This Week’s Theme
The Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith
Hebrews 12 begins by reminding us of the heroes and heroines of our faith that pioneered the trail for us who believe today. Now, like fans in an arena, they cheer us on as witnesses to victory in our own races. We therefore should lay aside every weight that might hinder us, and any sin that might ensnare us, and commit to run our individual races with perseverance, the very path God has laid out for us to run. We need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who is both the author and finisher of our faith, who endured the cross with his eyes set on the joy before him. He despised the cross’s shame, won the victory, and now he has been exalted to the right hand of the throne of God. If we hope to endure, we must consider him, the one who endured hostility from sinners. Focusing on the suffering he endured will give us the strength to not become so weary and discouraged in our souls that we are tempted to give up. We can endure because he can give us the strength to overcome our challenges, even as he overcame, and now is exalted alongside God at his right hand.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Great Father, since we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, those who clung to your promise and overcame through the strength you provided, now we desire to run with perseverance the race of faith that you have given us. As Jesus depended on you and endured the Cross, so help us to depend on you and endure our sufferings and challenges today. Grant us the strength to live and to honor you, even as he did. In his name, 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
Wednesday: Pss. 50; 73-74
Chronological Holy Week Readings
Wednesday of Holy Week: Matt. 26.1-16; Mark 14.1-2, 10-11; Luke 22.1-6
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 70
OT: Isa. 50.4-9a
Gospel: John 13.21-32
NT: Heb. 12.1-3
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, we desire to run the race that you have marked out for us, the long, difficult marathon you have traced for us, not simply the short sprints we engage in from day to day. We are cheered on by the pictures of the faithful clinging to your promise, and by your faithful obedience to the end in your Passion. Give us your heart, and lead us by your Spirit, that we may honor you as we finish our courses, each one. In your name we pray, amen.
Affirmation for the Day
We can endure because he can give us the strength to overcome our challenges, even as he overcame.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Keep my eyes focused on Jesus, for he never lost sight of where he was going, and never failed to trust in 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