At the end of his apocalyptic vision on the isle of Patmos, John saw a new heaven and new earth. He also saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And he heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” The one who was seated on the throne in his vision also said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” When Jesus returns, the dwelling place of God will be with humankind; his bride (his people) will dwell with God, be his people, and he will be their God.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Lord God, heavenly Father, send forth Your Son, we pray, to lead home His bride, the Church, that with all the company of the redeemed we may finally enter into His eternal wedding feast; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
~ Lutheran Service Book, Collects of the Day – Non-Festival Half, One-Year (Historic) (Murray, p. 365)
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)
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.
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.
We beseech thee, O God, that it may please thee to maintain thy holy Church, in her testimony to thy Son, her fellowship in the Spirit, her ministry for mankind. Give her grace and power in the sight of all peoples, and unite thy servants everywhere in the love of one Lord. Amen.
~ Book of Common Worship (Ferguson and Wallis, 36-37)
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
O God, who has built a city for all those who trust in you, prepare us that we might through your Son be found worthy to dwell with you, in the eternal dwelling place of God, the New Jerusalem. In Christ’s name we pray, amen.
Weekly Reflection on the Sovereign Love of God
Everything I have argued regarding Sacred Roots demands that as disciples of Christ living the baptized life we make the Story of God our very own in every facet of our lives, our conduct, our worship, and our relationships. The Story of God is no abstract theological outline, or some weird nostalgic repetition of rituals from the past. The Story of God is fresh, a dynamic, integrated vision of the world from God’s vantage point, as it were, as narrated by him in the Holy Scriptures.
Our everyday lives are meant to be an outworking of this living adventure, and salvation is a call to enter into this adventure, to commune by faith with God who spoke our hope into being, and to retrace the steps of his sacred promise from the Garden of Eden to its fulfillment in the New Jerusalem. Our families, our congregations, and our ministries are the outworking of this Story, and through our worship and our works we are reminded of who we are, marking time according to God’s saving actions in Christ, and confessing our part and identity within the larger Church community worldwide which is animated by this same hope. The Story of God is our firm foundation, our anchor and pledge, our vision and hope.
~ Don L. Davis, Sacred Roots: A Primer on the Great Tradition.
Wichita: TUMI Press, 2010. Loc. 1772, Kindle.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Lord Reigns, Psalm 93
Heine, Classical Christian Doctrine
Special Church Year Services
All Saints Day: Monday, November 1, 2021