20 October 2024


Ordinary Time (Proper 24)

Mark 10:35-45

Can You Drink the Cup?

Additional Scriptures

Job 38:1-7, 34-41; Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c; Hebrews 5:1-10; Doctrine and Covenants 165:2a



Supplies: Paper and pens for the scribes in the Generosity Game.




Sharing of Joys and Concerns

Call to Worship

            Reader 1:         Read “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” CCS 457, Stanza 1

            Reader 2:         Read “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” CCS 457, Stanza 2

            Reader 3:         Were the whole realm of nature mine,

                                    that were an offering far too small;

            All Readers:    Love so amazing, so divine,

            Community:   …demands my soul, my life, my all.

—Issac Watts

Praise Singing

“Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love"
CCS 367

Encourage participants to sing in languages other than their own.

OR “Lord, Whose Love"
CCS 346

OR “When God’s Call to Serve”                    Stanzas 1--3

OR “Touch Me, Lord, with Thy Spirit Eternal"
CCS 574

Encourage participants to sing in a language other than their own.


Scripture Reading: Mark 10:35-45

Hymn of Calling

“Jesus Is Calling”                                                                                                       CCS 578

OR “The Summons”                                                                                                   CCS 586

Disciples’ Generous Response

Generosity Cycle Statement

As a church, we have various seasons we celebrate. These seasons cause us to focus our gaze in a certain direction and spend time in meaningful reflection and preparation. We are entering a season of generosity. This is a period set aside to recognize the grace of God and to discover a deeper joy in discipleship through intentional whole-life stewardship.

Scripture Reading: Doctrine and Covenants 165:2a

Generosity rarely happens by chance. Instead, it is intentional decisions that we choose to make in our lives. It demonstrates willingness to offer every dimension of one’s life to God. There are many ways that people can show expressions of generosity. Over this season of generosity we will examine some of these expressions of time, treasure, talent and testimony.

To be “busy” is encouraged in many societies. Revered for rushing from activity to activity, like this is how life should be lived. Many of us would now consider ourselves to be time poor, with too much to do and not enough time to do it in.

There is work to be done, children or grandchildren to be looked after, homes to care for, exercise to include, the required life admin with cooking and cleaning to simply function, then there are the extras; sports games, church commitments, gardens to maintain, meetups with friends, and the essential requirement of sleep and who knows how much time is spent looking at different screens. The list seems to go on and on.

How often do you stop and do a budget of your time? To consciously pause and reflect on how exactly you are spending your time and how you would like to spend that time so that you don’t constantly feel you are living on a running wheel but genuinely grounded and connected.

To share one’s time is one of the greatest commodities that we can offer another and it is one of the ways in which we can share generously with our whole lives.

Generosity Game

Divide participants into small teams. Each team needs a scribe. Explain the rules.

Rules: Each round will be 3 minutes, in which each team needs to write down as many ideas as they have on the posed question. Then go around the room offering up answers, if no other team has the same answer, that team will get a point.

Round one: What are some acts of generosity that would only take 5 minutes?

Round two: What are some acts of generosity that could take an hour or so?

Round three: What are some acts of generosity that would require continual commitment.

Personal Meditation

What is one item from one of your lists that you would be willing

to commit to for the next week?

Allow time for participants to consider their choice.

During this time of Disciples’ Generous Response, we focus on aligning our heart with God’s heart. Our offerings are more than meeting budgets or funding mission. We can tangibly express our gratitude to God through our offerings, who is the giver of all.

As we share our mission tithes either by placing money in the plates or through eTithing, use this time to thank God for the many gifts received in life. Our hearts grow aligned with God’s when we gratefully receive and faithfully respond by living Christ’s mission.

If your congregation is meeting online, remind participants they can give through CofChrist.org/give or eTithing.org (consider showing these URLs on screen).

Blessing and Receiving of Local and Worldwide Mission Tithes

Ministry of Music OR Congregational Hymn

“Living Stones"
CCS 279

OR “Till All the Jails Are Empty"
CCS 303

OR “Let Your Heart Be Broken"
CCS 353 


Based on Mark 10:35-45

OR Small Group Sharing     Print or project questions for all to see.

  • Have you seen someone serving others this week?
  • Was it done in a spirit of service or obligation?
  • Did this affect the way in which it was given or received?

If time allows, debrief in the large group the highpoints of the Small Group sharing.

Prayer for Peace

Sing for Peace

“We Are the Ones the World Awaits”                                                          
CCS 305

OR “O God of Love, Grant Us Your Peace”                                                 
CCS 316                       

Light the Peace Candle.


God of love,

We thank you for the expression of love you gave in the form of Jesus, that we might learn from his life and teachings ways to truly see and fight against oppression.

May we embody the servitude that Jesus did, recognizing that dedicating our lives to the pursuit of peace, expressions of love and reflections of you are not about gratification, but truly being a servant to those who are rejected, marginalized, hurting, and lost.

May we find ways to be expressions of your love and peace in conflict and in the mundane moments of our lives.

