After Peter’s confession of Jesus as Messiah and Lord at Caesarea Philippi, our Savior makes his journey to Jerusalem, where he would now fulfill his messianic mission, defeat the powers, and atone for our sins as our sacrifice. Jesus foretold his death and resurrection to his disciples, teaching them he would suffer many things, be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed. After three days, however, he would rise. Jesus rebuked Peter’s renunciation of this message, telling his disciples that if anyone would come after him, let that one deny himself or herself, take up their cross, and follow him.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Lord Jesus, forgive us for so often trying to recast you according to our own worldly, selfish image of what the Messiah ought to be. Rescue us from petty, small, and untrue images of you, and show us what it means to follow you. We are so desperate for you, even when we are unaware of our need for your provision and guidance. Instruct us in the real meaning of discipleship, of what it means to submit to your will, to walk in your Spirit, to sacrifice everything for you. Take our lives, take our hearts, and lead us on, so we can understand your will and way. In your own precious name, we ask these things, amen.
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.
Lord Jesus, we ask for the strength to deny ourselves, to take up our crosses and to follow you. Forgive us for our distractions, transgressions, and wrong motives. Restore us to you as disciples and ambassadors, and help us to treasure you and your will above our very lives. We will give you all the praise for your gracious answers to these petitions, dear Savior, in your name, amen.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Lord Jesus, enable me to say “No!” to my own selfish interests and “Yes!” to your holy will and ways in all I do and say this day, for your sake, amen.
Weekly Reflection on the Sovereign Love of God
The Great Tradition grows from the conviction that Jesus of Nazareth is Lord. In the fullness of time, God the Son took on flesh, born of a virgin, and became human. Jesus came as the Messiah, and through his perfect life, innocent suffering and sacrificial death, resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of the Father, he gained victory over sin, death, and Satan. He provided salvation for humanity and reasserted God’s kingdom rule in the world. Very soon he will return to destroy evil forever and make all things new.
~ Ryan Carter, Guard the Good Deposit.
Wichita: TUMI Press, 2019. Loc. 277, Kindle.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
For God So Loved the World, John 3.14-21
Davis, Sacred Roots
Our Corporate Disciplines
Book Discussion: Wednesday, March 3, 2021