Sceptre

Esther 4:12-16, 5:1-2
“When Esther’s words were reported back to Mordecai, he sent back this answer:  ‘Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape.  For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish.  And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?’  Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai, ‘Go, gather together all the Jews…and fast for me.  Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day.  I and my maids will fast as you do.  When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law.  And if I perish, I perish.’…On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace…When [the king] saw Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand.  So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.”

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Jeremiah 17:12. 14
“A glorious throne, exalted from the beginning, is the place of our sanctuary…Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.”

Mighty King, you deliver us from the day of ruin.

sceptreYou saw the plight of your people and in mercy sent your Son.  Christ, in three dark days, prepared himself to approach the holy sceptre on our behalf.

Take our lives, destined to perish but for his intervening plea.  Make our hearts glad in the knowledge that your hand is now raised in acceptance from the throne.

Thank you for our humble Saviour—placed between the judgement seat and the souls you love.

Listen to ‘All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name’ (track 4) by Enfield

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Teacher

Psalm 119:66, 68
“Teach me your knowledge and good judgement, for I believe in your commands…You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.”

Luke 18:18-19
“A certain ruler asked him, ‘Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’  ‘Why do you call me good?’ Jesus answered.  ‘No one is good except God alone.’”

1 Timothy 4:6
“If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.”

Rabbi Redeemer, the key to rich life is found in your high wisdom.

We confess that we have wearied ourselves striving to study your commands.  We have committed words to memory and failed to know the instructor.

teacherInstill goodness in us only because we are students of the good Teacher.  School us by the Spirit, so that we live a lesson making evident the mercy of Christ.

We pray as he taught us, for as one who learned obedience he is worthy to follow.

Listen to ‘Spirit of God’ by City Hymns

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Last Supper

1 Kings 17:7-14
“Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain…Then the word of the Lord came to [Elijah]:  “Go at once to Zarephath…I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food.’…When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks.  He called to her and asked, ‘Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?”  As she was gong to get it, he called, ‘And bring me, please, a piece of bread.’…[S]he replied, ‘I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug.  I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.’  Elijah said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid…For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says:  ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord gives rain on the land.’”

Luke 22:8, 10-12
“Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover…As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you.  Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks:  Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’  He will show you a large upper room, all furnished.  Make preparations there.’”

Hebrews 10:25a
“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another…”

Precious Saviour, you are Lord of the feast.

last supperIn our time of famine you accepted the meal that spoke of impending death.  You conquer hunger forever as we share bread with you.

Prepare our hearts to receive you in humble communion.  Take our last handful of flour and oil, and in your mercy furnish a miracle.

Because of Christ we come empty to your table each day, and find everlasting life.

Listen to ‘In the Silence of Beginning’ by Chris Juby

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Letter

Psalm 40:7-8
“Then I said, ‘Here I am, I have come—it is written about me in the scroll.  I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

2 Corinthians 3:2-3
“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody.  You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”

Galatians 1:1-5
“Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—and all the brothers with me,  To the churches in Galatia:  Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever.  Amen.”

Great Father, you communicate to your people in page after honest page of scripture.

letterIn anger, sorrow or devotion you write your thoughts upon the parchment of willing hearts.  You call us to be prophets sharing the correspondence you have penned by costly ink on faithful scroll.

Send us to the lost as a living greeting from you.  Mark the truth upon us so that we unfold in grace to reveal your words.

We submit the signature of Christ as we pray; the great letter of love that spanned the distance between heaven and earth.

Listen to ‘Ah! Jesus Let Me Hear Thy Voice’ by Community Presbyterian Church

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Ransom

Hosea 3:1-2
“The Lord said to me, ‘Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress.  Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods…’  So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley.”

Job 33:19, 23-24
“Or someone may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in their bones…Yet if there is an angel at their side, a messenger, one out of a thousand, sent to tell them how to be upright, and he is gracious to that person and says to God, ‘Spare them from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for them…’”

1 Timothy 2:5-6a
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.”

You, our Saviour and Lord, are quick and mighty to come to the aid of your beloved ones.

By rebellion, error or neglect we allow ourselves to be captured by hostile hands.  The payment required for our freedom is the life of the mediator.

ransomLet us accept with gratitude the offer of release from the prison of shame.  Rescue us with swift compassion so that we too surrender our lives in service to those enslaved.

We claim the pardon paid by Jesus Christ, who bore the weight of the ransom, and let the price for our souls rest upon his head.

Listen to ‘My Jesus, I Love Thee’ by Red Mountain Music

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Streets

Jeremiah 33:10-11a
“This is what the Lord says:  ‘You say about this place, ‘It is a desolate waste, without people or animals.’  Yet in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted…there will be heard once more the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord, saying, ‘Give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is good; his love endures forever.’”

Zechariah 8:3-5
“This is what the Lord says: ‘I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem.  Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain…Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with cane in hand because of his age.  The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.’”

Matthew 21:8-10
“A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while other cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  The crowds that went ahead of [Jesus] and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!’”

Holy Lord God, when you inhabit our city you make us a family again.

You step upon streets that echo with emptiness, leading a procession singing with joy.  In your presence crumbling ghettos are restored to shining highways.

streetEnter our towns so that we live in courtyards ringing with laughter.  Turn our dark alleys into pathways of praise.

We place our hope in the name of Jesus, who promises to pave our dusty streets with gold.

Listen to ‘She Must and Shall Go Free’ featuring Sandra McCracken

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Wind and Water

Exodus 14:22-22
“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land.  The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.”

Luke 8:22b-25
“So [Jesus and his disciples] got into a boat and set out.  As they sailed, he fell asleep.  A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown!’  He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided and all was calm.  ‘Where is your faith?’ he asked his disciples.  In fear and amazement they asked one another, ‘Who is this?  He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.’”

Proverbs 30:4
“Who has gone up to heaven and come down?  Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands?  Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak?  Who has established all the ends of the earth?  What is his name, and the name of his son?  Tell me if you know!”

Great and mighty God, creation serves you as her rightful master.

SONY DSCThe wind answers your call and the sea steps back at your bidding.  The tempest bows to the authority of the Father in the voice of the Son.

Teach us that you always reserve ultimate control.  Strengthen our faith as you command a dry seabed for our feet and ensure our boats need no more bailing.

This we ask in the name of Jesus; Lord of the wind, Master of the raging water.

Listen to ‘Shelter in the Time of Storm’ by David Potter

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