Peter exhorts the believers to be like newborn babes, desiring God’s spiritual milk through which they would grow up into their salvation, seeing that they had tasted that the Lord is good. We have come to Christ, God’s chosen and precious Living Stone; we, like living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house to be God’s holy priesthood offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. We have the honor of resting on that foundation stone which God has laid in Zion, and since we believe in him we will never be put to shame.
Those who reject him, however – those refusing to believe in our Living Stone – have actually rejected the Cornerstone. For them, this Stone has become a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense. They who do not believe in him stumble, because they disobey the word, as Peter declares they were destined to do. But we who cling to Christ are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession. We have been given the honor to proclaim the excellencies of God who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once we were not a people, but now, we belong to God. Once we had not received mercy, now we are forgiven.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal and merciful God, the Lord who laid in Zion a tried and precious Cornerstone, grant us the wisdom to understand that we have been made living stones, being built up into your spiritual house, set apart to offer to you acceptable sacrifices and offerings of praise and surrender. We cling to your Son, Jesus of Nazareth, the Living Stone who is our Source and Strength. Open our eyes to see him more clearly today. In his 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)
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: Song of Sol. 1-8
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 31.1-5, 15-16
OT (Acts during Eastertide): Acts 7.55-60
Gospel: John 14.1-14
NT: 1 Pet. 2.2-10
(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 Jesus, who has made us, your people, into a chosen race and royal priesthood, weld our hearts together in common unity in order that we might glorify your Father through our works of surrender and faith. Fill us with power through the Holy Spirit, and grant us the privilege of hearing your voice even as we raise our voices to you in prayer and praise today. All that we have we offer to you today, as living sacrifices, for your glory. In your name we pray, amen.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
We build our lives upon you, Lord Jesus, the chosen and precious Stone laid by the Father in Zion, our Cornerstone and sure Foundation.
Worship is what we were made for. God created man because He wanted relationship. It’s what He’s about, and by now it must be clear that the way—the only way—to an intimate relationship with God is through worship. As we worship, we must be reminded to stay focused on the God of wonder. Worship is NOT the music, the methods, or the messenger. Worship is our expression of love to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, lived out in our daily lives.
~ Vernon Whaley, Called to Worship: The Biblical Foundations of Our Response to God’s Call. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2009. p. 333.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Spirit Is Here, Acts 2.1-21
Whaley, Called to Worship
Our Corporate Disciplines
National Day of Prayer: Monday, May 8, 2023