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Unity, Reconciliation, Justice

A Series on the Belhar Confession

The following is a collection of building blocks for a series of worship services based on key themes from the Belhar Confession. This series is adapted from the longer version available on the website of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (worship.calvin.edu.) A few notes:

  • Each service contains statements from portions of the Belhar Confession, which become the focus of the service itself.
  • A number of hymns and songs are suggested for each service. In addition, there are others that could be used appropriately in multiple services. Please see the listing of these general hymns and songs at the end of each service. All of the songs referenced in this article can be found in Lift Up Your Hearts: Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs.
  • Several types of liturgical resources are provided for each service, including prayers, affirmations, or sendings. You will note that some of the affirmations are best suited to group professions, others for words of sending at the conclusion of worship. We provide these to aid you in your worship planning.

Week 1: A Triune God and a Forever Church

Our declaration of faith begins with our belief in the Triune nature of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This triune God has been engaged since the beginning of time in gathering, protecting, and caring for his church. This he does through his Word and Spirit.

Belhar References

(excerpts from sections 1 and 2),

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 in one holy, universal Christian church, the communion of saints called from the entire human family . . . and that true faith in Jesus Christ is the only condition for membership of this church.

Suggested Scriptures

Genesis 12:1-3
Psalm 115
Matthew 16:16-20
2 Corinthians 13:11-14
Ephesians 2:11-22
Revelation 7:9-17

Other Confessional Documents

Our Song of Hope, III.4, VI.15
Our World Belongs to God, par. 2, 23
The Belgic Confession, st. 1, 8, 9
The Westminster Confession, 25.1
Worship Statement from the World Communion of Reformed Churches (see Wise Church, available through Faith Alive Christian Resources, sidebar p. 2.)

Possible Songs

“Church of God, Elect and Glorious” LUYH 252, PsH 533, SNT 233, WR 541
“El Señor es mi pastor/My Shepherd Is the Lord” LUYH 368, PFAS 142, PsH 162, SNC 181
“In Christ Alone” CSW 20, LUYH 770, SWM 208
“In Christ There Is No East or West” CH 428, HFW 205, LUYH 268, PH 440, PsH 540, WR 600/603
“Not unto Us, O Lord of Heaven” LUYH 573, PH 227, PFAS 727, PsH 115, TH 67
“O God, You Are My God Alone” PFAS 389, LUYH 367
“Salvation Belongs to Our God” CSW 5, LUYH 608, SNT 256

The Belhar Confession

The Belhar Confession is rooted in the struggle against apartheid in Southern Africa. This “outcry of faith” and “call for faithfulness and repentance” was first drafted in 1982 and was adopted by the synod of the Dutch Reformed Mission Church in South Africa in 1986 as one of its standards of unity. In 1994 the Dutch Reformed Mission Church and the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa united to form the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA). The Belhar Confession has become part of the global Reformed confessional basis for many denominations. In 2010 it was adopted as a doctrinal standard by the Reformed Church in America. In 2012 the synod of the Christian Reformed Church adopted it as an Ecumenical Faith Declaration.

Liturgy Resources

Prayer
Loving God,
we have heard your call to live as one body.
We thank you for your Son, the head of the body.
We praise you for your Spirit, who works to make us one.
ow as we leave to worship you
in our work, fellowship, and leisure,
we pray for the grace to live together in harmony.
We pray for imagination
to find ways to strengthen our unity in Christ.
We also pray for courage
to carry out these commitments in a spirit of joy,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
—The Worship Sourcebook, © 2004 Faith Alive Christian Resources, S.9.1.5

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. Amen.
—Belhar Confession, Article 1

General Hymns
“Abana in Heaven” GSW 44, LUYH 911, PFAS 1049
“All Are Welcome” LUYH 269
“Be Thou My Vision” CH 562, HFW 32, LUYH 859, PH 339, TH 642, WR 502
“Canto de esperanza/Song of Hope” LUYH 941, PH 432, SNC 282
“Faith Begins By Letting Go” SNC 172, LUYH 852
“God of Grace and God of Glory” CH 435, HFW 211, LUYH 926, PH 420, WR 569
“Perdón, Señor/Forgive Us, Lord” LUYH 642, SNC 59, SWM 154
“The Church’s One Foundation” CH 401, HFW 148, LUYH 251, PH 442, PsH 502, TH 347, WR 544

Week 2: A Worldwide Family

This family that the Triune God gathers is a unique body because it includes people from the entire global village who have experienced reconciliation with God and with each other.

