Liturgy / Jan 11, 2018

CALL TO WORSHIP

Children of God gathered here, the Lord is good. He invites you to come and drink deeply of the fountain of life.
Lord Jesus, we come to you.

Though your sins have produced death in your members, our Lord has delivered us this day from the law of death within us.
We thank you Lord for your saving grace!

Though evil lies close at hand, our Savior lies closer. He has given us his perseverance and strength.
We thank you Lord for your loving-kindness!

Though the law of God reveals our disobedience, we are  not turned away but rather given the obedience of Christ.
We thank you Lord for your perfect life!

Children of God, the Lord is good. He invites you to come and eat of the bread of life.
Lord Jesus, we come to you.

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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.

Father thank you that you are a God who is near at hand. 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 participants of mass migrations around the globe; would you protect the people, and give leaders discernment to weather change wisely; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.

For the Church in Chicago, help us remember that our fight is a fight for faith; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.

For the students and teachers of Chicago; would they be encouraged in their work and studies; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.

For the people of Immanuel Anglican Church; grant them unity and love for one another; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.

For those of us who are just plain tired; grant us rest, perspective, and perseverance; God of all mercy… hear our prayer.

For our Painted Door family; would we learn how to bear one another’s burdens; 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 Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The life of grace is not an effort on our part to achieve a goal we set ourselves. It is a continually renewed attempt simply to believe that someone else has done all the achieving that is needed and to live in relationship with that person, whether we achieve or not. If that doesn’t seem like much to you, you’re right: it isn’t. And, as a matter of fact, the life of grace is even less than that. It’s not even our life at all, but the life of that Someone Else rising like a tide in the ruins of our death.
— ROBERT FARRAR CAPON

THE ONE MAN: FROM LAW TO SPIRIT
ROMANS 7:1-12
Pastor Mark Bergin


God’s law is beautiful. And it describes a beautiful way of life. But God’s is powerless to produce the life it describes. In fact, when given to rebels, the law only provides an opportunity for more rebellion. If we are to discover a new way of life, a way of peace and love and hope, it will not be by finding some hidden measure of law-abiding decency in our fallen frames. We have no such decency within us. Rather, it will be by receiving a new Spirit altogether. We are hopelessly unable to live according to God’s law. But the Spirit of Christ has already lived out that life in the flesh. And God has now poured out that Spirit on all flesh. God’s beautiful law can only condemn us, but his beautiful Spirit ministers to us the forgiveness and obedience of his beautiful Son.


PRAYERS OF CONFESSION

Lord God, you promised us your Spirit, and have poured him out on all flesh.
You have called us your children and have never left us to find our way alone.
Yet we insist on our own way and go chasing fortune on foreign shores.
Forgive us, Father, for seeking life apart from you.

We are like wandering sheep, who have forgotten the safety and goodness of their shepherd.
Teach us, Father, what it is to trust you.

Your free gifts are never ending.
You withhold no good thing from us, even the very life of your Son.
Why do we pretend as though all good things must be earned?
Be patient with us, Father; your grace is alien to us.

We have prefered written codes to divine presence.
We trust laws to save us more than you.
We’d rather measure our performance than receive your love.
Make us new, Father; overwhelm our hearts with Christ,
and fill us to overflowing with his mercy and love.
Amen.