Who do people say I am?
St Andrew’s Salmon Arm
September 12, 2021
LIGHTING OF THE CHRIST CANDLE
As the days grow shorter and darkness comes earlier, let us give thanks that
Christ is the Light of the world !
- Welcome to our worship on line. Thank you for your continued attendance with us as we worship in this unique way.
- This morning we welcome Rev. Shirley Cochrane to the pulpit may the Holy Spirit guide or thoughts and prayers as we worship together.
CALL TO WORSHIP
Come, people of God, worship the One who listens to our prayers.
We will worship the One who hears us.
Come, people of God, worship the One who watches over us.
We will worship the One who cares deeply for us all.
Come, people of God, worship the One who offered his life for us.
We will offer thanks and praise to the One who gives us life.
HYMN 293 Come Thou almighty king
34. Come, thou almighty King;
help us thy name to sing;
help us to praise.
Father, all glorious,
o’er all victorious,
come and reign over us,
Ancient of Days.
2. Come, thou incarnate Word;
gird on thy mighty sword;
our prayer attend:
come, and thy people bless,
and give thy word success;
Spirit of holiness,
on us descend.
3. Come, holy Comforter;
thy sacred witness bear
in this glad hour!
Thou who almighty art,
now rule in every heart,
and ne’er from us depart,
Spirit of power.
4. To the great One in Three
eternal praises be
His sovereign majesty
may we in glory see,
and to eternity
love and adore.
Living God, artist of the changing skies, builder of the steadfast earth,
Lively Christ, born to walk life’s journey with us,
Spirit of life, always moving in us and among us,
Your presence surrounds us here and everywhere we go.
Your purpose holds the world in its place;
Your imagination engages us each step of the way.
In our time of worship, show us how we can serve you,
and open our imaginations to the future you create,
for we seek your guidance and your grace now and always.
Hear us now as we confess together ….
UNISON PRAYER OF CONFESSION
God of time and eternity,
we confess that we have long memories, especially for
things that hurt us, for moments we resent or regret.
Week by week we seek your forgiveness for our mistakes,
but we confess we do not forgive others so faithfully.
Sometimes we seek opportunity to even the score.
Confront us with your mercy, O God,
and open our hearts to its cleansing power.
We come before you in Jesus name AMEN
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
From now on, St. Paul declared, we regard no one from a human point of view.
If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation.
Everything old has passed away; and everything has become new.
Through Christ God has reconciled us and given us a ministry of reconciliation.
Thanks be to God that we can all make a new start, this day and every day!
May the peace of the risen Christ be with you and also with you
Let us share a wave of peace with each other …………
HYMN 644 May the mind of Christ my Saviour
34. May the mind of Christ my Saviour
live in me from day to day,
Jesus’ love and power controlling
all I do or say.
2. May the word of God dwell richly
in my heart from hour to hour,
so that all may see I triumph
only through God’s power.
3. May the peace of God my Sovereign
rule my life in everything,
that I may be calm to comfort
sick and sorrowing.
4. May the love of Jesus fill me,
as the waters fill the sea;
Christ exalting, self denying,
this is victory.
5. May I run the race before me,
strong and brave to face the foe,
looking only unto Jesus
as I onward go.
27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the
way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” 28 They replied, “Some say John
the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”
29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You
are the Messiah.” 30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be
rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must
be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter
took him aside and began to rebuke him.
33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind
me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely
34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever
wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow
me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life [a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life
for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the
whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their
soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful
generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s
glory with the holy angels.”
In the name of God Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of all our hearts be acceptable unto you Our Lord and savior
It happens just outside Caesarea Philippi, territory that is largely gentile. Jesus is
walking with his disciples when he asks them what people are saying about him.
By this time in Mark's story the disciples have been with Jesus for a fairly long
time. They have seen him cure the sick and lame, cast out demons, feed literally
thousands of people, even restore life to a young girl. It’s small wonder, then, that
Jesus might ask what the crowds think of all this. The disciples don’t disappoint,
reporting that the crowds indeed recognise that Jesus is clearly a prophet.
Then Jesus asks his real question of the disciples, "But who do you say that I am?"
And the disciples come up with the right answer, especially Peter who declares that
Jesus isn't just a prophet but is the long-awaited Messiah.
Peter answers “You are the Christ.” Yes! You are right, Peter! You got it! Jesus of
Nazareth is the Christ – the Messiah – for whom Israel has waited for centuries.
