Call to Worship/Psalm 19 (NRSV)
The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy, and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and nothing is hid from its heat.
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can detect their errors?
Clear me from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from the insolent; do not let them have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Prayer of Approach
We give you all thanks and praise, O God, for you have made us your own, through Christ Jesus, and given us a new righteousness founded on faith. You created the entire universe: the sky tells of your glory, day and night reveal the genius of your ways. You brought your people out of slavery and gave them your laws and commandments, that they might be rich in Spirit and clear in vision. Though we repeatedly rejected your ways and destroyed your messengers, you sent your Son to us to renew heaven’s call. Though the crowds recognized him as a prophet, those who coveted his inheritance seized and killed him. But you raised him from the dead, and now through the power of his resurrection, he stands as the cornerstone of righteousness, the first fruits of the kingdom, and the incomparable prize towards which we press. Therefore, with our hearts lifted high, we always offer you thanks and praise through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Scripture Lesson/Philippians 3:4-14
If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 12Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
Message/Full Court Press
We praise and thank you, O Lord, that you have fed us with your Word. Grateful for your gifts and mindful of the communion of your saints, we offer you our prayers for all people.
God of compassion, we remember before you the poor and the needy, the sick and the dying, prisoners and all who are lonely, the victims of war, injustice, and inhumanity, for the addicted and the depressed.
O Lord of providence holding the destiny of the nations in your hand, we pray for our country. Inspire the hearts and minds of our leaders that they, together with all our nation, may first seek your kingdom and righteousness so that justice and peace may dwell with your people.
O God the Creator, we pray for all nations and peoples. Remove the mistrust and lack of understanding that divides us and increase in us the recognition that we are all your children.
O Christ, look upon your Church in its struggles to be your body. Have mercy on its weakness, bring an end to its divisions, and scatter its fears. Look upon the ministries of your Church. Increase its courage, strengthen its faith, and inspire its witness to all people, even to the ends of the earth.
Author of grace and God of love, extend your blessing upon your children. Keep our hearts and thoughts in Jesus Christ, your Son, our only Savior, who has taught us to pray:
The Lord’s Prayer
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, forever. Amen.
Go now in the righteousness of faith and live out God’s dream for your live and our world.
Let nothing claim your devotion above the Lord, and count nothing of value above knowing Christ.
Press on towards the ultimate prize of being one with him.
And may God’s perfect word revive your soul;
may Christ Jesus be your Savior and your rock;
and may the Holy Spirit strengthen you to press ever onward.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Amen.