Belhar References

(excerpts from section 2)

We believe in one holy, universal Christian church, the communion of saints called from the entire human family . . . (and) that Christ’s work of reconciliation is made manifest in the church as the community of believers who have been reconciled with God and with one another (Eph. 2:11-22).

Suggested Scriptures

Psalm 87
Acts 10:9-48
Galatians 3:26-28
Ephesians 2:11-22
Revelation 7:9-17

Other Confessional Documents

Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 54-55
Our World Belongs to God, par. 18, 30, 34, 41, 42
The Belgic Confession, art. 27
The Westminster Confession, 25.2
Westminster Larger Catechism, Q&A 62, 66
Worship Statement of the World Communion of Reformed Churches

Possible Songs

“All People That on Earth Do Dwell” CH 101, HFW 6, LUYH 1, PFAS 623/626, PH 220, PsH 100, TH 1, WR 661
“Come, We That Love the Lord” CH 416, HFW 73, LUYH 483, WR 67
“Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken” CH 400, HFW 95, LUYH 286, PFAS 532/534, PH 446, PsH 506, TH 345, WR 598
“I Rejoiced When I Heard Them Say” LUYH 508, PFAS 808, SNC 7
“It Is Good to Sing Your Praises,” LUYH 513, PFAS 572, PsH 171
“Todos los que han sido bautizados/All Who Have Been Baptized” GSW 48, LUYH 798
“We Are Your People” LUYH 248, PH 436, WR 594

Liturgy Resources

Call to Worship
People will come from east and west,
from north and south,
and will eat in the kingdom of God.
Indeed, some are last who will be first,
and some are first who will be last. (Luke 13:29-30, NRSV)

Prayer
Glorious things are spoken of you, God,
the source of all springs.
Our names are known by you and recorded in your book.
Your blessing was pronounced on all families
through your servant Abraham,
and you have established a home for all of us.
We pray, O God, for all the nations of the earth,
lands physically separated by geography—
peoples divided by language, culture, custom, and color—
yet united as your children.
As of old you claimed your people
from all lands and nations—
from Egypt and Babylon, Philistia and Ethiopia—
(Other nations may be added.)
even so, look with mercy upon your church
in this land and in every nation.
Guide us in your ways of justice and peace.
We call upon you—from every tribe and every nation,
in every tongue and language,
joining our voices together in song proclaiming,
all our springs are in you.

—Melissa Haupt, 2011, © Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Affirmation
Let us acknowledge the company in which we meet:
the church on earth and in heaven;
the faithful who worshiped here before us;
the hundreds of thousands
of every place and language
who, on the Lord’s day, seek to set their lives
within the atmosphere of renewing grace.
As we think of them,
let us take deliberate encouragement
from our unity with them all.

—The Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland, © 1994 Westminster John Knox Press, p. 63. Found in The Worship Sourcebook, © 2004 Faith Alive Christian Resources, S.1.2.3

Week 3: Unity is Both Gift and Obligation

The unity of the church is a gift, given by God, not earned or achieved. It is precious and to be treasured. Receiving this gift also brings obligations. It must be pursued and protected with great intentional effort.

