2nd Sunday in Advent: 05 Dec 2021 – Mal 3:1-5; Ps 126; 1 Cor 4:8-21; Luke 3:1-6 ~ Prepare for the Coming Day of Judgement

2nd Sunday in Advent: 05 Dec 2021
Anglican Church of North America
[Lectionary Year C]

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening:

Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for
our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and
inwardly digest them, that by patience and the comfort of your
holy Word we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope
of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus
Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

At this time a message from God came to John son of Zechariah,
who was living in the wilderness. Then John went from place to place
on both sides of the Jordan River, preaching that people should be baptized
to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven.
(Luke 3:2-3)

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On Jordan’s Bank The Baptist’s Cry – Hymn for the Week
Trinity Lutheran Church and Mt. Hope Lutheran Church (LCMS),
Gaylord and Grayling, Michigan

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OT Reading: Mal 3:1-5 (NLT)

The Coming Day of Judgment

3:1 “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

2 “But who will be able to endure it when he comes? Who will be able to stand and face him when he appears? For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal, or like a strong soap that bleaches clothes. 3 He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord. 4 Then once more the Lord will accept the offerings brought to him by the people of Judah and Jerusalem, as he did in the past.

5 “At that time I will put you on trial. I am eager to witness against all sorcerers and adulterers and liars. I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, who oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the foreigners living among you of justice, for these people do not fear me,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

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Psalm: Psalm 126 – The Lord Has Done Great Things For Us – Francesca LaRosa

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NT Reading: 1 Cor 4:8-21 (NLT)

4:8 You think you already have everything you need. You think you are already rich. You have begun to reign in God’s kingdom without us! I wish you really were reigning already, for then we would be reigning with you. 9 Instead, I sometimes think God has put us apostles on display, like prisoners of war at the end of a victor’s parade, condemned to die. We have become a spectacle to the entire world—to people and angels alike.

10 Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you claim to be so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are honored, but we are ridiculed. 11 Even now we go hungry and thirsty, and we don’t have enough clothes to keep warm. We are often beaten and have no home. 12 We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. 13 We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash—right up to the present moment.

14 I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children. 15 For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. 16 So I urge you to imitate me.

17 That’s why I have sent Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of how I follow Christ Jesus, just as I teach in all the churches wherever I go.

18 Some of you have become arrogant, thinking I will not visit you again. 19 But I will come—and soon—if the Lord lets me, and then I’ll find out whether these arrogant people just give pretentious speeches or whether they really have God’s power. 20 For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. 21 Which do you choose? Should I come with a rod to punish you, or should I come with love and a gentle spirit?

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Power | Live | Elevation Worship

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Gospel Reading: Luke 3:1-6 (NLT)

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

3:1 It was now the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Roman emperor. Pontius Pilate was governor over Judea; Herod Antipas was ruler over Galilee; his brother Philip was ruler over Iturea and Traconitis; Lysanias was ruler over Abilene. 2 Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At this time a message from God came to John son of Zechariah, who was living in the wilderness. 3 Then John went from place to place on both sides of the Jordan River, preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. 4 Isaiah had spoken of John when he said,

“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
Clear the road for him!
5 The valleys will be filled,
and the mountains and hills made level.
The curves will be straightened,
and the rough places made smooth.
6 And then all people will see
the salvation sent from God.’”

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Prepare The Way – Bethel Music feat. Bethany Wohrle & Dante Bowe | Revival’s In The Air

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Prayer:

Prayer for Advent 2 | Thisischurch.com

Introduction

Give us now a sense of your presence Lord, as we bring our prayers and requests to you, and enable us to open our hearts and minds to you. We seek to put aside our busy rushing, and to sense that awe and wonder which comes from an awareness that we are in your presence. Dearest Lord, for us you humbled yourself and lived a human life. We know that you understand our worries and fears, and so we pray trusting in your willingness to share our concerns for ourselves and others.

An Advent Prayer

Lord Jesus forgive us when we live our lives without trusting in your promise that you will come again. Help us to be watchful and prayerful, and living in such a sense of expectation that we use our time modelling our lives on your example. Help us to hear afresh the challenge of John the Baptist to make our lives ready for your coming. May we be filled with an expectancy which causes us to make ourselves ready this Christmas for you to make your home with us. We seek afresh to straighten our crooked paths and make our lives holy places fit for our King.

