To the unknown god

Social Distance Worship (Sixth Sunday of Easter), May 17, 2020 | Acts 17:22-31


Social Distance Worship [SDW] is not a livestream, but a liturgy that can be followed from the comforts of your home, or any other place beyond the sanctuary, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This liturgy features prayers, Bible readings, and recordings of a sermon and worship songs from our regular services. Each Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. (CET) we will post a new SDW liturgy to our website, and you can find today’s liturgy on this page.


I. Greeting


II. Opening

(Listen in silent meditation or sing along)

O Jesus, my Savior, I know Thou art mine,
For Thee all the pleasures of sin I resign;
Of objects most pleasing, I love Thee the best,
Without Thee I’m wretched, but with Thee I’m blessed.

The Spirit first taught me to know I was blind,
Then taught me the way of salvation to find;
And when I was sinking in gloomy despair,
Thy mercy relieved me, and bid me not fear.

In vain I attempt to describe what I feel,
The language of mortals or angels would fail;
My Jesus is precious, my soul’s in a flame,
I’m raised to a rapture while praising His name.

I find Him in singing, I find Him in prayer,
In sweet meditation He always is near;
My constant Companion, O may we ne’er part!
All glory to Jesus, He dwells in my heart.

I love Thee, my Savior, I love Thee, my Lord,
I love Thy dear people, Thy ways, and Thy Word;
With tender emotion I love sinners too,
Since Jesus has died to redeem them from woe.

My Jesus is precious–I cannot forbear,
Though sinners despise me, His love to declare;
His love overwhelms me; had I wings I’d fly
To praise Him in mansions prepared in the sky.

Then millions of ages my soul would employ
In praising my Jesus, my Love and my Joy;
Without interruption, when all the glad throng,
With pleasures unceasing unite in the song.


III. Adoration

Prayer of Adoration

O Jesus my Savior, Who is not just found in Churches, I seek You in this moment through the holy gifts of song and prayer. Thank You for being with me in every hour of the day, and thank You for the fellowship that I have with those who bless Your name. Lord, receive the praise of all Your saints on earth below, and let it meld with the joyful praise of all Your saints in heaven above. May I behold You and the Father on Your gracious throne, and may the Spirit move me that the Trinity might be adored. To You, the Father, and the Holy Spirit be all blessing and glory and honor forever. Amen.

Song of Adoration (Behold Our God)

Who has held the oceans in His hands?
Who has numbered every grain of sand?
Kings and nations tremble at His voice
All creation rises to rejoice.

Behold our God, seated on His throne
Come, let us adore Him
Behold our King, nothing can compare
Come, let us adore Him.

Who has given counsel to the Lord?
Who can question any of His words?
Who can teach, the One who knows all things?
Who can fathom all His wondrous deeds.

Behold our God, seated on His throne
Come, let us adore Him
Behold our King, nothing can compare
Come, let us adore Him.

Who has felt the nails upon His hands?
Bearing all the guilt of sinful man
God eternal, humbled to the grave
Jesus, Savior, risen now to reign.

Behold our God, seated on His throne
Come, let us adore Him
Behold our King, nothing can compare
Come, let us adore Him.


IV. Confession

Prayer of Confession

O God, Who is not bound to the temples that we build on earth, I lay my sins before You in the presence of Your heavenly throne. I confess that I have failed to daily seek Your Kingdom, and have failed to grow in the knowledge of You while taking up the knowledge of self. And with these failures I have struggled with the way of Christ, Who said to love You fully and to love all people as myself. Lord, in Your mercy, forgive me and restore me, and let my life reveal You to a world that often knows You not. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.

(Confess in Silence)

Song of Confession (Trisagion)

Holy God
Holy and Mighty
Holy Immortal One
Have mercy, have mercy on us.

Confession of Forgiveness

(Read this aloud)

Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
Sing to the Lord, all the earth!

Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Tell of His salvation from day to day.

Declare His glory among the nations,
His marvelous works among all the peoples!

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods.

For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
But the Lord made the heavens.

Splendor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

Song of Forgiveness (God In My Living)

God in my living, there in my breathing
God in my waking, God in my sleeping
God in my resting, there in my working
God in my thinking, God in my speaking

Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything

God in my hoping, there in my dreaming
God in my watching, God in my waiting
God in my laughing, there in my weeping
God in my hurting, God in my healing

Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything

Christ in me, Christ in me
Christ in me, the hope of glory
You are everything

Christ in me, Christ in me
Christ in me, the hope of glory
Be my everything

Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything


V. Message

Scripture Reading (Acts 17:22-31)

22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “People of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by people, 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all humanity life and breath and everything. 26 And He made from one man every nation of humankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

“‘In Him we live and move and have our being’;

as even some of your own poets have said,

“‘For we are indeed His offspring.’

29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because He has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a Man [Jesus] whom He has appointed; and of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead.”

Sermon

Preacher: Rev. Dr. Scotty J. Williams

Title: To The Unknown God

Prayer of Spiritual Communion

O Christ, Who has made God known to us through Your life, death, and resurrection, I love You above all things and desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You through Your Sacrament, come to me by the Holy Spirit and fill my heart with Your presence of love. I rest in Your marvelous grace that is shown through Your font, table, and pulpit, but is not bound to the places that we build to gather and worship You. You Who are with us always, now and forever, and world without end. Amen.

Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended to the dead;
On the third day He rose again;
He ascended into heaven,
And He is seated at the right hand of the Father;
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
The holy *catholic Church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting. Amen.

*The word catholic means “universal” (not the Roman Catholic Church), and shows that Christ and His Gospel are for all people.

Blessing

May our Lord Jesus Christ, and God our Father, Who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through His grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word, both now and forever. Amen.


VI. Thanksgiving

Prayer of Thanksgiving

O God of heaven, Who made all things and is present beyond our temples on earth, I thank You that You are not unknown to me as You were to those in Athens. Because of Your Son, Jesus, I am no longer a stranger to You, but enjoy as a child enjoys the loving arms of a parent. Father, empower Your Church to make You known within this world, and help us rest within Your grace which soothes the soul and makes it well. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.

Song of Thanksgiving (It Is Well With My Soul)

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot Thou hast taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well with my soul!”

It is well (It is well)
With my soul (With my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well (It is well)
With my soul (With my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.

My sin, O, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to His Cross, and I bear it no more;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well (It is well)
With my soul (With my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well (It is well)
With my soul (With my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.


VII. Closing

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 and ever.

Amen.


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The concept of this service is © All Souls.