Three Days

Jonah 1:13-15, 17
“…the men did their best to row back to land.  But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before.  Then they cried to the Lord, ‘O Lord, please do not let us die for taking this man’s life.  Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O Lord, have done as you pleased.’  Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm…But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.”

Mark 8:31
“[Jesus] then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.”

1 Corinthians 15:54b-55
“Death has been swallowed up in victory.  Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?”

Great Saviour, you followed us into the raging wind and waves of sin.

We cannot be saved by failed prophets or determined sailors, but you point the way to the perfect and acceptable sacrifice. Death devoured your Son for three dark nights before he walked resurrection’s shore.

three daysRemind us when we are in the heart of the sea that we will never sink beyond your reach.  Throw our deep fears overboard to be swallowed by Christ’s victory.

It is in his name that we cry out to you, the truly innocent man who gave his life to calm the sting of the storm.

Listen to ‘Thou Poor, Afflicted, Tempted Soul’ by Red Mountain Music

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Riding

1 Samuel 25:14-15a, 23-24a
“One of the servants told Nabal’s wife Abigail:  ‘David sent messengers from the desert to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them.  Yet these men were very good to us.’…When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground. She fell at his feet and said: ‘My lord, let the blame be on me alone.’”

Matthew 21:4-7
“This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:…‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’  The disciples…brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them.”

Hebrews 7:25
“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

King of Kings, you ride a cloak of majesty and reign in perfect justice.

We have repaid you for your gifts with hard-heartedness and pride.  As you approach our borders we hurl insults to drive you from the territory we claim to own.

astrideThough we are callous to grace, you have provided an innocent intercessor for us.  Our arbitrator journeys to the seat of judgement in our place—may we receive the pardoning verdict with great joy.

We ask this in the name of the humble Jesus, who defined his kingship from the back of a simple animal from his lowly birth to his shameful death, and loved us with each step.

Listen to ‘Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior’ by Red Mountain Music

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Fortress

2 Samuel 5:6-7
“The king and his men marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, who lived there.  The Jebusites said to David, ‘You will not get in here; even the blind and lame can ward you off.’  They thought, ‘David cannot get in here.’  Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion, the City of David.”

John 17:15
“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”

Psalm 18:1-2a
“I love you, O Lord, my strength.  The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.”

Lord of the heights, you build your kingdom with stones of faithfulness, truth and love.

fortressHidden in you, the blind and lame can fend off evil’s advance.  Though the battle rages thick, your shield withstands every furious siege.

Defend your people by surrounding us with the wall of your Spirit.  Keep us in the heart of Zion and protect us in the place we are most vulnerable.

We claim victory in the name of Christ, the strong tower that overcomes the great enemy.

Listen to ‘A Mighty Fortress‘ by Dave Hunt

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Whisper

1 Kings 19:11b-13
“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind.  After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.  And after the fire came a gentle whisper.  When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.”

Isaiah 40:1-3
“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.  Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”

John 19:30
“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’  With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

Mighty God, tempests form at the touch of your breath, and whirlwinds spin as your voice stirs them.

whisperThough your power is displayed as nature obeys your bidding, you have chosen to speak to us in a gentle whisper.  To reach us you have sent your Spirit, who murmurs the tender consolation that we have been found by you.

Teach us to hear you in the stillness.  Open our ears to catch your sighing when we wander, so that we might return to your embrace.

This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ who loved us with his dying whisper, and saved us at the moment of his faintest cry.

Listen to ‘Draw My Soul to Thee’ by Red Mountain Music

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Orphans

Ezekiel 16:2b, 4-7a
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Jerusalem:…On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths.  No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you.  Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised.  Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and…I said to you, ‘Live!’”

John 14:16, 18
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth…I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

1 John 3:1
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!”

Good and loving Father, because you are eternal we will enjoy family forever.

orphanWe find ourselves abandoned by a self-absorbed world.  Like misplaced trust in a careless parent, we are constantly disappointed in our hopes for this life.

Take us in as orphan children, neglected and alone.  Call us your beloved sons and daughters, and keep us secure in your tender protection.

We take the name of Christ as our own, knowing he was forsaken by the Father so that we might find love and acceptance.

Listen to ‘God is Love Let Heaven Adore Him‘ by High Street Hymns

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Language

Genesis 11:4, 6-7
“Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves…’  But…the Lord said, ‘If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.  Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.’”

 Acts 2:3-4, 6-7
“They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them…When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.  Utterly amazed, they asked: ‘Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans?  Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?’”

 Hebrews 1:3a
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”

Word of God, you speak all of creation into shape and form.

languageUnited in the Trinity, you are the single voice of truth.  Yet in our desire to build monuments to our own glory we corrupt our conversation with rivalry, bitterness and anger.

Redeem our speech so that we raise your name to the heights.  May our every utterance be pleasing to you because we have built a foundation on the Word.

We ask this in the name of Christ, who embodied the foreign language of love as our gift of the Spirit.

Listen to ‘Joy Brand New’ by Ordinary Time

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Bread of Life

Exodus 16:4a, 13-14, 31
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you.  The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day.’…That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp.  When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost appeared on the desert floor…The people of Israel called the bread manna.  It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.”

John 6:35, 57
“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty…Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.’”

Acts 14:17
“Yet he has not left himself without testimony:  He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”

Heavenly Father, you provide a table where we can taste everlasting life.

Our hungry cry stirs your ready compassion.  Daily we receive your wondrous flakes of honey upon our desert floor.

breadRain down upon us the sustaining bread of heaven.  May we gratefully feed our starving souls with the manna of joy.

This we ask in the name of Christ Jesus; his body the sweet bread broken for us, given for mornings without end.

Listen to ‘At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing’ by Wen Reagan

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