Jubilee

Leviticus 25:8a, 13a, 39-41
“Count off seven Sabbaths of years—seven times seven years…The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap…If one of your countrymen becomes poor among you and sells himself to you, do not make him work as a slave.  He is to be treated as a hired worker or a temporary resident among you; he is to work for you until the Year of Jubilee.  Then he and his children are to be released, and he will go back to his own clan and to the property of his forefathers.”

Luke 17:3b-4
“‘If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.  If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.’”

Colossians 3:12-14
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Gracious Master, your laws are unyielding yet bewildering in beauty.

You insist on freeing us from the bondage of unforgiveness.  Not merely once in a lifetimeyou call us to cancel the debts owed us time without number.

jubileeInvite us by your Spirit to join a festival of forgiveness.  May we be filled with the joy of your Jubilee as we wholeheartedly release our brothers and sisters in love.

Through Christ we ask this, the servant willingly indentured who has offered us infinite pardon.

Listen to ‘I Will Glory in My Redeemer’ by Sovereign Grace Music

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Gifts

Proverbs 18:15-16
“The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.  A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.”

2 Chronicles 9:1-4, 9
“When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions.  Arriving with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all she had on her mind.  Solomon answered all her questions…When the queen of Sheba saw the wisdom of Solomon, as well as the palace he had built…she was overwhelmed…Then she gave the king 120 talents of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones.  There had never been such spices as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.”

Luke 7:36-38
“Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him…When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears.  Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.”

King of all kings, a universe of riches could not compare to the glory of heaven’s threshold.

giftThough you deserve the homage of queens, you open the door for the outcast.  Instead of gold and precious stones, you accept tears and humble kisses.

May the small gifts we cherish be given to you in thanksgiving.  Draw us with your wisdom and overwhelm us with your mercy.

At the feet of Christ we make our requests, who gave the gift of his life and has now become our greatest treasure.

Listen to ‘Only Jesus’ by Sojourn

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Seal

2 Corinthians 1:21-22
“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.  He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”

Song of Songs 8:6
“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death…”

Haggai 2:23b
“‘I will take you, my servant…’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”

Loving Master, heaven is your household and you guard all you call your own.

sealThank you for the identity you have given us by imprinting the Spirit on our hearts.  We gladly bear the mark of your protection and promise.

Soften us to receive the only signature that will make us strong.  Place the seal of your love upon us, that we might be servants chosen to bear your image to others.

By the sign of Christ’s blood we ask this, who bought us and marked us as his own forever.

Listen to ‘Thou Thinkest, Lord, of Me’ by Sense the Call

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Calling

Psalm 78:70-72
“He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance.  And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.”

Mark 1:16-18
“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’  At once they left their nets and followed him.”

1 Corinthians 7:19b-20
“Keeping God’s commands is what counts.  Each of you should remain in the situation you were in when God called you.”

Worthy Master, you have designed us to be uniquely effective, and our gifts are yours to request.

callingYou teach us diligence in humble work so that you might transform it into holy service.  By consistently offering our natural skills we invite you to use us for spiritual purposes.

Train us to be community builders, champions of integrity and your faithful followers.  Until you call us for greater tasks, may we honour you with holy joy in the situation you have chosen for us.

Through Christ our Lord we ask this; called to be an obedient servant and now seated on your glorious throne.

Listen to ‘Precious Lord’ by Next Church Band

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Author

Revelation 1:8
“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’”

John 21:25
“Jesus did many other things as well.  If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”

Hebrews 12:2
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Author of Life, you introduced our world, and its conclusion is in your hands.

authorYou drafted every word in the eternal script; with love you penned every perfect letter in the manuscript of salvation.

Write our stories with the ink of your great story.  Inscribe peace and hope through the pages of tragedy and sorrow in our lives, bringing glory to the author of our faith.

Through Christ we ask this, who at the cost of his own blood has written our names in the Book of Life.

Listen to ‘Author of My Days’ by Ordinary Time

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Rainbow

Genesis 9:13-15
“I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.  Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.  Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.”

Matthew 17:5
“While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.  Listen to him!’”

Psalm 36:9-10
“For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.  Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart.”

Father of creation, you illustrate the faithfulness of your word with moments of unexpected beauty.

rainbowIn the midst of the conflicting clouds and sunbeams that colour our lives, you provide a sign of your presence.  In every ordeal your overarching promise of salvation shines bright.

May we point to the Father, Son and Spirit as the spectrum of hope in a devastated world.  Use us as rays of sun piercing through rainclouds of sorrow.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, the true Light broken and dispersed for us, and the fulfillment of a covenant of love.

Listen to ‘New Again’ by Sojourn

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Wheat

Judges 6:3-4, 6, 11-13a
“Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country.  They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel…Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help…The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak…where…Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites.  When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.’  ‘But sir,’ Gideon replied.  ‘If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?  Where are all his wonders…?’”

Psalm 126:5-6
“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.  He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.”

John 12:24
“‘I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.  But if it dies, it produces many seeds.’”

Sower of Life, you have not stopped singing songs of creation over the soil of this earth.

wheatOnly in you can we bury our questions and disappointments and have them sprout and flourish into a harvest of hope.

Thresh our anxious hearts and remove the chaff of fear.  Remind us that unpromising kernels sown in your strength ripen into stalks heavy with grain.

In the name of Christ we offer our prayers, the perfect seed fallen into death to produce sheaves of glorious life.

Listen to ‘Barnfloor and Winepress’ by Wen Reagan

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