Liturgy / Jan 7, 2018

CALL TO WORSHIP

Great is the Lord, the giver of life, who was raised from the dead so that we too may live!
Let us lift up the name of the Lord. 

Great is the Lord, through whom we have been forgiven, through whom we have been justified, through whom we have we been granted peace!
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the gift of your son. 

Great is the Lord, who died for the unworthy, the unclean and the ungrateful, so that we may be have new life in Him. 
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of your life, that we may be made new and know your grace. 

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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.

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 stability of geopolitics and world events; thank you that you work in and through all things; God of all mercy… hear our prayer. 

For the families of those who have lost their lives, and the many who have sustained damages because of extreme weather this winter; provide for and comfort them; God of all mercy… hear our prayer. 

For an end to violence in Chicago, and a re-blossoming of neighborhoods and communities; God of all mercy… hear our prayer. 

For the Church in our city; would we fix our eyes on neither despair nor utopia, but seek to faithfully love within our varied contexts; God of all mercy… hear our prayer. 

For the people of Renewal Church; would they be a blessing to Wells High School, and to one another; God of all mercy… hear our prayer. 

For the children of The Painted Door; would they receive your love and forgiveness with joy; 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 primary gift we receive in salvation is not this or that benefit; it is Jesus Christ in the fullness of his saving person.
— Marcus Johnson

All people have gone our own way and wandered off into darkness. God's rescue of us is not merely to forgive that foolishness; it is also to guide us back into the light. By connecting us to the atoning life and death of Jesus, God both swallows up the penalty of our sin and transforms us into the obedience of his Son. He marries us into the finished work of Christ, so that everything we are is now defined by this One Man. In oneness with him, we are justified and sanctified.


PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Heavenly Father, forgive your people. Each day, we take for granted the gift of your son. Rather than trust in your word and love, we pretend that we are our own masters, that we are telling the story of our own glory. 
Lord, forgive our foolishness.
Remind us of the gift we did nothing to deserve. 

We are a privileged people, who forget that hope and faith are born of suffering. In our comfort, we attempt to sustain ourselves with our ideologies and faulty morality, rather than be sustained by your love, which is poured freely into our hearts.  
Lord, forgive our blindness.
Open our eyes to the pain and hope of your love.

We are a people selfish with our resources, our time, our emotions. We struggle to sacrifice for our loved ones, let alone those we find unworthy. 
Lord, forgive our selfishness.
Open our hearts to your people. 

But though we are dirt, you gave yourself over to suffering and death so that we may live in you. Though we were undeserving, you died for us.
Lord, thank you for joining your life to our own.
Thank you for rescuing us out of our sin, so that we may walk in your grace. Amen.