This Week’s Theme
Words of Life: Intro
We begin our series (Words of Life) with a statement from our Lord on his authority and salvation. Jesus explains that in none of his works is he acting independently from the Father. Whatever he sees the Father doing, that is what he also does. Jesus asserts that the Father loves the Son and reveals to him all that he, the Father does. The Son’s work imitates and builds upon the Father’s work. As the Father raises the dead and provides them with life, so the Son also gives life to whom he wishes, which is a sign of the Son’s deity and authority of life over death. Similarly, the Father judges no one, but has given over the authority of judgment to the Son, that all now may honor the Son in the same way that they honor the Father. Jesus says, amazingly, that those who fail to honor the Son do not honor the Father either, for the Father sent the Son.
In all things the Father and the Son share prerogatives and authority. So, too, whoever then hears the words of Christ and believes on the Father who sent him, the Son, possesses eternal life. That person does not come into judgment (i.e., he will not be condemned), and passes from death into life, from being lost to being saved and kept by God’s grace and care. The words of Jesus are the words of life; the Good News of God is simply to hear the words of Christ and believe on the Father who sent him. This word alone lifts humankind out of darkness into the light, and out of death into life. The Gospel is the Word of life, eternal life for all who believe.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal God, our Father, thank you for sending your one and only Son to earth for our salvation. He did nothing of his own accord, but only what he saw you doing. As you have raised the dead, so he will give life to whomever he will. All judgment is his from you, that all may honor him as he honors you. Your Gospel is clear: those who hear his word and believe on you who sent him have eternal life and have passed from death to life. This is from you, and we thank you. 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
Thursday: Isa. 58-62
Lectionary Readings for the Day
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 believe you, that the Father sent you, and that your death has opened the door for those of us who cling to you to inherit eternal life. This is your gift to us through your grace and love, and we receive it. Fill our hearts with gratitude and joy as we live in the life you have given to us through the Gospel. We thank you for your salvation and for your love. In your name we pray, amen.
Affirmation for the Day
All should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Whoever hears Jesus’s word and believes the Father who sent him has eternal life, and will never come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Harvest Is Plentiful, the Laborers Few