Paul tells the Corinthians that he delivered to them “as of first importance” what he himself had also received: the facts of the Gospel message. First, Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; next, that Jesus was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. Then, the risen Savior appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve, and also to more than five hundred brothers at once (most of whom were alive at the time of the writing of his epistle). Paul finishes his “fact sheet” by saying the Lord appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and finally to himself, “as to one untimely born.” Paul considered himself to be the “least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” Yet God’s grace overcame his rebellion, causing him to work harder than all the other apostles for Christ’s mission.
Truly, the Gospel of salvation and the resurrection of Jesus are intimately connected. Because Jesus lives, we know that he paid our penalty, that God has accepted his sacrifice, and that our hope is real. This is the Gospel that we received, and in which we stand.
Jesus of Nazareth entrusted to the Apostles a good deposit of faith that the church receives, guards, and passes down.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Great God and our Father, thank you for raising Jesus from the dead. He is alive, forevermore, exalted and soon to appear to complete the work he started on the cross. We believe that he rose again as the Scriptures testified, and that he appeared to select witnesses chosen before, by you. He is our living Mediator to represent us before you today. In his name, we give you thanks. 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.
Chronological Reading for the Day
An annual reading through the Bible in the order in which the events took place
Sunday: Jer. 31.15-40; 49.34-51.14
(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.
Lord Jesus, thank you for Paul’s explanation of the Gospel here in this passage in Corinthians. This is not an invented or exaggerated message; rather, Paul has given to us what your messengers gave to him. You died, were buried, and rose the third day, and appeared to witnesses. We believe you will return and gather your own to yourself. Give us the grace to stand on the Gospel, till the end. In your name, amen.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
We cling, dear Father, to the Gospel that the apostle Paul preached, the same Gospel in which we stand, and will hold fast till the end.
Weekly Reflection on the Priesthood of all Believers
Romans 12:1 suggests worship is living in a mindset of surrender to God’s will. Such a mindset will allow work itself to be an act of worship. As workplace priests, we understand that ultimately our accountability is to God and thus we always strive to act in ways that please and glorify God at all times . . . no matter what we do and no matter if anyone is watching or not. . . . It does not matter if we clean toilets or lead a Fortune 500 company—either way, work can be, but is not automatically, worship. It depends on our attitude. For work to be worship we need to realign our attitude towards work so that it is consistent with God’s vision of work.
~ Scott Breslin, Embracing Our Priestly Nature at Work: A Theology and Practice for Ordinary Saints. Eugene OR: Resource Publications, 2017. pp. 38-39.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Enter the Priesthood of All Believers, 1 Peter 2.4-10
Breslin, Embracing Our Priestly Nature at Work