The watchword for the week:
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you.
Praise the Lord and give thanks to Him for all his mercies.
In Jesus Christ God grants us the forgiveness of sin and shows us a new way of living.
We seek to respond to that love by following the way of the cross.
We will rejoice and worship God with all our heart.
Hear now the call of God to draw near to His loving embrace.
We will rest ourselves in God and do all that He asks.
1 Hear this, all you peoples;
give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
2 both low and high,
rich and poor together.
3 My mouth shall speak wisdom;
the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
4 I will incline my ear to a proverb;
I will solve my riddle to the music of the harp.
5 Why should I fear in times of trouble,
when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me,
6 those who trust in their wealth
and boast of the abundance of their riches?
7 Truly, no ransom avails for one’s life,
there is no price one can give to God for it.
8 For the ransom of life is costly,
and can never suffice,
9 that one should live on forever
and never see the grave.
10 When we look at the wise, they die;
fool and dolt perish together
and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves are their homes for ever,
their dwelling-places to all generations,
though they named lands their own.
12 Mortals cannot abide in their pomp;
they are like the animals that perish.
Let us humbly confess our sins.
As we ponder the life of Jesus we are awed by the sacrifice that he made on our behalf. By accepting the way of the cross he took upon himself the sin of the world. With this love set in our minds and as we read the words of this week’s Psalm we confess that we have not always lived up to the standard that you have set for us by putting our trust in wealth and possessions. We have often shunned the way of the cross and a life of integrity for what seemed like an easy path. By what we have both said and done, and by what we have left undone, we have not always been your followers and for that we are truly sorry. Strengthen us as we resolve to live more responsively to your gracious intent toward us and the world.
My friends, the Biblical message is clear: Christ has 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.
Praise be to you triune God, for you have lovingly created us, compassionately redeemed us, and graciously empower us to live the life of the cross. 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 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:
Together let us affirm our faith and our fundamental trust in the Triune God:
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Let us go from here with our hearts and minds set on Jesus, and live a life that gives witness to that which we believe.
Thanks be to God. Amen.