In John’s first epistle, he testifies how we, as followers of Jesus, can truly know what it means to love and to be loved. He declares that we can know love in that our Lord Jesus laid down his life for us, and now, in light of that, we ought to lay down our lives for our fellow disciples of Christ. He qualifies what this means by saying that the person who possesses the world’s goods, and seeing a Christian brother in need, but does nothing to address it – that person simply does not have God’s love abiding in them. We ought not love one another in language and talk but rather in actual deeds, and in truth.
John declares that those who in fact love in this way can know that they are of the truth, and can have the assurance in their hearts that they belong to him. Whenever our heart actually condemns us, we can also be assured that God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything about us. If our hearts do not condemn us, we can have confidence before the Lord, knowing that whatever we ask from him he will supply, because we keep his commandments and do the things that please him.
Finally, John declares what God’s commandment actually is. He commands us to believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and also to love one another, “just as he has commanded us” (cf. John 13.34-35). We can know love, and be assured that God answers our petitions as we believe in his Son, and love our fellow disciples in deed and truth. If we do, we abide in God, and God will abide in us, for he has given his own Spirit to live in us.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal Father, God of love and light, we know love in your sending your Son for us, even though we neither deserved nor asked you to do it. Now, fill us with his heart and his love, to love our fellow followers of Jesus, not merely in talk and words, but in deeds and in actions. We desire to keep your commandment – to believe in your Son and to love each other. Grant us power through your Spirit to love, even as he did, and to please you. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, 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.
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 23 Acts*: Acts 4.5-12 Gospel: John 10.11-18
Acts*: Acts 4.5-12 Gospel: John 10.11-18
Gospel: John 10.11-18
*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.
Affirmation from the Psalms
May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts,  those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us; who is master over us?”  “Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the LORD; “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”  The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.  You, O LORD, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever.  On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among the children of man.
~ Psalm 12.3-8
Pray without Ceasing - Flash Prayer for the Day
Savior of love and truth, fill us with your Spirit, that we may love, even as you do.