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Eager Hope (Philippians 3)

Believers live a dual citizenship – as full citizens of this world loyally obedient to God, and as citizens of heaven waiting for their full redemption in Christ. Paul calls for full maturity on this matter.

Worship Service

Theme of the Service

Believers live a dual citizenship – as full citizens of this world loyally obedient to God, and as citizens of heaven waiting for their full redemption in Christ. Paul calls for full maturity on this matter.

We Gather In Worship

Prelude/Gathering Music: “We’re Marching to Zion” [see music notes] [see also ELW 625, HW 73]

*The Call to Worship: Psalm 121, Psalm of the Day

I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in
from this time on and forevermore.

Come, Let us worship the Lord our Maker!

*Opening Song: “We’re Marching to Zion” [see also ELW 625, HW 73]

*God’s Greeting and Congregational Amen!

 *Song of Praise: “Holy, Holy, You Are Holy” [GSW 6]

We Are Renewed in God’s Grace

Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession

*Assurance of Pardon: Psalm 130:3, 4

*Passing the Peace to One Another

*Song of Thanks: “For Freedom Christ Has Set Us Free!

*God’s Call to Grateful Obedience: Galatians 5:13, 22-26

*Song of Dedication:

We Are God’s People” or
“We Are Called” [see also ELW 720]

God Speaks to Us through His Word

Prayer for Illumination:

Lord, we pray that you, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation as we come to know him, so that with our heart enlightened, we may know what is the hope to which he has called us;, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. Amen.     
(based on Ephesians 1:1-19)

 Scripture Reading:

Ephesians 2:19-22

Philippians 3:15-21

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

Sermon: Eager Hope

Prayer of Application

We Respond to God’s Word

Anthem:

“City of Heaven,” Josephine Poelinitz or
“Here From All Nations,” Roy Hopp

*Profession of Hope:

Our hope for a new creation is not tied
to what humans can do,
for we believe that one day
every challenge to God’s rule
will be crushed.
His kingdom will fully come, and the Lord will rule.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.
We long for that day
when our bodies are raised,
the Lord wipes away our tears,
and we dwell forever in the presence of God.
We will take our place in the new creation,

where there will be no more death
or mourning or crying or pain,
and the Lord will be our light.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.
(A Contemporary Testimony: Our World Belongs to God, art. 55,56)

*Song of Praise:

How Can I Keep From Singing” [see also ELW 763; HW 182] or
Beams of Heaven

Prayers of the People [see liturgy notes]

Offertory and Offering “How Can I Keep from Singing[see also ELW 763; HW 182]

We Go Out to Serve Our Lord

*Song of Faith: “Guide Me, O My Great Redeemer” [see also ELW 618, HW 101]

*God’s Parting Blessing and Congregational Amen!

*Sending Song: “Canto de esperanza/Song of Hope

Postlude:

Canto de esperanza/Song of Hope
or “Guide Me, O My Great Redeemer” [see also ELW 618, HW 101]

*Indicates standing if you are able.

The materials included here from THE WORSHIP SOURCEBOOK are used by permission from THE WORSHIP SOURCEBOOK, © 2004, CRC Publications. This permission is granted for one time worship use in an order of service for a congregation, or in a special program or lesson resource, provided that no part of such reproduction is sold, directly or indirectly. For all other uses, please contact the copyright holder.

Liturgy Notes

1.      Psalm of the Day: Since we have scheduled a “Psalm of the Day” of each of these services, it will be helpful to note that Psalm 121, one of the Psalms of Ascent that the Hebrews used on their way to worship, forms our Call to Worship today.

2.      The Prayers of the People: the passage, the sermon, and the songs have all had a subtle tension within them that needs to be held in balance. We are eagerly looking forward to our full new life in heaven, yet at the same time we are living fully here. The Prayer for this service should reflect the balance between these two realities.

Sermon Notes

It’s a bit startling to hear Paul make some of the statements you find in this passage. “If you don’t agree with those of us who are fully mature, God will show you,” he says. And “You should imitate me and follow my example.” Both of those statements may make us feel ill-at-ease and may sound somewhat egotistical.

He doesn’t, of course, mean it that way at all.

Paul is pointing to one of the most difficult balances that we are called to maintain in our living and believing. We are very thoroughly citizens of this earth and its kingdoms (even to the point of serving time in prison for preaching the gospel!); yet we are, at the same time, very thoroughly a citizen of the new heaven and new earth. Balancing those two is intensely difficult. Some have focused on their earthly life so much that they’ve become enemies of the cross (see v. 18); others throughout history have focused on heaven so much that they lose sight of their mandate for living obediently here.

N.T. Wright uses the idea of being a “colony” to help us understand the tension between these two. Philippi was a Roman colony, established by Roman forces shortly before Christ’s birth.  After successful battles, Roman military generals gave land around Philippi to Roman soldiers, making it a Roman colony. Many of the descendents, now living in Philippi, loyally considered themselves members of this Roman colony. They were proud to be Roman colonists, ordering their life according to what was done in Rome, yet having no desire at this point of ever going to Rome to live.

In the same way, we believers deal with dual citizenships. We are residents of this world, while being citizens of heaven. But in our efforts at balancing it means we do our best to remain loyal to God, and order things here so that his will is done “on earth as it is in heaven,” while at the same time living in the firm hope that our future involves a resurrection, glorification of the body, renewal of the earth, and a new life.

