This Week’s Theme
The Light of the Gospel
2 Corinthians 4.1-6
In 2 Corinthians 4.1-6 Paul speaks of the unique ministry they have been given to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God. Having been entrusted with such a high calling, he says that they have renounced every disgraceful, underhanded means of doing ministry. They have refused to be cunning or tamper with the Word, but have commended their ministry to the open display of everyone’s conscience in God’s sight.
Yet, he admits, that such an open style doesn’t prevent the Gospel from being hidden to some. Why is this? If the Gospel is veiled to some, he says, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this world, the devil, has actually blinded the minds of those who do not believe the Gospel to prevent them from seeing “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (v. 4).
Paul is clear about the subject of his Gospel. His message is “not about ourselves; but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’s sake” (v.5). The Gospel is not about the apostles and their ministries; it is about proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Lord. Paul then draws a comparison worth noting: the same God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness” at creation has now shone in our very hearts the “light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” In the person of Christ, God’s true light and truth shines for all to see and understand and receive.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal God, thank you for being the light, for providing us with the armor of light, and walking with us in your light. You called the light to shine out of darkness at creation; now, in the face of Jesus Christ, we see the light of the knowledge of your glory. Shine on us; help us to see the Lord Jesus and reflect for all to see that light he alone can provide. 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
Monday: Luke 11.14-12.34
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 14
OT: Jer. 4.11-12, 22-28
Gospel: Luke 15.1-10
NT: 1 Tim. 1.12-17
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, who called yourself the light of the world, in you is hidden all the treasure of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2.3). You are the light that God provides to the world to know his will, to know his purpose, and to receive his salvation. Help us to walk in your light and through you to know the Father’s light, his truth for our lives and our hope. In your name we pray, amen.
Affirmation for the Day
Jesus is the Light of the world; those who walk in him will not walk in darkness.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4.6).
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Light of the Gospel
2 Corinthians 4.1-6
Finley, Reformation in Foreign Missions