Jesus is the one.
We are so familiar now with using the term “Christ” as part of Jesus’ name that we
don’t realize it is really a title, just as president or king is. Peter was saying that
Jesus is the Anointed One of God, and the only one. This is not a shared position.
Straight after Peter says that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus then very firmly tells them
to keep it to themselves,- that soon he will suffer and die. Peter is shocked . Like
so many of his day, he's looking for a descendant of the mighty king David to
come and overthrow Roman rule and restore Israel to its rightful place among the
nations. Jesus has to be that person. After all, he's already brought relief, comfort,
healing, and life.
There is one reason they are not to proclaim their discovery openly. They
themselves don’t yet have a full understanding of what they proclaim. And there is
nothing worse than spreading news about something one doesn’t understand the
full implications of.
Another reason for keeping the message quiet is that the people are not ready for
such a clear proclamation. Jesus is in enough hot water as it is with the religious
authorities. If the crowds hear Jesus and the disciples openly proclaiming him as
the Messiah, it will cause chaos. Zealots will rally around him as their king to free
them from the Romans. That will be plenty enough of an excuse for the authorities
to act against him.
Peter at this stage is moved by feeling and emotions rather than the mind of God
and thus unknowingly opposes the mission of Christ He, in this way, assumes the
office of Satan himself who is the chief accuser and opposer of all that Christ
desires. Peter’s rebuke reveals how the devil uses even the so called “spiritual
giants and oracles of God” in the church if we are not in tuned with the mind of
God through the Scriptures.
The stage is now set for the remaining passages leading to Jesus’ death and
resurrection. From now on, most of Jesus’ remarks will be addressed to his
disciples. Jesus will teach more clearly to them what being the Messiah entails. If
before, Mark was asking the reader, “Do you get it,” he will now be saying, “Know
then, what it means.”
The “theology of the cross” is not a Christian idea; it is a Hebrew idea, manifest in
the lives of faithful Israelites in the Old Testament. The fact is that, in the Old
Testament, when God called a person to divine service, their lives were often
marked by suffering, loss, and pain. Think of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Moses,
Samuel, and Jeremiah, to name just a few. Truth-telling and faithful living are
rarely popular vocations, and they often land even the most eloquent and
persuasive among us in hot water or worse.
The point is not that suffering is glorious or commendable. The point is that God’s
world is an inhospitable place for God’s word. When that word comes to define a
person’s life, trouble inevitably ensues. Think of Jesus’ own narrative in Mark.
“Immediately” after Jesus’ is baptized, he is hurled out into the wilderness where
he is tempted 40 days in the wilderness (Mark 1:11-13). Jesus’ identity as the “Son”
sets him in direct opposition to Satanic powers. Jesus is one in a long line of
obedient servants whose prophetic lives provoke the ire of the world.
Jesus takes this opportunity to tell his disciples that the bad news doesn’t end with
his death. The world will be as inhospitable to them as it was to Jesus. Those who
follow the master will be bound to his fate:
To follow Jesus is to carry a cross. But within the world of Mark it is precisely in
loss that life is found: “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those
who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it” (Mark 8:35)
Mark’s source for his gospel is Peter, who heard the call of Jesus while he was
plying his trade as a fisherman: “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send
you out to fish for people.” (Mark 1:17) Peter left the security of the family business
to learn from the Master. He left his home and community in Galilee, following
Jesus into the towns of Galilee and the unfamiliar territory of Jerusalem.
Then Jesus is crucified. Peter saw him alive again, but Peter can no longer
physically follow him. Peter does not know how to follow Jesus when Jesus is no
longer walking ahead on him in the road. Thus Peter and his friends go back to
what they know; - fishing. One early morning, Jesus meets them and after a
breakfast of fish, Jesus says to Peter, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when
you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you
are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead
you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by
which Peter would glorify God. Then he says again, “Follow me!” (John 21:17-19)
Once again, Peter leaves his old life to follow Jesus. He and the others wait and
pray for the direction and power of the Holy Spirit, Peter follows the leading of the
Spirit Jesus promised, preaching a sermon that leds 3000 to Christ that day. Peter
risks his life to accept primary leadership role of the church in Jerusalem. He is
imprisoned for his boldness, and he died the death of a martyr.
Peter chose to lose his life in following Jesus, and he discovered a life of
adventure, purpose, and impact. More importantly, he found a place in the
kingdom of God and received the approval of his Master.
