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Acts of the Apostles: Faithful Obscurity (June 21, 2020)

Series: Acts of the Apostles

Please participate in the following liturgy, reading aloud all the parts in bold italics.


Call to Worship: We Exalt Thee

singing:

We exalt Thee,
  We exalt Thee,
We exalt Thee, O Lord.

reading:

O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. 

Praise the Lord.
The Lord’s name be praised.

singing:

For Thou, o Lord, art high above all the earth
  Thou art exalted far above all gods.

We exalt Thee,
  We exalt Thee,
We exalt Thee, O Lord.


Prayers of the People

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray together as God’s people:

Living God,
day by day you sustain the weary with your word,
day by day you gently encourage us to place our trust in you.
Awaken us to the suffering of those around us;
save us from hiding in denials or taunts that deepen the hurt;
give us grace to share one another’s burdens in humble service.

Offer a spontaneous prayer for the Church around the world
(unmute your microphone and speak for all to hear)

You hear us calling,
You hear us calling, O Creator.
Creator of the universe,
you made the world in beauty,
and restore all things in glory.

We pray that, wherever your image is still disfigured
by poverty, sickness, selfishness, war and greed,
the new creation in Jesus Christ may appear in justice, love, and peace,
to the glory of your name.

Offer a spontaneous prayer for the welfare of our country
(unmute your microphone and speak for all to hear)

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

We lift up our prayers for the community of friends in this gathering,
Our families, friends, and all whose lives are closely linked with ours.

Jesus, we ask you:
for protection,
for healing,
for unity,
for justice,
for hope.

Offer a spontaneous prayer for the community around us
(unmute your microphone and speak for all to hear)

You hear us calling,
You hear us calling, O Creator.
We hold up in your great light those in the darkness of deep pain,
those who suffer, all who are sick,
and the many who are worn down.

Jesus, we ask you:
for fresh strength,
for your nearness,
for Life today,
for Life to come.

Offer a spontaneous prayer for those who are suffering and in need
(unmute your microphone and speak for all to hear)

Lord in Your mercy,
Hear our Prayer.


Scripture Reading: Acts 1:14-26

“All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred and twenty people) and said, ‘Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus— for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.’ (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. This became known to all the residents of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their language Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

‘For it is written in the book of Psalms,
“Let his homestead become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it”;
and “Let another take his position of overseer.”

So one of the men who have accompanied us throughout the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.’ So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed and said, ‘Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.’ And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.”

The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God


Homily

Practice: Your Love is Strong

Heavenly Father, You always amaze me
  Let Your kingdom come in my world and in my life
Give me the food I need to live through today
  And forgive me as I forgive the people that wrong me

Lead me far from temptation
  Deliver me from the evil one

I look out the window, the birds are composing
  Not a note is out of tune or out of place
I walk to the meadow And stare at the flowers
  Better dressed than any girl on her wedding day

So why should I worry? Why do I freak out?
   God knows what I need
   You know what I need

Your love is, Your love is
    Your love is strong

The Kingdom of the Heavens is now advancing
  Invade my heart, invade this broken town
The Kingdom of the Heavens is buried treasure
   Would you sell yourself to buy the one you’ve found?

Two things You told me:
   That You are strong
   And You love me

Your love is, Your love is
   Your love is strong

Our God in Heaven
   Hallowed be Thy name
   Above all names
Your kingdom come
   Your will be done
   On earth as it is in Heaven
Give us today our daily bread
   Forgive us weary sinners
Keep us far from our vices and
   Deliver us from these prisons


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The Cross of Christ

All our problems,
We send to the cross of Christ!
All our difficulties,
We send to the cross of Christ!
All the devil’s works,
We send to the cross of Christ!
And all our hopes,
We set on the Risen Christ!


Blessing & Sending

Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God.


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