This Week’s Theme
Why Have You Forsaken Me?
Psalm 22 reveals perhaps better than any other psalm the distance between the Lord and the psalmist. It describes the terrible agonies, groanings, and miseries of the psalmist who cries out to God in agony, yet receives neither answers nor rest. Even in the face of this misery and despair, the author affirms the holiness of God, the Lord who sits enthroned on the praises of Israel, who is still the same one in whom their fathers trusted, and he who delivered them, rescuing them, and shielding them from shame. Even in the midst of hellish persecution and abuse, the psalmist affirms God’s sovereign care over his life, even from birth, and petitions God to be near him, though none appears at this moment to help him.
Despite the loss of strength, the viciousness of his persecutors, and the cruelty of the evildoers who encircle him, piercing his hands and feet, he continues to trust in the Lord alone for strength and help. He confidently declares the LORD to be his help, and petitions him to rescue him from the mouth of lions and the horns of the wild oxen. He ends the psalm with confident expectation to tell of God’s name to his brethren in the heart of the assembly, filled with praises and built up by the presence of God almighty.
God has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, he says, nor has the LORD hidden his face from him. In the end, the Father will vindicate him, and receive glory in the midst of this suffering and pain. Surely, the psalmist will give praise to God in the midst of the great congregation, and all the families of the earth will give praise to God. In the end, after this trial, God will vindicate his own.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Almighty and Everlasting God, who hast willed that thy Son should bear for us the pains of the Cross that thou mightest remove from us the power of the adversary, help us so to remember and give thanks for our Lord’s Passion that we may obtain remission of sins and redemption from everlasting death; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
~ The Sermon and the Propers II, p. 124 (Geffen, p. 81)
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: Pss. 61-62; 64-67
Chronological Holy Week Readings
Good Friday: Matt. 27.1-61; Mark 15.1-47; Luke 22.66-23.56a; John 18.28-19.42
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
O God the Father, Who didst not spare Thy only begotten Son, but didst deliver Him up for us all; O God the Son, Who didst die upon the cross that Thou mightest put away sin by the sacrifice of Thyself; O God the Eternal Spirit, through Whom that sacrifice was offered–three Persons and one God– we adore the unspeakable greatness of redeeming love. Inasmuch as we are partakers of His death, we are called upon to take up our cross daily. Lord, enable us to deny ourselves, to spend and be spent in Thy service. Grant us grace to glorify Thy Name; through Jesus our Lord. Amen.
~ Rev. G. Calthrop, A.D. 1836. (Fox, p.41)
Affirmation for the Day
O God, though you seem afar off, you will never forsake the afflicted one who puts his trust in you.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Lord Jesus, afflicted for us and for our salvation, thank you that by your suffering you reconcile us to God.
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
Holy Saturday: Saturday, April 11, 2020