Week 17: Fifth Sunday in Lent

During the Feast of Passover, some Greeks came to Jerusalem to worship and desired to see Jesus. Jesus affirmed that his hour had come, and now it was the time to be glorified. He said that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it would remain alone. However, if it dies, it would bear much fruit. He declared that if he was lifted up from the earth, he would draw all men to himself. Jesus is the pattern to be shared by all true believers. All those who serve him, the Father will honor.

Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Assist us, mercifully and kindly with your great help, O God, to yield our lives to you without condition, even unto death, so, like your Son, our lives might yield to you a harvest of blessing and souls. For the sake of Christ, 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)

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.

Chronological Reading for the Day
Sunday: 2 Sam. 6.12-23; 1 Chron. 15-16

Lectionary Readings
Psalm: Ps. 51.1-12
OT: Ezek. 37.1-14
Gospel: John 12.20-33
NT: Heb. 5.5-10

(Click here for all readings)
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling

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.

Benediction 
As the Son gave up us his life for the life of the world, so may we, transformed by his love, surrender our lives to him as vessels of grace and kindness today to everyone we meet. As you yielded up your life to the Father as a sacrifice, so now reproduce in us the same attitude and yieldedness, so your life might again be seen in us, and your Word heard through us, to your greater glory’s sake. In your name we pray, amen.

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Dear Savior, as you gave up your life to die that others might live through you, so fill us with that same love that others may live through our service and sacrifice.

Weekly Reflection on the Sovereign Love of God
The goal of the spiritual life, and center of Christian maturity is to become like Jesus Christ, to reflect in our lives who he is and what he did, and what his will is today (Rom. 6.4-12; 8.29; 2 Cor. 3.17-18; 1 John 2.6; 3.1-3; Phil. 2.5-11; 3.20-21). The Church, and every member in her, is destined to share the very throne of God with their Lord, whose intent is to conform us to his image that we might share his glory and reign with him. His work will be to make us like him, to conform us to his own glory and beauty. (Matt. 11.27-30 – “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”)

~ Don L. Davis, Sacred Roots: A Primer on the Great Tradition.
Wichita: TUMI Press, 2010. Loc. 1719, Kindle.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
For God So Loved the World, John 3.14-21

Book Reading
Davis, Sacred Roots

Our Corporate Disciplines
Prayer and Fasting: Tuesday, March 23, 2021