Week 44: September 24 - September 30, 2017

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Sunday, September 24th, 2017: Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

  • 1 This Week's Theme
  • 2 Preparing Our Hearts
  • 3 Praising Our God
  • 4 Listening to His Voice
  • 5 Responding in Faith
  • 6 Departing to Serve
  • 7 For Your Weekly Journey
  • Fierce: Deborah

    Judges 4.1-24

    When Israel did evil in the Lord’s sight, after the death of the judge Ehud, the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan. His commander, Sisera, had 900 chariots of iron, and had oppressed Israel for twenty years. Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, judged Israel at this time, sitting under a palm tree known as the palm of Deborah, and all the people came to her for judgment. She summoned Barak and ordered him to gather his men at Mount Tabor, 10,000 from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun to fight against Sisera and to win. On hearing this, Barak told Deborah that if she would go with him he would go, but if not, he would not go either. Deborah assured him she would go, but that the LORD would sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. So Barak called out the 10,000 men, and Deborah accompanied him.

    When Sisera heard of Barak’s movements, he positioned his 900 iron chariots (cf. Judg. 4.3), near the Kishon River. With Deborah’s command and encouragement to Barak to attack (for the LORD had given Sisera into his hands), Barak led his men from Mount Tabor to fight the enemy forces of Sisera. As Deborah had promised, the Lord routed Sisera’s chariot and army, Barak pursued Sisera and his army, and disposed of them all, by the edge of the sword. It was utterly thorough: “not a man was left.”

    Sisera slipped away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin’s house and Heber’s house. Jael covered him with a rug, gave him milk, and stood at the door to check for his pursuers while he slept. When Sisera fell asleep, Jael went softly to him, took a tent peg and hammer, and drove the peg through Sisera’s temple into the ground! When Barak passed her tent while pursuing Sisera, she went out to meet him and said, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” Barak went into her tent, and there lay Sisera dead, with the tent peg in his temple. Deborah’s prophecy was fulfilled (cf. v. 9), for it pleased the LORD to use the initiative of two incredibly fierce warrior women for the defeat of the great commander Sisera – Deborah who initiated the fight, and Jael, who finished it.

  • Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation

    Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! His great victory has released us from sin and death, and made us whole in him. We stand in awe at your victory seen through Deborah and Jael, two fierce women warriors who brought down the armies of Canaan and Sisera the commander. Make us fearless and fierce like them, in order that we may win your victory today. In Jesus’ name, 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)

    Gloria Patri

    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

    Sunday: Matt. 20; Mark 10.32-52; Luke 18.31-19.27

    Lectionary Readings

    Psalm: Ps. 145.1-8

    OT: Exod. 16.2-15

    Gospel: Matt. 20.1-16

    NT: Phil. 1.21-30

    (Click here for all readings)

  • 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.

  • Benediction  
    Lord Jesus, the chronicler of Hebrews mentions Deborah in their witness of the great heroes and heroines of our faith. Deborah and Jael were fierce and undaunted; they pursued the enemy and won the fight for they embraced you as their victor. Give us their fierce heart, that we might not back down but hold our ground in our fight against the enemy. In your name we pray, amen.

    Affirmation from the Psalms
    For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? – [32] the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. [33] He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. [34] He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. [35] You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. [36] You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip. [37] I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and did not turn back till they were consumed. [38] I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet. [39] For you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me. [40] You made my enemies turn their backs to me, and those who hated me I destroyed. [41] They cried for help, but there was none to save; they cried to the LORD, but he did not answer them.

    ~ Psalm 18.31-41

    Pray without Ceasing - Flash Prayer for the Day
    Lord Jesus Christ, make me fierce and undaunted, always standing strong in the fight for the glory of your name.

  • Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus

    Embracing the Power of Loyalty

    Ruth 1.1-18

    Book Reading

    Sanders, Ministry at the Margins

    Our Corporate Disciplines

    Book Discussion: Monday, September 25, 2017

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