This Week’s Theme
Why Jesus Came into the World
Having taught his disciples he was truly the light of the world, Jesus passed a man who had been blind from birth. After making mud pies with his spittle and rubbing them on the blind man’s eyes, he commanded him to go to the pool of Siloam and wash. The man returned seeing, providing a clear sign that Jesus indeed is the light of the world. The Pharisees asserted the healing illegitimate, since it occurred on the Sabbath, and questioned the man.
Although the blind man could not testify of Jesus’s origins and identity, he did testify that he indeed had been born blind, and that now he could see. He asserted that Jesus could do nothing if he had not been of God. Incensed at the bravado of the man healed from his blindness, the Pharisees cast him out of their presence, and presumably, out of the synagogue.
Jesus condemned the Pharisees, accusing them of claiming to see but actually being blind. Being both blind and unwilling to submit to him as the light of the world, they would tragically remain in their blindness. Their condition was far worse than those who were blind and yet admitted their blindness. For this judgment our Lord appeared: that those who do not see may come to see, and that those claiming to see might be made blind. Only in the living Christ can we who once were spiritually blind and in darkness come to receive true sight in him.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal Father, thank you for the spiritual sight you give to us who believe in Jesus, your Son. He has healed us of our blindness, we who were born blind yet cured through faith in your Gospel. Enable us to see what is true, and to act on the truth as we have come to see it in Christ. For his sake, 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
Friday: 2 Sam. 15-17
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
Blessed Lord, whose goodness and grace continue to be poured out on a world reeling in both drunkenness and darkness, so illumine us by your Spirit that we may come to see clearly the wonder and glory of your Son, the only one who can turn our shadow to light, and our blindness to sight. For Christ’s sake, amen.
Affirmation for the Day
O, Son of Man, for judgment you came into the world, that those who do not see may come to see, and those who see may become blind.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Dear Lord Jesus, who came that the blind might see, and those who claim to see might be made blind, open our eyes that we may behold all things through your eyes of truth.
For Your Weekly Journey
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Why Jesus Came into the World, John 9.1-41
Phillips, Your God Is Too Small