Belhar References

(excerpts from section 2)

We believe that unity is, therefore, both a gift and an obligation for the church of Jesus Christ; that through the working of God’s Spirit it is a binding force, yet simultaneously a reality which must be earnestly pursued and sought: one which the people of God must continually be built up to attain (Eph. 4:1-16); that this unity can be established only in freedom and not under constraint; that the variety of spiritual gifts, opportunities, backgrounds, convictions, as well as the various languages and cultures, are by virtue of the reconciliation in Christ, opportunities for mutual service and enrichment within the one visible people of God (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:1-11; Eph. 4:7-13; Gal. 3:27-28; James 2:1-13). Therefore, we reject any doctrine . . . which absolutizes either natural diversity or the sinful separation of people in such a way that this absolutization hinders or breaks the visible and active unity of the church, or even leads to the establishment of a separate church formation . . . [and] which explicitly or implicitly maintains that descent or any other human or social factor should be a consideration in determining membership of the church.

Suggested Scriptures

Psalm 133
John 17:20-23
1 Corinthians 12
Ephesians 4:1-6

Other Confessional Documents

Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 54-55
Our World Belongs to God, par. 40
Our Song of Hope, VI.17
The Belgic Confession of Faith, art. 27
The Westminster Confession, 26.1, 2

Possible Songs

“Come, Worship God” LUYH 509, PFAS 592, SNC 25
“God, You Call Us to This Place” LUYH 531, SNC 14
“One People, Here, We Gather” LUYH 243
“Ososo/Come Now, O Prince of Peace” LUYH 905, SNC 209, WR 157
“Sing Praise to the Lord, You People of Grace” LUYH 7, PFAS 994
“Somos uno en Cristo/We Are One in Christ Jesus” LUYH 255, SNC 179, SNT 186
“Spirit of the Living God” CH 389, HFW 210, LUYH 749, PH 322, PsH 424, TH 726, WR 492

Liturgy Resources

Prayer

See RW 16 pages 40-41 or online at tinyurl.com/RWfar.

Affirmation

We believe that Christ’s work of reconciliation
is made manifest in the church
as the community of believers
who have been reconciled with God and with one another.
That unity is, therefore, both a gift and an obligation
for the church of Jesus Christ.
We believe that this unity of the people of God
must be manifested
and be active in a variety of ways:
in that we love one another; . . .
and that we experience, practice
and pursue community with one another.

—Belhar Confession, Article 2

Week 4: A Healthy Witness

Family unity (both a gift and obligation) must be made visible for those in the church and those in the world. This unity, seen in multiple ways, speaks to the world about the reconciling work of Christ and therefore becomes a healthy witness to the gospel of Christ.

Belhar References

(excerpts from sections 2 and 3)

We believe . . . that this unity must become visible so that the world may believe that separation, enmity and hatred between people and groups is sin which Christ has already conquered, and accordingly that anything which threatens this unity may have no place in the church and must be resisted (John 17:20-13); that this unity of the people of God must be manifested and be active in a variety of ways; in that we love one another; that we experience, practice and pursue community with one another; that we are obligated to give ourselves willingly and joyfully to be of benefit and blessing to one another; that we share one faith, have one calling, are of one soul and one mind; have one God and Father, are filled with one Spirit, are baptized with one baptism, eat of one bread and drink of one cup, confess one name, are obedient to one Lord, work for one cause, and share one hope; together come to know the height and the breadth and the depth of the love of Christ; together are built up to the stature of Christ, to the new humanity; together know and bear one another’s burdens, thereby fulfilling the law of Christ that we need one another and upbuild one another, admonishing and comforting one another; that we suffer with one another for the sake of righteousness; pray together; together serve God in this world; and together fight against all which may threaten or hinder this unity (Phil. 2:1-5; 1 Cor. 12:4-31; John 13:1-17; 1 Cor. 1:10-13; Eph. 4:1-6; Eph. 3:14-20; 1 Cor. 10:16-17; 1 Cor. 11:17-34; Gal. 6:2; 2 Cor. 1:3-4). . . .

Therefore, we reject any doctrine which absolutizes either natural diversity or the sinful separation of people in such a way that this absolutization hinders or breaks the visible and active unity of the church, or even leads to the establishment of a separate church formation; which professes that this spiritual unity is truly being maintained in the bond of peace while believers of the same confession are in effect alienated from one another for the sake of diversity and in despair of reconciliation; which denies that a refusal earnestly to pursue this visible unity as a priceless gift is sin. . . .

