This Week’s Theme
The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up
On the occasion of Jesus’s final Passover visit to Jerusalem, some Greeks also went up to worship at the feast. These came to Philip, a disciple from Bethsaida in Galilee, asking him if they could see Jesus. Philip told Andrew and both of them went and told Jesus.
Jesus’s answer to them expresses the heart of his suffering and sacrifice for the world. He said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”
In the midst of his deeply troubled soul, Jesus declares that the only way for his life to come to fulfillment in saving many for God is that he died: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Our Lord embraced his call to give his life as a ransom for many; he did not seek deliverance from this fateful hour, but affirmed that it was for this very purpose, for this very hour, that he came into the world.
Now, our Lord calls us to share in his death that we may share in his life. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” Indeed, Jesus is the grain of wheat that fell into the earth and died, that refused to save himself, to remain alone. Because he was willing to die, God was able to bear much fruit. Now, we must not love our lives but lose them, and hate our lives in this world to keep them for eternal life. This is now our call – to be shaped by the pattern of the risen Lord. Only in death can there be life.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal God, you have so determined that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it will remain alone. However, if it dies, it will bear much fruit. Thank you, Lord, that your Son is that grain on behalf of the world. Through his death, many of us in humankind will live forever. Reproduce that life in us, that as we die, others too might live. 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
Tuesday: Pss. 144-145; 88-89
Chronological Holy Week Readings
Tuesday of Holy Week: Matt. 21.20-26.13; Mark 11.20-13.37; Luke 20-21
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 71.1-14
OT: Isa. 49.1-7
Gospel: John 12.20-36
NT: 1 Cor. 1.18-31
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, in the moment of your soul’s troubling, you declared that only through death can others live. Thank you, dear Savior, for revealing that in the Cross. Now, you call us to that same death and life. Now, show us how to die that others may come to live through us, and your name be glorified. In your name we pray, amen.
Affirmation for the Day
Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Show us, Lord, how to die so that others may come to live through us, and your name be glorified.
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