Persistence in prayer evoked the admiration of Jesus and wins the attention of the Lord when Abraham intercedes for Sodom. The life of the baptized—to be rooted and built up in Christ Jesus the Lord—is to be rooted in prayer. God hears and answers prayer and so strengthens God’s own. “When I called, you answered me; you increased my strength within me.”
NOTES ABOUT WORSHIP TODAY
This morning’s order of service is Morning Prayer. The Christian discipline of daily prayer goes back to the ancient Church practices, as well as the set times of prayer in Judaism. At morning prayer, we give thanks for the gift of new life in Christ and seek God’s grace for the day ahead. The Thanksgiving for Baptism highlights our common baptismal pattern of daily prayer, with its rhythm of dying and rising with Christ. Also, the services of daily prayer in community may be led by any baptized member. For more on the importance of Daily Prayer and the Presbyterian understanding and practice, see the Book of Order’s Directory for Worship, W-5.0102.
Today’s ordering is a version of Morning Song from the 1906 Presbyterian Book of Common Worship. The hymns move us into the presence of God in praise and worship, open us up to hear the Word, and then be sent.
Ordinarily, an offering is not received during Daily Prayer. Hence, the ushers will be in the Narthex (great entrance hall) to collect any tithes or offerings.
PRELUDE: The Tie That Binds- hymn-tune DENNIS by Johann Georg Nägeli, setting by P. F. Tillen
WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
As a matter of hospitality, we invite everyone to fill out information in the red fellowship pad found on each pew at the center aisle and pass it down so everyone may be greeted by name during the passing of the peace. Written announcements can be found at the back of the bulletin.
*OPENING SENTENCES AND PRAYER OF THE DAY (Lk 10:25–37)
Come, O God, and fill this space.
Come, Holy Spirit, and fill our hearts.
Come, Lord Jesus, and lead the way.
Teach us to worship the living God.
Jesus Christ, teach us to pray,
and to trust the hospitality of God for our daily bread,
as our ancestors who ate manna in the wilderness.
Let us likewise be hospitable,
and as God gives the gift of the Holy Spirit to us,
let us give good gifts to those who are in need. Amen.
# 396 Brethren, We Have Met to Worship (verses 1 & 3)
#306 Blest Be the Tie That Binds (verses 1-2, 4)
# 469 Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying (sing 3 times)
THANKSGIVING FOR BAPTISM
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Redeeming God, we give you thanks
that through the gift of our baptism
you have clothed us in your grace
and made us heirs of your promise.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
set us free from all that we fear
and let us live according to our faith;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
Friends, let us remember your baptism and be thankful.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
REAFFIRMATION OF FAITH
With the whole church, let us confess our faith.
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
The peace of Christ be with you. And also with you.
The people may exchange with one another, by words and gesture, signs of peace
ALL SING # 853 We Are Marching in the Light of God
THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION (Ps. 90:14)
Satisfy us with your love in the morning,
and we will live this day in joy and praise.
God of all mercies,
we give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all living things.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your boundless love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace,
and for the hope of glory.
Give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts
we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips but in our lives,
by giving up ourselves to your service,
and by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our redeemer,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be all honor and glory now and forever. Amen.
Treasuring your promise to hear us when we call, we pray for the church, those in need, and all of your creation.
A brief silence.
Merciful God, you know your church. Guard and keep the whole body of Christ. Increase in us strength, love, and peace so that we are a blessing to the world. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Merciful Creator, you know the work of your hands. Guard and keep your creation. Bless the work of those who tend the earth’s resources and who seek to provide abundantly for all. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Merciful King, you know the nations, and you are the head of every ruler and authority. Guard and keep the world in justice and mercy, and let the words of your mouth bring peace on earth. Your kingdom come. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Merciful Lord, you know our needs. Guard and keep those who are hungry, those who are victims of violence or oppression, and those who are weary from illness (especially). Give us today our daily bread. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Merciful God, you know our congregation. Guard and keep those who enrich us with the gift of music in this place, proclaiming the gospel in song as did Johann Sebastian Bach, Heinrich Schütz, and George Frederick Handel whom we commemorate this week. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Here other intercessions may be offered.