We believe . . . that the credibility of this message is seriously affected and its beneficial work obstructed when it is proclaimed in a land which professes to be Christian, but in which the enforced separation of people on a racial basis promotes and perpetuates alienation, hatred and enmity. . . .

Suggested Scriptures

Psalm 87
Psalm 111
Matthew 28:16-20
John 17:20-23
Acts 2:1-21
1 Corinthians 1:10-13
James 2:1-13

Other Confessional Documents

The Belgic Confession, art. 28

Possible Songs

“Go to the World!” LUYH 925, SNC 294, WR 553
“Gracious Spirit” LUYH 320, SNC 166
“O Give the Lord Wholehearted Praise” LUYH 502, PFAS 707, PsH 111
“O God, We Kneel Before Your Throne” LUYH 680, SNT 185
“Taste and See” LUYH 817, PFAS 222, SNC 255, PsH 301
“They’ll Know We Are Christians” CH 429, LUYH 256, WR 595
“We Will Extol You, God and King” LUYH 562, PFAS 952

Liturgy Resources

Prayer

Triune God,
you have called us to live in unity with each other
and with our brothers and sisters around the world.
Help us to sense that our love for Jesus binds us together.
May our worship today be a witness
to the kind of unity that comes only
through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

—The Worship Sourcebook, © 2004 Faith Alive Christian Resources, S.1.1.1

Affirmation

God has reconciled us to God’s own self and to one another,
and has made us one community of love.
We celebrate God’s gift of unity, and claim it as our calling.
Separation, enmity and hatred are sins that Christ has already conquered;
they have no place here among the beloved of God.
God has given us many ways to enjoy our unity.
We commit ourselves to bless one another.
We will keep the one faith and fulfill our one calling.
We will be of one soul and mind.
We will share one baptism, eat one bread, and drink one cup.
We will confess one Name, and share one hope.
We will bear one another’s burdens and build each other up.
We will suffer together for the sake of God’s righteousness.
We will pray together and serve God together.
We will fight together against everything that threatens our unity.
We will use our differences to serve Christ, one another, and the world.
We celebrate God’s gift of unity, and claim it as our calling.

—Paul Janssen, Pascack Reformed Church, Park Ridge, New Jersey, RCA Belhar Confession: Singing Praying and Preaching. © 2012 Reformed Church Press

Week 5: Peacemakers

The faithful church will be a peacemaker in this world of broken relationships, showing that the new obedience in Christ works reconciliation.

Belhar References

(excerpts from section 3)

We believe . . . that God has entrusted the church with the message of reconciliation in and through Jesus Christ, that the church is called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, that the church is called blessed because it is a peacemaker, that the church is witness both by word and by deed to the new heaven and the new earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Cor. 5:17-21; Matt. 5:13-16; Matt. 5:9; 2 Peter 3:13; Rev. 21-22); that God’s lifegiving Word and Spirit has conquered the powers of sin and death, and therefore also of irreconciliation and hatred, bitterness and enmity, that God’s lifegiving Word and Spirit will enable the church to live in a new obedience which can open new possibilities of life for society and the world (Eph. 4:17-6:23, Rom. 6; Col. 1:9-14; Col. 2:13-19; Col. 3:1-4:6); that the credibility of this message is seriously affected and its beneficial work obstructed when it is proclaimed in a land which professes to be Christian, but in which the enforced separation of people on a racial basis promotes and perpetuates alienation, hatred and enmity; that any teaching which attempts to legitimate such forced separation by appeal to the gospel, and is not prepared to venture on the road of obedience and reconciliation, but rather, out of prejudice, fear, selfishness and unbelief, denies in advance the reconciling power of the gospel, must be considered ideology and false doctrine.

