Sanctity Life Sunday Worship Service Outline

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“For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:13-16

In the Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, welcome to this special worship Service.

Today is Sanctity Life Sunday and so this service will be dedicated to celebrating the gift of life from our Creator, and to repentance from the national sin of abortion.

1. Let us stand together and sing: “Christ for the World We Sing”

Christ For The World We Sing

“Repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations.” Luke 24:47

Christ for the world we sing; the world to Christ we bring
with loving zeal; the poor and them that mourn, the faint and overborne,
sin sick and sorrow worn, whom Christ doth heal.
Christ for the world we sing, the world to Christ we bring
with fervent pray’ r; the wayward and the lost, by restless passions tossed,
redeemed at countless cost from dark despair
Christ for the world we sing, the world to Christ we bring
with one accord, with us the work to share, with us reproach to dare,
with us the cross to bear for Christ is Lord.
Christ for the world we sing; the world to Christ we bring
with joyful song; the newborn souls whose days, reclaimed from error’s ways inspired with hope and praise, to Christ belong.
Samuel Wolcott, 1869

or: “Great is Thy Faithfulness”

or: “Immortal, Invisible, God only wise”

2. Please bow your heads together with me in prayer. Let us pray:

“We have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and rebelled; we have turned away from God’s commands and laws. We have not listened to His servants the prophets, who spoke in His Name.” Daniel 9:5-6

“I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.” Psalm 51:3

“Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.” Psalm 51:9

Almighty and most merciful Father, we confess that we have strayed from Your ways like lost sheep, we have left undone what we ought to have done, and we have done what we ought not to have done.
We have followed our own ways and our own desires and we have neglected and broken Your holy laws, in our thoughts, words and deeds.
Have mercy on us Lord.
You alone can forgive sins.
Restore those who repent and confess their sins according to Your promises declared in Jesus Christ our Lord. Grant, merciful Father, for His sake, that hereafter we may live a righteous and obedient life, serving You not only with our lips, but with our lives through Jesus Christ our Lord, to the glory of Your holy Name. Amen.

3. Let us stand to affirm our Faith together in the words of the Apostles Creed:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, He died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty;
from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit; Christ’s holy universal Church, the fellowship of Christians, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting Amen.

4. We will now have our Scripture Readings. Let us hear the Word of the Lord:

“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:10-18

“All those who hate God, love death.” Proverbs 8:36

“They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood. They defiled themselves by what they did, by their deeds they prostituted themselves. Therefore the Lord was angry with His people and abhorred His inheritance. He handed them over to the nations, and their foes ruled over them. Their enemies oppressed them and subjected them to their power ” Psalm: 106.37-42

“You shall not murder.” Exodus 20:13

“There are six things the Lord hates, seven things that are detestable to Him; haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood. . .” Proverbs 6:16-17

“If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life…” Exodus 21:22-24

“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man. Genesis 9:6

“...This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Deuteronomy 30:15-19

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute…. defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you..“ Jeremiah 1:5

“... it pleased God, Who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles. . .” Galatians 1:15-16

“Listen to Me, O islands, and pay attention, you peoples from afar the Lord called me from the womb; from the body of my mother He named me…the Lord, Who formed me from the womb to be His servant.” Isaiah 49:1-5

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favoured, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.’” Luke 1:41-44

“Whoever welcomes a little child like this in My Name welcomes Me.” Matthew 18:5

“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of My Father in heaven.” Matthew 18:10

“Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin, So watch yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.” Luke 17:1-3

“This is what the Lord says - your Redeemer Who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, who has made all things.” Isaiah 44:24

“Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one ‘s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127:3-5

