Todayís Theme for Worship: The Saviorís great love for us is the guiding principle in our lives. This love unites us as we share the blessings of Godís Word.
Opening Hymn: 499 O God of Mercy, God of Might
1† O God of mercy, God of might, In love and mercy infinite,
Teach us, as ever in your sight, To live our lives to you.
2† You sent your Son for all to die That fallen man might live thereby.
Oh, hear us, for to you we cry In hope, O Lord, to you.
3† Teach us the lesson Jesus taught: To feel for those his blood has bought,
That evíry deed and word and thought May work a work for you.
4† All are redeemed, both far and wide, Since Jesus Christ for all has died;
Grant us the will, and grace provide, To love them all in you.
5† In sickness, sorrow, want, or care May we each otherís burdens share;
May we, where help is needed, there Give help as though to you.
6† And may your Holy Spirit move All those who live to live in love
Till you receive in heavín above All those who lived for you.
Text: Godfrey Thring, 1823-1903, alt.
P: The grace of our Lord + Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.
C: And also with you.
Confession of Sins
P: We have come into the presence of God, who created us to love and serve him as his dear children. But we have disobeyed him and deserve only his wrath and punishment. Therefore, let us confess our sins to him and plead for his mercy.
C: Merciful Father in heaven, I am altogether sinful from birth. In countless ways I have sinned against you and do not deserve to be called your child. But trusting in Jesus, my Savior, I pray: have mercy on me according to your unfailing love. Cleanse me from my sin, and take away my guilt.
P: God, our heavenly Father, has forgiven all your sins. By the perfect life and innocent death of our Lord Jesus Christ, he has removed your guilt forever. You are his own dear child. May God give you strength to live according to his will.
P: In the peace of forgiveness, let us praise the Lord.
♬ Oh Taste And See
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.
Bless-ed are they who take re-fuge in him.
Your Word, O Lord, is e-ter-nal;
it stands firm in the heav-ens.
Your faith-ful-ness con-tin-ues for-ev-er.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.
Bless-ed are they who take re-fuge in him.
Prayer of the Day
P: Let us Pray.
Father of lights, every good and perfect gift comes from you. Inspire us to think those things that are true and long for those things that are good, that we may always make our petitions† according to your gracious will; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. ††C: ♬ Amen.
The Word of the Lord spreads after the first great persecution in Jerusalem.
19Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that took place at the time of Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. 20But there were some men from Cyprus and Cyrene who came to Antioch and also began to speak to the Greeks, preaching the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21The Lordís hand was with them, and a large number of people believed and turned to the Lord.
22A report about this reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to go on to Antioch. 23When he arrived and saw Godís grace, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with devoted hearts. 24He was a good man who was full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a large number of people were added to the Lord.
25Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul. 26When he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year they met with the church and taught a large number of people. It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians.
Psalm of the Day: Psalm 98
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things.
Sing to the LORD a new song,*
for he has done marvelous things.
The LORD has made his salvation known*
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
He has remembered his love and his faithfulness
to the house of Israel;*
all the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth,*
burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the LORD with the harp,*
with the harp and the sound of singing.
Shout for joy before the LORD, the King.*
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son*
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,*
is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Refrain Tune: J. Robert Carroll. © 1986 GIA Publications, Inc., Chicago, IL, www.giamusic.com. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Second Lesson: 1 John
John urges us to ďtest the spirits to see whether they are from God.Ē
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3and every spirit who does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard is coming and is already in the world. 4You are from God, dear children, and you have overcome the false prophets, because the one in you is greater than the one in the world. 5They are from the world. That is why they speak from a worldly perspective and the world listens to them. 6We are from God. The one who knows God listens to us, but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. That is how we can distinguish between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
7Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8The one who does not love has not known God, because God is love. 9This is how Godís love for us was revealed: God has sent his only-begotten Son into the world so that we may live through him. 10This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Dear friends, if God loved us so much, we also should love one another.
Alleluia!† Alleluia!† Alleluia!
These words are written that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
Alleluia!† Alleluia!† Alleluia!
Jesus tells us to put our faith into action, that is, to love one another.
9ďAs the Father has loved me, so also I have loved you. Remain in my love. 10If you hold on to my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have held on to my Fatherís commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you these things so that my joy would continue to be in you and that your joy would be complete.
