The Watchword for the week:
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth. Job 19:25
The Lord is in the holy temple; let all the earth keep silence.
Gracious Lord, we are your holy temples when we acknowledge your presence within us.
As we marvel at the beauty of the changing seasons, we give praise to your creative power.
May we open our hearts to that same creative power within us.
Psalm for the Week: Psalm 17:1-9
Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry;
give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.
From you let my vindication come;
let your eyes see the right.
If you try my heart, if you visit me by night,
if you test me, you will find no wickedness in me; my mouth does not transgress.
As for what others do, by the word of your lips
I have avoided the ways of the violent.
My steps have held fast to your paths;
my feet have not slipped.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me, hear my words.
Wondrously show your steadfast love,
O savior of those who seek refuge
from their adversaries at your right hand.
Guard me as the apple of the eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Who among us has clean hands and a pure heart? Who among us has not given in to vanity, or yielded to selfish desires?
If we say that we have no sin, we have deceived ourselves, and the truth in not in us.
If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive us. Indeed we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous one, and He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Loving God, we thankfully acknowledge that you have stamped your very image within each of us and therefore we are holy, just as you are holy. We confess, however, there are times when we forget who you are, and therefore we lose sight of who we are both as individuals and as communities of faith. We ask that you forgive us for the times when we forget that our bodies are your holy temples and do not care for them, or use them in ways which are unholy. We also confess that we do not always acknowledge your holy image pressed within the essence of those who are around us, both near and far. We are far more willing to divide ourselves by class, culture, race, ideology, and geography than to unite with one another under your banner of grace.
Hear us and renew us, gracious Lord and God.
The Lord says to each of us: “I will be merciful to your sins, and I will not remember them. Peace be unto you.” Let us therefore give praise to the triune God:
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.
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:
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, hear us.
Creator of the heavens and earth, praise be to your holy name. We pray that the gracious ways of heaven may be made real in the world that we inhabit. We hunger for much more than food today, and we pray that you will satisfy us, and all who have need. We are awed by your forgiving nature, and pray that you would inspire us to forgive each other in like manner. While we know that you have created us to be holy, we ask that you keep us from the temptation of living a life which would tarnish your image within us. You have created a world that is holy, and your glory and power are displayed in many wonderful ways; may we give thanks for your blessings all the days our lives, even as we live into eternity. Amen.
And so my brothers and sisters build yourselves up on your most holy faith.
May we be strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit to pray every day and so be drawn closer to our living Redeemer.
May we live a life that gives space for silence to ponder the mercy of our Lord, Jesus Christ,
and give praise for God’s miracle of the sacred within us and others.
Think about the following things: things that are true and honorable, just, and pure; meditate on things that are lovely and of good report; ponder things that are of virtue and worthy of praise.
These are things that are holy, and for them we give thanks.
And now unto the God who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you as holy before the throne of grace with exceeding joy,
To the only wise God, our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.