The Watchword for the week:
Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11
The Easter season calls us to celebrate new life.
Loving God, grant that we may be renewed by the Holy Spirit.
Help us to lay aside those things that lead us astray from you,
And help us to embrace those things which bring us closer to you and your will for our lives.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.
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. 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 them now, you can get the on-line version of the Daily Texts at www.moravian.org. Don’t rush over these words 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 are present with you 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 the prayer as follows:
Together as brothers and sisters in Christ let pray:
Creator of the heavens and earth, we praise 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. We know that you have created us to be holy and 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; we give thanks for the blessings of our lives even as we seek to live into the eternity of yours. Amen.
Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the shepherd of our lives, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
We thank you, Lord Jesus, not only for the privilege of believing in you, but of suffering for you as well so that we may also be glorified with you.
Let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, since as members of the body we were called to peace. And let us be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in us richly as we teach and admonish one another with all wisdom. Whatever we do, therefore, whether in word or deed, let us do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Amen.