point to remember:
- Grace when it is extended, and _____________, _________________ within.
- Grace = God’s riches at __________________________________________
READING: Mark 7:24-37
Jesus Honours a Greek Woman’s Faith
24 Jesus went from there to a place near Tyre. He entered a house. He did not want anyone to know where he was. But he could not keep it a secret. 25 Soon a woman heard about him. An evil spirit controlled her little daughter. The woman came to Jesus and fell at his feet. 26 She was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. 27 “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her. “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 Then he told her, “That was a good reply. You may go. The demon has left your daughter.” 30 So she went home and found her child lying on the bed. And the demon was gone.
Jesus Heals a Man Who Could Not Hear or Speak
31 Then Jesus left the area of Tyre and went through Sidon. He went down to the Sea of Galilee and into the area known as the Ten Cities. 32 There some people brought a man to Jesus. The man was deaf and could hardly speak. They begged Jesus to place his hand on the man. 33 Jesus took the man to one side, away from the crowd. He put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34 Jesus looked up to heaven. With a deep sigh, he said to the man, “Ephphatha!” That means “Be opened!” 35 The man’s ears were opened. His tongue was freed up, and he began to speak clearly. 36 Jesus ordered the people not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were really amazed. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes deaf people able to hear. And he makes those who can’t speak able to talk.”
New International Reader’s Version (NIRV):
Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission.
- Take the time to reflect on the dynamics at play here. What is going on? What cultures are represented? Why do you think Jesus reacted in the manner that he did?
- Who do you think the “hero” of the story is?
- Did any of the characters in the story learn a “spiritual lesson”?
- Take a few minutes to read this story “imaginatively”, try to appreciate the elements of drama and surprise as the miracle of healing took place. What part(s) of the story stood out for you?
- The man received physical healing [of his deafness and was enabled to speak]. How did he react to his healing? Do you think his healing changed his life with regards to his faith?
- Do you think his healing restored him to his community?
TO REFLECT ON THIS WEEK:
How do you react when you have evidence of God at work in your life, or see God at work in the life of someone you love?
God bless for the week ahead,