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The Divine Service of the Lord Jesus Christ
Eighth Sunday After Epiphany February 27, 2011
Salutation The Lord be with you! And also with you! Welcome & Announcements Preparation for Worship (silently pray the following collect to prepare for worship) O Lord, mercifully hear our prayers and, having set us free from the bonds of our sins, deliver us from every evil; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
<STAND when the pianist stops playing> 2 Timothy 4.22
I. The Lord Gathers Us for Worship
Invocation & Entrance
We are gathered in the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Amen! Matthew 18.20; 28.19 I rejoiced when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord!” Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem! Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth! Hymn of Procession (on following page)
Psalm 122.1-2 Psalm 124.8
Note: The congregation says all bold words and sings all printed songs.
II. The Lord Cleanses Us from Sin
Dearly beloved in Christ, the Scriptures teach us that if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1.9 Kyrie Eleison ~ Lord Have Mercy
Psalm 51.1; 123.3; Matthew 17.15; 20.30-31
Confession of Sin Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker! <KNEEL>
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole hearts, and we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry, and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us, that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. <REMAIN KNEELING>
Absolution ~ Gospel proclamation of forgiveness in Christ
By virtue of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, you are fully and freely forgiven of all your sins. Believe this and know that you are at peace with God! Thanks be to God! 4
III. The Lord Raises Us Up to Heaven and Seats Us With Christ
Sursum Corda ~ Lift Up Your Hearts Lift up your hearts! We lift them up to the Lord! Prayer of Ascent to Heaven Let us give thanks to the Lord our God! It is good and right to do so! It is very good and right that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to you, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty. In the mystery of the Word made flesh, you have caused light to shine in our hearts, to give us the knowledge of your glory in the face of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore, with the angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we magnify your glorious name, evermore praising you and singing: Sanctus ~ Holy
Traditionally called the Preface (to the Sanctus). Ephesians 2.6; Colossians 3.1
O Lord, open our lips, and our mouths will declare your praise! Hymn of Ascent (on following page)
Prayer of Illumination Gracious God, give us humble, teachable, and obedient hearts, that we may receive what you have revealed, and do what you have commanded, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. <BE SEATED> Scripture Lesson This is the Word of the Lord. Thanks be to you, God Most High! Psalm
Proverbs 8.1-36 (text printed on back page)
Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word. 18 Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. 19 I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me! 20 My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times. 21 You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments. 22 Take away from me scorn and contempt, for I have kept your testimonies. 23 Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes. 24 Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors. Alleluia ~ Praise the Lord
Gospel Lesson (and primary sermon text) This is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ! Praise be to you, O Christ!
Matthew 11.1-19 (text printed on back page)
Profession of Faith Christian, in whom do you trust? I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds: God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by Whom all things were made; Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke by the prophets. And I believe in one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen! Gloria Patri ~ Glory to the Father
Pre-sermon Prayer May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, Lord Jesus Christ, our Rock, and our Kinsman Redeemer. Psalm 19.14 Amen. <BE SEATED> Sermon Post-sermon Blessing May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen. Philippians 4.7 Offertory Hymn (on following page) 8
Pastor Jeremy Sexton
Offertory Response & Prayer What gifts have you brought for your Lord? We give only what the Lord has first given to us. We offer ourselves in Christ through confession, praise, and thanksgiving; we give our prayers and alms for the sake of the world; and we participate in the Lord’s Supper as a memorial of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen! Father, receive now these gifts offered to you in and through the Lord Jesus Christ, as we return to you a portion of that which you have freely given us. Use these tithes and offerings to support the work of the church, to care for the poor and needy, to promote the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth, and to build up your kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen! <STAND> Kingdom Prayer O eternal God, we, your children, give you thanks for our ancestors in the household of faith: for Abraham, the father of the faithful; for patriarchs and matriarchs who followed him in faith; for Moses, who with your guidance led your people to freedom and gave them your law. We bring thanks to you, O God, for the prophets who declared your Word and will; for David, the king who sang your praises; for those who gave their lives to preserve your law; for those disciples of Christ who left all to follow him; for Paul, who richly experienced the grace of the risen Lord and brought his gospel to the nations. We bring thanks to you, O Lord, for the fathers and mothers of your church, who guided her even in her oppressed beginning; for the noble army of martyrs who faced death for their love of you. We bring thanks to you, O Lord, for mothers, fathers, and grandparents who ushered us into the knowledge of you, and who now have been ushered into your kingdom to praise you in heavenly glory; for elder members of our community who mentored us; for dear friends old and young who brought joy into our lives. We bring thanks to you, O Lord. Glory be to God, our Fortress and our Rock. Father, grant us unity with one another in the family of faith, that all your saints together might bring glory to your name in all the earth. Have mercy upon us, Lord. Father, be with your saints who are sick or suffering from the pains of life in this fallen world <silently pray for suffering loved ones> Grant them the comfort of your Spirit and the joyful hope of eternal life. Lord, have mercy. Father, build up your church in true faith until she reaches full maturity in Christ, and enable her to serve you faithfully as a kingdom of priests, united by the bonds of peace and love in the gospel. Christ, have mercy. Father, cause the nations to be drawn to Christ, that he might claim his inheritance and fulfill your covenant with Abraham. Lord, have mercy. Father, deliver the oppressed and persecuted among your saints, and give us all the grace of perseverance unto the end in the strength of the Holy Spirit. Christ, have mercy. Father, enable your saints to serve you in the world, in word and deed, for your glory. Lord, have mercy. Father, join our prayers and praises to those of your saints who have gone on ahead of us and entered into their promised rest. Keep us all faithful to you as we await the final revelation of Christ and the resurrection of the body. Have mercy upon us, Lord. Now, O God, hear the very words Jesus taught us to pray: <RAISE HANDS> Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on 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 forever. Amen. Matthew 6.9-13 10
