Watchword for the Week – I will recount the gracious deeds of the Lord, the praiseworthy acts of the Lord, because of all that the Lord has done for us. Isaiah 63:7
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel.
For he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
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 forever 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!
Confession of Sin (from the Moravian Book of Worship, Liturgy for New Year pages 143-144, used by permission of the IBOC.)
Let us in penitence and humility confess our sins before the throne of grace, praying together:
God of mercy, as we mark this moment, we confess our weaknesses, failures, and transgressions:
Our broken vows,
Our slackness and misuse of time and opportunity,
Our selfishness and our love of ease,
Our unkindness and indifference,
Our self-indulgence and our pleasure taken at the expense of others,
Our moments when we have not be true to ourselves,
Our lack of faith in your providence.
For these sins of commission and omission, have mercy upon us.
Lord Jesus Christ, we remember in your presence our losses and griefs, our hopes and treasures which the departing year has carried away, the disappointments we have known, the friends who are no longer with us and whose steps we shall hear no more. We pray for grace to cherish the spirit which brings good out of evil, and which prevents adversities and sorrows from embittering our hearts. Give us comfort and a deep sense of your goodness in every circumstance of life, and when, despite our good intensions, we fail, be our strength and stay.
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 God, Father, hear us as we pray the prayer that you taught your disciples:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed 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 message of Christmas is that 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.
May our thanks for this most precious gift be shown in the conduct of our lives this coming year.
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.
We give thanks and praise for this most precious gift.
As we look forward to the year that is ahead, we have faith that God will supply every need of ours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
God will fail us never. In our dwelling place God will endure forever. In our mission to serve, God will sustain us always. Amen.