Watchword for the Week — Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven. Psalm 148:13
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel.
For he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
Psalm 148, Praise for God’s Universal Glory
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his host!
3 Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for he commanded and they were created.
6 He established them for ever and ever;
he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.*
7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and frost,
stormy wind fulfilling his command!
9 Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Wild animals and all cattle,
creeping things and flying birds!
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and women alike,
old and young together!
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his glory is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his faithful,
for the people of Israel who are close to him. Praise the Lord!
Invitation to Confession:
Loving and gracious God, we know of your love for us because you have given us this most precious gift in your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Knowing that you forgive those who are willing to admit their shortcomings, we now offer to you our confession of sin.
Confession of Sin:
Forgive us Lord for treating your gift of grace as if it were a misunderstood present. Too often we find ourselves consumed with greed, instead of seeking to serve our neighbor. Too often we neglect the needs and ignore the feelings of those most close to us. And as we look beyond our loved ones, we ignore the pressing needs of our society by closing our eyes to poverty and pain and walk the other way. Forgive us, and renew us, gracious Savior.
Hear the words of our Lord and Savior, “Your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more.”
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. 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:
With Mary we exalt you, God our Redeemer:
46 My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, 55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever. Luke 1:46-55
God has shown his love for us in that while we were yet sinners he sent us his Son, Jesus Christ, to be the forgiveness of our sins.
We give thanks and praise for this most precious gift.
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
May our thanks for this most precious gift be shown in the words that we share with those that we find around us this day. And as we begin this new year we dedicate ourselves once again to following the risen Lord.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end Amen.