Week 40: Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Through the Holy Spirit, the Father has adopted us into his family. We are his own dear children. He invites into the kid of intimacy where we call him “Abba.” This adoption gives us the place of sons making us co-heirs with Christ, God’s only Son. We receive the blessing that he earned rather than what our sin deserves. We join the great company of saints who we can now call brothers and sisters. Our adoption means an end to the slavery of sin and death, and entrance into the freedom of God’s Spirit.

Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Father, fill us with your Holy Spirit. We who believe in your Son have not received a spirit of slavery, leading us to fear of rejection from God again, but rather we have received a spirit of adoption as your very own children, and we cry, “Abba, Father!” Your Spirit who indwells us testifies with our spirit that we are your children, and if your children, then also your heirs, the very heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, our older brother! Flood our minds with his Spirit, and help us display his fruit wherever we live. In Jesus’s name, 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: John 5; Mark 2.23-3.6; Matt. 12.1-21; Luke 6.1-11

Lectionary Readings
Psalm: Ps. 45.1-2, 6-9
OT: Song of Sol. 2.8-13
Gospel: Mark 7.1-8, 14-15, 21-23
NT: James 1.17-27

(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.

Dear Father, make us mindful that through faith in the risen and ascended Christ, you have poured on us the Holy Spirit, the one who has regenerated us and brought adoption to us from God. We are now your very children, and our hearts cry out as little children, “Abba, Father!” You have filled us with your life, and we cling to the hope to become heirs of the inheritance to come. All this you provided by your grace and love. Be glorified by our lives. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Because we are the children of God, the Lord has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts crying, “Abba, Father!”

Weekly Reflection on the Sovereign Love of God
In the Story of God, like fairy tales, the stakes are unbelievably high and the conflict is cosmic and universal. God will elect to redeem his creation, purely out of love and grace, and to rescue out of Adam’s line a people who will live forever in a new heavens and new earth which he himself will recreate. Like in a fairy story, he will provide an intervention of grace and love so sufficient that it will take on the evil and chaos that have ruined creation, and with a single act of sacrifice, destroy death and corruption forever. And he will offer this free deliverance to any and all who believe in his Son, the true hero of the Story, whose people will serve him in a Kingdom where God is glorified forever.

~ Don L. Davis, Sacred Roots: A Primer on the Great Tradition.
Wichita: TUMI Press, 2010. Loc. 74, Kindle.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Come, Holy Spirit: Life Giver: Adoption, Romans 8.15-17

Book Reading
Heine, Classical Christian Doctrine

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