This we ask in the name of your son, the model of servitude. Amen.

Sending Forth Hymn           

“I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me"
CCS 581

OR “Take My Life and Let It Be"
CCS 608 

Sending Forth

Consider this day: Can You Drink Cup? Go and live your beliefs. 





Year B—Letters

Ordinary Time (Proper 24)

Hebrews 5:1–10


Exploring the Scripture

Hebrews is a sermon to a community in crisis in Rome. Preached by an unknown preacher during second-generation Christianity, this pastoral discourse centers on the meaning of Christ. Although the author is unidentified, he was likely a Jewish Christian and perhaps part of the Pauline circle—but not Paul.

The group, likely Jewish converts or perhaps a Jewish and Gentile mixture, struggled with disillusionment and faced persecution. They were in doubt and in danger of losing their Christian identity. They were in jeopardy of reverting to Judaism. It was a challenging time for them. The Letter of Hebrews uses a theologically laden interpretation of scripture to reassure listeners of the new covenant embodied in Christ and encourage them to remain committed.

We live in a different time and culture than the early Christians in Rome. However, are we not confronted by similar challenges? Are we not a community in crisis? Are we not in a time of doubt, struggle, and challenge of authentically living up to the mission and message of Jesus Christ? Are not many disillusioned? Do we ask what the meaning of Christ is in our time?

Today’s scripture text responds. Verses 5 and 10 provide a valuable image of Christ central to Hebrews. Principally, they highlight Jesus Christ as a high priest—a mediator—who stands before God on behalf of humankind. He offers prayers, petitions, and service for healing and wholeness amid our broken world.

Jesus accepted and presented before God the flaws, pain, suffering, and needs familiar to us all. He modeled servant ministry and proclaimed God’s reign and shalom. Not all are called to serve in the priesthood office of high priest, but all are called to embody the nature and love of God through Christ-like service, character, generosity, and mission.

Prayer, petition, and sacramental living are essential. Verse 7 suggests Jesus offered prayers with “loud cries and tears.” This verse expresses how Christ hears and bears the human burdens of life, including the diminishment of human worth, misery, suffering, loneliness, yearning, sorrow, wrath, and so forth.

Our calling is to share others’ suffering and experience and join in Christ-like compassionate ministries in action. As our enduring principle, Worth of All Persons, states: “We join with Jesus Christ in bringing good news to the poor, sick, captive, and oppressed” (https://CofChrist.org/about-us/). Verse 8 expresses Christ’s divinity as Son but shares that Jesus’ suffering strengthened his obedience toward God.

The first hearers of this ancient text encountered persecution and suffering in Rome. The Hebrew author encouraged them—and us—to remain like Jesus Christ, obedient and close to God amid their suffering. Verse 9 mentions Christ as the “source of eternal salvation.” It reminds us that we, too, as Christ’s disciples, are to share peace, wholeness, and right relations with one another, creation, and the divine. This is “at the heart of the purpose of [our] journey as a people of faith” (Doctrine and Covenants 163:2b).

Today’s scripture passage reminds and challenges us, like those early disciples, of the meaning of Christ in our setting. Community of Christ prophet-president Stephen M. Veazey helps clarify today’s meaning: “Renewing covenant with Jesus Christ includes the call to live as peaceful human beings who personify Christ’s peace... Trust what is being born...Persist in Hope.”


Central Ideas

  1. We are called to model ministry through prayer, petition, and sacrifice on behalf of the world for God’s shalom.
  2. We offer prayers with “loud cries and tears” and carry the burdens of others compassionately.
  3. We allow our life’s challenges, pain, suffering, misgivings, and ambiguities to shape and draw us closer to a loving, grace-filled God.


Questions for the Speaker

  1. How are members in your congregation like the early Christians in Rome?
  2. How has someone’s prayer and petition blessed you?
  3. How have you experienced suffering?
  4. How do you tune in to God’s will, love, and desires?
  5. What does “eternal salvation” mean in your ministry environment?



Year B Letters

Ordinary Time, Proper 24

Hebrews 5:1–10 NRSVUE




Ordinary Time is the period in the Christian calendar from Pentecost to Advent. This period is without major festivals or holy days. During Ordinary Time we focus on discipleship as individuals and a faith community.

Prayer for Peace

Ring a bell or chime three times slowly.

Light the peace candle.

Today’s Prayer for Peace is inspired by the hymn, “Lord Jesus, of You I Will Sing,” Community of Christ Sings 556, from Les Petites Soeurs de Jésus.

Lord Jesus, of you I will sing as I journey,
I’ll tell all my neighbors about you wherever I go.

Beckoning God, we’ve lived, laughed, and loved as Zion for so long that it sometimes becomes commonplace for us. Commonplace to the point where we forget that we have dedicated our lives to following in the footsteps of Jesus. Footsteps that lead us through rivers and valleys, thunderstorms and snow, in order to journey with our friends and neighbors as we pursue peace.