12ďThis is my command: Love one another as I have loved you. 13No one has greater love than this: that someone lays down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you continue to do the things I instruct you. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will endure, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17These things I am instructing you, so that you love one another.Ē
C:† ♬ Praise be to you, O Christ!
Hymn of the Day: 377 vv. 1, 7-10 Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice
1† Dear Christians, one and all, rejoice, With exultation springing,
And, with united heart and voice And holy rapture singing,
Proclaim the wonders God has done, How his right arm the victíry won.
How dearly it has cost him!
7† To me he spoke, ďHold fast to me-I am your rock and castle.
Your ransom I myself will be; For you I strive and wrestle.
For I am yours, your friend divine, And evermore you shall be mine;
The foe shall not divide us.
8† ďThe foe shall shed my precious blood, Me of my life bereaving.
All this I suffer for your good; Be steadfast and believing.
Life shall from death the victíry win; My innocence shall bear your sin,
And you are blest forever.
9† ďNow to my Father I depart, The Holy Spirit sending
And, heavínly wisdom to impart, My help to you extending.
He will a source of comfort be, Teach you to know and follow me,
And in all truth will guide you.
10† ďWhat I on earth have lived and taught Be all your life and teaching;
So shall my kingdomís work be wrought And honored in your preaching.
Take care that no oneís man-made laws Should eíer destroy the gospelís cause.
This final word I leave you.Ē
Text: Martin Luther, 1483-1546; tr. Richard Massie, 1800-87, alt.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
I believe 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, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
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Prayer of the Church
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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
545 Send, O Lord, Your Holy Spirit
1† Send, O Lord, your Holy Spirit On your servants now, we pray;
Let them all be faithful shepherds That no lamb is led astray.
Your pure teaching to proclaim, To adore your holy name,
And to feed your lambs, dear Savior, Make their aim and sole endeavor.
2† You, O Lord, yourself have called them For your precious lambs to care;
But to prosper in their calling, They the Spiritís gifts must share.
Grant them wisdom from above; Fill their hearts with holy love.
In their weakness, Lord, be near them; In their prayers, Good Shepherd, hear them.
3† Help, Lord Jesus, help them nourish Our dear children with your Word,
That in constant love they serve you Till in heavín their song is heard.
Boundless blessings, Lord, bestow On your servantsí work below
Till by grace to them is given Their reward, the crown of heaven.
Text: German hymn, 19th century; tr. Frederick W. Herzberger, 1859-1930, alt.
Prayer and Blessing
P: O Lord God, our heavenly Father, pour out the Holy Spirit on your faithful people. Keep us strong in your grace and truth, protect and comfort us in all temptation, and bestow on us your saving peace, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
P: Almighty God, we thank you for teaching us the things you want us to believe and do. Help us by your Holy Spirit to keep your Word in pure hearts that we may be strengthened in faith, guided in holiness, and comforted in life and in death, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
C:† ♬ A-men.
P: Brothers and sisters, go in peace. Live in harmony with one another. Serve the Lord with gladness.
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord look on you with favor and + give you peace.
C:† ♬ A-men, A-men, A-men
Closing Hymn: 317 O Lord, We Praise You
1† O Lord, we praise you, bless you, and adore you,
In thanksgiving bow before you.
Here with your body and your blood you nourish
Our weak souls that they may flourish. O Lord, have mercy!
May your body, Lord, born of Mary,
That our sins and sorrows did carry,
And your blood for us plead
In all trial, fear, and need: O Lord, have mercy!
2† Your holy body into death was given,
Life to win for us in heaven.
No greater love than this to you could bind us;
May this feast of that remind us! O Lord, have mercy!
Lord, your love and kindness did move you;
Let your supper move us to love you.
All our debt you have paid;
Peace with God once more is made. O Lord, have mercy!
3† May God bestow on us his grace and favor
To please him with our behavior
And live together here in love and union,
Cherishing our blest communion. O Lord, have mercy!
Let not your good Spirit forsake us;
Grant that heavínly-minded he make us.
Give your Church, Lord, to see
Days of peace and unity. O Lord, have mercy!
Text: German folk hymn, 15th century, st. 1; Martin Luther, 1483-1546, st. 2-3;
tr. The Lutheran Hymnal, St. Louis, 1941, alt.