Stars

Daniel 12:3
“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”

Philippians 2:14-16a
“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life…”

Numbers 24:17a
“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near.  A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.”

King of the heavens, you adorn the earth with galaxies like bright garlands.

You have placed us in the dark night to shine clear and pure.  Our light glows with the glory of your true light.

starsLet us be guiding stars that point the way to life.  May we, by our love, become a constellation of Christ.

Because he has risen high to pierce death’s midnight sky, we pray this by the power of his eternal name.

Listen to ‘Creator of the Stars of Night’ by High Street Hymns

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Welcome

Genesis 18:2-5
“Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby.  When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.  He said, ‘If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by.  Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree.  Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.’”

John 14:2-3
“‘In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.’”

1 Peter 4:8-9
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, by the power of your eternal love you create the only home where we can truly rest.

welcomeYou welcome us, refresh our weary feet and serve a meal to share together.  The hand that framed the beauty of the heavens prepares a room for us.

Remind us to invite the stranger to take shelter.  Enlarge our hearts so that we draw the home-seekers in through our open door.

Thank you that we can ask this in the name of Christ, who though he did not receive a welcome into our world, longs for the day he will return to take us home.

Listen to ‘Come and Welcome’ featuring MP Jones

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Follow

Ruth 1:11a, 14, 16-17a
“…Naomi said, ‘Return home, my daughters.  Why would you come with me?’…At this they wept again.  Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her…‘Don’t urge me to leave you or turn back from you.  Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.  Your people will be my people and your God my God…’”

John 6:66-69
“From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.  ‘You do not want to leave, too, do you?’ Jesus asked the Twelve.  Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’”

Zechariah 8:7-8
“This is what the Lord Almighty says:  ‘I will save my people from the countries of the east and west.  I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.’”

Righteous One, following you is a journey to abundant life.

followYou have chosen us and we long to remain your companions, devoted to your ways and intent on your destination.  Our footsteps are loyal because you are faithful.

Do not let us turn aside when the path becomes lonely and unfamiliar.  Keep us in our true family despite discouragement, so that we discover the rich heritage we have in you.

In the name of Christ we pray, who chose to be obedient even on the road to death, and rose to life to bring us home.

Listen to ‘Come Come Ye Saints’ by the Lower Lights

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Mirror

Mark 8:22-25
“…some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.  He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village.  When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, ‘Do you see anything?’  He looked up and said, ‘I see people; they look like trees walking around.’  Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes.  Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.”

1 Corinthians 13:12
“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

Job 19:25-27
“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.  And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another.  How my heart yearns within me!”

Redeemer and Lord, your light brings healing with its radiance.

mirrorYou release us from darkness, and guided by your patient hand we begin the blurred journey of faith.  Though we have been graced by your first touch, we long for the perfect second sight we will one day enjoy in your presence.

Continue to heal our clouded vision so that we gaze clearly upon your beauty.  Where we are blind, restore the eyes of our heart to understanding.

In the name of our Saviour we ask this, who lost sight of your face to enable us to become truer reflections of you.

Listen to ‘Windows of Thy Grace‘ by Red Mountain Music

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Bowl

Genesis 25:29-34
“Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished.  He said to Jacob, ‘Quick, let me have some of that red stew!  I’m famished!…Jacob replied, ‘First sell me your birthright.’  ‘Look, I am about to die,’ Esau said.  ‘What good is the birthright to me?’  But Jacob said, ‘Swear to me first.’  So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.  Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew.  He ate and drank, and then got up and left.  So Esau despised his birthright.”

Matthew 26:20-23, 25
“When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.  And while they were eating, he said, ‘I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.’  They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, ‘Surely not I, Lord?’  Jesus replied, ‘The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.’…Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, ‘Surely not I, Rabbi?’  Jesus answered, ‘Yes, it is you.’”

Philippians 3:18-20
“For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.  Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is their shame.  Their mind is on earthly things.  But our citizenship is in heaven.”

Lord of all, you provide our daily bread and nourish us in our spiritual hunger.

bowlYou are our priceless inheritance and the joy of our lives.  We desire your presence at our table more than the world’s feast for the senses.

Turn our eyes from the pot and the payment to the Lamb who gives true life.  Do not let us sacrifice the privilege of your blessing for a taste from a tainted bowl.

This we ask in the name of Christ, who surrendered his heavenly birthright not for his own sake, but in love to pay our ransom.

Listen to ‘Christ for Us’ by Shelby Murphy and Redemption Hill Church

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Right Hand

Job 40:9, 14
“Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his?…Then I myself will admit to you that your own right hand can save you.”

Luke 6:6, 10-11
“On another Sabbath [Jesus] went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shrivelled…He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’  He did so, and his hand was completely restored.”

Isaiah 41:10-13
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Saviour God, you sustain all life by your righteousness, holding our fragile world with your gentle touch.

right handWhen we rely on the work of our hands to save us, we find our strength withered and efforts futile.  In dignity your word upholds us, clasping our shame in order to heal.

Stretch your holy arm over us and restore us.  Lend us your power as we reach for you.

We pray this in the strong name of Jesus Christ, who by his bound and pierced right hand extended salvation to us.

Listen to ‘Your Hand Will Cover Mine‘ by Adrian Plass, Phil Baggely, David Clifton and Ian Blythe

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Inheritance

1 Peter 1:3b-4a, 6
“In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade…In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.”

Romans 8:17
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

Job 42:12-14
“The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first…And he also had seven sons and three daughters.  The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch.  Nowhere in all the land were found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.”

Righteous God, you have stored up a vast estate held in trust for us.

inheritanceOur suffering results in humility and equality with the forgotten.  Together we inherit salvation and grace from your generous hand.

Transform our sorrow into compassion.  As we are heirs to your goodness, let us leave a legacy of mercy to our sisters and brothers.

In Christ’s name we pray, who suffered to grant even the least of your children the beauty of your inheritance.

Listen to ‘Thou Who Wast Rich Beyond All Splendour’ by Ordinary Time

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