The Watchword for the week:
You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God. I Peter 1:23
The Easter season calls us to celebrate new life.
Loving God, grant that we may be renewed by the Holy Spirit.
Help us to see the possibilities for new beginnings in our daily lives.
We give praise to the risen Christ in whom we live, and move, and have our being.
Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19
1 I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications.
2 Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I pray, save my life!”
12 What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord,
14 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.
16 O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your serving girl. You have loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the Lord. 18 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!
Confession of Sin
Almighty and most merciful God, we have erred and strayed from your holy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too often the devices and desires of our own hearts, and we have offended your holy laws. This has separated us from you, and we have hurt even those that we love. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done things we ought not to have done, and we are truly sorry. O Lord, have mercy on us. Forgive us our sins as we are able to honestly confess them to you. Restore your image in us, and create in us a clean heart. Make of us a new creation, ready and willing to serve you.
Grant to your faithful people pardon and peace, that we may be cleansed from our sins, and serve you with a quiet mind, through Jesus Christ our 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.
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 as brothers and sisters in Christ let us profess our faith, saying:
I believe in the one true God, the Father of humanity,
who creates and sustains the universe in wisdom and power,
who calls us into being and into relationship with God by grace, whose nature is love.
I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God,
who lived that we might see God,
who died that we might be reconciled to God,
who rose that we might experience the life of God,
who freely accepts and welcomes all who come to him, not on the basis of their merit, but on the basis of his unconditional love.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
who is God present with us now,
who shows us our need for God,
who assures us of God’s love in all circumstances
who lives the life and love of Jesus Christ through us.
In this faith I will seek to live in harmony with God, with people everywhere, and with all of creation. Amen.
(From the Moravian Book of Worship, the Liturgy for Creation, page 29. Used by permission from the Moravian Interprovincial Board of Communication.)
Lord, as we experience the ups and downs of life,
Help us to put our trust in you.
As we come to doubt our abilities,
Help us to know that you make us complete.
As we fear for the health and welfare of those that we love,
Help us to know that you are with both them and us.
As we come to doubt that we are making a difference in your Church,
Help us to know that this is your Church and we simply have to be faithful to your call to us.
As we come face to face with our own sinfulness and mortality,
Help us to know that your grace gives us new life both here, and in the world yet to come.
Shout for joy all people of God, rejoice all the earth! The glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people together will see it. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Blessed be the name of the Lord in whom we live, labor, and love. Amen.