Week 33: Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Christ is pictured, promised, prefigured, and prophesied in all the Old Testament. The Pharisees and teachers of the Law made careful and exacting study of the Hebrew Scriptures, but they missed the whole point. The Scriptures bear witness to Christ. The word that God speaks in all Scripture is the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus is the unity and final meaning of the text. He is the hero of the story, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Jesus, the very thought of thee with sweetness fills the breast;
But sweeter far thy face to see, and in thy presence rest.

~ Bernard of Clairvaux, 1090-1153, translated by Edward Caswall, 1814-78

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: Jer. 31.15-40; 49.34-51.14

Lectionary Readings
Psalm: Ps. 24
OT: Amos 7.7-15
Gospel: Mark 6.14-29
NT: Eph. 1.3-14

(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, you said that you are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Help us not to stray from you, for you are the Way; nor to distrust you, for you are the Truth; nor to rest on any other than you, as you are the Life. You have taught us what to believe, what to do, what to hope, and where to take our rest. Give us grace to follow you, the Way, to learn from you, the Truth, and live in you, the Life.

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Living Word of God, Lord Jesus Christ, open our eyes that we may behold wondrous things out of the Scriptures.

Weekly Reflection on the Sovereign Love of God
The situation of the evangelical church today is similar to that of more than one hundred years ago in America when Philip Schaff wrote in The Principle of Protestantism, “The significance of the church has been forgotten in favor of personal piety; the sacraments, in favor of faith; sanctification, in favor of justification; and tradition in its right sense, in favor of the Holy Scriptures.” What is needed is a thoroughgoing reform that will restore the historic balance of Christianity to the evangelical church. As Donald Bloesch observed in The Evangelical Renaissance, “the hope of the church certainly does not lie in new strategies, programs and techniques. Instead it lies in a rediscovery of the catholic and evangelical roots of the faith.

~ Robert E. Webber and David Neff
Common Roots: The Original Call to an Ancient-Future Faith
Elec. Edition, location 577.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Christus Victor: Recapitulation: Christ in the OT, John 5.39

Book Reading
Webber, Common Roots