A prayer for our world

Heavenly Father, our world is facing enormous problems which seem of such magnitude that we cannot easily imagine how we can live at peace. Global war and terrorism, displacement, disease, and poverty: we are powerless to end. We pray especially for all of those suffering because of their faith, and those affected in South Africa by the pandemic. We pray for those who have no daily bread and we are humbled when we seek to possess more, when so many have so little. When we are faced with world problems which are of such enormity, help us never to give up hope, but to place our trust in you for the future.

A prayer for our communities

Lord Jesus you lived an ordinary life in Nazareth, with human parents, brothers and sisters. You understand the difficulties faced in families. We pray for all of those involved in providing support for troubled families and strengthening our community life. Especially we pray this week for those engaged in supporting families. Help us to care more for each other so that the vulnerable are supported and protected. As we draw closer to Christmas, we think of those who are concerned about money worries, those who have no homes or who fear losing their homes through lack of finance. In whatever difficulties we face, may our eyes be drawn to your presence amongst us and may we seek your strength to provide the answer to our needs.

A prayer for our spiritual leaders

Lord God, John the Baptist called the people to change their lives and make themselves ready for the coming of your son. Raise up we pray, prophetic voices in our own time. Enable our souls to discern the authentic voices which draw us closer to you. We pray for all those who teach and preach, those who minister to congregations to bring your Gospel truth to life in human hearts. May they be as unwavering as your servant John, as fearless in proclaiming the truth and as willing to suffer for being faithful and true. Enable our spiritual leaders to recognize the validation of their ministry not in the realization of human ambition, but in the spiritual peace which comes from serving you.

A prayer for ourselves

Lord Jesus we often pray that your kingdom would come. So, we ask that your reign in our lives would flourish and grow. Strengthen us especially at this busy time, that we might make time for preparation. In the midst of the rush of life, help us to find inner quietness and an awareness of your presence. Let this Christmas be a time when we concern ourselves not so much with material presents, but rather our spiritual blessings.

A prayer for those sick or troubled

Savior may your blessing be upon all those who are in pain or sickness, those who are anxious or troubled. You are always present with us, even when sometimes you seem far away. You are with us when we pass through dark places, close by our side. In our pains and sorrows, in desolate times when we feel perplexed and forsaken, help us to look upon your cross, to see the depth of your love for us. When we are wounded in body or mind, help us to see your wounds and be mindful that you carry our pain. Sustain us in times of suffering and brings us through the valleys of darkness into the light of your presence.

A prayer for those who have been bereaved

Give rest, dear Savior, to the souls of those who have gone from our lives to meet with you. May they be no more in pain or sorrow, but only life eternal at rest in your presence.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen

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Benediction: Luke 3:4,6 (NLT)

‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
Clear the road for him!
 And then all people will see
the salvation sent from God.’”

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+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

1st Saturday in Advent: 04 Dec 2021 – Luke 1:68-79; Malachi 4:1-6; Luke 9:1-6 ~ God’s promise of freedom.

1st Saturday in Advent: 04 Dec 2021
[Revised Common Lectionary Year C]

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening:

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness,
and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal
life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great
humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his
glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may
rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with
you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

“But for you who fear my name,
the Sun of Righteousness will rise
with healing in his wings. And you will go free,
leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture…,”
says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

(Malachi 4:2… 3)

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Psalm: Luke 1:68-79 (Benedictus – variant)
[Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, FL]

Chosen first among the priests
To serve within the temple walls
Zacharias stood in awe
As he heard the angel call

Refrain

Benedictus
Benedictus
Blessed is the Lord
Benedictus
Benedictus
God’s incarnate Word

Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God
Will come to raise salvation’s horn
God Incarnate, Word made flesh
To a virgin shall be born

Refrain

Christ brings light to sin’s dark night
Our Dayspring, Jesus, from on high
Saints and angels sing God’s praise
All the earth and heav’ns reply

Refrain

God’s incarnate Word
Benedictus
Benedictus

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OT Reading: Malachi 4:1-6 (NLT)

The Coming Day of Judgment

4:1 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, “The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed—roots, branches, and all.

