The Watchword for the Week:
Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. Isaiah 35:4
Stir up our hearts, O Lord,
to prepare the paths for your Only-begotten Son:
that we may worthily serve you
with hearts purified by His coming.
5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,
6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10 The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!
Invitation to Confession
We heed the challenge of John the Baptist to make straight the paths of our lives so that the coming Messiah might find His way into our hearts. Knowing that the Christ Child was born so that our sins might be forgiven we now lay those sins and their burdens upon the throne of Grace.
Confession of Sin:
Forgive us loving God for the winding path upon which you have to travel to find us. As we bend to the selfish influences of our culture we lose sight of your intended will for us. Too often we live by fear rather than by faith because we underestimate your power to heal the parts of us that are broken, and to correct the parts of us that have drifted from your influence. Bring us back to you so that we might respond to your Grace by sharing it with others. Give us the courage to give you unhindered access to all of who we are.
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.
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 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.
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.
Even those who are young grow weak;
the young can fall exhausted.
But those who wait on the Lord for help
will find their strength renewed.
They will rise on wings like eagles;
they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.
Christ, the Light of the world, empower us to shine as lights in this dark world of sin.
Christ, lead us into good stewardship of creation that we and our children may preserve and enjoy the world entrusted to us.
O Emmanuel, God with Us, Jesus Christ, desire of every nation, Savior of all peoples,
come and dwell within our hearts and lives.
We praise you, for you are good,
And your mercy endures forever. Amen.