Worship Service – September 12, 2021

Scriptures; Proverbs 1:20-33, James 3:1-12, Mark 8:27-38.

Sermon; What’ll You Have?

Proverbs 1:20-33

Warning Against Rejecting Wisdom

(20)Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares;
(21) at the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech:
(22) “How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?
(23) If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.
(24) But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand,
(25) since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke,
(26) I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you-
(27) when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
(28) “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me.
(29) Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord ,
(30) since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke,
(31) they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
(32) For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
(33) but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

James 3:1-12

Taming the Tongue

(1) Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (2) We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
(3) When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. (4) Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. (5) Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. (6) The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
(70 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, (8) but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
(9) With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. (10) Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. (11) Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? (12) My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Mark 8:27-38

Peters’ Confession of Christ

(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 Christ. “
(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, chief priests and 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 things of God, but the things of men.”
(34)Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (35) For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. (36) What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? (37) Or what can a man give in exchange for his 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 him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

This is the word of God, for the people of God. Thanks be to God.

If you’re with us today in our morning worship, I know many of you when you leave here this morning will go to the local restaurant for either breakfast or lunch. When you get there you’ll have to make a choice. It maybe the special of the day or something on the menu given to you. When the waitress or waiter arrives they’ll probably say; ”What’ll you have?”
In our gospel reading in Mark, I think that’s the question Jesus was really asking his disciples, and us today. What’ll You Have?
A couple of stories to get us started today.
A woman went into a restaurant and ordered the breakfast special, “I want my pancakes well done,” she said. “You need to cook them all the way through and golden brown on both sides. Use the light syrup because the regular syrup is too sweet. Make the bacon crisp and thin, not oily or soggy and put it on a separate plate. The eggs must be over-easy, not broken or runny.” “And would you like butter or margarine?” asked the waitress.
The woman answered, “Oh, it doesn’t matter; I’m not that picky.”
A guest in an expensive seaside-hotel room called room service one morning and placed a breakfast order: “I want two boiled eggs, one of them so undercooked it’s runny, and the other so overcooked, it’s about as easy to eat as rubber; also grilled bacon that has been left on the plate to get cold; burnt toast that crumbles away as soon as you touch it with a knife; butter straight from the deep-freeze so that it’s impossible to spread; and a pot of very weak coffee, lukewarm.”
The person taking the order said, “I’m sorry, sir, but that’s a rather strange and complicated order, and it might be just a little bit difficult to fill.”
To which the guest replied, “Oh, but that’s exactly what you gave me yesterday!”
The writers of the Scriptures we read today, in Proverbs and James, I’m certain could relate to these two stories. Solomon wrote a warning against rejecting wisdom. To often when we are given a choice to except the wisdom of the Bible our response is; “Oh, it doesn’t matter; I’m not that picky.”
James understood the response of the room service person’s wisdom and the response of the guest. That’s why he begins his lesson on taming the tongue by telling us; ”Not many of you should presume to be teachers,”.
We reject the wisdom of the Bible and get all defensive when questioned about living it. We find ourselves saying, “I’m sorry, but that’s a rather strange and complicated order, and it might be just a little bit difficult to fill”. Or when we question someone’s use of that wisdom we may say to them; “Oh, but that’s not exactly what you told me yesterday!”
Have you ever noticed that’s there’s really only two kinds of restaurants in the world? There are those places which offer an all you can eat buffet. In these places, you pay your $6.95 to $35.95 and you have a license to gorge. And you don’t feel like you’ve gotten your money’s worth if you don’t waddle out.
Then there are those restaurants in which you actually take a seat and a waiter or waitress comes over and asks, “What’ll you have?” And if you’ve been a regular, the waiter or waitress might say: “do you want the usual?”
In fancier restaurants they’re more polite but it’s all the same question, “What’ll you have?”
Last week we came to the “All You Can Eat Buffet of God’s Grace” as we shared in the Lord’s Supper. In today’s Scripture lesson we’re given a menu of sorts. We’re given a menu and then we’re to make a choice. So today let’s examine the menu of answers and choices about Jesus. Let’s take a moment to examine the menu through three questions: “WHO AM I? WHO IS HE? WHO ARE YOU?”

