This Week’s Theme
If I Be Lifted Up
During the last week of Jesus’s life, some Greeks (God-fearing Gentiles) were present at the feast, and asked Philip if they could see Jesus. Philip and Andrew went to Jesus, telling him of their request. Jesus answered that his hour, the hour for the Son of Man to be glorified, had now come. He affirmed that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He said that whoever loves his life will lose it, and whoever would hate his life in this world would keep it for eternal life. Those who served him would follow him, and wherever he, the Christ, was, so they too would also be there. All those who serve Jesus the Father would honor.
After testifying that his soul was deeply troubled, Jesus affirmed that for this purpose he had come to this very hour. A voice from heaven answered Jesus’s words to the Father to glorify his name, and the people heard it. Jesus affirmed that now the judgment of this world was to occur, and the ruler of this world would be cast out, and when he would be lifted up from the earth, he would draw all people to himself. The Savior of the world knew that his time was short, and commanded the people to remain in the light while they had the light, and to believe in the light, in order that they might be the children of light.
Through his death, Jesus would be lifted up. Truly, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it truly dies, it will bear abundant and eternal fruit. So, the Son of Man, in his death, will reap a harvest for God that will glorify him forever. The crowd was puzzled by the statement, supposing that the Messiah would be present forever. Jesus declared, however, that their time for salvation was constrained, and that their opportunity for life was short. While he was in the world, he was the Light for the world; he appealed to them to receive him while they could, that they might become children of light.
When Jesus was lifted up in death as an atonement for us to the Father, he was able to draw all humankind to himself as the Savior of the world. Because he was willing to die, God was able to bear much fruit. Now, we must not love our lives but lose them, and hate our lives in this world to keep them for eternal life. This is now our call – to be shaped by the pattern of the risen Lord. Only in death can there be life.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Father, your Son our Lord, Jesus of Nazareth, surrendered everything to you and allowed himself to die – to be betrayed by his own, dishonored by Roman officials, mocked by priests of his own nation, brutalized by the Roman soldiers, and crucified for our sins. He did all this knowing full well what was at stake. Because he was lifted up, he would draw all people to himself. We desire his gentle, lowly heart to be reproduced in us. Have mercy on us and make us like him – gentle, lowly, surrendered, and gracious. In Jesus’s name, 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
Tuesday: Pss. 27-32
Chronological Holy Week Readings
Tuesday of Holy Week: Matt. 21.20-26.13; Mark 11.20-13.37; Luke 20-21
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
To you, eternal Son of God, who yielded up your life to the Father as a sacrifice, so now reproduce in us the same attitude and yieldedness, in order that your life might again be seen in us, and your Word heard through us. Because you were lifted up on the Cross, you have become the beacon of hope and life to all the world. Conform us to your image and example, for your greater glory’s sake. In your name we pray, amen.
Affirmation for the Day
Through the Cross Jesus became the source of life and salvation to all humankind.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Lord Jesus Christ, who died in order that we might live, take our lives and let them be consecrated, Lord, for you.
For Your Weekly Journey
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
If I Be Lifted Up, John 12.20-36
Barrett, None Greater
Special Church Year Services
Maundy Thursday: Thursday, April 9, 2020
Good Friday: Friday, April 10, 2020
Holy Saturday: Saturday, April 11, 2020