and Worship Resources
9th Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 13 (18), year A
"You shall no longer be called Jacob,
but Israel, for you have striven with God and
with humans, and have prevailed."
Call to Worship
L: Where two or three are gathered in His name, Christ
promises to be in their midst. We gather together on this day to draw
near to God.
C: We gather together to draw near to one another.
L: Though we are different people with different
C: We come together to worship our God and celebrate
our common faith.
L: There is no true worship without unity among
All: Let us come together in unity to worship God.
ENOUGH TO SHARE,
by Rev. Rick Thompson
Sleepless Nights, Genesis 32:22-31
by Rev. Randy L. Quinn
Grace, Genesis 32:22-31, by Rev. Thomas Hall
God in Lonely Places, Gen.
32:22-31, by DGBradley
Caring For the Hungry,
Mat. 14:13-21, by HW in HI
A Table in the Wilderness,
Mat. 14:13-21, by ML in PA
Beyond the Comfort Zone,
Mat. 14:13-21, by Nailbender in NC
Taking Our Place
in the Crowd
Sermon based on Matthew
by Rev. Karen A. Goltz
of us are pretty familiar with most of the major characters in the Bible. We
know about Jesus, we know about Peter, we know about Paul, we know about Mary
and Joseph. We know about the disciples, the chief priests, the Pharisees, and
the scribes. But there's another major character that I think gets overlooked
most of the time, and I believe that this character is just as important as any
other. This character doesn't really have a name, but is almost always
there. This character is known simply as ‘the crowds.'
crowds first appear after Jesus has gone among the people, teaching them and
curing them of their illnesses. The crowds begin to follow him, listening as he
gives his sermon on the mount. They follow him everywhere, and he continually
has compassion for them, and teaches them and cures their ills. Jesus sees them
as harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd, and he takes
responsibility for them, becoming their shepherd. He continues to teach
them, continues to cure their sick. Sometimes he calls them to him, but mostly
they follow him of their own accord. Sometimes Jesus sends them away, but they
always return. They joyously welcome him to Jerusalem, and then they come after
him with swords and clubs at Gethsemane. Persuaded by the chief priests, they
demand that Barabbas be released, and that Jesus be crucified. They have their
moments of great faith, and they have their moments of great doubt and fear.
They suffer, and they rejoice.
But who are these crowds really? Who are the people in them?
various points throughout Matthew's gospel, an individual person will come out
of the crowd and approach Jesus. It's a leper, asking to be cleansed. It's a
centurion, asking that his paralyzed servant be healed. It's a scribe, asking
to follow Jesus. It's a church leader, asking that his daughter be restored to
life. It's anyone with a need, be it physical, spiritual, or emotional, for
themselves or for someone close to them. It's anyone of any station in life who
is harassed, anyone of any station in life who is helpless. It's you, and it's
There are times when we can relate to Peter or Paul. There are times when we
can relate to the disciples as a whole. There are even times when we can relate
to the chief priests, the Pharisees, and the scribes (though we may not want to
admit it). But with the crowds, it goes beyond merely relating to them. We