STEPHEN : MODEL OF FAITHFULNESS (Acts 7: 54 – 60)

Order of Worship:

FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST June 15, 2008 – 9:30 A.M

Opening Prayer & Hymn: “Light Of Light, O Sole-Begotten”

The Invocation And Confessional Prayer

Merciful Father, we have strayed from Your ways like lost sheep. Too often we have followed the desires of our sinful hearts. We have broken Your holy Law and deserve Your eternal condemnation. Yet, You in love invite us to come to You . Be merciful unto us, most gracious Lord. Forgive our many sins according to Your Gospel promises declared to mankind in Christ Jesus. Strengthen our faith. Empower us by Your Holy Spirit that we may live godly, Christian lives to the glory of Your holy Name. This we ask only because of the merits of our dear Savior and Redeemer. Amen.

The Absolution (Announcement Of God’s Forgiveness)

Our Responsive Scripture Reading

The Early Church Responds In Prayer To The Lord’s Deliverance
P: When they heard this, they joined in prayer to God: “Lord God, You made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them. You fulfilled the prophecies spoken by the Holy Spirit through Your prophets about Jesus. Indeed, Pontius Pilate and Herod conspired with the Jewish leaders against Your holy servant, Jesus. They did what Your hand and purpose had determined before to be done.”
C: “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable Your servants to speak Your Word with all boldness.” (Acts 4: 24-29)

Jesus Foretells The World’s Rejection Of His Witnesses (John 15-17)
P: If the world hates you, know that it hated me first. If you were of the world, it would love you as its own. But you are not of the world, for I have chosen you out of the world. No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. They will do this because they do not know the One Who sent me. Even though they have seen Me and My miracles, they have hated Me. Just as I am sending the Holy Spirit to testify of Me, so you must also testify. These things I have spoken so that you will not go astray. They will put you out of the synagogue. The time is coming when anyone seeking to kill you will believe he is doing a service to God. I tell you this so that when it happens, you will remember that I warned you.”
C: Yet, those You have given me, Father, have believed in Me. As You sent Me into the world, so I am sending them. While they are still in the world, holy Father, protect them from the Evil One. Keep them safe by the power of Your Name. Through them the world knows that You sent Me and have loved them. Father, I want those whom You have given to Me to be with Me where I am and to see My glory.

TLH 471 st 2-3: Hark! the Sound of Holy Voices Hymnary.org link

Patriarch and holy prophet, Who prepared the way of Christ,
King, apostle, saint, confessor, Martyr and evangelist,
Saintly maiden, godly matron, Widows who have watched to prayer,
Joined in holy concert, singing To the Lord of all, are there.

They have come from tribulation And have washed their robes in blood,
Washed them in the blood of Jesus; They were tried and firm they stood.
Mocked, imprisoned, stoned, tormented, Sawn asunder, slain with sword,
They have conquered death and Satan By the might of Christ the Lord.

The Apostles’ Creed (Hymnal, Page 12)

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 Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,was crucified, dead and buried; The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth 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 Ghost, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.

TLH 452 : The Son of God Goes Forth to War Hymnary.org link

The Sermon ………………………………………… Acts 7: 54 – 60

When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said,“I see heaven open & the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” At this they cover- ed their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Mean- while, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed; “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

STEPHEN : MODEL OF FAITHFULNESS

1. Faithful In Confessing Christ – Even Unto Death
2. Faithful In Believing – Receiving A Crown Of Life

TLH 463 st 1-4: For All the Saints Hymnary.org link

The Offering (Duet: “It is Well With My Soul”)
(Vocalists: Teri & heather Schierenbeck; Accompanist: Cathy Augustin)

When peace like a river attendeth my way. When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, “It is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul. It is well, It is well with my soul.”

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought, That my sin not in part, but the whole,
It is nailed to the cross, so I bear it no more. Praise the Lord, oh my soul.
It is well with my soul,. It is well, It is well with my soul.

Lord, haste the day when faith shall be sight, The clouds rolled back as a scroll,
The trump will resound & the Lord will descend, Even so, it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul. It is well, it is well with my soul. Our Prayers And Our Lord’s Benediction

TLH 475 st 3-4: Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones Hymnary.org link

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.