Suggested Scriptures

Psalm 46
Psalm 72
Isaiah 2:1-5
Matthew 5:9
Romans 12:3-21
2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Other Confessional Documents

Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 105-107, 123, 124
Our Song of Hope, V.11, 16
Our World Belongs to God, par. 6, 11, 16, 17, 39, 41, 43, 52, 53, 54
Westminster Larger Catechism, Q&A 144, 145, 183, 184, 194
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q&A 77, 78
Worship Statement of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, 2.3, 2.5, 5.1, 5.5, 5.6

Possible Songs

“God Who Touches Earth with Beauty” LUYH 736
“Koinonia” LUYH 258
“Miren qué bueno/Oh, Look and Wonder” LUYH 260, PFAS 872
“Not for Tongues of Heaven’s Angels” LUYH 307, PH 531, SNC 275, SNT 160, WR 400
“O God of Love, Forever Blest” LUYH 283, PFAS 791
“Salaam/Peace” GSW 45, LUYH 298

Liturgy Resources

Prayers

God of righteousness and peace,
grant us your peace.
When warfare haunts our streets,
grant us your peace.
When anxieties haunt our minds and hearts,
grant us your peace.
For the people of (__________) who face the fear and violence of conflict today,
grant us your peace.
For all the people of Jerusalem and its surrounding lands,
who live in the shadow of so many centuries of conflict,
grant us your peace.
Turn our hearts toward the Prince of Peace, we pray,
grant us your peace. Amen.

—John D. Witvliet, 2011, © Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

—St. Francis of Assissi, public domain

Affirmation

We believe that God has entrusted the church
with the message of reconciliation in and through Jesus Christ,
that the church is called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world,
that the church is called blessed because it is a peacemaker,
that the church is witness both by word and by deed
to the new heaven and the new earth in which righteousness dwells;

that God’s lifegiving Word and Spirit
have conquered the powers of sin and death,
and therefore also of irreconciliation and hatred, bitterness and enmity,
that God’s lifegiving Word and Spirit will enable the church
to live in a new obedience which can open new possibilities of life for society and the world;

that the credibility of this message is seriously affected
and its beneficial work obstructed
when it is proclaimed in a land which professes to be Christian,
but in which the enforced separation of people on a racial basis
promotes and perpetuates alienation, hatred and enmity;

that any teaching which attempts to legitimate such forced separation by appeal to the gospel,
and is not prepared to venture on the road of obedience and reconciliation,
but rather, out of prejudice, fear, selfishness and unbelief,
denies in advance the reconciling power of the gospel,
must be considered ideology and false doctrine.

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. Amen.

—Belhar Confession, Articles 1 and 3

Week 6: Passionate for Justice and Compassion

The nature of God, reconciliation in Christ, and new obedience in Christ all give the church its calling and mission: to bring justice and compassion to all people in this world.

Belhar References

(excerpts from section 4)

We believe . . . that God has revealed himself as the one who wishes to bring about justice and true peace among people; that God, in a world full of injustice and enmity, is in a special way the God of the destitute, the poor and the wronged; that God calls the church to follow him in this, for God brings justice to the oppressed and gives bread to the hungry; that God frees the prisoner and restores sight to the blind; that God supports the downtrodden, protects the stranger, helps orphans and widows and blocks the path of the ungodly; that for God pure and undefiled religion is to visit the orphans and the widows in their suffering; that God wishes to teach the church to do what is good and to seek the right (Deut. 32:4; Luke 2:14; John 14:27; Eph. 2:14; Isa.1:16-17; James 1:27; James 5:1-6; Luke 1:46-55; Luke 6:20-26; Luke 7:22; Luke 16:19-31; Psalm 146; Luke 4:16-19; Rom.6:13-18; Amos 5); that the church must therefore stand by people in any form of suffering and need, which implies, among other things, that the church must witness against and strive against any form of injustice, so that justice may roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream; that the church as the possession of God must stand where the Lord stands, namely against injustice and with the wronged; that in following Christ the church must witness against all the powerful and privileged who selfishly seek their own interests and thus control and harm others.