Question number one. “WHO AM I?”

Remember the old game, “Who Am I” or twenty questions, where you had to guess identity of a historical or fictional person based on the “yes” or “no” answers to questions you asked. There used to be a couple of TV game shows like that. “To Tell The Truth” where three people would enter and all solemnly say, “My name is Joe Schmoe.” Then the host, read an article about their life. Then the questions would begin and at the end, the panel would have to guess.
Then there was “I’ve Got A Secret”. It would begin by the host saying; “Will the contestant sign in please.” It was sort of a reverse of the “To Tell The Truth”. In this one, you knew the person’s name, but there was something else you had to guess about him or her. Their unusual job, a hobby, the item he or she invented. Something like that.
Today’s passage has always reminded me of those game shows. As they are traveling from village to village proclaiming the Good News and healing those in need, one day Jesus stops, turns to the disciples and asks, “WHO AM I?” Actually he says: “Who do people say that I am?”
That was the question on everyone’s mind. That was the one thing everyone wanted Jesus to answer. That was the question gossips and scholars alike wanted an answer to. Even still today. Inquiring minds want to know.
Do you remember the answers? It sounded like a menu of choices. I imagine the conversation between, Jesus and His disciples may have went something like this.
Scripture doesn’t say who spoke first. It doesn’t really matter but I think it was probably Simon the Zealot, he said: “Well, some of them say your John the Baptist reborn and carrying on his ministry.” Maybe then Thaddaeus popped up and said, “Others say you’re Elijah, the one who is supposed to tell us when the Messiah is coming.” And then Judas Iscariot might’ve chimed in saying, “Still others think you’re just one of the prophets.”
Then I imagine it got silent. It was a nervous silence because each of them had their own understanding of who Jesus was buried deep in their hearts and minds. But they had probably never voiced it before, even to themselves. They weren’t sure Jesus even wanted to hear what they thought and felt and believed. Not only that but it was a nervousness born of the fear that if what they believed was actually voiced, there would be consequences or their belief would disappear like dust in the wind.
Then when the silence was getting painfully uncomfortable, Jesus asked another question. “But who do you say that I am?”
That was when the outspoken Peter stepped out on faith again. Like walking on the water with Jesus, he spoke out and said, “You are the Christ.”
I think there was a collective sigh because Peter had voiced what everyone was thinking.
The question is still pertinent today because people are still asking that very same question about Jesus. “Who do people say that I am?” “WHO AM I?”

Question number two. “WHO IS HE?”

So, who is he? It’s a question we have to answer as well. It’s fine and dandy to list the menu of options but at some point we have to answer the question for ourselves: “But who do you say that I am?” Or “WHO IS HE?”
How we answer will determine our relationship with God and how we live our lives. If we say he’s John the Baptist returned then we can write him off as some weirdly dressed kook with an even weirder diet, who we can dismiss as a radical and a fanatic, crying in the wilderness. And if we dismiss him then he has no real authority in our lives.
If we say he is just one of the prophets, then his words do have some authority because we know that prophets are from God. But prophets always seemed to speak in parables and have all kinds of hidden meanings. Their messages never seemed that urgent. It was good moral teaching but it just didn’t have enough urgency about it for us to really pay attention and act upon it.
If we say he is Elijah, well then there is some very real authority in his message. Elijah is the prophet who will open the door, so to speak, for the coming of the Messiah. Elijah is the one who will announce the coming of the Messiah. There is an urgency as he calls everyone to get ready. There was an urgency to his message, but there wasn’t any immediacy. They knew the Messiah hadn’t come yet, so they’ve still got plenty of time. All they had to do is get ready.
So you see, the choice is ours but it affects everything we do. That’s why Jesus asked: “But who do you say that I am?” And why we ask ourselves: “WHO IS HE.”
Some time ago I read a story about a waitress at a restaurant who was taking orders from a couple and their young son. She was one of those veteran waitresses who’d seen everything. She would never show outright disrespect to her customers, but she make it quietly evident by her unhurried pace and her level stare that she feared no mortal, not even parents.
She jotted on her order pad deliberately and silently as the father and mother gave their luncheon selection and instructions as to what was to be substituted for what, and which dressing changed to what sauce. When she finally turned to the boy, he began his order with a kind of fearful desperation. “I want a hot dog-” he started.
And both parents barked at once, “No hot dog!” The mother went on. “Bring him a baked potatoe and the beef, both vegetables, a hard roll and . . .”
The waitress wasn’t even listening. She said evenly to the youngster, “What do you want on your hotdog?”
He flashed an amazed smile, “Ketchup, lots of ketchup, and-and bring a glass of milk.”
“Coming up,” she said as she turned from the table, leaving behind her the stunned silence of the parents.
The boy watched her go. Then he turned to his father and mother and with astonished elation said, “YOU KNOW WHAT? She thinks I’m real! She thinks I’m real!”
Now I don’t necessarily condone what that waitress did, but what she did made that young boy’s day. It made him feel real. When we answer this question like Peter, when we accept Jesus as the Messiah and Savior of our lives, then all that He taught, all that He promised, all that He preached becomes real in us.
When we answer the question “WHO IS HE” like Peter it determines who we are.

