Itching Ears

Not Ashamed

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C

This week is about distractions. Well, not about distractions so much as about loss of focus, or maybe even loss of trust in the foundations of the faith. Once again, we are called to celebrate our faith and to embrace ways of living out that faith that might grow and change but in the end will remain true to the words and witness of Jesus Christ.

Call to Worship

We gather here to worship seeking a focus for our being.

God calls us to worship the Word made flesh.

We gather here to worship, though we feel drawn in too many directions, overwhelmed with too many tasks, chasing after something we can’t quite name.

God calls us to worship leaning into the Spirit of Truth

We gather here to worship, wondering and hoping, doubting and uncertain, frustrated and afraid. But we are here.

God calls us to worship with our whole selves. We are here; let us worship with joy.

Derek Weber, Discipleship Ministries, March 2022

Prayer of Commitment

You call us to be your light in the darkness,
your voice in the wilderness,
your hope for the hopeless.

You give us strength in our weakness,
Peace and gentleness,
words and boldness,
to proclaim more of you
and of us, less.

Written by John Birch and posted on his Faith and Worship website. Reposted:

Opening Prayer

(Psalm 119, 2 Timothy 3–4)

your words are sweet to the taste,
sweeter than honey;
let them be our daily meditation and our study.
Give us ears to hear,
for we marvel at your instruction.
Train us in righteousness,
grant us patience and persistence,
and equip us for every good work.
Inspire our faith,
and give us voices to proclaim your message.
Guide our feet,
keep us from every false way,
for you alone speak the words of life. Amen.

Bill Hoppe, Ministry Matters, Worship Elements October 20, 2019,

Prayer for the Day

Merciful God, how wonderful is your law, how gracious are your ways. In your words are sweetness and in your path is life. Coming as children of your own choosing, we offer our praise to your holy Name and we lift our thanksgivings to your glory.

Your promises are true. You have promised us a new way of living wherein your covenant is written in our hearts. But our hearts turn away from you. We fall in love with the concerns of this world. We turn inward to our own desires and then we complain when you do not respond as quickly as we might wish. We abandon you when we give up on prayer, and then wonder why we have lost heart. We are selfish, and we do not wish to learn. O Lord, forgive our iniquity and remember our sin no more. Turn us back to you, the Source of our life.

Your life-giving Spirit has been breathed into the sacred writings that instruct us for salvation through faith. Take away the itching in our ears and ground us in your word that we might proclaim the truth to an unbelieving world, bringing it back to the truth.

You employ many means to bring health and well-being to your people. Although your ways are not always our ways, we trust that you will make your people whole. This day there are many who are discouraged and have lost heart because of their suffering. Wrap them in your loving arms and give them comfort. If their affliction is not removed in this life, then grant them strength to endure. Give to all in distress your peace.

Write your words in our hearts and answers what we ask, for we pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

And Also With You: Worship Resources based on the Revised Common Lectionary Year C, Timothy J. Crouch, OSL, Nancy B. Crouch, OSL, Chris E. Visminas, and Mark R. Babb, OSL, eds., (Order of St. Luke Publications, 1994), 135.

Prayer of Confession

(2 Timothy 3–4, Luke 18)

From the least of us, to the greatest, Lord,
we want to know you;
we yearn to follow where you lead us;
we need your guidance.
But even as we listen for your direction,
other voices compete for our attention
with teachings that suit our desires.
Our thoughts drift so far from your truth,
that fables and fancies begin to seem real.
Holy One,
open our hearts and minds.
By your Spirit,
convince, rebuke, and encourage us
as only you can;
teach, correct, and inspire us
in the ways of your salvation. Amen.

Bill Hoppe, Ministry Matters, Worship Elements October 20, 2019,


(Psalm 119, Jeremiah 31, 2 Timothy 3–4)

May the living word of the Lord dwell with you.
May it live through you.
May it fill your thoughts and deeds.
May it fill your mouth with God’s message of love.
May it sustain you in good times and bad.
May it equip you for a ministry of peace and hope!

Bill Hoppe, Ministry Matters, Worship Elements October 20, 2019,

In This Series...

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes