Bulletin 2/24: Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany
PRELUDE (a time for silent reflection)
WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
HYMN # 544 BLUE Jesus Shall Reign, v. 1-4
Jesus shall reign where’er the sun doth his successive journeys run; his kingdom stretch from shore to shore, till moons shall wax and wane no more.
To him shall endless prayer be made, and praises throng to crown his head; his Name like sweet perfume shall rise with every morning sacrifice.
People and realms of every tongue dwell on his love with sweetest song; and infant voices shall proclaim their early blessings on his Name.
Blessings abound where’er he reigns: the pris’ners leap to lose their chains, the weary find eternal rest, and all who suffer want are blest.
THE WORD OF GOD
SIGN OF THE CROSS
Celebrant Blessed be the one, holy, and living God.
People Glory to God for ever and ever.
Beloved God, as we approach your Presence, guide and stir us with your Holy Spirit, that we may become one body, one spirit in Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
SONG OF PRAISE #410 BLUE Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven
Angels, help us to adore him; ye behold him face to face; sun and moon, bow down before him, dwellers all in time and space. Alleluia, alleluia! Praise with us the God of grace.
THE COLLECT OF THE DAY
Celebrant The Lord be with you.
People And also with you.
Celebrant Let us pray.
O Lord, you have taught us that without love whatever we do is worth nothing: Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts your greatest gift, which is love, the true bond of peace and of all virtue, without which whoever lives is accounted dead before you. Grant this for the sake of your only Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
A Reading from First Corinthians 15:35-40, 42-58
But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. Not all flesh is alike, but there is one flesh for human beings, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are both heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one thing, and that of the earthly is another. So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first, but the physical, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven. What I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Reader The Word of the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.
Let us say together Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40
Do not fret because of the wicked; do not be envious of wrongdoers,
for they will soon fade like the grass, and wither like the green herb.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
He will make your vindication shine like the light, and the justice of your cause like the noonday.
Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him; do not fret over those who prosper in their way, over those who carry out evil devices.
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath. Do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For the wicked shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.
Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look diligently for their place, they will not be there.
But the meek shall inherit the land, and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.
The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their refuge in the time of trouble.
The Lord helps them and rescues them; he rescues them from the wicked, and saves them, because they take refuge in him.
HYMN #304 BLUE I Come with Joy to Meet My Lord, v. 1-3
I come with joy to meet my Lord, forgiven, loved, and free, in awe and wonder to recall his life laid down for me.
I come with Christians far and near to find, as all are fed, the new community of love in Christ’s communion bread.
As Christ breaks bread and bids us share, each proud division ends. That love that made us makes us one, and strangers now are friends.
THE GOSPEL Luke 6:27-38
Celebrant The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.
People Glory to you, Lord Christ.
Jesus said, “I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
Celebrant The Gospel of the Lord.
People Praise to you, Lord Christ.
SERMON Pastor Neil
THE NICENE CREED (please stand)
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
With all our heart and with all our mind, let us pray to the Lord, saying, “Lord, have mercy.”
For the peace from above, for the loving kindness of God, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For the peace of the world, for the unity of all peoples, and for all the leaders of the nations and all those in authority, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For Eugene and Chilton, our bishops, Neil our priest, and for all the clergy and people, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For the community of Springwell, the city of Baltimore, those who live here, and their families, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For the good earth which God has given us, and for the wisdom and will to conserve it, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For all who endure illness, oppression, poverty, or any other suffering; for Pastor Neil’s pastoral and healthcare ministry, and for other caregivers, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For all refugees, that God might bring them to a place of peace and safety, we pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
We especially pray for those suffering from human rights abuses; because of winter weather, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, and other disasters, and for those we name now… (please add your petitions). Let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, Light of the World, hear our prayers, and make us reflections of your Light, that the places of darkness in our world would be pierced by your Light, and that all nations would be drawn to you and be overwhelmed with joy. Amen.
Let us confess our sins to God (Silence may be kept).
Celebrant and People
God of all mercy, we confess that we have sinned against you, opposing your will in our lives. We have denied your goodness in each other, in ourselves, and in the world you have created. We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf. Forgive, restore, and strengthen us through our Savior Jesus Christ, that we may abide in your love and serve only your will. Amen.
Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through the grace of Jesus Christ. Strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. Amen.
Celebrant The peace of the Lord be always with you.
People And also with you.
(Please greet one another in the name of the Lord.)