Question number three.”WHO ARE YOU?”

Who are you? Who we say Jesus is makes a difference in our lives and in our actions. How we answer that question makes all the difference in the world and in our lives. How we answer that question determines our understanding of the authority of Scripture, the authority of God, the urgency and immediacy with which we need to answer.

What’ll you have?

I read a story about a waitress who couldn’t get a smile out of one of her customer for love nor money. The old woman was sour puss, gloomy and depressed all through dinner. And the food really wasn’t all that bad. As the lady paid her bill and was leaving, the waitress said, “Have a nice day!” And the woman responded snappishly, “I’m sorry, but I’ve made other plans!”
What are your plans? How will you answer the questions raised by Jesus? Today and every day, you’re given the menu and asked to make a choice. And you won’t hear, “Do you want fries with that?” But you are given a choice. How you answer is extremely important.
“Who DO you say He is?” And does it show?
So, “What’ll You Have?”
In His Service,
Pastor Joe
Listen To Audio: Sermon 20210912
Listen To Audio: Service 09122021

Prayer of Confession    God Almighty – we have failed to serve you faithfully.  Our lives are anything but blameless.  You invite us to see with a new vision, but we continue in our old ways.  You call us to set aside our own desires so that we may embrace your desires, but we are stubborn and refuse to let go.  Lord, rebuke our shameful ways.  Guide us to find our place, directly behind Christ.  Teach us to take up our crosses and follow wherever you lead, we pray. Amen.   



Pastor Joe will be available at the church on Thursday afternoon from 2 to 4.  If you need to speak to him, contact Pastor Joe at 570-267-4570 (cell) or Email: joe.s.travis@gmail.com

Social Hour TODAY following church to welcome our newest baptized infant Skylar Grace.

Mark your calendars for Friday October 1st 9am to 2pm and Saturday October 2nd 9am to 2pm for our Soup & Bake Sale! There will be sandwiches, sloppy joes and Walking Tacos. If you would like to donate baked goods for the sale, that would be great!   There will be no rummage sale.  All proceeds go to the Presbyterian Women Fund.

Loose change goes to General Fund

Sunday School starts at 8:30am

Choir practice will be on Thursdays at 9:00! Please come a join us in singing praises to Jesus! 

Session meets Tuesday, September 14, at 9am in the community building.

Men’s Breakfast Wednesday September 15th at 8:00 A.M.

Newsletter Deadline – Tuesday September 28, 2021.

Please sign up to host one of the social hours on the Sunday after Communion Service on the first Sunday of the month. 

EMAIL address for the church has been changed to:  fhpc400@att.net  

The PW is selling Franklin Hill Presbyterian Cookbooks called  “Recipes From The Hill” at $10.00 each.  All proceeds go to missions.

The South Montrose Community Church has started a fire fund.  You may send donations to SMCC, PO Box 86, South Montrose, Pa. 18843.  Add a note with the donations that the money goes into

their fire fund.

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