Liturgy / Feb 20, 2018
CALL TO WORSHIP
All who gather here, rejoice!
You have tried to shake off your sin, erase it, or at the very least forget it,
but come, see what Christ has done!
Come, let us see together!
The Lord has fulfilled the law; you need no longer live under its shadow!
Let us rejoice in the Lord together!
Come, for Christ the Lord offers you new life in his Spirit.
Come, let us gather in this Spirit and enjoy what Christ has done!
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 new leadership in South Africa and Ethiopia, would they be wise, humble and generous; God of all mercy… Hear our prayer.
For the Florida parents burying their children this week, be near them in their grief; God of all mercy… Hear our prayer.
For the family of Police Commander Paul Bauer, killed while on duty this week; be near them in their grief; God of all mercy… Hear our prayer.
For your Church in this city and around the world; even as the culture around us is awash in fear, would we rest in your strength, goodness and love; God of all mercy… Hear our prayer.
Thank you for being a strong tower we can run to for safety; 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.
THE ONE MAN: TO PLEASE GOD
Pastor Mark Bergin
Part of what it means to be a Christian is to be filled with a desire to please God. He is our Father, and we want to live in his pleasure. But what pleases God? Is it seeing us better ourselves, watching us pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and really make something of our lives? No, the Apostle Paul tells us that it is impossible to please God with such labor in our own strength. God is holy, and the only thing that pleases him is perfection. He will not settle for anything less for us. So it is that self-improvement winds up being a dead end. To please God, we need something beyond ourselves. We need a whole new way of being. And he has given that to us in the Spirit of Christ.
PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Brothers and sisters, are you filled with dread of your sin and its consequences?
Hear this: your sin has been put to death and buried.
Hallelujah, Lord Jesus! You have fulfilled the law. You have swallowed up our condemnation.
Brothers and sisters, do you feel defined by the failings of your flesh?
Hear this: more surely than your own skin, Christ's righteousness covers your frame.
Hallelujah, you have given us the fullness of your life!
Brothers and sisters, are you weary of the ever-present sorrows and pangs of sin?
Hear this: as surely as your bodies will die, you will rise in a new creation.
Lord Jesus, we rejoice, for as we follow you to the grave the Spirit of resurrection drives out fear.
Brothers and sisters, do you feel unable to give of yourselves, even to love your own families?
Hear this: more surely than the blood in your veins, the Spirit of Christ dwells in you.
Praise God, our failures and our weakness are no obstacle to the Spirit! Let us step freely into your life and peace!