While detractors suggest that God is late in fulfilling his promise, Peter says that God is not limited by our view of time. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise but is patient, giving ample time for people to repent. He will come suddenly like a thief, and all the creation will be renewed and transformed. In light of this, Peter exhorts us to live lives of holiness and godliness, “waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God” (2 Pet. 3.12, ESV). Since we are waiting for a new heavens and earth where righteousness will dwell, we should be careful to be found to be without spot or blemish by the Lord, and at peace.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
May the bright beams of thy Word, O Lord, pierce every veil that darkens our hearts; may thy Word search us, convince, correct and comfort us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~ James Ferguson (Ferguson and Wallis, p. 6)
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.
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.
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.
We ask you, Lord and Master, to be our help and succor. Save those who are in tribulation; have mercy on the lonely; lift up the fallen; show yourself to the needy; heal the ungodly; convert the wanderers of your people; feed the hungry; raise up the weak; comfort the faint-hearted. Let all the peoples know that you are God alone, and Jesus Christ is your Son, and we are your people and the sheep of your pasture; for the sake of Christ Jesus. Amen.
~ Clement of Rome (Fox, p. 86)
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
As we wait for your soon return, train us to be both patient and wise, living lives that please you will we wait.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Lord Has Done Great Things for Us, Psalm 126
Anderson, The Unfolding Drama of the Bible