After declaring himself to be the very light of the world, Jesus demonstrated that claim with the dramatic healing of the man who had been born blind. He testified that he came into this world in order that those who do not see may come to see, and that those claiming to see might be made blind. Only the Lord Jesus can enable those who once were spiritually blind and in darkness come to receive the true light, to regain spiritual sight in him.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
God of all creation, who made the eyes and ears of humankind, cause us who have been blinded by sin to see the light through the gift you have given to us through the Lord Jesus Christ. In him, we who have been born spiritually blind can see again, and we who have walked our whole lives in darkness may receive the light of life. Shine through us today. In Jesus’s name we pray, 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: 2 Sam. 6.12-23; 1 Chron. 15-16
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 23
OT: 1 Sam. 16.1-13
Gospel: John 9.1-41
NT: Eph. 5.8-14
(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.
O Lord, whose goodness and grace continue to be poured out on a world reeling in both drunkenness and darkness, so illumine us by your Spirit that we may come to see clearly the wonder and glory of your Son, the only one who can turn our shadow to light, and our blindness to sight. Help us to see your light. For Christ’s sake, amen.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Open our eyes, illumine us, O Savior and Shepherd divine.
On the hymn, Amazing Grace: “Is there a poetic explanation for the fact that this has become the signature hymn of the English-speaking world? No; a benediction has fallen on it that cannot be fully explained. We can say, however, that the poem promises what we long for at the deepest level of our being: grace, salvation, going home, being safe within a heavenly veil, eternity in God’s presence. Although this poem does not keep its focus strictly on the grace named in the famous opening, that line is so captivating that we assimilate the whole poem as celebrating the triumphs of God’s grace in our lives. Titus 2:11–13 is a good parallel passage, which unfolds as the poem does from past to future: ‘For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.’”
~ Leland Ryken, 40 Favorite Hymns on the Christian Life: A Closer Look at Their Spiritual and Poetic Meaning. Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 2019. pp. 23-24.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Jesus, the Light of the World, John 9.1-41
Peterson, Engaging with God