In her inspired exclamation of praise commonly referred to as the Magnificat, Mary magnifies the Lord for looking on her humble estate, and granting her favor in the hearts and minds of generations to come. She declared that God has shown strength with his arm, scattering the proud while exalting the lowly and humble. He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty. God has remembered his covenant with his people Israel, and with Abraham and his offspring. The faithful God has kept his word and will bring deliverance to his people Israel, to his church, and to his creation forevermore.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal Father, whose coming in Jesus Christ for our salvation was promised beforehand through inspired prophets; we praise and bless thee for the gracious words which thou hast spoken through those thy servants who apprehended thy truth and thy righteousness, and set forth thy glory in unfading scriptures for our guidance and comfort. Forgive us, we beseech thee, if we have neglected thy revelation and wandered into folly. Turn us again to thy holy Word; that we may have a lamp for our feet, a light on our path; and that, by remaining steadfast and drawing encouragement from the Scriptures, we may cherish hope both for this life and for the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~ Earnest Fremont Tittle. A Book of Pastoral Prayers. New York, NY: Abington-Cokesbury Press, 1946. p. 51.
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: Gen. 35.28-29; Gen. 40-41
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Luke 1.46b-55
OT: Isa. 35.1-10
Gospel: Matt. 11.2-11
NT: James 5.7-10
(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 God, heavenly Father, You created Adam in Your image and gave him Eve as his helpmate, and after their fall into sin, You promised them a Savior who would crush the devil’s might. By Your mercy, number us among those who have come out of the great tribulation with the seal of the living God on our foreheads and whose robes have been made white in the blood of the Lamb; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
~ Lutheran Service Book, Treasury of Daily Prayer. In Scott R Murray. A Year with the Church Fathers: Meditations for Each Day of the Church Year. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2011. p. 393.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
I will bless you, O God, and affirm your covenant faithfulness, for you will fulfill your word to your people, and to me, forevermore.
“Worship in the New Testament is a comprehensive category describing the Christian’s total existence. It is coextensive with the faith-response wherever and whenever that response is elicited. Consequently, ‘our traditional understanding of worship as restricted to the cultic gathering of the congregation at a designated time and place for rite and proclamation will no longer do. This is not what the New Testament means by worship.’”
~ David G. Peterson, Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992. pp. 18-19
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Emmanuel, God with Us, Matthew 1.18-25
Peterson, Engaging with God