Week 27: Seventh Sunday of Easter

In his high priestly prayer in the Upper Room before his Passion, Jesus prayed for his disciples and those who would believe on him through their word. He prayed to the Father that those who believe might all be one, just as the Father was in him and he in the Father. He prayed that the believing might be with him and the Father in order that the world may believe that the Father had sent him. Before his suffering and death, with his redeemed on his heart, our Lord prayed that we might experience unity with himself and the Father, and with one another, that the world might come to know his love.

Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal God, thank you so much for the hope of seeing the glory of Christ in your presence with the glory you granted to him before the foundation of the world. We desire to see his glory, his beauty, his majesty, and splendor in your presence with him, the holy angels, and your saints. Prepare us, refine us, and remake us for that amazing moment when we behold him in your presence, in his glorious beauty. We yield to you for this purpose, 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

An annual reading through the Bible in the order in which the events took place

Sunday: Prov. 25-29

Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 97
Acts*: Acts 16.16-34
Gospel: John 17.20-26
NT: Rev. 22.12-21

* During Eastertide, a reading from Acts is often substituted for the lesson from the Hebrew Bible.

(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.

Benediction 
Lord Jesus Christ, who as our Advocate and High Priest prayed to the Father that we might be one and with you where you are, fulfill your Word and prepare us. We long to be with you in your presence, to see your glory, to honor you in all that we are, and to bring pleasure and joy to your great heart. Forgive us for embracing lesser aims. Cleanse, heal, and strengthen us to be yours, to be holy, to be one. In your name we pray, amen.

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Lord Jesus Christ, make us one in you and the Father, that the world might know that the Father sent you into the world.

Weekly Reflection on the Priesthood of all Believers
What the love of God was and did through Christ when he was among men, it will also be and do through Christians when they are among men. The life of God must act if it is in us, and it must act according to its nature.

~ Roy J. Fish and J. E. Conant, Every Member Evangelism for Today.
Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 1976. p. 43.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
You Will Be My Witnesses, Acts 1.1-11

Book Reading
Breslin, Embracing Our Priestly Nature at Work