Path

2 Samuel 22:36b-37
…you stoop down to make me great.  You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.”

Hebrews 12:12
“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.  ‘Make level paths for your feet,’ so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”

1 John 2:5-6
“But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him.  This is how we know we are in him:  Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”

Patient Father, you level great mountains into gentle trails.

pathYou splint our brokenness with your faithful love.  Each stride patterned by the footsteps of Christ strengthens our weak limbs.

Correct our stumbling gait by your perfect path.  May we draw alongside the lame and invite them to walk your rehabilitating road.

For the sake of Christ we ask this, who staggered under the weight of Calvary’s cross so that we might climb the heights with straightened steps.

Listen to ‘Come Said Jesus’ Sacred Voice’ featuring Matthew Smith

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Choice from the Cross

Job 2:9-10
“[Job’s] wife said to him, ‘Are you still holding on to your integrity?  Curse God and die!’  He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman.  Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’  In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.”

Luke 23:39-43
“One of the criminals who hang there hurled insults at him:  ‘Aren’t you the Christ?  Save yourself and us!’  But the other criminal rebuked him.  ‘Don’t you fear God,’ he said, ‘since you are under the same sentence?  We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.  But this man has done nothing wrong.’  Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’  Jesus answered him, ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.’”

1 Peter 2:23-24
“When they hurled insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats.  Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.  He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”

Loving Saviour, you plunge your holy arm deep into the tragedies of this tainted world.

choice from the cross2We are often blinded by hurt and lash out with a curse.  Yet whether our suffering is just or unjust, you remain on the cross next to us and endure the same pain.

At the moment of choice, may we humbly accept an illogical sorrow as you did, knowing you will not abandon us.  Transform our distress into paradise by your presence.

Through Christ’s healing name we pray, who bore our insults even as he took the curse of death in our place.

Listen to ‘Beneath the Cross of Jesus’ featuring Sandra McCracken and Derek Webb

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Peace

Psalm 139:7, 11-12, 24-25
“Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?…If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you…Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

John 20:19
“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’”

Philippians 4:6-7
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

All-knowing God, you are familiar with every corner of space and every crevice of our hearts.

peaceYou invade our lives with your gentle presence.  In our anxious flight we cannot escape the relentless love of the risen Christ.

Come into our midst and be our powerful protector.  Enter the doors we have locked in fear and guard our thoughts with your peace.

We ask this in the name of the eternal Prince of Peace who could not be kept chained in darkness, our resurrected Lord Jesus Christ.

Listen to ‘It Is Well’ by Dave Hunt

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Darkness

Exodus 10:21-23
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.’  So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days.  No one could see anyone or leave his place for three days.  Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.”

Luke 23:44-45a
“It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining.”

Isaiah 60:1-3
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.  See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.  Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”

Glorious One, the light and the void submit to the power of your outstretched hands.

darknessIn the penultimate plague, you painted the sky the colour of the hearts of its people.  Darkness reigned before you required the firstborn sons of Egypt, and before your Firstborn surrendered his life to end death.

Dawn in our hearts, dispersing the black shadows of pride, anger and rebellion.  As we flee the canopy of sin lead us to the glow of salvation’s thick light.

We ask this in the name of our great Sacrifice, Jesus Christ, who entered our darkness with triumphant, conquering radiance.

Listen to ‘Alas’ by Red Mountain Music

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Gardener

Genesis 2:8-9a
“Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.  And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.”

John 15:1
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.”

John 20:14-16a
“At this, [Mary Magdelene] turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.  He asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?  Who is it you are looking for?’  Thinking he was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.’  Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’”

Great Creator, your fingers draw life from the soil, and the earth receives your blessing through gifts of dew and sun.

On our perfect first day we were created to find you in a garden, and when we have lost all hope you call our name in the stillness of a green morning.

gardener2Though pruned by tears, keep us grafted into the true vine.  May new leaves of joy spring to life because you tend us with compassion.

Through Christ we pray—the Branch that died in a winter of sin and now rises with the promise of a glorious springtime.

Listen to ‘I Know that My Redeemer Lives’ by Kyle and Sara

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Servant Angels

Psalm 103:20-21
“Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.  Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.”

Luke 22:41-44
“[Jesus] withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’  An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.  And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

Matthew 28:2-3, 5-6a, 7a
“There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightening, and his clothes were as white as snow…The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said…go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee.  There you will see him.’”

Lord of the heavenly hosts, your glory is reflected in the dazzling brightness of your messengers.

servant angels2In Gethsemane’s dark hour a servant restrained his powerful legions, though he saw his Lord stained with agony.  At the empty tomb an angel proclaimed your good news with radiant joy.

May we be obedient to your will and your word—to trust the supremacy of your work and to bear witness as it is accomplished.

In the name of Christ we ask this, heaven’s greatest servant and our glorious hope.

Listen to ‘Beneath the Cross’ featuring Sandra McCracken and Derek Webb

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Heart of Stone

Ezekiel 36:26b-27a
“…I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you…”

Luke 24:2-3
“[The women] found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.”

Romans 7:6a
“But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit…”

Lord and Risen Christ, where there is transformation there is evidence of your touch.

heart of stoneOur hearts, like stony tombs, hold the dead and lifeless remains of old attachments.  It is only by the power of your Spirit that life emerges—flesh restored, breath begun anew.

Resurrect joy out of our cold darkness.  Roll away the barriers that imprison us and release us whole and radiant, pulsing with love.

This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, absorbed into the heart of stone to give us a new heart and a new Spirit.

Listen to ‘Up from the Grave’ by Redeemer INdy

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