Seasons

Daniel 2:21
“He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them.  He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.  He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…”

2 Corinthians 6:1-2
“As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.  For he says, ‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’  I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”

Maker of all, you display your constancy and creativity in the re-creation of your world each year.

seasonsYou set times for planting and hoping, harvesting and sharing.  With all the elements our environment provides you call us to be faithful.

Help us weather harsh climates gracefully and rejoice in temperate seasons.  Give us the courage to trust when we sense you are calling for change.

We ask for mercy in your presence for Jesus’ sake, who has offered us this beautiful season of salvation.

Listen to ‘Doxology’ by Drew Collins

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Clothed

Genesis 3:7-11, 21
“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.  Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’  He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.  And he said, ‘Who told you that you were naked?  Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?’…The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”

Zechariah 3:1-2a, 3-4
“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.  The Lord said to Satan, ‘The Lord rebuke you, Satan!…’  Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel.  The angel said to those who were standing before him, ‘Take off his filthy clothes…See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.’”

Galatians 3:26-27
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”

Benevolent Father, you are draped in beautiful righteousness.

When the Accuser triumphs, we stand ashamed, naked but for shreds.  We cannot hide the stain of forbidden fruit that make us unworthy to walk with our Creator.

clothedTake the garments we wear in guilt and clothe us with fabric rich in forgiveness.  Sew a new story for us, and wrap us in brilliant white.

We ask this because we are adorned with Christ, the purest robe, who washes our filth away.

Listen to ‘All Praise to Thee, Eternal Lord’ by Wen Reagan

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Small Things

1 Kings 18:41-44a
“And Elijah said to Ahab, ‘Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.’  So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.  ‘Go and look toward the sea,’ he told his servant.  And he went up and looked.  ‘There is nothing there,’ he said.  Seven times Elijah said, ‘Go back.’  The seventh time the servant reported, ‘A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.’”

John 1:45-46
“Philip found Nathanael and told him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’  ‘Nazareth!  Can anything good come from there?’ Nathanael asked.  ‘Come and see,’ said Philip.”

Zechariah 4:8a, 10a
“Then the word of the Lord came to me:  ‘…Who despises the day of small things?’”

Lord of heaven and earth, with delight and omnipotence you love the weak.

small thingsThrough apparent insignificance you display immense power.  You test us to see if we are small enough to contain your great strength.

Remind us that your kingdom advances disproportionately to our achievements.  To you we commit each humble act of service and wait for your blessing.

In the name of Jesus Christ we ask this, the Saviour despised in his day who altered endless ages.

Listen to ‘How Great Thou Art’ by Mark Smeby

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Crossroads

Jeremiah 6:16a
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”

John 14:6
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.’”

Isaiah 30:21
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”

Almighty God, our feet cannot stumble when our eyes are fixed on you.

Christ ahead of us commands us to follow; your Spirit behind us shows us the way.  Through treacherous terrain you clear a path marked by righteousness and rest.

crossroadsMeet us at the crossroads so that we may be reminded of your unchanging counsel.  Help us walk forward in faith, peaceful in the presence of a guide that cannot fail.

This we ask in the name of Christ, who gave his life upon the axis of our faith, the cross, to become the good way.

Listen to ‘Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah’ by Mark Smeby

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Moved

Genesis 43:29-31
“After [Joseph] looked about and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son, he asked, ‘Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?’  And he said, ‘God be gracious to you, my son.’  Deeply moved at the sight of his brother, Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep.  He went into his private room and wept there.  After he had washed his face, he came out and, controlling himself, said, ‘Serve the food.’”

John 11:33-36, 38-39a
“When Jesus saw [Mary] weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.  ‘Where have you laid him?’ he asked.  ‘Come and see, Lord,’ they replied.  Jesus wept.  Then the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’…Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb.  It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.  ‘Take away the stone,’ he said.”

Isaiah 54:7
“For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back.”

God of compassion, your secret thoughts are filled with profound concern for your people.

You allow yourself to be intimate with our emotions but restrain your hand until the chosen moment.  While salvation delays, you acknowledge our bewilderment with tears of your own.

movedHelp us wait in trust and the anticipation of your greater glory.  Do not keep your face hidden in our time of grief.

We ask this in the name of the weeping Christ, who awaits the time when his power will no longer be paused.

Listen to ‘What Wondrous Love is This?’ featuring Matthew Smith

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Book of Life

Malachi 3:16-17
“Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard.  A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.  ‘They will be mine,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘in the day when I make up my treasured possession.  I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him.’”

Psalm 87:6
“The Lord will write in the register of the peoples:  ‘This one was born in Zion.’”

Revelation 3:4b-5
“They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. Those who are victorious will, like them, be dressed in white.  I will never blot out their names from the book of life, but will acknowledge their names before my Father and his angels.”

Sovereign Lord, we ascribe glory to you as the author of history.

We commit ourselves into your family, to be known as your faithful sons and daughters.  Made holy and white, we offer our lives as pages for you to write your story upon.

book of lifeRecord us as your own in the book that celebrates life.  Make note of our new birth with the pride of a loving parent.

We know that it is only through Christ that we are counted righteous, and our names are penned in the costly ink of his wounds.

Listen to ‘Immovable Our Hope Remains’ by Sovereign Grace Music

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Sand

Hosea 1:10
“Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’”

Mark 1:19-20
“When [Jesus] had gone a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets.  Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.”

 Acts 21:4a, 5-6
“Finding the disciples there, we stayed with them seven days…But when our time was up, we left and continued on our way.  All the disciples and their wives and children accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray. After saying good-by to each other, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home.”

Gracious Lord, your Spirit in love fathers every spiritual family.

sandIn the unlikely sanctuaries of beaches and boats, you gather small bands of sisters and brothers.  Your church, like so many grains of living sand, grows through a few who will follow.

Keep us kneeling together as small handfuls of the faithful.  May we be disciples who sail or come ashore in answer to your call.

We ask this in the name of Christ, who waded into a sea of suffering to bring us safely onto joyful shores.

Listen to ‘Deliverance‘ by Strahan

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