IV. The LORD Feeds Us Holy Food at His Royal Table
2 Corinthians 13.14
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Holy things for holy people! The gifts of God for the people of God! Pax Domini ~ The Peace of the Lord The peace of the Lord be with you always. And with your spirit. Eucharistic Prayer ~ Prayer of Thanksgiving We thank you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for making us fearfully and wonderfully in your image. When we followed the way of the evil one in the Garden of Eden, you did not leave us to perish in our sins, but instead you rescued us from sin and death. In the fullness of time you provided a new and living way through the flesh and blood of Jesus, our great high priest over the house of God. And now we can draw near in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled by Jesus’ blood and our bodies washed with pure water. We thank you, Father, that when we celebrate this memorial meal, you remember the holy life of your Son lived for us, his death offered for us, his resurrection that gives life to us, and his ascension in glory at your right hand, where, as our Great High Priest, he intercedes for us. United in Christ's priesthood, we celebrate this meal of the covenant, offering ourselves to you as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to you in Christ. In your mercy, remember your covenant by pouring out your Holy Spirit upon us, that the bread we break and the cup we bless may be for us a communion in the body and blood of Christ, that we may become one in him. Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory are yours, Almighty Father, forever and ever. Amen. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Christ our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed for us. Therefore, let us keep the feast!
Psalm 34.8 1 Corinthians 5.8 John 20.19
Agnus Dei ~ Lamb of God
In the name of Christ Jesus our Lord, we at Christ Church welcome to the Lord’s Table all who are spiritually weak and seek rest; all who mourn and long for comfort; all who struggle and desire victory; all who sin and need the Savior; all who are strangers and want fellowship; all who hunger and thirst for righteousness; all who are poor in spirit and desire the riches of the gospel; all who come to Jesus Christ in living faith and repentance, looking to him as both Liberator and Lord. And, of course, we welcome all baptized children, no matter how young, to the Lord’s Table.
Communion: Bread <Sing stanzas 1-2 on the following page as the bread is passed> Communion: Wine <Sing stanzas 3-4 on the following page as the wine is passed> 12
May the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen and preserve you steadfast in true faith unto life everlasting. Amen! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, 1 Chronicles 16.34; Psalm 106.1; 107.1; 118.1; 118.29; 136.1 for his love endures forever! <STAND> 13
V. The LORD Sends Us Back Into the World
Adapted from the post-Communion prayer in Martin Bucer’s reformed Strasbourg Liturgy
Let us continue in prayer together: Almighty and gracious heavenly Father, we give You praise and thanks that through Your holy Gospel and Sacrament, You have again offered and presented to us Your most precious treasure: the true Bread of Heaven and Food of eternal life, Our Lord Jesus Christ. And we heartily ask You to grant that we may receive Him and partake of Him in true faith, now and forever, and be so nourished by His Flesh and Blood that we may be set free from all evil, and increase daily in all goodness, to Your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen! Great Commission
Jesus declares, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and disciple all the nations by baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, by teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Amen! Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered! Let those who hate Him flee before Him! Psalm 68.1 Nunc Dimittis ~ Now Dismiss [Your Servant]
Luke 2.29-32 “Song of Simeon”
Benediction ~ Blessing The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Proverbs 8.1-36 1 2 Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads 3 4 she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud: "To you, O 5 6 men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man. O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense. Hear, for I will 7 speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right, for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an 8 9 abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them. They 10 are all straight to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge. Take my instruction instead of silver, 11 and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare 12 13 with her. "I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion. The fear of the LORD is hatred of 14 evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. I have counsel and sound wisdom; I have 15 16 insight; I have strength. By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just; by me princes rule, and nobles, all who 17 18 govern justly. I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. Riches and honor are with me, 19 20 enduring wealth and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver. I 21 walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice, granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling 22 23 their treasuries. "The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old. Ages ago I was 24 set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there 25 were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth, 26 27 before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world. When he established the heavens, 28 I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established 29 the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his 30 command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was 31 32 daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man. 33 "And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not 34 35 neglect it. Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. For whoever 36 finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD, but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death." Matthew 11.1-19 2 When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities. 3 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, "Are you 4 the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?" And Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear 5 and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are 6 7 raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me." As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to 8 see? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those 9 who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more 10 than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, "' Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare 11 your way before you.' Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the 12 Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until 13 now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the Prophets and the Law 14 15 prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let 16 him hear. "But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to 17 18 their playmates, "'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.' For 19 John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds."
If you are a visitor of Christ Church, we are grateful that you have joined us in our highest privilege, worshipping the Triune God. We hope you stay and eat with us after the service so that we can get to know you better. If you would like to talk with Pastor Sexton throughout the week, feel free to call him at 770.696.7521 or email him at email@example.com. You can visit our website at ChristChurch-Atl.com.
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