Easter Season | Seventh Sunday – 21 May 2023
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
O God, the King of glory,
you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ
with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven:
Do not leave us comfortless,
but send us your Holy Spirit
to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place
where our Savior Christ has gone before;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Jesus: “Holy Father…
protect [those you have given me]
by the power of your name
so that they will be united
just as we are.”
Rejoice, the Lord Is King! – Norton Hall Band
From Acts of the Apostles: Acts 1:6-14 (NLT)
The Ascension of Jesus
1:6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”
He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”
1:12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile. When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying.
Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the zealot), and Judas (son of James). They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.
From Psalms: Psalm 68:32-35 – Westminster Covenanter
Psalm 68:32-35 Sheffield Scottish Metrical Psalter 1650
32 O all ye kingdoms of the earth,
sing praises to this King;
For he is Lord that ruleth all,
unto him praises sing.
33 To him that rides on heav’ns of heav’ns,
which he of old did found;
Lo, he sends out his voice, a voice
in might that doth abound.
34 Strength unto God do ye ascribe;
for his excellency
Is over Israel, his strength
is in the clouds most high.
35 Thou’rt from thy temple dreadful, Lord;
Isr’el’s own God is he,
Who gives his people strength and pow’r:
O let God blessed be.
From the Epistles: 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11 (NLT)
Suffering for Being a Christian
4:12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.
If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you.
5:6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.
In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen.
Firm Foundation (He Won’t) | Maranatha! Music
Gospel Reading: John 17:1-11 (NLT)
The Prayer of Jesus
17:1 After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.
“I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me.
“My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are.
All Hail The Power Of Jesus’ Name || Hymns of Grace
+ O God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Savior, the Prince of Peace: Give us grace to take to heart the grave dangers we are in through our many divisions. Deliver your Church from all enmity and prejudice, and everything that hinders us from godly union. As there is one Body and one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so make us all to be of one heart and of one mind, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and love, that with one voice we may give you praise; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God in everlasting glory. Amen.
+ Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear our prayers, and grant that in our local assemblies the pure Word of God may be preached and the Sacraments duly administered. Strengthen and confirm the faithful; protect and guide the children; visit and relieve the sick; turn and soften the wicked; arouse the careless; recover the fallen; restore the penitent; remove all hindrances to the advancement of your truth; and bring us all to be of one heart and mind within your holy Church, to the honor and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
+ O God of peace, who has taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength: By the might of your Spirit lift us, we pray, into your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Closing: FaithandWorship.com | John Birch
Be the Life I live
Be the Love I give
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.