Suggested Scriptures

Psalm 15
Psalm 146
Amos 5
Isaiah 1:10-17
Isaiah 58 and 59
Romans 12:3-21
James 1:27
James 2:1-13

Other Confessional Documents

Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 105-107, 110-111
Our Song of Hope, V.10
Our World Belongs to God, par. 6, 11, 15, 16, 17, 44, 45, 48, 52, 53
Westminster Larger Catechism, Q&A 135, 136, 141, 142
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q&A 68, 69

Possible Songs

“For the Healing of the Nations” LUYH 289, WR 621
“God of Grace and God of Glory” CH 435, CSW 211, LUYH 926, PH 420, WR 569
“Let Justice Flow” LUYH 295
“Lord, Who May Dwell Within Your House” LUYH 612, PFAS 74, PH 164
“Open Our Eyes” CSW 34, LUYH 537, SNC 263, WR 491
“Praise the Lord! Sing Hallelujah!” LUYH 518, PFAS 958/960, PsH 146

Liturgy Resources

Prayer

God of love, God of mercy, God of all power!
Why do you let your people die—
your people whom you have redeemed?
Why do you let the earth suffer—
the earth you have created in your sovereign power?
Lord, look and see the misery of the famine that is ravaging your people;
look and see these children, these women and men
who are dying of hunger and who cry to you in their need.
Give them, we pray, according to your grace
and according to their need, to the glory of your name. Amen.

—The Worship Sourcebook, © 2004 Faith Alive Christian Resources, 4.5.28

Affirmation

As we listen to the world’s concerns,
hear the cry of the oppressed,
and learn of new discoveries,
give us knowledge,
teach us to respond with maturity,
and give us courage to act with integrity.

As citizens, we acknowledge the Spirit’s work in human government
for the welfare of the people,
for justice among the poor,
for mercy toward the prisoner,
against inhuman oppression of humanity.
Help us to obey you above all rulers;
fill us with the patience of Christ
as we wait upon the Spirit.
We pray for the fruit of the Spirit of Christ
who works for peace on earth,
commands us to love our enemies,
and calls for patience among the nations.
We give thanks for your work among governments,
seeking to resolve disputes by means other than war,
placing human kindness above national pride,
replacing the curse of war with international self-control.

We hear the Spirit’s call to love one another,
opposing discrimination of race or sex,
inviting us to accept one another,
and to share at every level
in work and play, in church and state,
in marriage and family, and so to fulfill the love of Christ.
Enable us to accept that call and be agents of renewal in our work
through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

—The Worship Sourcebook, © 2004 Faith Alive Christian Resources, 4.5.4. Based on Our Song of Hope, st. 9-12

Week 7: Willing to Suffer

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
2 Timothy 3:12
1 Peter 2:18-25
1 Peter 3:15-18

Other Confessional Documents

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

Possible Songs

“Be Gracious to Me, Lord” LUYH 355, PFAS 364
“Give to the Winds Your Fears” LUYH 438, PFAS 702, PH 286
“Healer of Our Every Ill” LUYH 303, SNC 205, WR 630
“Pelas dores deste mundo/For the Troubles” GSW 43, LUYH 663
“Take Up Your Cross” LUYH 326, PH 393, TH 610, WR 351
“We Cannot Measure How You Heal” LUYH 446, SNC 69, WR 628
“When We Are Living/Pues si vivimos” LUYH 452, PH 400, SNC 193, SNT 145, WR 415
“You Are Mine” LUYH 430

Liturgy Resources

Prayer

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.

—The Worship Sourcebook, © 2004 Faith Alive Christian Resources, 4.5.27

Affirmation

What, then, shall we say in response to these things?
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—
how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?
It is God who justifies.
Who then is the one who condemns?
No one.
Christ Jesus who died—
more than that, who was raised to life—
is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine
or nakedness or danger or sword?
As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers,
neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:31-39)

Article Resources: