September 23 – Seventeenth after Pentecost

September 23 – Seventeenth after Pentecost


Proverbs 31:10–31

A tribute to a capable woman.


Psalm 1 (VU p. 724)

Blessed are those who follow God’s law.


James 3:13—4:3, 7–8a

Wisdom from above is gentle and peaceable.


Mark 9:30–37

Whoever welcomes a child, welcomes me.


Focus on welcoming people. From the moment people arrive, welcome them in a variety of ways, not just with a handshake, but also with other kinds of assistance, such as offering to hang a coat or fetch a glass of water. Invite the children to write a call to worship that welcomes people in the way Jesus would want people welcomed.

Theme Engagement Question

What does it mean to be a welcoming church? Does our understanding of what it means to be welcoming actually provide the welcome that Jesus would expect from us? Why or why not?

With Children

You may wish to invite an older child or youth to start by reading the scripture and then ask, “Aren’t we excited Jesus is talking about us! We are the centre of attention!” Jesus tells the adults that to welcome him they should start by welcoming the children and by watching how children welcome him. Why do you think Jesus said this? How would you welcome Jesus? What would you like the adults of this congregation to learn from you about welcoming people? What would help you feel more welcome in this church?

Sermon Starter

Have we domesticated the Bible and made it safe? Today’s gospel passage is one of those that make us feel warm and fuzzy as we think of the imagery of Jesus asking us to welcome him as we would welcome a child. But what does he mean by this? What was the place of a child in the world and time of Jesus? And when we look at the whole passage, we see Jesus having to respond to a turf war amongst his followers over who is the greatest. Jesus has to explain by example what it means to embrace the path of following him. Why did he use a child to reveal the teaching “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all”? What is the difference between being childish (like the disciples) and childlike (the characteristic that Jesus is emphasizing)? How do we honour children in the midst of our congregations? How do we welcome and learn from them?


Hebrew Scripture

VU 590            “A prophet-woman broke a jar”

MV 136           “When hands reach out and fingers trace”



VU 272            “Open your ears, O faithful people”

MV 140           “As long as we follow”



VU 405            “New every morning”

MV 10             “Come and seek the ways of Wisdom”



VU 395            “Come in, come in and sit down”

VU 601            “The church of Christ in every age”

MV 133           “Jesus laughed out loud”

MV 186           “Because Jesus felt”