Friday, November 1, 2019: All Saints Day

This Week’s Theme
The Saints of the Most High Shall Receive the Kingdom,
Daniel 7.1-3, 9-18

In the first year of Belshazzar’s reign (approximately 553 B.C.E.), Daniel saw a dream and visions “as he lay in his bed,” which he later wrote down (Dan. 7.1). One portion of the vision involved him seeing thrones placed, with the Ancient of Days taking his seat, whose clothes were white as snow, and whose hair like pure wool. His thrones were as fiery flames, with their wheels as burning fire (Dan. 7.9). The thousands who surrounded the Ancient of Days served him, with “ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened.” Indeed, Daniel here sees the Lord as the world’s judge, which coincides with Daniel’s name, “God has judged,” or “God as my judge.”

In a separate section of his vision, Daniel sees in the night visions with the clouds of heaven one who came “like a son of man,” coming to the Ancient of Days, being presented before him. When this Son of Man appears, to him is given dominion, authority, and glory that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. The dominion of this Son of man is “an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed” (vv. 13-14).

Although Daniel’s spirit was anxious, and the visions alarmed him, one in his visions who stood there made known to him the interpretation of the things he saw. Four empires would rise from the earth and rule over the people of Israel. Yet, what is the end of the matter? “But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever” (Dan. 7.18). God’s covenant promise is sure; the saints of the Most High, in the end, will receive and enjoy the final reign of God, and his kingdom promise will be sure forever, through the ages.

On this Communion of Saints celebration, let us remember that our God is a God of truth and faithfulness. His promise to his people shall never be broken. His covenant people, those who cling to him in faith, will receive his Kingdom and possess it forever, as sure as the promises of David (2 Sam. 7.16; Ps. 89.1-4). Christ will reign, and his people shall be with him in his Kingdom forever, under God’s rule (1 Cor. 15.24-28).


Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation

Almighty and everlasting God, who adorns the sacred body of your church by the confessions of holy martyrs; grant us, we pray you, that both by their doctrines and their pious example, we may follow after what is pleasing in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

~ The Leonine Sacramentary (Bright, p. 79)

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)

Gloria Patri

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

Friday: 2 Cor. 11-13

Lectionary Readings for the Day

Psalm: Ps. 149

OT: Dan. 7.1-3, 9-18


Gospel: Luke 6.20-31


NT: Eph. 1.11-23

(Click here for all readings)

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
Benediction 

O God and Father of mankind, who hast bound together all the generations of men; we rejoice in the communion of thy saints. We praise and bless thee for all those thy faithful servants whose labor in thee has brought light and hope to the world. For those who were friend to the poor and the weak, defending them against outrage and oppression; for those who went forth as sheep in the midst of wolves to declare thy truth and thy righteousness; for those who, being in thy service reviled and persecuted, did not turn back but continued steadfast to the end; for those who gave up their lives in love to thee and devotion to thy holy cause; for all who in ages past have helped to keep faith and hope and good will alive, we raise to thee our grateful praise. Give to us thy grace, we beseech thee; that we also may enter into the company of thy saints, and have a part in thy great redemption; and that, with those who have been given the victory over sin and death, we may dwell with thee for ever and ever; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

~ Earnest Fremont Tittle (Tittle, p. 66)

Affirmation for the Day
Jesus’s dominion is an everlasting dominion, and the saints of the Most High shall receive the Kingdom and possess it forever, “forever and ever.”

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Jesus’s dominion is an everlasting dominion, and the saints of the Most High shall receive the Kingdom and possess it forever, “forever and ever.”


Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus

That We Might Live through Him
1 John 4.7-14


Book Reading
Olson, Bruchko