Sermon: One Thing Lacking–Jesus Invites the 13th Disciple – Mark 10:17-34

“Jesus, looking at him, loved him”  We haven’t heard this before,  that Jesus looks with love one someone, and we don’t hear it again in Mark’s gospel.  It’s striking because, in my mind at least, this guy is not a prime candidate for someone who might stir love in Jesus’ heart.  You might think that Jesus will love the person with leprosy, or he will love the little child, or he will love one of his disciples, or how looking at his mother, he loved her…Why this man?   Jesus just loves him. 

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Tender Benediction

Go into your week,
knowing that you are embraced by the love of God;
a love that is sweeter and more tender
than any you have ever known.

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Labour of Love Congregational Prayer

Labouring God, the sea and sky are your work,
every hill and plain, every valley and cliff
fashioned by your hands.
Towering trees and creeping plants,
blossoms, sweet and rare or common as dandelions,
all created by you.
The creatures are your opus,
every fin, paw, wing and hand,
all that runs, swims, soars and wriggles,…

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Our Weekly Deposit Offering Prayer

God, it’s a small gesture;
pulling bills out of our pockets, writing a cheque,
arranging an etransfer.
It makes no sound as it drops into the offering plate,
or wings its way through cyberspace.
But it is the sound of our hearts opening,
giving you the fruit of our labour.
It is our collective offering of love,
a weekly deposit in the account of your faithfulness.
We do this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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Prayer for the 22nd Century

Remember your angels and their glorias,
their promise of “on earth peace”?
God Almighty, we are wondering what is going on.
Jesus was wonderful, and yes, in my heart there lives a melody,
but honestly, things are getting out of hand.
We need an intervention.
Hatred growing, prejudice spewing, greed hoarding, and
tick tick tick goes the doomsday clock and
drip drip drip goes the great Antarctic shelf.
What are we to do with all these new babies 
hopeful and fresh faced, looking at us expectantly?
When it’s time to hand it over, what have we got?

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Congregational Prayer for the Little Things

God of grace,
thank you for the little things.
For the gift of this one little day in the great span of time.
For the little beauties;
the sunlight on blankets in the morning,
the fragrance of coffee,
the smile of someone who cares for us,
the texture of the day unfolding as it should.
Thank you for the gift of normal days,
peaceful, pleasant, ordinary.
Open our eyes to the little blessings we so often take for granted.
Thank you for sending a Saviour 
who knew the pleasures of everyday life,

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Loving Advent Prayer

Thank you that your love falls down like snow, covering everything.
We need your love now, more than ever.
We confess that we hate some people:
people who have hurt us,
people who think differently than us,
people who look differently than us.
And we are careless enough to let hatred grow,
underestimating its power in our world.
God, we need a Saviour who can save us from ourselves.
Thank you for your love that covers our world like oceans….

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Expectations: A Maundy Thursday Prayer

When you arrived in Jerusalem
and the crowds gathered and cheered,
you gathered your followers in an upper room.
Were they expecting to hear a plan of attack
for the takeover of Jerusalem?
Were they expecting your master plan
for unveiling your power in the temple?
A holy reckoning where the wicked fall,
and the lowly are lifted up?

Whatever their expectations,
it didn’t have anything to do with dirty feet.

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Empowered Benediction

Go into your week
knowing you are
loved perfectly,
saved eternally,
and empowered
as a disciple of Jesus
to share God’s love
with everyone you meet.

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About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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