Week 46: Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

As soldiers of the Lord, we are to be strong in the Lord’s strength and might. Armed with a mind and heart to fight the fight of faith, we must put on the whole armor of God in order to gain victory over the powers of evil which seek to undermine his Kingdom. God provides spiritual weapons to fight against the cosmic forces of darkness and the spiritual powers of evil. We wage war with spiritual weapons of truth, righteousness, the Gospel, faith, salvation, and persevering prayer.

Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation

Thank you, Almighty Father, for your gracious and effective provision for your whole armor. We fight against the cosmic forces of darkness and the spiritual powers of evil, but your armor, if we take it up, can empower us to withstand in the evil day, and to stand firm. Grant us the will and the heart to take up your armor, and to maintain a fighting spirit. Today, fill us anew with faith, truth, righteousness, peace, and the saving power of your Word. We pray this for the glory of your 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)

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: Acts 13-14

Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 111
OT: Jer. 29.1, 4-7
Gospel: Luke 17.11-19
NT: 2 Tim. 2.8-15

(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, we leave this place in your mighty power. We go forth from this time, but not from your presence. We live and breathe and have our being in you through the power of your Holy Spirit. We will not bow to the spiritual forces of this world, to the lies or the pressure which seek to burn us alive in a furnace of fear. Make us strong in the Lord and the power of his might, taking up every day the whole armor of God.

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Lord Jesus Christ, grant to us a fighting spirit to withstand against the enemy.

The proclamation of the royal priesthood is marked by the virtue of bold humility – even in the face of potential suffering. Lesslie Newbigin likens proclamation to a witness who is called to speak at a trial. Ultimately the truth will be revealed and a final verdict made. In the meantime the royal priesthood’s responsibility is to proclaim the truth in word and deed to a watching world. This proclamation takes place as the royal priesthood serves as a “sign, foretaste, and instrument of the kingdom.” Life in the kingdom is life in the footsteps of Jesus – a path that has often led faithful practitioners of proclamation into costly suffering (Heb 12:2).

~ Uche Anizor and Hank Voss, Representing Christ. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2016. p. 140.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Put on the Armor of God, Ephesians 6.10-18

Book Reading
Anizor and Voss, Representing Christ

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