We live this dual citizenship in loyalty to our Lord, but also with eager expectation of the new world to come. This healthy, though delicate, balance is a representation of the maturity that Paul’s holds up in his own example and also to which he calls us.

In some ways this pericope is the heart and soul of all this letter aims to communicate.

Music Notes

1.      Resources for the prelude and alternative harmonizations for “We’re Marching to Zion” can be found in:

MARCHING TO ZION

  • Organ:
    • Farlee, Robert Buckley. Many and Great. Augsburg 11-11033 [2000] (E-M)
    • Ferguson, John. Three Nineteenth Century Revival Hymns. Augsburg 11-10976 [1999] (M)
  • Piano:
    • Page, Anna Laura. Blest Be the Tie. Morningstar MSM-15-838 [2008] (E-M)
  • Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
    • Carlson, J. Bert. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]
    • Hopson, Hal H. The Creative Use of the Piano in Worship. Hope 8392 [2008]

2.      We have suggested two anthems of differing styles: “City of Heaven” by Josephine Poelinitz is published by Plymouth Music HL-105 [1994] and is scored for Soloist, SATB voices and keyboard. “Here from All Nations” by Roy Hopp is a hymn concertato published by GIA G-7092 [2007]. It is set for SATB voices, descant, assembly, organ and brass quartet.

3.      The suggestions for offertory music, based on “How Can I Keep from Singing” can be found in the following resources:

HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING/ENDLESS SONG/QUAKER HYMN

  • Piano:
    • Boertje, Barbara. Piano Improvisations for the Church Year Unity 70/1194U [1998] (E-M)
  • Handbells:
    • McFadden, Jane. How Can I Keep From Singing? Augsburg 11-10984 [1999] (3-5 octaves, level 3)

4.      Resources for the two closing songs of the service, as well as postlude ideas are as follows:

CWM RHONDDA [“Guide Me O My Great Redeemer”]

  • Organ:
    • Barr, John G. Three Preludes on Hymn Tunes. H. W. Grey GSTC 01079 [1992] (E-M)
    • Carlson, J. Bert. Augsburg Organ Library – Autumn. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7579-7 [2003] (E-M)
    • Culli, Benjamin M. Musica Sacra: Easy Hymn Preludes for Organ. vol. 5 Concordia 97-7193 [2006] (E)
    • Haan, Raymond H. Welsh Hymn Tune Preludes. SMP KK426 [1989] (E-M)
    • Held, Wilbur. Those Wonderful Welsh. Set 2 Morningstar MSM-10-842 [1992] (E-M)
    • Hobby, Robert A. Three Hymns of Praise. Set 6 Morningstar MSM-10-542 [2000] (E-M)
    • Krapf, Gerhard. Sing and Rejoice. vol. 6 SMP KK339 [1986] (adaptable for piano; E)
    • Manz, Paul. God of Grace. Morningstar MSM-10-599 [2004] (M)
    • Rotermund, Melvin. Five Preludes. Augsburg 11-6040 [1990] (E-M)
  • Piano:
    • Organ, Anne Krentz. Piano Reflections for the Church Year. Augsburg Fortress 11-11209 [2001] (E-M)
    • Shackley, Larry. Celtic Hymn Settings for Piano. Hope 8117 [2001] (E-M)
    • Shaw, Timothy. Great Hymns of Faith for the Church Pianist. Augsburg Fortress ISBN 978-0-8006-2167-4 [2008] (M)
    • Wilhelmi, Teresa. Hymns…Light Jazz Style Word. 301 0136 315 [1997] (M)
  • Handbells:
    • McChesney, Kevin. God of Grace and God of Glory. Concordia 97-6584 [1996] (3-5 octaves, M)
  • Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
    • Cherwien, David. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]
    • Hopson, Hal H. The Creative Use of the Piano in Worship. Hope 8392 [2008]

ARGENTINA/CANTO DE ESPERANZA [Canto de esperanza/Song of Hope]

  • Piano:
    • Page, Anna Laura. Blest Be the Tie. Morningstar MSM-15-838 [2008] (E-M)
  • Handbells:
    • Tucker, Sondra K. Canto de Esperanza. AGEHR AG35190 [2001] (3-5 octaves, level 3-)
  • Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
    • Hopson, Hal H. The Creative Use of the Piano in Worship. Hope 8392 [2008]

 Glossary of Hymnal Abbreviations

  • CSW: Contemporary Songs for Worship (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
  • ELW: Evangelical Lutheran Worship (Augsburg Fortress Publishing)
  • GSW: Global Songs for Worship (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
  • HW: Hymns for Worship (Calvin Institute of Christian worship; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
  • PH: The Presbyterian Hymnal (Presbyterian Church USA; Westminster/John Knox Press)
  • PsH: The Psalter Hymnal (Christian Reformed Church; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
  • RL: Rejoice in the Lord (Reformed Church in America; W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)
  • RN: Renew! (Hope Publishing Company)
  • SFL: Songs for LiFE (children’s songbook; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
  • SNC: Sing! A New Creation (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Christian Reformed Church, Reformed Church in America; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
  • SNT: Singing the New Testament (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
  • SWM: Sing With Me (Faith Alive Christian Resources)
  • TWC: The Worshiping Church (Hope Publishing)
  • TH: Trinity Hymnal (Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in America; Great Commission Publications)
  • UMH: The United Methodist Hymnal (United Methodist Publishing House)
  • WOV: With One Voice (Augsburg Fortress)
  • W&R: Worship and Rejoice (Hope Publishing)

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