Second Sunday after Pentecost

June 11, 2023

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
the world, and those who live in it;
for God has founded it on the seas,
and established it on the rivers.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in God’s holy place?
Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully.
They will receive blessing from the Lord, and vindication from the God of their salvation.
Such is the company of those who seek God, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.
Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is the King of glory?
The Lord, strong and might, the Lord, mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors! That the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.
—Psalm 24

O God, you are the Lord of all creation. During this hour of worship, we pray that you will open our hearts that Christ, the King of glory, may enter in and rule our lives. May your Holy Spirit purify us, that we may stand in your presence and receive the blessings of your word; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Gracious God, all-powerful, ever present, and all-loving, we are grateful that you that you have called us together this morning. We thank you for your Holy Spirit which enables us to invoke your holy Name, praising you when we are full and satisfied, crying out to you when we are troubled or in pain.

We acknowledge your commandment that we lift one another up in prayer as well, and so we pray for our neighbors near and far. We remember before you those who are sick, who are undergoing treatment, who are facing more tests. Grant them healing and strength.

We lift up those whose spirits are downcast, who are weary of trying, who feel unloved or unforgiven. May they feel your grace, find communities of acceptance, and know your forgiving love. We pray for the hungry and the homeless. Give them hope of something better. But more importantly, instill in those of us who are comfortable a willingness not just to reach out, but to work for change in a society that too often ignores those in need. We pray for those who are oppressed or feel the brunt of warfare. May your justice roll down like waters, your righteousness flow like an everflowing stream, and may your peace prevail on the earth.

And finally, O Lord of the universe, we pray for the planet upon which we live. As the ice melts and the oceans rise, forgive our selfish use of earth’s resources. Grant us trust in you, and give us the will and the courage to act, that our children and grandchildren may enjoy the beauty of nature, the constancy of the seasons, and the security of fertile soil, fresh water, and clean air.

All this we pray in the Name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, God forever and ever. Amen.
—inspired by German Reformed Liturgy (1999)

What is your only comfort in life and death?
That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation. Therefore, by his Holy Spirit he also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for him.
Heidelberg Catechism (1563): Question 1, Lord's Day 1
The scriptures tell us to hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for the One who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to encourage one another to love and to do good deeds. So let us gather round the table in love, for no matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are a beloved child of God, and you are welcome here.

We are your servants, O God. In you, we live and move and have our being. And so we offer you our thanksgiving and call on your Name. Send your Holy Spirit to settle on these gifts of bread and wine, that they may be for us the very substance of Jesus Christ our Lord. And bless us, that we may be strengthened to serve you and reach out to our neighbors in unity. This we pray in Christ, with Christ, and through Christ, praising you forever and ever. Amen.

As we part company, know that you belong to God, 
and nothing can stand between you and his love. 
Go forth to serve in the Name of the + Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.