PRELUDE God of Grace and God of Glory – Fosdick / Hughes
*CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: The Lord calls all of us – the poor and the rich, the weak and the powerful.
People: The Lord embraces all of us – the faithful and the fearful, the apostle and the
Leader: The Lord seeks all of us – the kind and the callous, the servant and the selfish.
People: TheLord loves all of us – the forgiven and the forgotten, the holy and the heretical.
Leader: The Lord teaches all of us – the lost and the enlightened, the creative and the crestfallen.
People: As we are called and embraced, and as we are sought and taught, we are inspired
to praise the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation.
*HYMN OF PRAISE Praise Ye the Lord, the Almighty #482
Praise ye the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Join me in glad adoration!
Praise ye the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires ever have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?
Praise ye the Lord! O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.
PRAYERS OF CONFESSION (Unison)
Divine Deliverer and Merciful Messiah, although You call us to serve our fellow human
beings, we often ignore the needs of our neighbors. Becausewe desire everything, we become
insensitive to those who have nothing. Since the world persuades usto accumulate more, we
may miss the opportunity to share Your grace with all people. Because our sin entices usto
pursue the things which have no value, we neither work for justice nor follow Your way.
Have mercy upon us, Lord, and forgive usfor those occasions when we have failed to live
as Your people. Help usto live according to Your word, and strengthen usto serve You and
all humanity through the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray. (Silent)
ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS (adapted from Colossians 1:13-14)
Leader: God has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of
His beloved Son.
People: In Christ, we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins.
Leader: Friends, believe the good news of the gospel:
People: Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.
SCRIPTURE Daniel 6:1-13
1It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred twenty satraps, stationed throughout the whole kingdom, 2 and overthem three presidents, including Daniel; to these the satraps gave account, so that the king might suffer no loss. 3 Soon Daniel distinguished himself above all the other presidents and satraps because an excellent spirit was in him, and the king planned to
appoint him over the whole kingdom. 4 So the presidents and the satraps tried to find grounds for complaint against Daniel in connection with the kingdom. But they could find no grounds for complaint or any corruption, because he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption could be found in him. 5 The men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.”
6 So the presidents and satraps conspired and came to the king and said to him, “O King Darius, live forever! 7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an interdict, that whoever prays to anyone, divine or human, for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into a den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the interdict and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 9 Therefore King Darius signed the document and interdict.
10 Although Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he continued to go to his house, which had windows in its upper room open toward Jerusalem, and to get down on his kneesthree times a day to pray to his God and praise him, just as he had done previously. 11 The conspirators came and found Daniel praying and seeking mercy before his God. 12 Then they approached the king and said concerning the interdict, “O king! Did you notsign an interdict, that anyone who prays to anyone, divine or human, within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be thrown into a den of lions?” The king answered, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 13 Then they responded to the king, “Daniel, one of the exilesfrom Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the interdict you have signed, but he is saying his prayers three times a day.”
SCRIPTURE Daniel 6:14-23
14 When the king heard the charge, he was very much distressed. He was determined to save Daniel, and until the sun went down he made every effort to rescue him. 15 Then the conspirators came to the king and said to him, “Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no interdict or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.”
16 Then the king gave the command, and Daniel was brought and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you faithfully serve, deliver you!” 17 A stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, so that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no food was brought to him, and sleep fled from him.
19 Then, at break of day, the king got up and hurried to the den of lions. 20 When he came near the den where Daniel was, he cried out anxiously to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you faithfully serve been able to deliver you from the lions?” 21 Daniel then said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no wrong.” 23 Then the king was exceedingly glad and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel wastaken up out of the den, and
no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
MEDITATION All the King’s Men
ANTHEM Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray – Spiritual / Burleigh
Brock Hollinger, soloist
Kent State University student
*AFFIRMATION OF FAITH from The Confession of 1967, 9.17 and 9.35
Life is a gift to be received with gratitude and a task to be pursued with courage.
People are free to seek life within the purpose of God:
to develop and protect the resources of nature for the common welfare,
to work for justice and peace in society,
and in other ways to use their creative powers for the fulfillment of human life.
Wherever the church exists, its members are both gathered in corporate life and dispersed
in society for the sake of mission in the world.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE AND 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 debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us
from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
INVITATION TO GIVE
PRAYER OF DEDICATION (Unison)
Holy God, use these gifts to inspire us to see beyond our own needs and to consider the needs of others; use these offerings to motivate us to look beyond our own desires to consider what is good for all humanity; and use these contributions to help us see that what we offer is vital for the service and ministry of Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray. Amen.
*HYMN God of Grace and God of Glory #420
God of grace and God of glory, On Thy people pour Thy power.
Crown Thine ancient church’s story, Bring her bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, For the facing of this hour,
For the facing of this hour.
Lo! the hosts of evil ‘round us, Scorn Thy Christ, assail His ways.
From the fears that long have bound us, Free our hearts to faith and praise.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, For the living of these days,
For the living of these days.
Cure Thy children’s warring madness, Bend our pride to Thy control.
Shame our wanton selfish gladness, Rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, Lest we miss Thy kingdom’s goal,
Lest we miss Thy kingdom’s goal.
Set our feet on lofty places, Gird our lives that they may be,
Armored with all Christ-like graces, Pledged to set all captives free.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, That we fail not them nor Thee,
That we fail not them nor Thee.
Save us from weak resignation, To the evils we deplore;
Let the gift of Thy salvation, Be our glory evermore.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, Serving Thee whom we adore,
Serving Thee whom we adore.
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place; I can feel His mighty power and His grace
I can hear the brush of angel’s wings, I see glory on each face.
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.
POSTLUDE Sweet, Sweet Spirit – Akers / Austin