SIXTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – Online Church at Home Service Bulletin

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September 12, 2021

Is Your Tongue an Instrument of Death or Life?

In today’s Readings, James draws our attention to the tongue. Our tongues might be small but, like the rudder of a ship, the tongue is vitally important to us for staying on the right course. If the rudder is broken, the ship is adrift. If the tongue is filled with evil, so will the rest of our lives. But the tongue also boasts of great things, speaking God’s good word of forgiveness and life. Remember that Jesus has restored all things, including our tongues to no longer speak evil, but to speak His Word.


OPENING HYMN: #849 – Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness


Pastor:            In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

People:          Amen.


Pastor:            I called on the name of the Lord:

People:          O Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!

Pastor:            The Lord has dealt bountifully with us.

People:          The Lord has opened our ears.

Pastor:            The Lord has delivered us from death.

People:          He wipes away tears from all faces.

Pastor:            He rescues our feet from stumbling

People:          and restores our tongues to proclaim His good news.


Pastor:            Despite all of God’s actions on our behalf, we still struggle with sin in our lives. Our tongues still curse. Our feet still stumble. Our ears still listen to lies and vicious gossip. But our heavenly Father invites us to come to Him for restoration, renewal, and forgiveness.

Silence for reflection.

Pastor:            Heavenly Father,

People:          we have sinned against You and our neighbors in what we have said and what we have left unsaid. We have neglected opportunities to love our neighbors. We have stumbled and fallen again and again. We ask that You restore us, renew us, and forgive us on account of Jesus. Amen.

Pastor:            Almighty God, in His boundless love sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die and rise for our forgiveness and eternal life. Because of Jesus, we are restored, body and soul. Therefore, as a called and ordained servant of Christ, and by His authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

People:          Amen. We are forgiven in Christ. We are renewed and restored. Amen.


PSALM           Psalm 116:1–9 (spoken responsively by verse)

1I love the Lord, because he has heard

            my voice and my pleas for mercy.

2Because he inclined his ear to me,

            therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

3The snares of death encompassed me;

            the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;

            I suffered distress and anguish.

4Then I called on the name of the Lord:

            “O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”

5Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;

            our God is merciful.

6The Lord preserves the simple;

            when I was brought low, he saved me.

7Return, O my soul, to your rest;

            for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

8For you have delivered my soul from death,

            my eyes from tears,

            my feet from stumbling;

9I will walk before the Lord

            in the land of the living.

KYRIE,LSB p.186 (spoken together)

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Christ, have mercy upon us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.


Pastor:            The Lord be with you.

People:          And also with you.

Pastor:            Let us pray.
Almighty God, by Your Word You spoke creation into being. Tame our tongues and guide our words so that we would proclaim Your promises to the world; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

People:          Amen.

OLD TESTAMENT READING         Isaiah 50:4–10                      

(God sustains and vindicates His people.)

4The Lord God has given me
            the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word
            him who is weary.
Morning by morning he awakens;
            he awakens my ear
            to hear as those who are taught.
5The Lord God has opened my ear,
            and I was not rebellious;
            I turned not backward.
6I gave my back to those who strike,
            and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
            from disgrace and spitting.

7But the Lord God helps me;
            therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
            and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
            8He who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
            Let us stand up together.
Who is my adversary?
            Let him come near to me.
9Behold, the Lord God helps me;
            who will declare me guilty?
Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment;
            the moth will eat them up.

10Who among you fears the Lord
            and obeys the voice of his servant?
Let him who walks in darkness
            and has no light
trust in the name of the Lord
            and rely on his God.

Lector:            This is the Word of the Lord.

People:          Thanks be to God.

GRADUAL     Psalm 34:9, 19, alt.

Fear the Lord, you His saints,
   for those who fear Him lack nothing!
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
   but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

EPISTLE         James 3:1–12

(The tongue is small but powerful in speaking both good and evil.)

            1Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

            How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Lector:            This is the Word of the Lord.

People:          Thanks be to God.

VERSE             Mark 9:23b

Alleluia. All things are possible for one who believes. Alleluia.

HOLY GOSPEL          Mark 9:14–29           

(Jesus heals a demon-possessed boy.)

Pastor:            The Holy Gospel according to St. Mark, the ninth chapter.

People:          Glory to You, O Lord.

            14When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to [Jesus] and greeted him. 16And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” 19And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23And Jesus said to him, “If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”

Pastor:            This is the Gospel of the Lord.

People:          Praise to You, O Christ.

HYMN OF THE DAY: #528 – Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

SERMON: Is Your Tongue an Instrument of Death or Life?


I believe in one God, the Father Almighty,
      maker of heaven and earth
            and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
      the only-begotten Son of God,
      begotten of His Father before all worlds,
      God of God, Light of Light,
      very God of very God,
      begotten, not made,
      being of one substance with the Father,
      by whom all things were made;
      who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven
      and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary
      and was made man;
      and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.
      He suffered and was buried.
      And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures
            and ascended into heaven
      and sits at the right hand of the Father.
      And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Spirit,
      the Lord and giver of life,
      who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
      who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,
      who spoke by the prophets.
      And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church,
      I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,
      and I look for the resurrection of the dead
      and the life + of the world to come. Amen.


After each petition:

Pastor:      … let us pray to the Lord:

People:    Lord, have mercy.

At conclusion:

Pastor:      Lord, we offer all these prayers, knowing that You hear us and bless us with what we need.

People:    Amen.


Pastor:            Gracious God, You are the source of every lasting security. We bless You for the continuance of stability in a time of great national trial and ask that our nation be spared from any such act of terrorism and destruction in times to come. We remember those innocent victims of terrorism whose earthly lives ended on September 11th, 2001. Grant that their memories among us remain and their lives not be forgotten. We also remember the rescue workers who gave their lives that day seeking to assist the victims of the tragedy. Grant that their examples of bravery and sacrificial concern for others serve to inspire each of us as we live out our lives in these times.

Almighty God, You have given us this good land as our heritage. Grant that we remember Your generosity and constantly do Your will. Bless our land with honest industry, truthful education, and an honorable way of life. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil course of action. Grant that we, who came from many nations with many different languages, may become a united people. Support us in defending our liberties, and give those to whom we have entrusted the authority of government the spirit of wisdom, that there may be justice and peace in our land. When times are prosperous, may our hearts be thankful, and in troubled times do not let our trust in You fail; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

People:          Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER      Matthew 6:9–13

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name,

      Thy kingdom come,

      Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;

      give us this day our daily bread;

      and forgive us our trespasses

            as we forgive those who trespass against us;

      and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom             and the power and the glory

      forever and ever. Amen.


Pastor:            Let us pray.
Lord Jesus Christ, our support and defense in every need, continue to preserve Your Church in safety, govern her by Your goodness, and bless her with Your peace; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

People:          Amen.

BENEDICTION         Numbers 6:24–26

Pastor:            The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord look upon you with favor and + give you peace.

People:          Amen.


Pastor:            Go in peace! Serve the Lord!

People:          Thanks be to God.

CLOSING HYMN: #783 – Take My Life and Let It Be

1    Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

2    Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

3    Take my voice and let me sing
Always, only for my King;
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

4    Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect and use
Ev’ry pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

5    Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

6    Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

Creative Worship for the Lutheran Parish, Series B, Quarter 4. Copyright © 2021 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Pinnacle Lutheran Church