The Church: Willing to Suffer

Seventh worship service in a series of worship services based on key themes from the Belhar Confession


Love One Another by Laura James (www.laurajamesart.com)

Belhar Confession Worship Service #7

As Christ’s body in this world, we follow the example of our suffering Savior. The church accepts suffering:

  • through identification with those who are suffering,
  • in compassion with those who are hurting,
  • for righteousness sake when authorities and human laws contradict our obedience to Christ.

Belhar References: (from section 5)

We believe that, in obedience to Jesus Christ, its only head, the church is called to confess and to do all these things, even though the authorities and human laws might forbid them and punishment and suffering be the consequence (Eph. 4:15-16; Acts 5:29-33; 1 Peter 2:18-25; 1 Peter 3:15-18).

Suggested Scriptures

Psalm 25
Matthew 5:11-12

Acts 4:15-16

Acts 5:29-33

II Timothy 3:12

I Peter 2:18-25

I Peter 3:15-18

References in Other Confessional Documents

 Our World Belongs to God , 3, 6, 52, 56

Possible Songs

All those notated with an asterisk will be found in “Lift Up Your Hearts” (LUYH), to be published in 2013 by Faith Alive Christian Resources.

*Be Gracious to Me, Lord, LUYH
     [Psalm 57: paired with MIKTAM]
*Give to the Winds Your Fear, LUYH
     [with Psalm 109; paired with GORTON]
*Healer of Our Every Ill, SNC 205
     [paired with HEALER]
*Pelas dores deste mundo/For the Troubles, GSW 43
*Take Up Your Cross, LUYH
     [paired with ERHALT UNS, HERR]
*We Can Not Measure How You Heal, SNC 69
     [paired with YE BANKS AND BRAES]
*When We Are Living/Pues si vivimos, SNC 193
     [paired with SOMOS DEL SENOR]
*You Are Mine, LUYH
     [paired with YOU ARE MINE]

Liturgy Resources

Prayers

Lord Jesus Christ,
we come to you sharing the suffering that you endured.
Grant us patience during this time,
that as we and [name]
live with pain, disappointment, and frustration,
we may realize that suffering is a part of life,
a part of life that you know intimately.
Touch [name] in his/her time of trial,
hold him/her tenderly in your loving arms,
and let him/her know you care.
Renew us in our spirits,
even when our bodies are not being renewed,
that we might be ever prepared to dwell in your eternal home,
through our faith in you, Lord Jesus,
who died and are alive for evermore. Amen.
Taken from The Worship Sourcebook, © Faith Alive Christian Resources, 4.5.11

God of life, God of comfort:
alone,
afraid,
in fear,
in loss,
we cry out:
“Why, O Lord, why?”
“How long, O Lord, how long?”
We cling to you in hope
even as we grasp for hope.
So grasp us in your loving embrace
through Jesus Christ,
who endured the cross for our sake. Amen.
Taken from The Worship Sourcebook, © Faith Alive Christian Resources, 4.5.27


Lord Jesus, King of the Church,
you know from your experience the pain and suffering
that ministry in this fallen world can involve.
You came to your own people
and your own people did not accept you.
You knew misunderstanding, hatred and rejection while ministering.
You felt the ultimate rejection of humankind at the cross.
You warned your disciples that if the world hated you,
it would also hate them.
And you have told us that we also must share in your sufferings,
that we too might be rejected when we serve in your name.

And so we ask, gracious Lord,
for passion to stand for what is right and true,
for courage to remain firm when the going is tough,
for the ability to love when we are not loved back,
for protection when evil plots threaten us,
for words from your Spirit when we must answer,
for wisdom to consider suffering for righteousness a worthy cause,
and for mercy to sustain us when our strength is gone.

Hear us our Lord,
and be near to us,
until the final day of victory when you return. Amen.

Affirmation

We believe in the triune God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
who gathers, protects and cares for the church through Word and Spirit.

This, God has done since the beginning of the World
and will do to the end.

We believe that in obedience to Jesus Christ, its only head,
the church is called to confess and to do all these things,
even though the authorities and human laws might forbid them
and punishment and suffering be the consequence.    

Jesus is Lord.

To the one and only God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
be the honor and the glory forever and ever.

Amen.
Belhar Confession, article 1 and 5

Glossary

Confessions and Testimonies:

(Note: When we use the term “Other Confessional Documents” we are using the term “confessional” broadly to include those which have been formally adopted as a Confession of Faith by a denomination, but also those which more loosely are considered a Testimony or Declaration of Faith by a denomination.)

Belhar – the Belhar Confession
BC – The Belgic Confession of Faith
HC – The Heidelberg Catechism
OWBTG – A Contemporary Testimony: Our World Belongs to God
OSOH – Our Song of Hope
WC – Westminster Confession
WCRC – The Worship Statement of the World Communion of Reformed Churches
WLC – Westminster Larger Catechism
WSC – Westminster Shorter Catechism

Hymnals/Resources:

ELW – Evangelical Lutheran Worship
CSW – Contemporary Songs for Worship
GSW – Global Songs for Worship
LUYH – Lift Up Your Hearts
PFAS – Psalms For All Seasons
PsH – The Psalter Hymnal
SNC – Sing! A New Creation
SNT – Singing the New Testament
TWS – The Worship Sourcebook

General Hymns:

*Abana in Heaven, GSW 44
*All Are Welcome, LUYH
     [paired with TWO OAKS]
*Be Thou My Vision, LUYH
     [paired with SLANE]
*Canto de esperanza/Song of Hope, LUYH
     [paired with ARGENTINA]
*Faith Begins By Letting Go, SNC 172
     [paired with LUX PRIMA]
*God of Grace and God of Glory, LUYH
     [paired with CEM RHONDDA]
Let Streams of Living Justice, ELW 710
     [paired with THAXTED]
Lord, You Call Us
     [JOYOUS LIGHT Morningstar MSM-50-7800 SATB and Congregation]
*Perdón, Señor/Forgive Us, Lord, LUYH 2.2.1
     [paired with CONFESSION]
*Psalm 51, SNC 50
The Church of Christ, in Every Age
, ELW 729
     [paired with WAREHAM]
*The Church’s One Foundation, PsH 502
     [paired with AURELIA]
Belhar Hymn, David Alexander 
     [sung to O WALY WALY, Unity, Reconciliation and Justice: Apppendix C, p.87]

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