Week 53: November 26 - December 2, 2017

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Sunday, November 26th 2017: Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost

  • 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
  • The Lord Will Seek Them Out

    Ezekiel 34.11-16, 20-24

    In a blistering critique against the selfishness and pride of Israel’s shepherds of his people, God declared that he was against them, and that his sheep would be required at their hand. The shepherds had fed themselves, had ignored his people, had made them prey for wild beasts, and overlooked their needs. The Lord’s own flock had been scattered because his shepherds were selfish and heartless. In light of his flock’s position, the LORD God, the Great Shepherd would need to restore and rescue them. He himself would search for his sheep and seek them out. He himself would rescue them from the peoples where they had been scattered, in the various lands they had roamed into, and he would return them to their own land. God almighty would feed them, and he himself would be the shepherd of his own sheep, and make them lie down in peace and safety.

    Not only that, but he promised that he would bind the injured, strengthen the weak, and punish the fat and strong. He would discriminate between sheep and sheep, and those who bullied and dominated their fellows would be judged. God promises in that Day that he will set over his sheep one shepherd, his servant David, and he would feed them, and be their shepherd. The LORD will be their God, and his servant David would be prince among them. This will come to pass for it is the solemn, true Word of the LORD.

    As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we await his coming to earth to consummate the Father’s plan in this world. All the words of the prophets and apostles will be fulfilled, and Christ will reign forever in the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ. Jesus of Nazareth, now exalted and glorified, will soon return and restore the kingdom reign of God into his hand. We look forward to this rule, and know that God will fulfill this prophetic word. Christ Jesus will shepherd his people forever in a new heavens and earth, under the reign of God.

  • Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation

    Stir up, O Lord, your power, and come; mercifully fulfill that which you have promised to your Church unto the end of the world! Amen.
    ~ The Gelasian Sacramentary (Oden, p. 263)

    ~ F.D. Maurice, Prayers New and Old (Ferguson, p. 207)

    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

    Sunday: 1 John 4-5; 2 John 1; 3 John 1

    Lectionary Readings

    Psalm: Ps. 100

    OT: Ezek. 34.11-16, 20-24

    Gospel: Matt. 25.31-46

    NT: Eph. 1.15-23

    (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  
    Eternal God, you set Jesus Christ to rule over all things, and made us servants in your kingdom. By your Spirit empower us to love the unloved, and to minister to all in need. Then at the last bring us to your eternal realm where we may worship and adore you and be welcomed into your everlasting joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

    ~ The Book of Common Worship

    (The Theological and Worship Ministry Unit, p. 395)

    Affirmation from the Psalms
    In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me! [2] Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me! [3] For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me; [4] you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge. [5] Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God. [6] I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols, but I trust in the LORD. [7] I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, [8] and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place!

    ~ Psalm 31.1-8

    Pray without Ceasing - Flash Prayer for the Day
    Lord Jesus Christ, Great Shepherd of the Sheep, we await your return with joy, eagerly expecting your reign over God’s Kingdom come.

  • Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus

    The Coming of the Lord

    Thessalonians 4.13-18

    Book Reading

    Sanders, Ministry at the Margins

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