Week 29, Third Sunday after Pentecost

God is infinite, eternal, and Almighty. The most powerful person in the world is accounted as nothing before the Lord. Nebuchadnezzar was a glorious emperor, feared by everyone, challenged by no one. In a moment, the Lord humbled this man and had him eating grass in the wild like an ox. When the Lord was done, Nebuchadnezzar paid homage to the Lord Almighty. There is no power, human or otherwise, that can stand against the Lord. No one can stay his hand. No one can challenge his authority. Take heart, brothers and sisters. Our God is so big, so strong, and so mighty, there’s nothing our God cannot do!

Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Almighty and everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of thy people, and grant us thy peace all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

~ Book of Common Prayer, 1662

Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.

Te Deum Laudamus 
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.

Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)

Gloria Patri
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.

Chronological Reading for the Day
Sunday: Isa. 18-23

Lectionary Readings
Psalm: Ps. 20
OT: 1 Sam. 15.34-16.13
Gospel: Mark 4.26-34
NT: 2 Cor. 5.6-13

(Click here for all readings)
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling

The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).

Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.

Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.

Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in 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, for ever. Amen.

~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)

Doxology (and/or closing song)
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. Amen.

Benediction 
O All-transcendent God, what words can hymn your praises? No word does you justice. What mind can probe your secret? No mind can encompass you. You are alone beyond the power of speech, yet all that we speak stems from you. You are alone beyond the power of thought, yet all that we can conceive springs from you. All things proclaim you, those endowed with reason and those bereft of it. All the expectation and pain of the world coalesces in you. All things utter a prayer to you, a silent hymn composed by you. You sustain everything that exists, and all things move together to your orders. You are the goal of all that exists. You are one and you are all, yet you are none of the things that exist – neither a part nor the whole. You can avail yourself of any name; how shall I call you, the only unnameable? All-transcendent God!

~ Gregory of Nazianzen, 329-389

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
God Most High, Almighty Lord, give grace to the humble.

Weekly Reflection on the Sovereign Love of God
God is Almighty, and yet, though Almighty, He cannot die, cannot be deceived, cannot lie; and, as the Apostle says, “cannot deny Himself.” How many things that He cannot do, and yet is Almighty! yea therefore is Almighty, because He cannot do these things. For if He could die, He were not Almighty; if to lie, if to be deceived, if to do unjustly, were possible for Him, He were not Almighty: because if this were in Him, He should not be worthy to be Almighty. To our Almighty Father, it is quite impossible to sin.

~ Augustine of Hippo, “On the Creed: A Sermon to the Catechumens,” §I.2.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Alpha and Omega: King: The Almighty, Daniel 4.34-35

Book Reading
Webber, Common Roots