Genesis 1:1-3
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.  And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”

Psalm 119:105
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Revelation 21:23-24
“The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”

Creator of all things bright, you spoke the first dawn into life.

lampWhen your word shines upon the shadowy path we see the way.  With illuminating echoes your light commands the darkness to disperse.

Place our blind and searching hands upon the living lamp.  In holding Christ high may we walk in a circle of his truth and glory.

By his name we pray; who at his death was mourned by the sun and who will one day welcome us into his radiant city.

Listen to ‘To Thee We Run’ by Young Oceans

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Exodus 2:2b-4
“When she saw that [Moses] was a fine child, she hid him for three months.  But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch.  Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.  His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.”

Luke 2:6-7
“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

Galatians 5:1
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Though the universe is at your command, Lord, you chose ignobility in which to reveal yourself.

To deliver your people you fashioned strange cradles—stalks among creatures—and a young girl to watch over the child who would be called an emancipator.

cradlesAs you led the Israelite people out of slavery at the hand of Moses, you lead us out of the slavery that addicts us to ourselves and our need for power.  Teach us to follow the Saviour who was hidden in humility, displaced from both heavenly and earthly homes.

For the sake of Jesus Christ, who was held captive in an infant’s body to grant us freedom, please hear us when we pray.

Listen to ‘Who Is This?’ featuring Sandra McCracken

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Ezekiel 37:6b-8a, 12
“Then he led me back to the bank of the river.  When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river.  He said to me, ‘…Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river.  Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail.  Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them.  Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.’”

Psalm 46:4-5
“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.  God is within her, she will not fall, God will help her at break of day.”

Revelation 22:1-2
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city.  On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.  And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”

Father of life, from your sanctuary springs deep and holy water.

riverYour Spirit courses through the city like a crystal clear street, and fruit-bearing trees take root.  The leaves supplied by this pure source bring healing to the wounded.

Flood into our hearts, O Lord, with the glad current of your peace.  May we kneel together on the bank, drinking life from your endless stream.

We petition in the name of Christ, the river from whom all blessings flow.

Listen to ‘Streams of Living Water Flow’ by Red Mountain Music

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Job 42:5
“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”

Luke 2:27-31
“Moved by the Spirit…Simeon took [Jesus] in his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace.  For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people…’”

1 John 1:1
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.”

God of all mystery, you grasp the veil over the hidden chambers of truth.

seeingWe have been taught of your existence, but our hearts do not hear and we are thick in our thoughts.  Only an illuminating moment from your Spirit gives our finite eyes infinite vision.

Transform our dim understanding into radiant knowledge as we see the beauty of your face.  May the love in your eyes outshine all that has dulled our senses and may we be filled with praise.

We pray as we gaze fully upon Jesus, who was blinded to his Father on the cross and so revealed salvation to us.

Listen to ‘Be Thou My Vision’ by Phillip Sandifer

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Psalm 5:1-3
“Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing.  Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.  In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”

Mark 7:32-35
“…some people brought to [Jesus] a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.  After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears.  Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue.  He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, ‘Ephphatha!’ (which means, ‘Be opened!’)  At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.”

Romans 8:26
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

Heavenly Father, in holy stillness you wait to hear the cry of your child.

You ask us to exhale our deep concerns into your great compassion.  When we are powerless to articulate, the Spirit breathes a lament on our behalf.

sighHear our hearts’ silent whisper and the pleas from stumbling tongues.  May your ears be open to our entreaties as we intercede for those deaf to your word.

We sigh our prayers in the name of Jesus Christ, who groaned for our pain and with the substance of his own body covered our wounds.

Listen to ‘Be Still, My Soul‘ by The Lower Lights

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Genesis 8:10b-11
“…[Noah] sent out the dove from the ark.  When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf!  Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.”

Matthew 3:16-17
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water.  At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said:  ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’”

Romans 6:4
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

Spirit of God, source of all resurrected life, you circle above on pure and gentle wings.

You bring us through great trials and offer us hope when we believe all is lost.  Though we are held in the current of deep waters, we endure this baptism knowing you will alight to bless and strengthen us.

dovesMay we be found to be obedient to your words in evil times, and give us hearts that trust in your quiet presence, so that we do not lose confidence as you bring us safely to a resting place.

This we ask in the name of Jesus, who made a way through winter’s floodwaters to a glorious springtime.

Listen to ‘Holy Spirit Truth Divine’ by Ordinary Time

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Habakkuk 3:17-18
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

2 Corinthians 6:4-10
“Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.”

Isaiah 65:18-19
“But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy.  I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.”

Almighty God, a mantle of joy cloaks your immense power.

You call us to live the paradox of contentment in the absence of security.  The courage to fight the season of sorrow comes from the choice to praise.

rejoiceTeach us to use the weapon of hope in discouragement.  Open our eyes to see you vividly, and live rejoicing.

Through Jesus Christ we pray; who, though we fail and frustrate, takes great joy and delight in us.

Listen to ‘Sing, O Heavens! O Earth, Rejoice!’ by Community Presbyterian Church

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