2 “But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. 3 On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

4 “Remember to obey the Law of Moses, my servant—all the decrees and regulations that I gave him on Mount Sinai for all Israel.

5 “Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives. 6 His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

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“Healing In His Wings” by Liz Dayspring

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NT Reading: Luke 9:1-6 (NLT)

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Disciples

9:1 One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. 2 Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes. 4 Wherever you go, stay in the same house until you leave town. 5 And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.”

6 So they began their circuit of the villages, preaching the Good News and healing the sick.

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I Speak Jesus | Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

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Prayer: 

+ O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

+ Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the Cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.

+ May God the Father bless you, God the Son heal you, God the Holy Spirit give you strength. May God the holy and undivided Trinity guard your body, save your soul, and bring you safely to his heavenly country; where he lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

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Benediction: 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NLT)

Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way,
and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless
until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.

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+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Daily Reading: 03 June – The Prophets: The Day of Judgement – Malachi 1–4 ~ the Sun of Righteousness will rise

Friday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

“Letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” Romans 8:5 (NLT)

E100:10.e The Prophets:

The Day of Judgement – Malachi 1–4 (NLT)

Malachi 1  This is the message that the Lord gave to Israel through the prophet Malachi.

The Lord’s Love for Israel

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel Rembrandt, ca 1659 Gemäldegalerie der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin
Jacob Wrestling with the Angel
Rembrandt, ca 1659
Gemäldegalerie der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin

2 “I have always loved you,” says the Lord.

But you retort, “Really? How have you loved us?”

And the Lord replies, “This is how I showed my love for you: I loved your ancestor Jacob, 3 but I rejected his brother, Esau, and devastated his hill country. I turned Esau’s inheritance into a desert for jackals.”

4 Esau’s descendants in Edom may say, “We have been shattered, but we will rebuild the ruins.”

But the Lord of Heaven’s Armies replies, “They may try to rebuild, but I will demolish them again. Their country will be known as ‘The Land of Wickedness,’ and their people will be called ‘The People with Whom the Lord Is Forever Angry.’ 5 When you see the destruction for yourselves, you will say, ‘Truly, the Lord’s greatness reaches far beyond Israel’s borders!’”

Unworthy Sacrifices

6 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says to the priests: “A son honors his father, and a servant respects his master. If I am your father and master, where are the honor and respect I deserve? You have shown contempt for my name!

“But you ask, ‘How have we ever shown contempt for your name?’

7 “You have shown contempt by offering defiled sacrifices on my altar.

“Then you ask, ‘How have we defiled the sacrifices?’

“You defile them by saying the altar of the Lord deserves no respect. 8 When you give blind animals as sacrifices, isn’t that wrong? And isn’t it wrong to offer animals that are crippled and diseased? Try giving gifts like that to your governor, and see how pleased he is!” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

9 “Go ahead, beg God to be merciful to you! But when you bring that kind of offering, why should he show you any favor at all?” asks the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

10 “How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and I will not accept your offerings. 11 But my name is honored by people of other nations from morning till night. All around the world they offer sweet incense and pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name is great among the nations,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

12 “But you dishonor my name with your actions. By bringing contemptible food, you are saying it’s all right to defile the Lord’s table. 13 You say, ‘It’s too hard to serve the Lord,’ and you turn up your noses at my commands,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Think of it! Animals that are stolen and crippled and sick are being presented as offerings! Should I accept from you such offerings as these?” asks the Lord.

14 “Cursed is the cheat who promises to give a fine ram from his flock but then sacrifices a defective one to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and my name is feared among the nations!

A Warning to the Priests

Malachi 2  “Listen, you priests—this command is for you! 2 Listen to me and make up your minds to honor my name,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “or I will bring a terrible curse against you. I will curse even the blessings you receive. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you have not taken my warning to heart. 3 I will punish your descendants and splatter your faces with the manure from your festival sacrifices, and I will throw you on the manure pile. 4 Then at last you will know it was I who sent you this warning so that my covenant with the Levites can continue,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Rom_8_v6_Mind_set_on_spirit_life_&_peace

5 “The purpose of my covenant with the Levites was to bring life and peace, and that is what I gave them. This required reverence from them, and they greatly revered me and stood in awe of my name. 6 They passed on to the people the truth of the instructions they received from me. They did not lie or cheat; they walked with me, living good and righteous lives, and they turned many from lives of sin.

