Thursday, April 12, 2018

  • 1 This Week's Theme
  • 2 Preparing Our Hearts
  • 3 Praising Our God
  • 4 Listening to His Voice
  • 5 Responding in Faith
  • 6 Departing to Serve
  • 7 For Your Weekly Journey
  • Jesus Appears to His Disciples

    John 20.19-31

    On the evening of the first day of the week, of Jesus’ resurrection day, he came and stood in the midst of the disciples, even with the doors being locked. After allowing them to examine his wounds in his hands and his side, Jesus blessed them with peace, and announced that as the Father had sent him, so he was sending his disciples into the world. He breathed on them, commanding them to receive the Holy Spirit, and granted them the ability to forgive or withhold forgiveness, as his messengers and apostles.

    Thomas was not present during this encounter, and was skeptical of the disciples’ testimony that they had seen the Lord. Defiantly, Thomas declared, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe” (John 20.25). Eight days later, the disciples were together again, and this time, Thomas was present with them. As before, Jesus appeared to them in their midst (with the doors locked), greeted them all, and then said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe” (John 20.27). Overwhelmed, Thomas declared, “My Lord and my God!” (v. 28). Jesus then replied, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20.29).

    John declared that our risen Lord performed many other signs in the presence of the disciples which were not recorded in his gospel, but those that are recorded are given in order that we might believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through our faith in him, we might receive life in his name. Let us affirm the truth: Jesus is the Christ, God’s only Son. He is risen and the author of life to all who believe in his name.

  • Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation

    Eternal God, thank you for the truth you have given to us concerning your Son, Jesus of Nazareth. He is no longer dead, but has risen to life again. He is the Christ, your only begotten Son, and all who believe in him receive eternal life in his name. We cling to him as our Savior and Lord. Reveal his glory to us, that we might honor him even as we honor you. In his 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)

    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

    Thursday: Pss. 39-41; 53; 55; 58

    Lectionary Readings for the Day

    Psalm: Ps. 133

    Acts*: Acts 4.32-35

    Gospel: John 20.19-31

    NT: 1 John 1.1-2.2

    * During Eastertide, a reading from Acts is often substituted for the lesson from the Hebrew Bible.

    (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  
    Father, help us to cling to the testimony of your apostles, believing their word that the Lord has risen, and has appeared to witnesses chosen beforehand. We believe in him and affirm that we now have received life in his name. Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to all who have received his favor through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

    Affirmation from the Psalms
    O LORD, in your strength the king rejoices, and in your salvation how greatly he exults! [2] You have given him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah [3] For you meet him with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold upon his head. [4] He asked life of you; you gave it to him, length of days forever and ever. [5] His glory is great through your salvation; splendor and majesty you bestow on him. [6] For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.

    ~ Psalm 21.1-6

    Pray without Ceasing - Flash Prayer for the Day
    Lord Jesus, you are the Christ, the Son of God, and we have life today in your name.

  • Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus

    Thus It Is Written

    Luke 24.36b-48

    Book Reading

    Alcorn, Heaven

    Our Corporate Disciplines

    Book Discussion: Monday, April 9, 2018