Saturday, May 23, 2020

This Week’s Theme
God Has Fixed a Day
Acts 17.22-31

On Mars Hill in Athens, Paul preached one of his most famous sermons concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, identifying his God and Father as the “Unknown God” whom the Atheneans had been worshiping unaware. In his address Paul reviews for his audience God’s true works in the past – who acted as creator of the universe, the maker of the nations, and source of human life, his offspring. He declared also his works of the present, i.e., his desire to save all people, reaching out to humankind, and calling all to repent and to turn from their idols to serve the living and true God. And finally, he announced God’s work for the future, where one day he will judge the world through the One whom he has chosen, Jesus of Nazareth, whom he raised up from the dead.

In the sovereign plan of God, the Father has determined a day when he will weigh the actions of the world through his Son, the very one whom he elected as King and Judge, who is alive forevermore.

Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation

Eternal God, the Father Almighty, who as Creator and Maker is the source of life for all things and humankind, thank you for the testimony of the apostles regarding your true works in history, in the world, and the age to come. You have fixed a day in time when through your Son Jesus you will judge the world, and you guaranteed this by raising him from the dead. Grant us the wisdom to see and believe this truth, and steady pursue him who is the One who will judge the world in righteousness. In his name we pray, 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)

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

Saturday: Isa. 8-11

Lectionary Readings

Psalm: Ps. 66.8-20

Acts 17.22-31

Gospel: John 14.15-21

NT: 1 Pet. 3.13-22

(Click here for all readings)

*During Eastertide, a reading from Acts is often substituted for the lesson from the Hebrew Bible.

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

Thank you, O gracious Father, for bringing your own assurance to the world of the truth of your Good News by raising Jesus of Nazareth from the grave. He is the one whom you have appointed judge, who will judge the world in righteousness, and complete the work that he began on the Cross. We cling by faith to him for salvation and for life. In his name we pray, amen.

Affirmation for the Day
Let all obey God’s command by repenting of our sin and believing in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord.

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Thank you, holy Father, for appointing Jesus your Son, Judge and Savior of the world.

For Your Weekly Journey

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Gift and the Gifts of the Spirit, 1 Corinthians 12.3b-13

Book Reading
Barrett, None Greater