7 “The words of a priest’s lips should preserve knowledge of God, and people should go to him for instruction, for the priest is the messenger of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 8 But you priests have left God’s paths. Your instructions have caused many to stumble into sin. You have corrupted the covenant I made with the Levites,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 9 “So I have made you despised and humiliated in the eyes of all the people. For you have not obeyed me but have shown favoritism in the way you carry out my instructions.”

A Call to Faithfulness

10 Are we not all children of the same Father? Are we not all created by the same God? Then why do we betray each other, violating the covenant of our ancestors?

11 Judah has been unfaithful, and a detestable thing has been done in Israel and in Jerusalem. The men of Judah have defiled the Lord’s beloved sanctuary by marrying women who worship idols. 12 May the Lord cut off from the nation of Israel every last man who has done this and yet brings an offering to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

13 Here is another thing you do. You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, weeping and groaning because he pays no attention to your offerings and doesn’t accept them with pleasure. 14 You cry out, “Why doesn’t the Lord accept my worship?” I’ll tell you why! Because the Lord witnessed the vows you and your wife made when you were young. But you have been unfaithful to her, though she remained your faithful partner, the wife of your marriage vows.

24021818
Divorce

15 Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. 16 “For I hate divorce!” says the Lord, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.”

17 You have wearied the Lord with your words.

“How have we wearied him?” you ask.

You have wearied him by saying that all who do evil are good in the Lord’s sight, and he is pleased with them. You have wearied him by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”

The Coming Day of Judgment

Malachi 3  “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

2 “But who will be able to endure it when he comes? Who will be able to stand and face him when he appears? For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal, or like a strong soap that bleaches clothes. 3 He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord. 4 Then once more the Lord will accept the offerings brought to him by the people of Judah and Jerusalem, as he did in the past.

5 “At that time I will put you on trial. I am eager to witness against all sorcerers and adulterers and liars. I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, who oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the foreigners living among you of justice, for these people do not fear me,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

A Call to Repentance

6 “I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. 7 Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

“But you ask, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?’

8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!

“But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’

phillipians-4-19-copy

“You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! 11 Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 12 “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

13 “You have said terrible things about me,” says the Lord.

“But you say, ‘What do you mean? What have we said against you?’

14 “You have said, ‘What’s the use of serving God? What have we gained by obeying his commands or by trying to show the Lord of Heaven’s Armies that we are sorry for our sins? 15 From now on we will call the arrogant blessed. For those who do evil get rich, and those who dare God to punish them suffer no harm.’”

The Lord’s Promise of Mercy

16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name.

17 “They will be my people,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. 18 Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”

The Coming Day of Judgment

Malachi 4  The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, “The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed—roots, branches, and all.

sun-of-righteousness-healing-in-his-wings-malachi-4-22

2 “But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. 3 On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

4 “Remember to obey the Law of Moses, my servant—all the decrees and regulations that I gave him on Mount Sinai for all Israel.

5 “Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives. 6 His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

“Sun of Righteousness” – Jules Burt

We were made to see and know | The universe was made to show Your glory | You are worthy, oh! | Source of all created things | Absolute reality, without beginning | You are worthy, oh!

Galaxies would rise and sing | Yet you choose to live within my skin | You are worthy, oh! | Angel minds would long to see | Why you chose to bear the cross to rescue me | You are worthy, oh!

Jesus, You’re the radiance of the Father’s glory and love | Image of the Unseen One, You are God

You are the Song that lives inside of me | You are the Well that overflows with rivers of joy | You are worthy, oh! You are worthy, oh! | You are the Hope that springs eternal peace | You are the Sun of righteousness with healing in your wings | You are worthy, oh! You are worthy, oh!

Into our disordered hearts | Shone the brightness of your gospel’s glorious light | You are worthy, oh! | You healed our souls and gave us sight | Restored Your glory to the center of our lives | You are worthy, oh!

We join with heaven, angels all around | We’re echoing their praise, we worship You now | We join with heaven, angels all around | We’re echoing their praise, we worship You now

Closing Sentence

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!