Peter highlights a principle here that is relevant to all conditions where disciples of Jesus must endure unjust suffering. It is a gracious thing in the sight of God when we, being mindful of the Lord, endure sorrow while suffering unjustly. This suffering in the face of difficult conditions is our call to follow our Lord Jesus Christ, who left us an example that we might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, uttered no deceit, and never reviled in return for wrongdoing. Rather, he entrusted himself to the Father who judges justly. He bore in his body our sins on the tree, in order that we now might die to sin and live to righteousness, and we are healed by his wounds. While we once strayed like sheep, by faith we have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls.Jesus now guides and protects our souls, like a shepherd does his sheep. Though in times past we were going astray, wandering without guidance or aid, now we have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls. He is the pastor and the bishop of our care, offering tender, all-sufficient management and help for everything we face and wherever we roam. His care will never fail.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
O Shepherd and Overseer of our souls, we commit ourselves to you again, affirming that while we once were roaming without help or direction, we have returned to you, and you are leading us through the work of your Son. Guide us, O great Jehovah, and lead us to the place where you have willed for us to go. We will follow no one else but you. In Christ’s 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.
*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.
Affirmation from the Psalms
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
~ Psalm 23.1-6
Pray without Ceasing - Flash Prayer for the Day
Good Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, lead us into the paths of your good will.