Our Holy Father and our God, we come before you today a forgiven and reconciled people. You have reconciled us to Yourself by the blood of the cross of Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. In our baptisms we are joined with Jesus in His baptism. In our baptisms we are joined with Him in His death and resurrection. All this You purposed for us and for all of Christ’s church from before there was anything but Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We give You thanks for the forgiveness, thanks for the reconciling, and thanks for the provision of Christ’s church.
Help us, O Father, to live properly in Christ’s church, in faith and faithfully. By Holy Spirit bring about in us a vision for what she is as Christ’s body, what she is to do and what she is to be. Help us to discern the difference between the church and the world, and to be vigilant against the world’s. Help us to look upon her with eyes that see that she will be a glorious Bride, and that, indeed, the gates of Hades and the wiles of Satan cannot prevail against her…because Christ is her victorious husband.
As we continue in our worship, O Yahweh, help us to look upon Jesus as Christ and Son of the Living God, as all-sufficient offering and all-merciful and faithful Great High Priest. As we come to His Table, make our eyes wide-open with understanding and with wonder.
Father, all this in Christ’s holy name we pray.