The watchword for the week:
Jesus asks, “But who do you say that I am?” Mark 8:29
In the midst of this busy day we pause to place God at the center of all that we are.
We lay aside the menial tasks as well as the important decisions for just a moment as we focus our attention on God’s grace.
Holy God, hear us now,
Listen to us as we lift up the prayers and petitions of our hearts, and may you open our ears so that we might hear your voice speaking to us.
I love God, because God has heard my voice
and has heard my supplications.
Because God inclined an ear to me,
therefore I will call on God
as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of God:
“O God, I pray, save my life!”
Gracious is God, and righteous;
our God is merciful.
God protects the simple;
when I was brought low, God saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest,
for God has dealt bountifully with you.
For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
I walk before God
in the land of the living.
Let us humbly confess our sins.
Gracious Savior, we bow our heads before you and confess that too often we have forgotten who you are. Sometimes we so closely conform ourselves to the world around us that we begin to think that you are not aware of the choices that we make with our lives. We confess that too often our first thought is financial security rather than sacrifice for your kingdom. We confess that we often hold being right as a higher virtue than being compassionate. We confess that too often we accept the notion that immediate gratification of our needs and wants is more satisfying than seeing your will be known and done. For these things we ask your forgiveness. Give us clear minds and open hearts so we may choose what is good and acceptable and perfect. Remind us to be who You would have us to be regardless of what we are doing or who we are with. Enfold us in your arms so that we might feel your love for us and for the world.
My friends, the Biblical message is clear: Christ died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again that we might live in newness of life; new life both here and in the world yet to come. Let us give thanks to God.
Today we praise the God who created us, the God who is redeeming us, and the God who is sustaining us. Glory be to the triune God. Amen.
This now is a time for the reading of a scripture passage. If you have a copy of the Moravian Daily Texts take time to read them 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 us now as we, sisters and brothers in Christ, pray together.
Our Father in heaven, praise be your name; your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.
The Apostle Paul writes:
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
4 For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. Romans 12:1-5
Gracious God, guide us today as we seek to not only know you, but together be you to the world, as we in the church seek to be your body.
Thanks be to God. Amen.