This Week’s Theme
How God Anointed Jesus of Nazareth
The book of Acts outlines the unfolding of God’s plan to include all people in the Gospel invitation to eternal life. Peter’s presentation to the clan of Cornelius summarizes the working of God in Jesus Christ, starting with the proclamation of the Good News concerning Christ beginning at Galilee after John’s baptisms, and the Lord’s anointing of Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. Peter declares that Jesus went about “doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him” (v.38). As an eyewitness to the events surrounding Jesus in Judea and in Jerusalem, he declared also that he was present at Jesus’s death by crucifixion. Yet, “God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead” (vv. 40-41). God commanded the witnesses to “preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (vv. 42-43).
In the middle of Peter saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon Cornelius and his household, confirming that the same gift of the Spirit was being given to Gentiles through the Gospel. Indeed, God anointed Jesus to be the Messiah of all humankind, having raised him from the dead and having now appointed him to be the judge of the living and the dead. Now, in the name of Jesus, God offers those who believe forgiveness and new life, whether they are Jews or Gentiles.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Almighty God, you anointed Jesus at his baptism with the Holy Spirit, and revealed him as your beloved Son; grant that we who are baptised into his name may give up our lives to your service, and be found worthy of our calling; through Jesus Christ our Lord who is alive with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.
~ NZPB The Baptism of the Lord p. 561 (http://liturgy.co.nz/reflection/561.html)
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: Num. 8.1-9.14; Lev. 1-3
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
Almighty God, who at the baptism of thy blessed Son Jesus Christ in the river Jordan didst manifest his glorious Godhead: Grant, we beseech thee, that the brightness of his presence may shine in our hearts, and his glory be set forth in our lives; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~ Bishop Dowden (Suter, p. 47)
Affirmation for the Day
God raised Jesus on the third day, and he appeared to his chosen witnesses.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Jesus is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.
For Your Weekly Journey
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Light Has Shone, Isaiah 9.1-4
Packer, Knowing God