Liturgy / Jan 21, 2018

CALL TO WORSHIP

Praise the Lord, forget not his benefits -- who forgives all your sins and heals you, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.
We have been baptized into Christ and our hope is in him.

He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
We have been crucified with Christ and our righteousness is in him.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
We have been raised with Christ and our life is in him.

He knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is for those who fear him.
Thanks be to God who has made himself known in Jesus Christ, our Savior.

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 the plight of migrants around the world, leaving their homes by the masses; would you protect them and give state leaders wisdom on behalf of all people; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.

For Church in Chicago; when we feel as if all around us is insecure, would we remember that in you all things are secure; God of all mercy... hear our prayer.

For the students at Wells High School; would you grant them ambition in their studies, and help when they need it; God of all mercy... hear our prayer.

For the congregations of Missio Dei; would they grow in unity of purpose and love for you; God of all mercy... hear our prayer.

For those sick, or caring for sick loved ones; bring healing and endurance; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.

For the people of The Painted Door; may we be witnesses to the hope we have in you; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.

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


Grace is when God is a source of wholeness, which makes up for my failings. ... It’s God saying, ‘I love the world too much to let your sin define you and be the final word. I am a God who makes all things new.’
— Nadia Bolz-Weber

If God simply told the whole world that he was not going to hold us accountable for our sin, that would be cruel and dangerous news. But God has said much more than that. He has told us that he means to cover us in his Son. So yes, he will not hold us accountable for our sin, but only because we are united to Jesus Christ. This union to Christ certainly spares us from the dreadful cosmic consequences of our sin. And beyond that, it transforms us into the very image of divine life. We cannot receive Jesus as merely a get-out-of-jail-free card. He is not an idea or certificate. He is a person. And when we receive this person, we are caught up into all the fullness of his personhood. In him, our sin can neither condemn us nor enslave us nor define us. In him, our sin is brought to nothing.


PRAYERS OF CONFESSION

Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound? Though we know the answer, we don’t easily believe it. Lord, by faith, teach us to say “by no means”
Praise be to God for the life that is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord.

How can we who died to sin still live in it? Though we no longer walk in darkness we struggle to confess the light. Father, by faith, teach us to walk as obedient children.
Praise be to God for the life that is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again, for death no longer has dominion over him. Though we have heard this, we still fear the grave. Lord, by faith, teach us that our sin, shame, and addictions are not our masters.
Praise be to God for the life that is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We avoid walking in the light because it is more comfortable to be hidden.
Lord, let your righteousness be good news to us

We are afraid to walk in the light because we fear being truly known. 
Lord, let knowledge of your love bring security to us

We feel ashamed to walk in the light because we still live like slaves to multiple masters.
Lord, let our need of you be a comfort to us.

Therefore, let us live as though we have been brought from death to life. We are dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Praise be to God for the life that is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.