This Week’s Theme
Our Faithful High Priest
The book of Hebrews declares Jesus of Nazareth to be the true high priest of God, with Aaron and subsequent priests in his line as a mere shadow of that reality. Christ Jesus appeared before our God as a high priest of the good things that have come. Jesus appeared through “the greater and more perfect tent” (not one made with hands, of this creation), but he entered once for all into the holy places. Jesus entered that tabernacle not by the blood of goats and calves but by his own blood, and thus secured for us an eternal redemption.
The writer argues that though they were insufficient, the actual blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, could in some sense sanctify for the purification of the flesh. If that is true in its limited sense, then how much more will the actual blood of Jesus Christ, who offered himself without blemish to God through the eternal Spirit, purify our conscience from reliance on dead works to serve the living God. Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those called may receive the promised eternal inheritance. In Jesus, we relate to God on the basis of a new covenant, founded on Christ’s sacrifice and his blood. We are redeemed in his name alone.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Great God and Father of our Lord Jesus, we believe that the blood of Jesus Christ, which he offered in the tabernacle above to you through the Spirit, is the price of our salvation. Through our faith in him, now we are forgiven, justified, and purified from our own dead works to serve the living God alone. Thank you for the victory we receive today over sin and Satan through his offered blood which washes and redeems us from our sin. We bless your name for his sacrifice. Amen.
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.
Praising Our God
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)
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.
Listening to His Voice
Chronological Reading for the Day
Monday: Pss. 131; 133; 138-141; 143
Chronological Holy Week Readings
Monday of Holy Week: Matt. 21.18-19; Mark 11.12-19
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 36.5-11
OT: Isa. 42.1-9
Gospel: John 12.1-11
NT: Heb. 9.11-15
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
Responding in Faith
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.
Departing to Serve
Lord Jesus Christ, we know that in some sense the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer sanctified worshipers of old in the purification of the flesh. Now we believe, Lord, that your actual blood, which you offered without blemish to God through the eternal Spirit, has purified our conscience. We need no longer rely on our own empty works to relate to you, but now serve the living God by faith. Thank you for opening that door for us. You are our way to the Father, and to life. Amen.
Affirmation for the Day
In Jesus, we relate to God on the basis of a new covenant, founded on Christ’s sacrifice and his blood. We are redeemed in his name alone.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Through our faith in you, we are forgiven, justified, and purified from our own dead works to serve you alone.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith
Metaxas, Martin Luther
Special Church Year Service
Maundy Thursday: Thursday, April 18, 2019
Good Friday: Friday, April 19, 2019
Holy Saturday: Saturday, April 20, 2019