2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1*
Call to worship:
Leader: We do not lose heart. No, we take refuge in the God who can do all things.
People: We do not lose heart. No, we take refuge in the God who brings us into his presence.
Leader: We come united, for a house divided cannot stand. We come, holding fast to the promises of God.
People: We come united, not looking to what can be seen. We come, trusting in the promise that the one who raised the Lord Jesus is doing a mighty work in us today. Amen!
– Prepared by Michael Anthony Howard from 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1 and Mark 3:25.
O Lord our God,
We believe, and so we speak.
We speak of your grace, as it extends out to the world around us.
We speak of thanksgiving, for you have done great things among us.
We speak of your glory, because we believe that everything is for your sake;
it is in you that we live and move and have our being.
You created us for yourself,
so that our hearts are ever restless until we find rest in you.
Therefore, we do not lose heart; we believe, and so we speak.
By your grace, O God, let our worship today and the words we speak
be guided and strengthened by your life giving Spirit,
bringing our hearts ever closer to you,
so that our lives might bring you honor and glory. Amen.
- Prepared by Michael Anthony Howard from 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Prayer of Confession:
Have mercy upon us, O God, according to your steadfast love,
for we believe you are a God of grace, love, hope, and peace.
Yet, we confess that we have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have failed to be an obedient church, and we have not lived according to what we believe.
Though we have received your grace, we have failed to be gracious;
though our lives have been strengthened by your love, we have not loved our neighbors;
though you have offered us hope, we have chosen to live out of fear;
and though we have proclaimed your message of peace, we are plagued with strife and envy and anger and pain.
Forgive us, we pray.
Just as you raised Jesus, now raise us into new life through the work of your Spirit,
that we might live what we believe, that as your church, we might be a people of grace and love and hope and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
-Prepared by Michael Anthony Howard
Words of Assurance:
Leader: Hear the good news: In the name of Jesus Christ you are forgiven, for the Spirit of God now lives in us.
People: In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven! Together, let us live according to the Spirit.
All: Glory to God. Amen.
– Prepared by Michael Anthony Howard, from Romans 8:9-12
Prayer for Illumination:
God of grace and glory,
you have gathered us here to share in your presence.
As the scripture is read and your Word proclaimed,
may your Holy Spirit move in us;
Open our eyes that we might see as you see, our ears that we might hear as you hear, and our minds that we might understand that hope to which you have called us.
Because of your presence among us, let your Word strengthen us today so that in times of trials,
we might not lose heart, but that our inner nature may be renewed.
In Jesus Christ or Lord we pray. Amen.
– Prepared by Michael Anthony Howard, for 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1.