Not One Stone

A Life That Matters

Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

This is an opportunity here almost at the end of the Christian year (since it all starts with Advent) for us to remind ourselves that we are people looking forward to a promise. It need not be a longing for heaven, but more a hoping for the kin-dom to come on earth as it is in heaven, just like we pray each week. Part of our worship experience week after week is to open ourselves up to the vision God has for all of creation, which includes us!

This week might be a bit of a leap to catch the element of a life that matters in our series. It is hard to describe in one word. But we are called through this startling text to take the long view. This is about perspective. We too often get caught up in minutiae and are tripped up by inconsequential things. And not just by the negative; sometimes we are enraptured by the temporary or the passing. Jesus is asking us to keep a vision of the kin-dom before us always, to look beyond this moment—for good or for ill—and see what God has in store for creation. We are not asked to ignore the moment; this isn’t a call to pie-in-the-sky blindness. Instead, we live in this moment; we work in this moment, because we know what is coming; we know the promise. That gives us courage to keep going forward, even when it seems as if we are hitting a wall and not accomplishing anything. We worship a God of peace when there is no peace. We act as though all were brothers and sisters, one loving family, even when we are divided and filled with hate.

So, let this act of worship be one filled with hope and the promise of the kin-dom. We pray with confidence that God is in control; we sing that God has the whole world in hand; we celebrate our trust in the coming new creation. Let us also point out the signs that we see of hope breaking through, of love winning out over hate, of joy in the midst of grief. Let us celebrate as we worship, even when we also need to lament. There is room for both in our faith and our practice.

Call to Worship

Not one stone will be left on stone.
We worship our Rock and our Salvation
Beware that no one leads you astray
We worship our source of wisdom and truth
When all seems lost, this is just the beginning of the birth pangs.
We are here to worship the Word that endures and the hope that is born among us.

Rev. Dr. Derek C. Weber, Director of Preaching Ministries, Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church, June 2021.


God is Israel, Lord of the church, Eternal Spirit, the offerings at the temple are succeeded by the offering of our Lord Jesus on the cross. Bless your church as it surrounds the banquet table of our Lord and receives the bread and cup, which signify his self-offering once for all as the means of grace for our salvation and everlasting life. Bring to this congregation those who should be received by baptism and confession of faith that there may be a growing communion of believers and disciples of Jesus Christ. Maintain your church with a faithful ministry of pastors gladly given by their parents not to fame and fortune, but to humility and faithful proclamation of your word and sincere priestliness in prayer and the offering of sacraments.

Save us from false messiahs who would lead us astray, taken captive their egoism and cleverness in self-promotion. Keep the innocent from the grasp of such proselytizers and grant freedom to those already in their hands.

Bless all who are called to marry and establish a family. Comfort the childless and the infertile and guide those with medicals skills to overcome their emptiness. Save us from thoughtless abuse of the means of procreation. Teach us to value all life, the children of the poor as well as the rich, the promising and the disadvantaged.

Heavenly Householder, we celebrate the eternal home in the heavens, not made with hands. Your Son has gone to prepare a place for us, and we pray that we may be made fit spiritually for communion with you and those who have gone before us. Hear our prayers now and always in the name of your beloved Son, Jesus. Amen.

B. David Hostetter, Prayers for the Seasons of God’s People: Worship Aids for the Revised Common Lectionary Year B, (Abingdon, 1999), 215-216.

Praying that We May Be Ready

(based on Matthew 24:1-14, Mark 13:1-13, Luke 21:5-19)

When the skies grow dark and buildings fall, then hear us:
have mercy on us, Lord.

When deceivers come and the nations rise in anger, then hear us:
have mercy on us, Lord.

When famines begin,
and when the earth shakes to bring the future to birth, then hear us:
have mercy on us, Lord.

When we take our stand to witness to your truth,
when our people are arrested and betrayed, then hear us:
have mercy on us, Lord.

When the sun is darkened and the moon fails to give us light,
and when the stars fall from the sky, then hear us:
have mercy on us, Lord.

When you come in your great power and glory with your angels from heaven:
Then, Lord,
gather us from the four winds—
from the ends of the earth,
to be with you for ever and ever. Amen.

Written by Michael Perry. Posted on the Jubilate Hymns website, Reposted:

Pastoral Prayer

Lord God, heavenly Father, we lift up our hearts to You in prayer, trusting in Your help:

You have promised to be our keeper – to guard our going out and coming in from this time forth and forever more, and so we ask that You would be with and uphold those who are ill. Grant them healing according to Your will.

As we look forward to the day of Christ’s return in glory, help us by Your Holy Spirit to remember Your holy law, statutes, and just decrees and walk in them according to Your will and in this way show reverence for Your holy name which You have bestowed upon us in Baptism.

We ask Your blessing upon our national economy and upon our own jobs and financial well-being. Direct the unemployed to useful labor that will provide for their needs. Lead us to be generous to those who are suffering economic hardships. Sustain in us all a strong work ethic so that so that we might provide for our families, help those in need, and give generously for the work of the church. Help us to not grow weary in doing good.

Give us an ongoing awareness that this world and the things of this world will not endure forever, but there will come a Last Day. In the midst of natural disasters and socio-economic distress and political uncertainty help us to see these events as signs of the end so that day would not catch us unaware but that instead we would recognize that our redemption is drawing near.

Bless Your church on earth. Protect us from false teachers who would deceive by Your name and lead us astray. Help us to always hold fast to the firm foundation of Your Word. In the midst of uncertain times, grant us the mouth and the wisdom to bear witness to Your Son Jesus Christ and the redemption we have in Him.

Dear heavenly Father, whatever else You see that we need—whatever is for the good of our neighbor and redounds to Your glory—we pray that You would grant to us, Your children. We ask it Jesus’ name who taught us to pray: Our Father….

Excerpted from a prayer written by Allan Eckert and posted on the South Texas Lutheran website, Reposted:

In This Series...

Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Reign of Christ, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes