Reformation Sunday Order of Service

We will gather together for worship service on Zoom using the following information:
MEETING ID: 5977365682
MEETING PASSWORD: 204934

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Reformation Sunday    Coronavirus     
10-25-2020     10:00AM Worship

(Welcome / Greeting by the Pastors)   

OPENING SONG:    “A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD”              

THE OPENING RITE:

L   Blessed be the God who creates us, (+) who saves us, who reforms us again and again.

C    Amen. 

L   About 2,000 years ago the Roman governor of Judea, a man named Pontius Pilate, asked Jesus this question when Jesus was brought before him for judgment –

C            “What is truth?”

L   Today that question is still being asked and answered. We are living in a time of “alternative facts” and “fake news”…a time when many bold, misleading, and sometimes bogus claims are tossed back and forth on virtually every topic – the COVID-19 pandemic, systemic racism and “Black Lives Matter”, the election, the economy, the environment, immigration, jobs, foreign policy, taxes, health care, Russia and China, crimes, terrorism, sexual misconduct, education, trade, and personal character. We might wonder and worry in these our times –

C    “What is truth?”

L   And we are also living in a time when people are defining truth by what seems individually “right for me” – what I want, what I like, what I need, what I think, what I desire, what I experience, what I believe. We might perhaps pause in the midst of our own selfish instincts, our trivial pursuits, our misconceptions about personal liberty to ask ourselves –

C    “What is truth?’

L   One might think, based on the ways of this world and on our self-centered whims, that there is no real or absolute truth, no absolute right, no absolute wrong, and maybe no God worth worrying about. But today our scriptures lift up two ancient biblical truths for us to consider. St. Paul’s words in Romans 3 convict every one of us:

C      Truth #1: “ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.”

L   Make excuses, pretend all you want, try to be as good as you can… deep down you know it. Not a single one of us perfectly lives up to the vision God has for us.

C      All of us are caught in sin, and all of us experience the effects of sin, both our own sin and this whole fallen and broken world. 

L   But there is another truth that does not condemn us, a dynamic truth that saves us. And so St. Paul also writes in Romans 3 about sinners such as us:

C      Truth #2: “THEY ARE NOW JUSTIFIED BY GOD’S GRACE AS A GIFT,
      THROUGH THE REDEMPTION THAT IS IN JESUS CHRIST.”

L   Sin does not have the final word, and neither does our physical death. God’s living Word breaks into our lives with judgment and mercy, and the aim is to set us for something much better than the tired old ways – free for true faithful living and for real fervent loving. Jesus Christ has lived, died, and triumphantly risen to save us from our bondage to sin, to rescue us from bondage to this world’s values and to our self-serving desires. And that’s the truth!

C      If you continue in the word of Christ, you are truly his disciples.

      And if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

      Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty I’m free at last!

THE PRAYER OF THE DAY:

     Gracious God, we thank you for the gift of our life, 

     we thank you for the gift of your mercy and love, 

     we thank you for the gift of Jesus Christ,

     we thank you for saving us, for freeing us,

     we thank you for the gift of your community of faith, the Church,

     we thank you for the unity, power, and guidance of the Holy Spirit in and among us,

     and we pray that we may stay free and faithful and fervent in the gospel of Christ,  

     today and always, Amen and Amen! 

FIRST READING:   JEREMIAH 31:31-34    [God’s new covenant – abiding love written on the hearts of the people.]

31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
    and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
    though I was a husband to them,”
declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
    after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
    and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
    or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.”

SONG SELECTION 

SECOND READING:   ROMANS 3:19-28    [God’s salvation – unearned grace to undeserving sinners, received by faith.]

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.

20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—

26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith.

28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.

GOSPEL VERSE:  “To God be the glory, to God be the glory, to God be the glory for the things He has done! 

        With his blood He has saved me… with his power He has raised me… 

        To God be the glory for the things He has done!”  

HOLY GOSPEL:   JOHN 8:31-36    [God’s liberation – freed by Christ, no longer slaves to sin.]

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.

32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.

36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

THE SERMON:            The Rev. David Maddox II 

SONG SELECTION

OFFERING PRAYER (See Philippians 3:10-11):

     Dear God, I want to know Christ inside and out. I want to experience the power of his resurrection and join him in his suffering.  I want to be like him in his death and be raised like him from death. As I grow in the grace of  Christ, make me strong in my faith, bold in my witness, and fervent in my servant-love. There is no better life than life in Christ!  Amen. 

MUSIC SELECTION     Dennis Fortune

THE PRAYERSWe pray for NEW LIFE in the Spirit and the MISSION of the Church to the world!   

THE LORD’S PRAYER

SONG SELECTION       

THE BENEDICTION by one of the Pastors.


One Reply to “Reformation Sunday Order of Service”

  1. David Whyte

    Thank you this is exactly what I was looking for…as an adopted Lutheran and now a lay ministry leader in a small country church…this day of Reformation is so new to me…this order of worship is what I need to organize for this Sunday…Thanks again

Comments are closed.

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