Week 25: Seventh Sunday of Easter

In the Upper Room, before his passion and death, our Lord Jesus prayed as our high priest to God on behalf of the apostles and all believers. In lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus acknowledged the authority the Father gave him, the eternal life given to those who know him and the Father, and the role the apostles would play in the world coming to know him. His prayer was intimate, profound, and revealing of Jesus’s sweet relationship with his Father. Jesus is our high priest, the sole representative and mediator between God and humankind, who gave his life for the world.

Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Gracious God and Holy Father, to whom the Lord Jesus prayed on behalf of his apostles, thank you for the life and ministry of our high priest, Jesus, for us today. We know that he ever lives to make intercession on our account, and without his ministry for us we could neither stand nor survive in this world of evil and sin. Help us to yield to our Savior, and affirm that he is praying for us constantly before your throne, and that you listen to his prayers on our behalf. He is still our High Priest before you. In his name we pray, 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 Kings 10.32-12.16; 2 Chron. 22.10-24.22

Lectionary Readings
Psalm: Ps. 1
Acts*: Acts 1.15-17, 21-26
Gospel: John 17.6-19
NT: 1 John 5.9-13
* 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, we are humbled when we hear your tender words to the Father for the sake of your apostles and those who would believe in you through their words. We are overwhelmed by your grace and love, your sympathy and kindness, and ask that you would ever assure us of your ongoing high priestly ministry for us. Without your prayers and intercession, without your provision and help, we cannot make it in this life. We will ever trust in you. In your name we pray, amen.

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
O High Priest of God, who ever lives to make intercession for us as your people, represent us to the Father, for you know our need and our hearts.

Weekly Reflection on the Sovereign Love of God
Christianity is not ‘my experience’ with Christ, as important as that may be, rightly understood. Rather, Christianity is the objective event of God incarnate in Jesus Christ who died and was raised again to establish a new humanity, the church. It is in and through the church as Christ’s body that the experience of Christianity is realized. . . . This desire to recapture the corporate community life of the people of God in the church lies at the heart of current church renewal, especially among charismatic evangelicals and churches that have taken a more open attitude toward the reality of the Spirit in the life of the church.

~ Robert E. Webber and David Neff.
Common Roots: The Original Call to an Ancient-Future Faith.
Elec. Edition, Loc. 1,171, 1,174.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Spirit Is Here, Acts 2.1-21

Book Reading
Webber, Common Roots

Our Corporate Disciplines
Book Discussion: Wednesday, May 19, 2021

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