Week 21: Third Sunday of Easter

In their midst and through many signs, our Lord proved to his disciples that he, in fact, had risen from the dead. Jesus confirmed through his own teaching of the Scriptures concerning himself that all that was written of him as Messiah in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms had to be fulfilled. Thus, it was written that the Messiah must suffer, rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins would be preached to all peoples, beginning at Jerusalem. The apostles, as eyewitnesses of his death and resurrection, would be entrusted to complete this commission to make disciples among all the nations.

Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal God our Father, God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for the surety and truth of your Word. In your Scriptures you have testified about the coming of your anointed one, the Messiah, whom we know Jesus of Nazareth to be. He has risen from the dead, just as it has been testified in the Scriptures, and we cling to that Word and the apostles’ eyewitness testimony to our Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection. Thank you for your Word which you confirmed in raising Jesus from the dead.

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: 1 Kings 5-6; 2 Chron. 2.1-3.14

Lectionary Readings
Psalm: Ps. 4
Acts*: Acts 3.12-19
Gospel: Luke 24.36b-48
NT: 1 John 3.1-7
* During Eastertide, a reading from Acts is often substituted for the lesson from the Hebrew Bible.

(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 
Lord Jesus Christ, author and perfecter of our faith, be glorified through your apostles, who have given us sufficient and clear evidence of your resurrected glory. You revealed yourself to them after you rose from the dead, and their word is the anchor of our faith, the testimony we embrace that informs, instructs, and inspires our faith in you. Thank you for each of the eleven, for the entire apostolic company, all those to whom you revealed your glory after you rose from the grave. We cling to their testimony, we imitate their faith, and we trust you through their witness. Make us ever faithful to keep their word, the word that leads to never-ending life in your name. For your sake and honor we ask these things, amen.

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Great God, the Father Almighty, thank you for your apostles, that glorious company through whose witness we have come to know you, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Weekly Reflection on the Sovereign Love of God
Truly, the Church Year allows us to track the steps of the Nazarene from the promise of his first coming to the hope of his return, and all episodes of his great manifestation in between. Little could I have known the fullness and power of my identification with Christ that began on the day I stood nervously in front of the minister to receive baptism. For me, that day launched me into a daily, challenging adventure of learning the Way of Christ by participating in his will and way through the stories, the services, the observances, the prayers, the liturgies, and the commemorations of the Church Year. Christ is not merely our Savior; he is our life (Col. 3.4).

~ Don L. Davis, Sacred Roots: A Primer on the Great Tradition.
Wichita: TUMI Press, 2010. Loc. 1725, Kindle.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
By This We Know Love, 1 John 3.16-24

Book Reading
Davis, Sacred Roots

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