Week 49: October 29 - November 4, 2017

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Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

  • 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
  • Vignettes of the “Hidden Person of the Heart”

    1 Peter 3.3-6 (Outro, Proverbs 31.10-31)

    Meditating on the virtues of the amazing sisters of the Spirit in the Bible these many weeks reveals how powerfully Christ displays his glory in the lives of both women and girls. The Spirit works powerfully in submitted sisters to accomplish remarkable feats of the Kingdom – defeating kings and armies, demonstrating sacrifice, expressing profound humility and grace, showing fierceness in the face of evil, and on and on. We close this challenging collage of narratives with the acrostic poem in the last section of the book of Proverbs, chapter 31, extolling the spiritual depth of a noble woman and wife.

    Each of the twenty-two verses starts with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, in consecutive order. This text sums up the power and grace of women’s spirituality, its faithful, noble character (v. 10, cf. Ruth 3.11; Prov. 20.6), trustworthy character, practical wisdom and management, wise business dealings, and faithful instruction. Sisters sharing this depth will be called blessed – by their children, their spouses, and others. The impact of her life will be felt by all who know her, and those with whom she deals.

    One thing should be obvious to us all, now that we have reflected on these examples and pondered the many pictures of women’s spirituality we’ve explored: sisters of the Spirit demonstrate a quality of godliness and grace that allows their lives to be a fitting curriculum for all in the body of Christ. Their spiritual depth and deep character are both exemplary and admirable; their fear of God and love for his Kingdom challenge us to rethink our priorities and shift our allegiances for the things that really matter. They are living epistles, to be read and understood by all who observe their character and strength.

  • Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation

    Heavenly Father, we know that both men and women of distinction are rare and wonderful. The clear, practical, and godly woman teaches us much about your love, grace, and will for us, and can help inform us in our own walks in Christ, regardless of our age or gender. Let your beauty, the beauty seen in the life of the truly noble woman, be seen in all your people, that we may adorn ourselves not outwardly, but with the hidden qualities of the Spirit, in Christ’s 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)

    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: 2 Cor. 6.14-10.18

    Lectionary Readings

    Psalm:Ps. 90.1-6, 13-17

    OT:Deut. 34.1-12

    Gospel: Matt. 22.34-46

    NT:1 Thess. 2.1-8

    (Click here for all readings)

  • 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  
    Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for the many, many wonderful examples of godly, noble women who have served and are serving faithfully in the body of Christ. Their grace, wisdom, commitment, and love are a challenge to us of what it means to know and love you from the heart. Give us an open heart to receive their instruction and example, making us able to demonstrate the true measures of success and beauty that honor your great name. In your name we pray, amen.

    Affirmation from the Psalms
    With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD! I will keep your statutes. [146] I call to you; save me, that I may observe your testimonies. [147] I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words. [148] My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise. [149] Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O LORD, according to your justice give me life. [150] They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose; they are far from your law. [151] But you are near, O LORD, and all your commandments are true.

    ~ Psalm 119.145-151

    Pray without Ceasing - Flash Prayer for the Day
    Lord Jesus, form in us the noble character of your servant in Proverbs 31, the kind of character that can bring great glory to you.

  • Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus

    The Coming of the Lord

    Thessalonians 4.13-18

    Book Reading

    Sanders, Ministry at the Margins

    Special Church Year Services

    Reformation Day: Tuesday, October 31, 2017

    All Saints Day: Wednesday, November 1, 2017

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