5. Let us respond to these readings from God’s Holy Word in prayer:

Almighty God, we bow before You our Creator, You are the One who has given us life and health, talents, gifts and opportunities for service. Every breath we breathe is a gift of Your grace. We acknowledge that You are also the Eternal Judge before whom each one of us must stand and give an account of our lives. Have mercy upon us, Lord. Do not treat us as we deserve. We plead for Your mercy — for Your grace, Your undeserved favour. For we confess that we are a sinful people and we are part of a nation in rebellion against You.
We have broken Your holy laws.
Our leaders are too proud to bow before You in prayer at the beginning of Parliament.
At state events our leaders have committed idolatry, worshipping other gods who are not God at all.
Your Name is routinely taken in vain on national television and at cinemas and this blasphemy is constitutionally protected and regarded as “entertainment.”
The Lord’s Day is desecrated every week. What You ordained as a Day of rest and a Day of worship is being commercialised and abused for the worship of pleasure.
Respect for our parents and elders is being undermined everywhere by the laws, the entertainment industry and by the explosion of violent crimes against the elderly.
Every year over 20 000 people are murdered in South Africa and our justice system is failing to protect the citizens of this land. Most of the murderers who terrorise our people escape being brought to justice. In fact, our laws seem to favour the rights of the criminals and all too often criminalise the victims.
Have mercy on us, Lord.
Selfishness, greed, covetousness, and deception are pervasive and we have become a nation infested with corruption and theft. Our Constitution entrenches the rights of pornographers to exploit people made in the image of God for profit — to take what You have made to be holy and perverted it, to take what You designed to be special and made it sordid, to distort what you intended to be private and developed it into a multi million rand exploitative industry.
Have mercy on us, Lord.
And we must admit that we have the hypocrisy to claim to be a “human rights society” while denying the right to life to pre-born babies. Forgive us Lord for interpreting the Right to Life to protect guilty murderers from execution but not protecting innocent babies from receiving the death penalty through abortion.
We are ashamed that our society could have become so calloused, careless and cruel as to allow little babies to be poisoned, burned, dismembered, smothered or strangled — through abortion.
We recognise that all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. And we must confess that most of us, even in the Church, have shamefully done nothing to protest and work against the legalised slaughter of pre-born babies in South Africa.
You have declared that “Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.”(Matthew 25:45). We recognise that to know the good we ought to do and to fail to do it, is sin (James 4:17).
We have sinned. We have not loved You with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, nor have we loved our neighbours as ourselves. We have not done unto others as we would have others do unto us. We have been thoughtless and careless. We have been self-centred and preoccupied with less important things. Forgive us for thinking so much of ourselves and so little of You and of our neighbours. Especially on this day-Sanctity Life Sunday - we confess that we have not loved our unseen, pre-born neighbours as we ought.
Have mercy upon us, O Lord.
On behalf of our congregations, communities and nation we repent of the national sin of abortion.
May You be merciful and gracious, O Lord, to forgive us our many sins and to bless us with a Revival of repentance.
May You raise up many more Christians to fight for the right to life of pre-born babies.
May You grant to mothers going through crisis pregnancies — grace, comfort, strength and the support of family, friends and congregation to choose life that the children may be born and brought up in the love and admonition of the Lord.
Lord, raise up more pastors, elders, deacons and church members to see the needs and to educate and mobilise their congregations to respect the sanctity of life, and lovingly support both mothers and children — especially in crisis situations.
Strengthen the doctors and nurses to resist all pressures to pervert their healing profession from saving lives to taking lives. May the medical profession stand together in resisting the overwhelming pressures to turn them into paid assassins instead of those who are true to their Hippocratic oath.
And we also pray that You may grant that those politicians who worked and voted to legalise abortion in South Africa would come to repentance. And should those guilty of unleashing this abortion holocaust steadfastly refuse to repent, then we pray that You, O Lord, may remove them.
May You raise up new leaders who will respect the right to life of even the most helpless members of our society and ensure that babies are effectively protected from the violence of abortion — by law.
Guide each one of us, O Lord, as to what we can do to save lives and love our neighbours, for we ask all this in the Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ — Amen.

6. Let us now rise and sing this great hymn of the Faith: “Great is Thy Faithfulness”

Great is Thy Faithfulness

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” Lamentations 3:22-23

Great is thy Faithfulness, O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with Thee, Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not; as Thou hast been Thou forever will be.
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see: all I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.
Summer and winter and spring-time and harvest, sun, moon and stars in their courses above, join with all nature in manifold witness, to Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see: all I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide, strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see: all I have needed Thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.
Thomas 0. Chisholm, 1923

8. SERMON

9. Let us conclude this special Sanctity Life Sunday service with the prayer of Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy 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;
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

10. Another optional hymn: “Fight the Good Fight”; or “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”.

Fight the Good Fight

“Fight the good fight of the Faith.” 1 Timothy 6:12

Fight the good fight with all thy might; Christ is thy strength, and Christ thy right; lay hold on life, and it shall be thy joy and crown eternally.
Run the straight race through God’s good grace, lift up thine eyes, and seek his face; life with its way before us lies, Christ is the path, and Christ the prize.
Cast care aside upon thy Guide; lean, and His mercy will provide; lean and the trusting soul shall prove, Christ is its life, and Christ its love.
Faint not, nor fear, His arms are near; He changeth not, and thou art dear; only believe, and thou shalt see, that Christ is all in all to thee.
John S. B. Monsell, 1863

11. The Benediction

“May the God of peace, Who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory for ever and ever Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21

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