Our call to follow Jesus is not as dramatic as Peter’s call. Yet when Jesus calls us,
he tends to rock our boat—get us off the couch, break our routines, and disrupt our
comfortable patterns of behavior. He sends us to places we might not otherwise go,
to do things we never thought we would do.
Following Jesus is not always easy, but it is worth it. Jesus said, “Whoever wants
to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For
whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and
for the gospel will save it. (Mark 8:34-35)
Sometimes people speak of sickness or problems as “a cross they have to bear.”
Jesus is not talking about the cross people have to bear, but the cross they choose
to bear. They choose to be faithful to a spouse who is sick or has lost memory
function. They choose to raise a handicapped child or adopt a difficult homeless
child. They choose to take the phone calls of a lonely person or volunteer at the
community assistance center.
The Greek word for “soul” is psyche. The soul is not, as some people think, an
amorphous, immaterial part of us, disconnected from daily life. It is the essence of
who we are, both now and forever.
When God is neglected or pushed aside, our minds are filled with other things:
fear, self-centeredness, dissatisfaction, greed, or anger. In a broader sense, sin
causes suffering in the world. Drug abuse, wars, gang violence, human trafficking,
economic and political injustice—all cause suffering. Disregard for the
environment, unjust governments, crooked politician and judges—all cause people
to suffer. Bullying, body shaming, abuse of power, manipulation, hunger, violence,
discrimination, grinding poverty and helplessness, - more suffering. Suffering is a
fact of life. People get sick, and die. Some endure constant pain or loss of abilities.
Some feel the ache of loneliness or loss. Some are bullied, abused, abandoned, or
enslaved. Of course, not all suffering is human-caused. There are earthquakes,
hurricanes, drought, and mosquitoes. There is cancer, plague, and death.
Jesus, the Son of God, entered this same world. He suffered because of the sins of
humanity. As he approached the cross, he was exposed to the power struggles and
political intrigue of the religious leaders. He was exposed to the jeers of the crowd,
and the cruelty of Roman soldiers. On the cross, nearly naked, he was exposed to
the shame associated with a cross, where criminals hung in shame. He died in
pain—physical, emotional, and spiritual—exposed by the sins of people like you
If not for our sins, and the sins of all people, the Son of God would have been
safely in heaven. Because of our sins, Jesus hung on a cross. The cross we accept
will not be nearly as heavy as the cross of Jesus, but the rewards will come.
Because the suffering of Jesus ends in life, our suffering also ends in life. Paul says
in Romans 8:18, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing
with the glory that will be revealed in us.” In 2 Corinthians 4:17, he says, “Our
light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far
outweighs them all.”
The point is not that suffering is glorious or commendable. The point is that God’s
world is an inhospitable place for God’s Word. When that Word comes to define a
person’s life, trouble inevitably ensues. Think of Jesus’ own narrative in Mark.
“Immediately” after Jesus’ was baptized, he was hurled out into the wilderness
where he was tempted 40 days in the wilderness (Mark 1:11-13). Jesus’ identity as the
“Son” set him in direct opposition to Satanic powers
Peter may not have known fully what he was professing, but he did know that he
was stepping across a line that determined the rest of his life. He knew that he was
committing himself not simply to a theological statement, but to the one who will
be his Lord.
We need to do the same thing, and we need to keep doing it. Everyday we need to
confess Jesus again in our own hearts that he is the Christ, the Lord of our lives
and that we live for him. It is so easy to start the day with no thought of Jesus, or to
regard Jesus merely as our Savior who is there to help us through the day.
Remember, Jesus is the Christ – the Messiah – who has come to establish his
kingdom. You and I are saved by him, yes; but we are also recruited by him to
serve in that kingdom for his glory. To confess him as Christ means more than to
accept him as our personal Savior; it is to enter the battle he wages for God’s
kingdom and to do whatever he calls of us.
The presence of God’s help and deliverance allow us to face opposition with
courage—with faces of “flint.” None of this is to make light of suffering ”
Doctrinal confusion is not the Christian’s fundamental problem. Instead, it is
disobedience: our refusal to accept Christ’s authority over our lives. A life focused
on oneself is empty and futile.
Mark is asking his readers, “What’s your response? Which option do you choose?
What label will you place on Jesus, or will you accept him for who he is really is?”
The obvious question before us is, “What about you? Who do you say that Jesus
HYMN 636 When voices are confusing
1. When voices are confusing,
when right and wrong are blurred,
we need your help in choosing
the way to be preferred;
our feet are prone to wander
in paths untrue, untried:
O Christ, our strong commander,
become our trusted guide.
