This Week’s Theme
The Holy Spirit, Teacher of All Things
Jesus said that God would grant us another Helper to understand both the scope and meaning of everything he taught us while on earth. We could not, unaided by the gift of God, come to comprehend the full meaning of Jesus’s person and mission. The Holy Spirit would have to come in order for us to fully appreciate and live into the depth of meaning of what Jesus accomplished for us in the incarnation and at the cross.
In the Upper Room, Jesus promised that after his death the Father would send the Holy Spirit to us, whom he called the Helper. The Spirit would be sent from the Father in Jesus’s name, and he would come in Jesus’s place and stead, helping us to understand the meaning of both his words and his deeds while on earth. Jesus promised that the Spirit would teach us all things and remind us of everything that he had taught us. While Jesus addressed this word to the apostles, it encompasses the larger ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Church as well. The Holy Spirit is our Helper, the one who can interpret for us the meaning of Jesus’s words, and the tradition of the apostles, both in terms of their actions and in terms of their writings, the New Testament, which sheds light of the meaning of Jesus in the world. Thank God for the Holy Spirit, the teacher and helper of the body of Christ.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal God, thank you for the gift of the Helper, the Holy Spirit, in the life of the Church. He has been sent to us in Jesus’s name from you as our gift, the one who can teach us all things and enable us to understand the meaning of Jesus’s life and mission on earth. Make us humble, open learners, so that the Spirit may interpret for us the meaning of Jesus’s words and deeds on our lives. 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
Monday: Hos. 1-7
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 67
Acts*: Acts 16.9-15
Gospel: John 14.23-29
NT: Rev. 21.10, 22-22.5
*During Eastertide, a reading from Acts is often substituted for the lesson from the Hebrew Bible.
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, in the Upper Room you promised that the Helper, the Holy Spirit, would teach us all things and bring to our remembrance the things you said to us. Lord, knowing that this was meant primarily for your chosen apostles, we believe the Holy Spirit teaches us still. Let his teaching ministry flourish in our lives, that we may truly live as your disciples and learners of you today. In your name we pray, amen.
Affirmation for the Day
Cast me not away from your presence, O Lord, and take not your Holy Spirit from me (Ps. 51.11).
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
The Spirit is promised to everyone who believes, for supply, power, and wisdom.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Holy Spirit, Teacher of All Things
Metaxas, Martin Luther
Special Church Year Service
Ascension of the Lord: Thursday, May 30, 2019