Today’s Readings and Hymns: (Click on each blue arrow to expand/collapse each section.)
22Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. 23For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. 26From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, 27so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. 28For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said,
‘For we too are his offspring.’
29Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. 30While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
Bless our God, you peoples;
let the sound of praise be heard.
Our God has kept us among the living
and has not allowed our feet to slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us just as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net;
you laid heavy burdens upon our backs.
You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water,
but you brought us out into a place of refreshment.
I will enter your house with burnt offerings
and will pay you my vows—
those that I promised with my lips
and spoke with my mouth when I was in trouble.
I will offer you burnt offerings of fatlings with the smoke of rams;
I will give you oxen and goats.
Come and listen, all you who believe,
and I will tell you what God has done for me.
I called out to God with my mouth,
and praised the Lord with my tongue.
If I had cherished evil in my heart,
the Lord would not have heard me;
but in truth God has heard me
and has attended to the sound of my prayer.
Blessed be God, who has not rejected my prayer,
nor withheld unfailing love from me.
13Who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, 15but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. 17For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. 18For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.
[Jesus said to the disciples:] 15“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
18“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”
Love divine, all loves excelling, Joy of heav’n, to earth come down! Fix in us thy humble dwelling, all thy faithful mercies crown. Jesus, thou art all compassion, pure, unbounded love thou art; visit us with thy salvation, enter ev’ry trembling heart.
Breathe, oh, breathe thy loving Spirit into ev’ry troubled breast; let us all in thee inherit; let us find thy promised rest. Take away the love of sinning; Alpha and Omega be; end of faith, as its beginning, set our hearts at liberty.
Come, Almighty, to deliver; let us all thy life receive; suddenly return, and never, nevermore thy temples leave. Thee we would be always blessing, serve thee as thy hosts above, pray, and praise thee without ceasing, glory in thy perfect love.
Finish then thy new creation, pure and spotless let us be; let us see thy great salvation perfectly restored in thee! Changed from glory into glory, till in heav’n we take our place, till we cast our crowns before thee, lost in wonder, love, and praise!
Let all things now living a song of thanksgiving to God the creator triumphantly raise, who fashioned and made us, protected and stayed us, who still guides us on to the end of our days. God’s banners are o’er us, God’s light goes before us, a pillar of fire shining forth in the night, till shadows have vanished and darkness is banished, as forward we travel from light into light.
God rules all the forces: the stars in their courses and sun in its orbit obediently shine; the hills and the mountains, the rivers and fountains, the deeps of the ocean proclaim God divine. We too should be voicing our love and rejoicing; with glad adoration a song let us raise till all things now living unite in thanksgiving: “To God in the highest, hosanna and praise!”
Now thank we all our God with hearts and hands and voices, who wondrous things has done, in whom this world rejoices; who, from our mothers’ arms, has blest us on our way with countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
Oh, may this bounteous God through all our life be near us, with ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us, and keep us all in grace, and guide us when perplexed, and free us from all harm in this world and the next.
All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given, the Son, and Spirit blest, who reign in highest heaven, the one eternal God, whom earth and heav’n adore; for thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.
Worship Leaders: Pastor Colleen Cox, Christy Werner
Music: Deb Jenks (organ and piano), Patrick Skoniczin (piano), Children’s Choir, Senior Choir
View and print the pre-reader’s version of this Sunday’s children’s bulletin: Pre-reader’s Version View and print the reader’s version of this Sunday’s children’s bulletin: Reader’s Version
The radio program Sing for Joy follows the weekly Sunday lectionary through music and reflection. To listen, click here: Sing for Joy. Program host Pastor Bruce Benson ties the biblical readings of the day with musical selections from a number of sources brought together by Dr. John Ferguson, retired professor of organ and church music. The program is produced by St. Olaf College.
Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE #A-730287 and CCLI licenses #21502973 and #21502966. All rights reserved.