2. When truth is hard to follow
and fact is hard to find,
when crowd appeals are shallow,
reshape, renew our mind.
Your ways we would be learning:
oh make our choices clear,
that we, the more discerning,
the more may persevere.
3. Our lives are yours: oh take us
and shape our destiny:
through willing service make us
all you would have us be.
Confirm this high endeavour
against the reign of strife;
great Love, be ours forever,
the Way, the Truth, the Life.
Jesus asked his disciples what could anyone give in return for the gift of life? He
challenged us to take up our cross and follow him. Whatever we offer him speaks
of how we take up his challenge. So, give with grateful, loyal hearts.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him all creatures here below
Praise him above ye heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Generous God, you poured out your love for us through Jesus Christ, who gave up
everything on the cross. We bring what we have to offer you in love and loyalty.
Receive our gratitude and bless all that our gifts can do to share your love for
Christ’s sake. Amen.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
God of inspiration and imagination, you are the artist of our lives. You have filled
your world with wonderful gifts, expressed through the creativity and dedication of
so many. We give you thanks for a new season of opportunity to gather together
again. As constantly changing rules and regulations continue to bring much
uncertainty, we are grateful for the blessing of gathering in fellowship before
you in worship.
We pray and give thanks for all the particular blessings coming our way
- for the treasure that each person is in our lives
-for gifts of creative vision, and the skills and talents you have endowed us with
- for the resources of the earth
and we pray for your wisdom and guidance to protect creation and the world’s
Sovereign Lord you hold the destiny of nations in your hands Today we pray for
our own Canada as we face a federal election --Inspire the hearts and minds of
all the potential leaders that together they work to bring order, liberty, righteous
decisions for the good of all peoples - that our country may be an inspiration to
the other nations
God of hope and healing, We thank you, too, for the healing arts, for the care and
relief offered by professionals throughout our health-care system and for support
given to those who suffer by friends and volunteers. Speak loudly to the dissidents
who spew false information designed to foment fear, - a lack of understanding of
the procedures which are proven to guard out health – and encourage mistrust of
those who are giving their all for the healing of the ill. Speak to these opponents
Lord that they may understand the harm they are causing so many and they will
repent and cease.
Lord we pray for the Community groups here in Salmon Arm. We give thanks for
the volunteers and the folks who donate at the Food bank, Second Harvest
Neighbourlink, Lighthouse Mission . Bless those who have received the much
needed food and items to make their lives a little more bearable. We give thanks
for the harvest obtained through our HOPE Garden and we ask your Blessing on
Maye and Don who have dedicated so much time and effort in bringing the
garden to fruition
We pray for all who seek healing— those anticipating or recovering from surgery.
those living with pain or illness, those struggling with grief and loss,
those who bear anxiety, depression or dementia,
and other conditions which trouble mind and body.
Give each one your presence and peace through our prayer and friendship.
Reach out through us to bring aid and advocacy to the most vulnerable of your
Almighty and gracious God we bring before you the concerns of our heats
WE give thanks that no matter where , you hear our prayers . please open our
ears to you voice as we share our unspoken words in the silence of this holy
We sum up all our prayers, silent and spoken, in the words Jesus taught us:
THE LORD’S PRAYER
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 debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver
us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.
HYMN 626 Lord of all power
1.Lord of all power, I give you my will,
in joyful obedience your tasks to fulfil.
Your bondage is freedom, your service is song,
and, held in your keeping, my weakness is strong.
2. Lord of all wisdom, I give you my mind,
rich truth that surpasses our knowledge to find.
What eye has not seen and what ear has not heard
is taught by your Spirit and shines from your word.
3. Lord of all bounty, I give you my heart;
I praise and adore you for all you impart:
your love to inspire me, your counsel to guide,
your presence to cheer me, whatever betide.
4. Lord of all being, I give you my all.
If e’er I disown you, I stumble and fall,
but, sworn in glad service your word to obey,
I walk in your freedom to the end of the way.
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loves us and by his
grace, gives us eternal encouragement and hope, encircle your hearts and
strengthen you in every good deed and word. May the grace of God, the love of
Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit be with you now and always.
CLOSING SONG: May the peace of Christ
May the peace of Christ go with you And also with you
May the peace of Christ go with you In all you do (X2)
Online: Take me as I am