Merciful Lord, you know your saints. Guard and keep those faithful departed (especially). Inspire our confidence in you until that day when we are all raised in the power and glory of Christ, as we commemorate this week:
Mary, Martha, and Lazarus of Bethany, William Penn, Joseph of Arimathea, Ignatius Loyola, Eugene Carson Blake, Robert Morrison, Philosopher Ornatsky, Flannery O’Connor, and Lydia the Purple Seller. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
All these things and more we ask in the name of our risen Lord, Jesus Christ, by the power of your Holy Spirit, who taught us to pray:
who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom
and the power
and the glory, forever.
PRAYER OF ILLUMINATION # 458 Thy Word is a Lamp Unto My Feet
FIRST READING: Genesis 18:20-32
In today’s reading, Abraham undertakes the role of a mediator between God and sinful humanity. Appealing to God’s justice, Abraham boldly asks for mercy for the city of Sodom, for the sake of the few righteous people who are in it, including Abraham’s nephew, Lot.
20Then the LORD said, “How great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how very grave their sin! 21I must go down and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me; and if not, I will know.”
22So the men turned from there, and went toward Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before the LORD. 23Then Abraham came near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” 24Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will you then sweep away the place and not forgive it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26And the LORD said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake.” 27Abraham answered, “Let me take it upon myself to speak to the LORD, I who am but dust and ashes. 28Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29Again he spoke to him, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30Then he said, “Oh do not let the LORD be angry if I speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31He said, “Let me take it upon myself to speak to the LORD. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32Then he said, “Oh do not let the LORD be angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.”
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
PSALM 138, Hymn # 334 With Grateful Heart My Thanks I Bring
SECOND READING: Colossians 2:6-19
Paul warns his congregation in Colossae about “the empty lure” of philosophies and traditions that compromise faith. Through the gift of faith, the church is mystically connected with Christ in his death and resurrection, which is enacted in baptism.
6As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
8See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. 9For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. 11In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; 12when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, 14erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. 15He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.
16Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. 17These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, 19and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
GOSPEL: Luke 11:1-13
In teaching his disciples this prayer, Jesus also reminds them to focus on God’s coming reign, God’s mercy, and the strengthening of the community. Jesus encourages his disciples to child-like trust and persistence in prayer.
1[Jesus] was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” 2He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
3Give us each day our daily bread.
4And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.”
5And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.
9So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
*HYMN # 464 Our Father, Which Art in Heaven
*SENDING HYMN # 465 What a Friend We Have in Jesus
*BLESSING & DISMISSAL
POSTLUDE: Our Father- hymntune WEST INDIAN, setting by P. F. Tillen
NOTES: Order of service and content is in accord with the Presbyterian Church’s Directory for Worship. Prayers are from the online Glory to God Hymnal site (http://hymnal.pcusastore.com), Sundays and Seasons (Year C), the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship (2018), and informed by the order of the 1906 Book of Common Worship. Commemoration of Saints is from the 2018 Book of Common Worship, starting on pg 1145.
Calendar of Commemorations:
28 – Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) One of the greatest composers of Christian music, Bach was the organist and music director of St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. His music for worship was often based on German hymn tunes, many of which he arranged as cantatas. The readings for Holy Week were dramatized in his St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion. Though he was a Lutheran, his B Minor Mass was a setting for the traditional Latin liturgy. A number of his hymns appear in Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal.
29 – Mary, Martha, and Lazarus of Bethany (Luke 10:38–42; John 11–12) Sisters Mary and Martha and their brother Lazarus were friends of Jesus who figure prominently in the Gospel of John. The raising of Lazarus from the dead by Jesus drew many disciples; however, this act also infuriated the religious leaders, who plotted to kill Lazarus as well. Lazarus and his sisters were deeply loved by Jesus, and followed him as disciples.
