The hymn before the sermon is called the Hymn of the Day because it usually emphasizes the theme and prepares for the sermon to follow. The Sermon then is most often based on one of the Scripture readings of the day. If it’s based on a topic rather than a biblical text, it’s technically called a homily. The sermon is intended to be a prayerfully prepared preaching of God’s word, exposing our sin, applying God’s forgiveness, and exhorting to life in Christ. As God once planted the cross of His Son into the earth, He now places His word about this cross into the ground of our hearts. And something happens—either His word is choked and parched, or by His word our life in Jesus produces fruit. The standard closing blessing, from Philippians 4:7, prays that the peace of God may never leave us.
Since we’ve heard God’s word spoken to us, we respond by confessing our faith through one of the Creeds of the Church
. Speaking to God and confessing to one another, we are happy and proud to publicly voice our faith. The Apostles Creed
is shorter, was probably composed earlier, and is the simplest statement of the Christian faith. The Nicene Creed
is more detailed, was composed primarily as a reaction to false teaching, and came out of a 4th century Council of the Church.
Next we respond to what God has done to us and for us by bringing our money Offering, an act of worship. In this we are active, we’re giving, we offer ourselves to God and show it by giving our monetary contribution. In the ancient church, worshipers brought bread and wine to be used in Lord’s Supper. All that was left was distributed among the poor.