We gather this day to hear and learn from God’s Living Word.
For his Word is alive and active,
sharper than any two-edged sword.
It cuts through our spirits and souls,
through our joints and marrow,
until it discovers the desires and intentions of our hearts.
Before God, none can hide.
All are naked and exposed to the eyes of the One
who requires us to tell the truth of our lives.
Yet we have a great High Priest
who has soared to the heights of heaven,
and he is Jesus, the Son of God!
Let us therefore hold fast to our faith in him.
For he understands our weaknesses.
He faced all our temptations, yet without giving in to sin.
Let us go boldly to his throne of grace.
There we will receive mercy and grace to match our every need.
In the shelter of Christ’s mercy and grace,
let us dare to hear and explore
the truth of God’s Living Word for our lives.
We ask in the name of the Father,
of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
In prayer, let us confess to God as a community.
Great and Mighty God,
It is good for us to be humbled by your greatness.
We are nothing when compared to who you are.
Though we are weak and overwhelmed by our sins,
your grace enables us to become more like you.
In our sin and failure,
have mercy on us, O God.
May we remember the Mighty One, Jesus Christ,
who stands between us and makes a way for us to be redeemed.
His blood is our peace,
His righteousness our strength,
His condemnation our freedom,
His Spirit our power,
His Kingdom our heritage.
Lord, let us know your grace, feeling its strength.
By your grace,
overcome our evil natures,
set us apart from sin’s entrapments,
support us in life’s trials,
May our days be framed by character that you have molded,
and not by anxiety, hurry, and the pressure of life’s circumstances.
May we live with a clean conscience and continual hunger
for your righteousness.
Father, we ask that these things would happen by the power of your Spirit and the blood of your Son,
and we pray in confidence to you,
our God in community, Holy in One.
What is our perspective of Christ in his ability to empathize with us?
How do kindness and mercy lead us to repentance?
We go now, secure in the love of God
from which nothing can separate us.
We delight in seeking the Lord –
looking always for the power and the presence of God,
letting love permeate all that we do.
May God work for good in all things through us;
May Christ Jesus conform us in the image of his sacrificial love;
And may the Holy Spirit help us in our weakness,
interceding for us, and in us, according to the will of God.
In peace, may we live to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of the Father, of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Austin&&&& @ Flickr]