The Lord God of Israel, the Maker of the universe, has promised to visit and to redeem his people, and to raise up for them a horn of salvation in the house of David, his champion and servant. This coincides with what he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old: he promised that he would save his people from their enemies, restore all things under his reign, show the mercy promised to their fathers, and remember his holy covenant to Abraham and to David. The Lord will visit and redeem his people.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
O GOD, Father of mercies, Who didst so love the world that Thou didst give Thine only begotten Son to take our nature upon Him for us men and for our salvation, grant to us who, by His first coming, have been called into Thy Kingdom of grace, that we may always abide in Him, and be found watching and ready when He shall come again to call us to Thy Kingdom of glory; through Jesus Christ. Amen.
~ Rev. H. Stobart, Nineteenth Century, in Selina Fitzherbert Fox,
A Chain of Prayer Across the Ages: Forty Centuries of Prayer, 2000 B.C.-A.D. 1916.
New York: E. P. Dutton, 1943. p. 211.
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.
Chronological Reading for the Day
Sunday: Gen. 25; 1 Chron. 1.28-34
Psalm: Luke 1.68-79
OT: Mal 3.1-4
Gospel: Luke 3.1-6
NT: Phil. 1.3-11
(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.
Mercifully hear, O Lord, the prayers of Thy people; that as they rejoice in the Advent of Thine only-begotten Son according to the flesh, so when He cometh a second time in His Majesty, they may receive the reward of eternal life; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
~ Gelasian Sacramentary, in J. Robert Wright,
Readings for the Daily Office from the Early Church.
New York: The Church Hymnal Corporation, 1991. p. 18.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
O God, who has never cast off his people, remember your covenant with Jacob, and with Isaac, and Abraham, and save for yourself a remnant who will glorify your name.
Weekly Reflection on the Priesthood of all Believers
We are the people of this story. We stand inside the unfolding drama of the Triune God. We live between Acts and Revelation as a part of the biblical narrative. What do we do? What part do we play? We respond to and participate in God’s person and work. Our goal is simply to help infuse the whole life of the Church with the story of God. The subjective side of the Story of God outlines four dimensions of our part in the story. Guarding the good deposit will mean rediscovering our sacred roots in our theology (or beliefs), worship, spirituality, and witness.
~ Ryan Carter, Guard the Good Deposit.
Wichita: TUMI Press, 2019, elec. ed. Location 318, 322.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
God Fulfills His Promise, Jeremiah 33.14-16
Carter, Guard the Good Deposit