Grant us the courage to step into new places, reaching out to new friends and neighbors who are walking in uncertainty. Help us spread your peace to them. Grant us the courage to find friends and neighbors who are working for peace. Help us have the courage to join them. Grant us the courage to speak out when politicians and powerful people steer others astray. Help us have the courage to speak against this noise.

Grant us the courage to sing again, God, to remember that which excited us about the vision of Zion, so that we may draw others to you and in that act draw all of us to your peace.

In the name of Jesus, who gave us the courage to sing. Amen.

Spiritual Practice

Receiving with Gratitude

Enduring Principles are a foundation of Community of Christ. Today we are focusing on Grace and Generosity. The first thing we do in life is receive. Our first breath is a gift we receive. The spiritual practice today is in breath-prayer form. During the prayer we use words to breathe in and words to breathe out. Today we will breathe in receive life and breathe out thank you.

Slowly read the following instructions:

Sit with relaxed posture and close your eyes. We will spend three minutes in breath prayer.

Breathe in a regular, natural rhythm.

As you breathe in, receive life; as you exhale respond, thank you.

Inhale and exhale, focusing on what you are breathing in and what you are breathing out.

Watch the time for three minutes. Urge participants to continue the breath prayer for the full time.

When time is up, ask the following questions for a short group discussion:

  • What is one thing you are grateful for in this moment?
  • How do you feel about receiving?

After the discussion say:

Thank you, God, for another day. Thank you for the opportunity to connect with others, to receive and to give to one another. Amen.

Sharing Around the Table

Hebrews 5:1–10 NRSVUE

Every high priest chosen from among mortals is put in charge of things pertaining to God on their behalf, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness, and because of this he must offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not presume to take this honor but takes it only when called by God, just as Aaron was.

So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest but was appointed by the one who said to him,

“You are my Son;
    today I have begotten you”;

as he says also in another place,

“You are a priest forever,
    according to the order of Melchizedek.”

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered, and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

A tenet of Christian faith is that we are the body of Christ. We proclaim Jesus Christ in the world today so that those who hear and follow may experience eternal life in Christ. We invite others to experience the Divine through the Holy Spirit and the experience of sacred community.

The author of the Hebrew letter speaks specifically of high priests, but a broader interpretation proposes that the text is about the priesthood of all believers. The traits and behaviors attributed to the high priest—especially the emphasis on humble service—apply to us all.

The author also makes it clear that followers of Jesus still are apt to make mistakes that cause pain and sorrow. We are not called because we are so good; we are called because of the good being worked in us by the Holy Spirit.

The body of Christ gathers to worship God. God does not need this worship for God’s sake, but for ours. It is only through worship that the tough membrane of separation between humanity and God can be pierced. God desires to be in communion with all creation. As humans, we often put distance, barriers, or obstructions in the way of that communion. Through worship we make ourselves vulnerable to the touch of the Divine and then are able to enter the communion God desires, so we may know we are loved and whole, just as we are.

Our ministrations are expressed best from our understanding of our own faults and shortcomings and our recognition of the need to accept and forgive each other, because we have been accepted and forgiven.


  1. When have you sensed God calling you to offer loving service as part of your discipleship?
  2. What expression of worship is most meaningful to you?
  3. What does it mean to you to be vulnerable to the touch of the divine?


Statement of Generosity

Beloved Community of Christ, do not just speak and sing of Zion. Live, love, and share as Zion: those who strive to be visibly one in Christ, among whom there are no poor or oppressed.

—Doctrine and Covenants 165:6a

The offering basket is available if you would like to support ongoing, small-group ministries as part of your generous response.

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

Discipling God, as we navigate our world of debt and consumerism, help us save wisely, spend responsibly, and give generously. In this way may we 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

Community of Christ Sings 343, “Listen for the Call of God”

Closing Prayer


Optional Additions Depending on Group

  • Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper
  • Thoughts for Children


Thoughts for Children

You will need:

  • coloring supplies
  • paper—construction or printer

Say: In today’s scripture, we hear about priesthood. In Community of Christ, we recognize that some people, of any gender, are called to priesthood and serve the larger community. However, we also believe that All Are Called. This means everyone is invited to follow Jesus and participate in God’s work.

Each is gifted in specific ways and can contribute uniquely to God’s purposes. Sometimes it is hard to see how we are uniquely gifted, and we begin to think we don’t have anything to offer. When this happens, it can be helpful when others remind us of our giftedness.

If you know all the participants well enough, take this moment to point out how each is uniquely gifted.

Say: Today, I want us to practice recognizing the giftedness in others and letting them know what we see. We each will create a “thank-you” card to share with someone in your our lives. You can decorate it however you want, but somewhere on the card you need to thank the person for a specific gift he or she shares with you. Remember, these aren’t gifts like birthday presents; they’re for special abilities and attributes that a person has.

Give an example of the thank-you card you would create for someone in your life. Send the participants back to their seats with supplies to work on their thanks-you cards.

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