In spite of Herod’s threats to kill our Lord Jesus, he set his face to go and face his mission in the place which killed the prophets – Jerusalem. Our Lord lamented over Jerusalem, “How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’” For generations the Lord sent prophets and seers to that great city, yet they refused to hear his word, and ultimately rejected the very presence of God’s own Son.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Dear Father, the example of Jerusalem’s hardness of heart reveals our need to be ever vigilant about our fitness and readiness to listen to and obey your offers of love and grace. Though you sent prophets and seers to that great city, they refused to hear your Word, and ultimately rejected the very presence and word of your own Son. Make us tender and ready always to hear your Word and to respond to you, whenever and however you may address us. 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)
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.
Dear Lord Jesus, our sincere heart’s desire during this Lenten season is to be so open to you that whatever you have for us will be embraced and accepted. Forgive us for the many times we failed to listen to your pleas for change, when we refused to act on your Word to our hearts. We acknowledge our need for you today. Cleanse us, prepare us, and change us, all for your glory. In your name we pray, amen.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Lord Jesus Christ, help us today to hear your voice, to never harden our hearts, and to follow you that we might enter into your rest.
Weekly Reflection on the Priesthood of all Believers
World conditions can never become so complicated, nor can the condition of the church become so bad, that this command [to witness] cannot be obeyed when the church yields to the power of the Holy Spirit, as it did in the early days of the church.
~ Roy J. Fish and J. E. Conant, Every Member Evangelism for Today.
Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 1976. p. 19.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
That I May Gain Christ, Philippians 3.4-14
Fish and Conant, Every Member Evangelism for Today