In this “Sermon on the Plain” Jesus announced the blessings and woes of God on two distinctive groups. He pronounced the blessings of God on the poor, the hungry, those who weep, and those hated and reviled on account of the Son of Man. Likewise, he pronounced woes on those who are rich, those who are full now, those who laugh now, and those whom all people speak well about. Jesus spoke to the multitudes on the basis of his own authority as God’s Messiah and King. He could with finality and clarity establish those who would be blessed and those who would suffer, those whose lives would receive God’s favor, and those who would receive his judgment.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Gracious Father, God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for your Son and his pronouncements concerning the Kingdom of God in his sermon to the multitudes on the plain. We desire to learn from him, to submit to his authority, to please him by our obedience and faith. Grant us through your Spirit the strength to honor his Word by keeping his commands, and through that obedience, to truly understand the meaning of true blessedness in your sight. In Jesus’s 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)
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.
Lord Jesus, you cured those troubled by unclean spirits, and healed those oppressed by the Fall’s effects from disease, blindness, and brokenness. You taught us the meaning of true blessedness – to surrender ourselves without condition to your will and your rule. We desire to live in this truth. Work your work in us that we might become more like you in all that we are and do. In your name we ask this, amen.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
You are the Lord, who speaks with absolute authority, and can direct us by your Word into the fullness of God’s will.
Weekly Reflection on the Priesthood of all Believers
It is naïve to expect that doing right will always be rewarded here on earth. When we suffer unjustly it does not mean that God has rejected us or is punishing us. As mentioned earlier, we are forewarned in Scripture that we should expect to suffer for doing what is good. We are called to bear up and endure such suffering because Jesus did.
~ Scott Breslin, Embracing Our Priestly Nature at Work:
A Theology and Practice for Ordinary Saints.
Eugene, OR: Resource Publications, 2017. p. 70.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Chosen One of God, Luke 9.28-36
Carter, Guard the Good Deposit
Our Corporate Disciplines
Solitude and Silence: Tuesday, February 15, 2022
Book Discussion: Wednesday, February 16, 2022