30 – William Penn (1644–1718) An active defender of religious tolerance in England, Penn came to the New World to establish Pennsylvania as a sanctuary where freedom of conscience would be protected. He negotiated peacefully with the Native Americans, championed equal rights for women, produced a written constitution for Pennsylvania, and created a penal code that was humane. His Quaker faith taught him that the ultimate moral authority is the individual conscience.
31 – Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:57, etc.) A member of the Sanhedrin, Joseph did not agree with the resolution to have Jesus put to death because he was a secret follower of Jesus. Seeing the crucifixion, Joseph became even bolder, offering his own tomb for the burial of the Lord.
31 – Ignatius Loyola (1491–1556) Recovering from a wound received in battle, the soldier Ignatius read the only books available to him where he was confined: a life of Christ and stories of the saints. He decided these were lives worth emulating. He became a priest and founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), an order devoted to ministries of preaching and teaching, and was responsible for founding schools and colleges around the world. His Spiritual Exercises provided a spiritual discipline that involves not only the intellect but the emotions as well. A loving person, Ignatius was loved by those who knew him.
31 – Eugene Carson Blake (1906–1985) A graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, Blake held pastorates in New York City and Albany, New York, and in Pasadena, California. He was elected Call to Worship 36 Volume 47.4, 2014 Stated Clerk of the United Presbyterian Church in 1951, a position he held until 1966. In 1963, Blake joined with Martin Luther King Jr. (see April 4) and other civil rights leaders in calling for a March on Washington for jobs and freedom. Blake continued to champion the cause of civil rights, even being arrested on July 4, 1963, when challenging the segregation policy of a Baltimore amusement park.
Blake was also a strong advocate of unity among Christians, feeling that disunity was a scandal and cause for shame. His sermon “A Proposal toward the Reunion of Christ’s Church,” preached in San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, December 4, 1960, launched a new ecumenical era.
1 – Robert Morrison (1782–1834) Robert Morrison was the first Protestant to go as a missionary to China. After his elementary education, he became apprenticed to a shoemaker and studied theology in his spare time. He offered his services to the London Missionary Society, and after completing his studies and learning Chinese, he went to Canton in 1807. Among his accomplishments were the founding of a college, the compilation of a Chinese dictionary, and the translation of the Bible into Chinese.
2 – Philosoph Ornatsky (d. 1918) Ornatsky was the son of a priest in Novogrod. After his own ordination to the priesthood, he was named rector of the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg. His powerful preaching attracted many spiritually hungry listeners. When the Russian revolution broke out, Ornatsky spoke against the Bolsheviks. Fearless as he was, the time came when he was arrested along with his two sons, one a physician in the military and the other also an officer. They were marched off with other prisoners, including some of his parishioners, to their execution by a firing squad. Along the way, Onatsky read out loud the prayers for the departure of the soul. They were killed and thrown into the sea on August 2, 1918.
3 – Flannery O’Connor (1925–1964) One of the greatest of American writers, Flannery O’Connor was a devout Roman Catholic living in the Protestant South. In her two novels and thirty-two short stories, she wrote of people and how they were able—or not—to deal with grace. Her faith permeated her stories, yet she was never overbearing or didactic, thus winning recognition for her art in literary circles, as well as acclaim for her religious witness by other Christians. While often critical of the church, hers was a lover’s quarrel, as was evident in her letters and essays. She died of lupus on August 3 at the age of thirty-nine.
3 – Lydia the Purple Seller (1st century –Acts 16:14, 15) Lydia was Paul’s first convert in Macedonia. She provided hospitality and a base of operations for Paul and Silas, offering them refuge when they were set free after unjust imprisonment. As a seller of purple cloth and dyes, Lydia was a person of means, able to provide substantial backing to the missionaries of the young Christian faith.