This Week’s Theme
One Mediator Between God and Humankind
1 Timothy 2.3-7
In chapter 2 of 1 Timothy, Paul instructs his young apprentice in the principles and practice of public worship, urging that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for all people, and for those in authority, that they might lead a quiet life, godly and dignified in all things. Paul saw this as both “good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,” whom he asserted desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Paul then interjects a unique doctrinal statement into his teaching on worship. He declares that there is one God, and only one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. This man, Jesus of Nazareth, gave himself as a ransom for all, which is what the apostles gave true testimony concerning, at the time of God’s own appointment. Paul ends by saying that he himself was appointed a preacher and a messenger of this Gospel truth, an apostle, a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
Paul states clearly that God desires all to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. Only one God exists, the triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and only one man can mediate a true reconciled relationship between that God and humankind, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus gave his life as a ransom for all people to make it possible for all to receive salvation and grace. God does not force people to himself; rather, he calls to humankind to repent and receive what he has provided for them in his Son. “Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?” (Ezek. 18.32). Only one name, only one man can bring humankind back into right standing and relationship to God: Jesus of Nazareth, who gave himself as a ransom for everyone, everywhere.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal God, God and Father of Jesus Christ, you are the only God. Though many are called gods and lords in the world today, for us you alone are God, and Jesus of Nazareth is the sole mediator who can represent you to humankind, and humankind to you. We approach you in his name alone, clinging to that message of hope and life, the Gospel. Thank you for sending a mediator to us that we might approach you through him. In his name we pray, 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. 32-33; Ezek. 26
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 Christ, you alone are the mediator by which we can approach the Father for forgiveness and right relationship. In your name and through your blood we can enter into the holy place and have relationship with the Father. Without you, we have no hope and no access to God. Thank you for being our priest and mediator. We rely on you alone. In your name we pray, amen.
Affirmation for the Day
The love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died (2 Cor. 5.14).
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
One Mediator between God and Humankind
1 Timothy 2.3-7