Let us with gladness present the offerings and gifts of our life and labor to the Lord. (Please be seated)
HYMN #8 BLUE Morning Has Broken
Morning has broken like the first morning; blackbird has spoken like the first bird. Praise for the singing! Praise for the morning! Praise for them, springing fresh from the Word!
Sweet the rain’s new fall sunlit from heaven, like the first dewfall on the first grass. Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden, sprung in completeness where his feet pass.
Mine is the sunlight! Mine is the morning born of the one light Eden saw play! Praise with elation, praise every morning, God’s re-creation of the new day!
Please stand as you are able.
PRESENTATION HYMN #135 BLUE Songs of Thankfulness Songs of thankfulness and praise, Jesus, Lord, to thee we raise, manifested by the star to the sages from afar; branch of royal David’s stem in thy birth at Bethlehem; anthems be to thee addressed, God in man made manifest.
THE HOLY COMMUNION
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
Celebrant The Lord be with you.
People And also with you.
Celebrant Lift up your hearts.
People We lift them to the Lord.
Celebrant Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Celebrant will chant:
It is indeed right and salutary … (preface continues) …we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
SANCTUS S-125 BLUE
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest, Hosanna in the highest.
In these latter days, God leaned toward the earth and spoke to us by a Son, Jesus the Beloved. Born of our sister Mary and the Holy Spirit, guarded by our brother Joseph with fatherly care, Jesus came among us as a helpless babe, cradled beside the beasts and warmed by their breath – human, as we are, in need of human love.
Kings bowed down before him, bringing gifts; emperors were troubled by his reign – this Child in whom all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. This Word of God was made flesh and dwelt among us, his flesh and blood were given to us, in his final gift of grace. As a servant, Jesus emptied himself of might upon the cross, and as the risen Anointed One is enthroned at God’s right hand to bring mercy and justice to all the earth at the end of days.
At supper with his disciples he took bread and offered you thanks.
He broke the bread, and gave it to them, saying, “Take, eat. This is my Body: it is broken for you.”
After supper, he took the cup, he offered you thanks, and gave it to them saying: “Drink this, all of you. This is my Blood of the new covenant; it is poured out for you, and for all, that sins may be forgiven. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith:
ACCLAMATION OF FAITH (said together)
We now obey your Son’s command. We recall his blessed passion and death, his glorious resurrection and ascension; and we look for the coming of his Kingdom.
Made one with him, we offer you these gifts and with them ourselves a single, holy, living sacrifice.
Hear us, most merciful God, and send your Holy Spirit upon us and upon this bread and this wine, that, overshadowed by his life-giving power, they may be the Body and Blood of your Son, and we may be kindled with the fire of your love and renewed for the service of your Kingdom.
Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, to you be honor, glory, and praise, for ever and ever. Amen.
And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say:
THE LORD’S PRAYER (traditional)
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
PRE-COMMUNION ANTHEM S-154 BLUE
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
The gifts of God for the people of God. Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving.
WELCOME TO THE TABLE
All are welcome to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, without exception. The usher will direct you when to come forward (those in the back of the room come first). Cup your hands together to receive the bread and when the wine is offered, either dip your wafer in the wine or assist the chalice bearer to guide the cup to your lips. Alternately, you may cross your hands over your chest to indicate you wish a blessing from the priest. The elements will be brought to those who are unable to come forward.
Loving God, we give you thanks for restoring us in your image and nourishing us with spiritual food in the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood. Now send us forth a people forgiven, healed, renewed; that we may proclaim your love to the world and continue in the risen life of Christ our Savior. Amen.
Sisters and brothers, we go out into the world in peace, as part of God’s beloved community. May God help us all to be of good courage, hold on to what is good, return to no one an evil for an evil. Strengthen the faint-hearted, support the weak, aid the suffering, honor all people, and let our gentleness be known by everyone. May God, who raised our Lord Jesus from death, lift us up and restore us to wholeness. And may God bless us all, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Amen.
HYMN #423 BLUE Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
Immortal, invisible, God only wise, in light inaccessible hid from our eyes, most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days, almighty, victorious, thy great Name we praise.
Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light, nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might; thy justice like mountains high soaring above thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.
To all life thou givest, to both great and small; in all life thou livest, the true life of all; we blossom and flourish, like leaves on the tree, then wither and perish; but nought changeth thee.
Thou reignest in glory, thou rulest in light; thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight; all laud we would render: O help us to see ‘tis only the splendor of light hideth thee.
Celebrant Go in peace to love and serve the Lord, alleluia, alleluia!
People Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia!