This Week’s Theme
The Truth Will Set You Free
(The Knowledge of the Holy [KOTH], Chapter 21)
In training his disciples, those Jews who had recently believed on him, the Lord declared that if they were to abide in his Word, they would truly prove to be his disciples. And they would know the truth, and that the truth would set them free. Some of those who heard his words doubted him, and answered that they, as Jews, were themselves the very offspring of Abraham, and thus had never been enslaved to anyone. They asked him, “How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
On hearing their question and knowing their minds, Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
On this Reformation day let us affirm that the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ, his Word, foretold by the prophets and testified by his own apostles, remains the very truth that sets those who believe free. Let us, too, remember the valiant men and women who risked their lives to stay true to God’s Word, in the face of empty tradition, immoral leadership, and neglected Scripture. The Reformation’s contribution to the Church is its rediscovery of the truth of Scripture, and the centrality and supremacy of Christ. In our day, we need that same spirit and vision. The Gospel of Christ demands allegiance to the Word of God.
We are his disciples because we cling to his Word, the word of life concerning Jesus of Nazareth. This Word was given by the Father through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who led the writers of the Scriptures to give us the true Word of God, the very foundation of our faith.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Mercifully receive, O Lord, the prayers of Thy Church; that all adversities and errors may be destroyed, and it may serve Thee in quiet freedom; and give Thy peace in our times, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~ Leonine Sacramentary (Bright, p. 97)
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
Saturday: Acts 20.7-21.36
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
Grant unto us, O Lord, the heavenly vision, that we may behold not only the things of sense in their turmoil and transience, but the things which remain in their rest and everlastingness. Grant us the sweet peace of the eternal years, and may we ever rejoice in the duties which bring with them a quiet heart; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~ Ladies College, Cheltenham, Nineteenth Century. (Fox, p. 28)
Affirmation for the Day
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8.31-32).
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Illumine us through your Holy Spirit, dear Savior, for in your light do we see light.
For Your Weekly Journey
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Sovereignty of God, Romans 11.33-36
Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy