Paul told the Thessalonicans that the judgment of God was declared and would come. He gave them a solemn warning that the Lord would come like a thief in the night, with unbelievers offering an indifferent and ignorant response. The effect would come upon them suddenly and harshly, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman. The righteous, those who believe in the Lord Jesus and patiently await his arrival, will not be surprised, for they are children of light, children of the day, and not of the night or darkness. As believers they ought neither to sleep nor to be drunk, but be of the day and keep sober, putting on the armor of God – the breastplate of faith and love, and the helmet of salvation.Paul then tells the people that God has not destined “us” (he includes himself) for wrath, but rather to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. It was he who died for us that whether we are awake or asleep (i.e., living or dead) we might live with him. Our future should never be filled with the fear of condemnation, judgment, and wrath, but rather assurances of freedom, forgiveness and new life.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal God, thank you that in your master plan for your universe, you did not appoint your people for wrath – for deserved justice for the wrongs and the evil that we have done. You were merciful, and therefore have appointed us
for mercy and grace, for forgiveness and new life, and for salvation in your Son’s holy name. Thank you for your grace and your love; show us how to live into them by faith. In Christ’s name we ask, 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 preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.  Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.  For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling;  I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.  I believed, even when I spoke: “I am greatly afflicted”;  I said in my alarm, “All mankind are liars.”  What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me?  I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD,  I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
~ Psalm 116.6-14
Pray without Ceasing - Flash Prayer for the Day
Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, that you have not appointed me for wrath but for salvation, and blessing, and life.