Theme of the Day: We Want Peace But God’s Word Divides
We often divide humanity into groupings that are not really significant: this ethnic group versus that one, men versus women, wealthy versus the poor. Yet, every ethnic group is under God’s law. That law convicts both men and women of sin. Because of sin, the wealthy and the poor will both die. Only through faith in Christ is sin forgiven and the sting of death removed. God’s Word creates that saving faith, but not in everyone who hears it. Fallen man retains the awful power to resist the working of the Spirit inside him… to reject the gift of faith. Therefore, God’s Word produces the only people grouping that ultimately matters: believers and unbelievers. We want to overcome division and live in peace with other people. Here is a hard truth: total peace is impossible for the believer to achieve. Those who embrace the gospel in faith will inevitably face hostility and opposition. Following Jesus will come at a price. Yet he promises us our perseverance will be rewarded.
Psalm: Psalm 4
482 – Triune God, O Be Our Stay
590 – O Holy Spirit, Enter In
641 – Lord Jesus Christ, with Us Abide
865 – O Lord, Take Pity Once You’ve Seen
876 – Fight the Good Fight
Prayer of the Day: Almighty and merciful God, it is only by your gift of grace that we come into your presence and offer true and faithful service. Grant that our worship on earth may always be pleasing to you, and in the life to come give us the fulfillment of what you have promised; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Gospel Acclamation: Alleluia. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. Alleluia.