The Watchword for the Week:
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. Matthew 3:2
Come, all who labor and are heavy laden.
Come, all who are lost and in need of a home.
Come, all who have faced their weakness and sins.
Rejoice greatly, shout for joy! See, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and brings salvation.
Give the ruler your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to a ruler’s heir.
May the ruler judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.
May the ruler defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.
May the ruler live while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
May the ruler be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth.
In the ruler’s days may righteousness flourish
and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
Blessed be the Sovereign, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be God’s glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with God’s glory.
Amen and Amen.
Amen and Amen.
Hear the voice of John the Baptist calling to us from the wilderness, challenging us to prepare the way for the coming Messiah, to repent and to make the pathway to our heart a straight one.
Holy God, we know that you want to come and walk with us through the journey of our lives. You send to us a Savior who seeks to offer us not only an eternal home but also the pattern for the living of our daily lives. Forgive us for the times when we have turned our back on your invitation and have chosen to walk our own way. Forgive us for the times when we make the path into our hearts a steep one, making it hard for you to enter. Forgive us when treat even our loved ones with an unforgiving spirit. Forgive us when we busy our lives with diversions that deflect our attention from you. We invite your Holy Spirit to dwell within us and to bring us close to you this day.
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to them and proclaim that they have suffered long enough, that their penalty is paid, and their sins are forgiven.
We give thanks to the one who creates us, we give thanks to the one who redeems us, we give thanks to the one who brings the spirit of holiness to us today. Amen.
If you have a copy of the Moravian Daily Texts take time to read today’s texts now, but don’t rush over them as a task to be completed. These are the words that God would have you to cherish for this day. These are words that could transform your life if you allow them to. So read slowly and deliberately. Pause at words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit, for these are places where God might be speaking to you. When you have finished with your reading of scriptures, take time to pray for the needs that you present today, for the needs of those you love, and for the needs of a hurting world. May your time of prayer help you to clarify where God would want you to focus your energy. When you are ready continue with this prayer as follows:
O Lord, Hear our Prayer:
Giver of life and grace who dwells in heavens, we lift our praise to you. We pray that the ways of heaven might be made real in our earthly lives as we, your children, seek to do your will. Give us today the food that we need. Forgive us as we seek to forgive those around us, and as we fix our eyes on you, keep us from temptation, and deliver us from evil influences. For this is your world, and to you is due all honor, and glory, and praise forever and ever. Amen.
O Emmanuel, God with Us, Jesus Christ, desire of every nation,
come to earth we pray.
Shepherd of all humanity, and Savior of our souls
give us rest in your arms today.
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth.
You alone are the most high, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.
Come Lord Jesus,
Open our hearts to welcome you, let the Word become flesh in our hearts and in our lives. Amen.