Covenant of Peace

Malachi 2:5-6
“My covenant was with [Levi], a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name.  True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips.  He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin.”

Ephesians 2:13-15, 17
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.  For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations…He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.”

Isaiah 54:10
“‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”

Righteous Lord, in Christ you offer a truce to hearts that battle against you.

We surrender our selfish assertion to obey only the commands we understand.  With reverence we submit to the ways you leave unexplained, and we withdraw from the war our natural selves wage against you.

covenant of peaceMay we accept with gratitude the covenant of peace you freely place before us.  Turn our rebellious fight into reconciliation as we see the beauty of your compassion.

This we ask in the name of Christ Jesus, the binding promise of our saving peace.

Listen to ‘Hymnal’ by Trent

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Genesis 37:23-28
“So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the richly ornamented robe he was wearing—and they took him and threw him into the cistern…As they sat down to eat their meal they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites…Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt…So…his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver…”

 Luke 18:24-27
“Jesus looked at him and said, ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!  Indeed it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’  Those who heard this asked, ‘Who then can be saved?’  Jesus replied, ‘What is impossible with men is possible with God.’”

 Revelation 2:8b-9a
“These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again.  I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich!”

God of all goodness, you offer the only treasure that turns our hearts from coveting to compassion.

You stripped Joseph of both wealth and arrogance and led him on a camel-back journey, positioning him perfectly as your humbled servant.  His affliction became his salvation.

camelsWhen we cling to gaudy symbols of our own status, free us from the ornaments that hinder our walk with you.  Help us lose our lives so that we may slip through the narrow way and enter the kingdom.

This we ask in the name of the one who became impoverished so we might become impossibly rich through him, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Listen to ‘Upon a Life I Did Not Live’ by Sandra McCracken

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Malachi 4:2
“But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.”

Luke 1:76b-79
“…you will go out before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercies of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

Psalm 84:11-12
“For the Lord is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”

Lord of heaven and earth, every morning we see your face faithfully turn to us once again.

You are the source of peaceful light and our celestial shield.  Life flourishes only when transfixed by your divine beam.

sunShine with power into the cold crevices where we hide.  Touch us with a healing ray, melting our brittle discontent.

In the name of Christ we pray; the sun of righteousness who slipped deep into the shadows and rose to bring the dawn of salvation.

Listen to ‘…With Alleluias Clear’ by The New Ancients

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Exodus 30:22a, 30-31, 32b
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘…Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them so they may serve me as priests.  Say to the Israelites, ‘This is to be my sacred anointing oil for the generations to come…It is sacred, and you are to consider it sacred.’”

1 John 2:20,27
“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth…As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you.  But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.”

Psalm 45:7b
“…God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”

Loving King, the touch of your hand is our most worthy crown.

anointedYou have chosen us to receive the blessing of your joy.  Like drops of perfumed oil your Spirit spills over us, encircling and claiming us.

Pour upon our heads the sign of honour we bear as servant priests.  Anoint us with awe and sacred gladness, consecrating us with the fragrance of your truth.

We raise our prayers to you in the name of Christ, the holy offering poured out to mark us as his own forever.

Listen to ‘Hail to the Lord’s Anointed’ by Sandra McCracken

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1 Samuel 18:1, 3-4
“After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself…And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.  Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.”

John 15:13-15a
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead, I have called you friends…”

Proverbs 18:24
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Gentle Lord, you mystify us with your majesty and intimacy.

friendIn love you clothe us in your royal robes and unclasp the weapons at your side.  Stronger than a brother’s bond, you pledge to keep us one in Spirit.

Do not abandon the servants you now call friends.  Keep us, your holy companions, from forsaking the One who will never withdraw his great love.

This we ask in the name of Christ, faithful in friendship to abide by the covenant, leaving his Father’s side to lay down his life for us.

Listen to ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus‘ by Blake Paul Band

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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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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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