Week 41: Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

We represent Jesus of Nazareth as ambassadors of his Kingdom. Without exception, every believer can represent Christ with honor and advance his kingdom interests, even in the places where we live when we accept Christ as Lord. Every believer is an agent of the Kingdom; every disciple can minister the life of the Good News in the place where God has placed them today. We represent the Kingdom and live by its purposes, priorities, and principles.

Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Thank you, eternal God and Father of our Lord Jesus, that you have granted us both the privilege and responsibility of representing you and your Kingdom in this world, here, in our lives today. Apart from your empowering Spirit, we will fall short of your will and our calling. Grant to us the wisdom and strength to represent you in all we do and say, in order that your will might be done through us in the roles we play in our life situations.

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: Matt. 9.27-10.42; 13.53-58; Mark 6.1-13; Luke 9.1-6

Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 139.1-6, 13-18
OT: Jer. 18.1-11
Gospel: Luke 14.25-33
NT: Philem. 1-21

(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 
Dear Savior and King, thank you for the mercy and blessing of allowing us to represent you in our lives today. Without your Spirit and Word, we will never be able to do this task honorably and nobly. Grant to us, then, your grace and power that we may execute your will in a way that pleases your name, in all things. For your sake, amen.

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Dear Savior, help us to wash one another’s feet even as you washed your disciples’ feet.

To summarize, in Hebrews universal priesthood is rooted in Christ’s priestly sacrifice, carries with it the privilege of access to God (particularly in prayer) and involves a call to service, composed chiefly of exhortation, teaching, fellowship and practicing holiness and obedience. As a priesthood set apart in and by Christ, the church is to live in the grace and mercy of God, rendering faithful service to God and one another with an eye to their eternal hope.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Live as Ambassadors, John 13.12-20

Book Reading
Anizor and Voss, Representing Christ

Our Corporate Disciplines
Book Discussion: Tuesday, September 6, 2022