The Season after Pentecost; A Season of Christ's Hope
Proper 24, Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
This Week's Theme
THE APOSTLES ARRESTED AND BEATEN
Luke’s record of the early church in Acts reveals that many signs and wonders were regularly done by the apostles among the people. The people revered them, holding them in high esteem, and did not join them. And multitudes of believers were being added to the Lord, both men and women. Many sick people and demon-possessed from towns around Jerusalem were gathering there in Jerusalem, and came to the apostles, who healed them.
Filled with jealously and envy, the high priest and the Sadducees arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. During the night an angel appeared, and released the apostles, telling them, “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” At daybreak, then, they reentered the temple and began to teach. Now, the high priest and his associates called the Council together, the senate of the people, and ordered the officials at the prison to have them brought to the gathering.
Of course, when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported as much to the chief priests. Someone alerted the officers that the apostles were in the temple teaching the people, and the officials had them brought to the gathering (but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people).
Having been brought before the Council, the high priest questioned them, reminding them that they were strictly charged not to teach in Jesus’ name, and yet, they had filled Jerusalem with their teaching, intending to bring “this man’s blood” upon them. Peter and the apostles explained their mission, saying, “We must obey God rather than men.” They again testified concerning Jesus as Leader and Savior, as the Messiah who would grant repentance to Israel and the forgiveness of sins. They testified that they were witnesses to his death and resurrection, and so was the Holy Spirit, whom the Father was granting to those who obeyed him.
Enraged with a desire to kill the apostles, the high priest and the officials were counseled by the respected Pharisee Gamaliel to leave these men alone, for if their teaching was merely on their own, it would soon come to nothing. However, if what the apostles were saying was from God, no one would be able stop them. So the Council, having again called in the apostles, beat them, and charged them not to speak any longer in the name of Jesus. Yet, after being released, the apostles rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for Jesus’ name. And every day, wherever they were, the apostles continued to teach and preach that the Messiah was Jesus.
Extreme devotion to Christ is often times associated with the testimony of the Gospel concerning his mission in the world. It is an honor to suffer dishonor for bearing witness to the name of Jesus.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal God our Father, the God of the Lord Jesus, thank you for the commitment of the apostles, who counted it an honor to bear the shame of speaking in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Help us to overcome the fear of other people, and to stand true and clear, representing him with boldness and integrity, for his name is great and worthy of praise. In his name we pray, amen.
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father, And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning, Is now, and ever shall be, World without end. Amen, amen.
Chronological Reading for the Day
The Apostles' Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick 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.
* In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord's Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in 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, for ever. Amen.
~Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, grant to us the same mind as that of the apostles, who determined to speak your message with clarity, and represent your mission boldly. They stood their ground for you, even in the face of religious leaders who ordered them to do otherwise, and who punished them with beatings and stripes. Help us never to waver or be ashamed, to stand strong and clear, and to declare with love and respect your Gospel message, which carries the words of eternal life for those who believe. In your name we pray, amen.
Affirmation from the Psalms
The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake! The LORD is great in Zion; he is exalted over all the peoples. Let them praise your great and awesome name! Holy is he! The King in his might loves justice. You have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt the LORD our God; worship at his footstool! Holy is he!
~ Psalm 99.1-5
Pray without Ceasing - Flash Prayer for the Day
Show us the worth and weight of the name of Jesus, the highest name in this world and the one to come.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Apostles Arrested and Beaten, Acts 5.12-42
DAILY: Extreme Devotion Writing Team, Extreme Devotion
Howell, Servants, Misfits, and Martyrs