Liturgy / Oct 22, 2017

CALL TO WORSHIP
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known among the nations what he has done.
Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!

Remember His wondrous works, and the miracles he has performed.
Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually.
Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!

He remembers his promises forever, for a thousand generations. The covenant he made with Abraham was sworn to Isaac and confirmed to Jacob.  
These are the works of our God.

When Israel was few in number and wandered from nation to nation, He allowed no one to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings.
These are the works of our God.

When Israel was enslaved by Egypt, he sent his servant Moses to perform signs among them. They were chased to the sea, but walked on dry land.
These are the works of our God.

He remembers his holy promises and preserves his people. He brings fire as a light at night and makes water to flow like a river in the desert.
His people fall heir to what others toil for. He is the Lord, our God. Amen.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Father thank you that you are a God who invites his children to speak. We pray for the whole people of God hidden in Jesus and for all people according to their needs.

For believers throughout the world who endure physical harm because they follow our Lord Jesus, shelter them this week; God of all mercy... hear our prayer.
For leaders of the world; grant them wisdom, discernment, and humility as they make decisions that affect many millions; God of all mercy... hear our prayer.
For the people of Puerto Rico, as they continue to rebuild from the shambles of the island; would you be a strong provider for them; God of all mercy... hear our prayer.
For those in our city who are lonely and discouraged; would we have your eyes of compassion and friendship; God of all mercy... hear our prayer.
For the Church in Chicago; grant our many diverse congregations love and generosity toward one another; God of all mercy... hear our prayer.
For the people of Christ Church; would they learn to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with you; God of all mercy... hear our prayer.
For the children of The Painted Door; would our younger ones receive your saving love with thanksgiving and joy; God of all mercy... hear our prayer.
And for all who come to the feast of Jesus this morning, for the hearing of our ears, rejoicing of our minds, and stillness of our souls; God of all mercy... hear our prayer.

Gracious Father, these are our requests. We trust in your mercy made known through your Son, Jesus, Christ our Lord. Amen.


Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 12.01.36 PM.png
Faith is a living, daring confidence on God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man would stake his life on it a thousand times.
— Martin Luther

God gave his law to a chosen people, the descendants of Abraham, to reveal divine righteousness to them. But the law proved powerless to effect divine righteousness in them. So the law condemned the people of Israel, upholding a standard too high for them to reach. Yet God did not condemn them. More than four centuries before giving his law, God had established another means by which Abraham's descendants might partake in divine righteousness: "Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness." This was a righteousness by faith, a promise that for those who put their confidence in God, righteousness would be given to them -- not through the law, which condemns, but through a new and better covenant. Jesus was that new covenant. His life was the righteousness of the law manifest in human form. He took what was written in stone and stamped it onto human flesh. He brought the law to life. This was the righteousness counted to Abraham, and it is the righteousness counted to all who believe. It is a righteousness that not only reveals the beauty of God but invites all people to enter that beauty by faith in one new man.


PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Our Father, you have revealed your righteousness apart from the law, but we still behave as slaves to that law.
Forgive us Lord. Help our unbelief.

Your righteousness is granted freely through faith in Christ, but we still try and earn it.
Forgive us Lord. Help our unbelief. 

When we doubt our need of You, remind us of the enslaving yoke of our sin. Just as Israel was desperate for your deliverance, so too are we reliant on you.
Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven.

When we doubt our worth to receive your grace, remind us that worth was never relevant. Surely as you counted Abraham righteous through his faith, so too will it be counted to us who believe in Christ crucified.
Blessed are those whose sins are covered.

When we doubt your promises, remind us of your covenant to Abraham. Surely as you protected faith among his descendants, so too will you preserve faith among us for generations.
Blessed is the one against whom the Lord will not count their sin.

Pardon our boasting and fill us with knowledge of our need.
Forgive us Lord. Help our unbelief. 

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of your new covenant with the world. He alone was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. Though we may try, we cannot save ourselves.
Our pride is offended, but our souls are free. Thanks be to God, Amen.