This Week’s Theme
Making Disciples of All Nations
After Jesus was raised from the dead, the eleven disciples went to the mountain in Galilee where Jesus had told them to meet him. When he came to them and they saw him, they worshiped him, but some held back, doubting. Jesus then delivered to them this charge: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
On the basis of his sovereign authority and lordship granted to him by the Father, Jesus commissioned his apostles (and through them, the Church to come) to go and make disciples among all the people groups on earth. Two great tasks are associated with the disciple-making commission: to baptize them in the name of the triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), and to teach them everything that he commanded them to do. This great charge comes with the certain assurance that Jesus himself will be with us as we are going and making disciples, and shall be with us always, even to the very end of the age. The very presence of our Lord will accompany those who go, the one who has all authority and the one who gave the original call.
This charge as it has come to be called, the Great Commission, is now the responsibility which should occupy, as one commentator calls it, “the total commitment” of the Jesus movement and his new messianic community – our heart and our lives. Let all our time, treasure, and talent dovetail into this one great charge from the risen Lord: “go, and make disciples of all nations.”
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal God, our Father, thank you for the message of the Gospel you have given to the Church through the Lord Jesus. We hear his words, and our spirits burn with desire to share this Good News and make disciples of Jesus among those who have yet to hear of your grace and love. Give us strength to obey his charge, and receive glory through our lives as we share this Gospel with the lost. In Jesus’s 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
Thursday: Jer. 16-18; Jer. 35
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, all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to you. You have charged us to go and train people everywhere, wherever they live, wherever we meet them, to be followers of you and your Kingdom. Help us to go, to baptize, and to teach them to practice all you have commanded us to do. We will count on your presence to be with us as we go, even to the end of the age. You are Lord; lead us on! In your name we pray, amen.
Affirmation for the Day
The commands of Jesus are the curriculum given for the making of disciples around the world.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the triune God and teaching them all that Jesus commanded us to do.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Harvest Is Plentiful, the Laborers Few