Humanity and the Image of God
Call to Worship
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
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 there is nothing hidden from its heat.
We praise you, our God, our Creator,
the whole creation praises your name.
From the heavens to the depths of the earth,
from the endless seas to the ever stretching deserts,
All your creation testifies your workmanship.
We come before you as small creatures we are,
you deserve all our praises, for we are yours.
– Based on Psalm 19:1-6
Gracious Father, the God of life,
teach us ever more to respect and love all the lives you create.
Forgive us our lack of concern and love for those
who are yet unborn,
Forgive our lack of care and compassion for the disabled.
Teach us to open our hearts and our homes to all your children.
Forgive us when we are negligent and uncaring
toward the elderly, for those who are lonely and forgotten in nursing homes.
Teach us to open our hearts, to open our homes and churches.
Forgive our indifference and callousness toward the imprisoned
Teach us to increase our longing for justice that is just.
Forgive our prejudice toward those whose skin color and culture is different from ours.
Teach us to open our minds and hearts to your creative beauty reflected in the nations and tribes.
Through Christ, our Lord.
Raise Our Song
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We believe and confess
one single catholic or universal church—
a holy congregation and gathering
of true Christian believers,
awaiting their entire salvation in Jesus Christ,
being washed by his blood,
and sanctified and sealed by the Holy Spirit.
This church has existed from the beginning of the world
and will last until the end,
as appears from the fact
that Christ is eternal King
who cannot be without subjects.
And this holy church is preserved by God
against the rage of the whole world,
even though for a time
it may appear very small to human eyes—
as though it were snuffed out.
during the very dangerous time of Ahab
the Lord preserved for himself seven thousand
who did not bend their knees to Baal.
And so this holy church
is not confined, bound,
or limited to a certain place or certain people.
But it is spread and dispersed
throughout the entire world,
though still joined and united
in heart and will,
in one and the same Spirit,
by the power of faith.
The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face to shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace.