Ransom

Hosea 3:1-2
“The Lord said to me, ‘Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress.  Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods…’  So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley.”

Job 33:19, 23-24
“Or someone may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in their bones…Yet if there is an angel at their side, a messenger, one out of a thousand, sent to tell them how to be upright, and he is gracious to that person and says to God, ‘Spare them from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for them…’”

1 Timothy 2:5-6a
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.”

You, our Saviour and Lord, are quick and mighty to come to the aid of your beloved ones.

By rebellion, error or neglect we allow ourselves to be captured by hostile hands.  The payment required for our freedom is the life of the mediator.

ransomLet us accept with gratitude the offer of release from the prison of shame.  Rescue us with swift compassion so that we too surrender our lives in service to those enslaved.

We claim the pardon paid by Jesus Christ, who bore the weight of the ransom, and let the price for our souls rest upon his head.

Listen to ‘My Jesus, I Love Thee’ by Red Mountain Music

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Streets

Jeremiah 33:10-11a
“This is what the Lord says:  ‘You say about this place, ‘It is a desolate waste, without people or animals.’  Yet in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted…there will be heard once more the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord, saying, ‘Give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is good; his love endures forever.’”

Zechariah 8:3-5
“This is what the Lord says: ‘I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem.  Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain…Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with cane in hand because of his age.  The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.’”

Matthew 21:8-10
“A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while other cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  The crowds that went ahead of [Jesus] and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!’”

Holy Lord God, when you inhabit our city you make us a family again.

You step upon streets that echo with emptiness, leading a procession singing with joy.  In your presence crumbling ghettos are restored to shining highways.

streetEnter our towns so that we live in courtyards ringing with laughter.  Turn our dark alleys into pathways of praise.

We place our hope in the name of Jesus, who promises to pave our dusty streets with gold.

Listen to ‘She Must and Shall Go Free’ featuring Sandra McCracken

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Wind and Water

Exodus 14:22-22
“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land.  The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.”

Luke 8:22b-25
“So [Jesus and his disciples] got into a boat and set out.  As they sailed, he fell asleep.  A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown!’  He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided and all was calm.  ‘Where is your faith?’ he asked his disciples.  In fear and amazement they asked one another, ‘Who is this?  He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.’”

Proverbs 30:4
“Who has gone up to heaven and come down?  Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands?  Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak?  Who has established all the ends of the earth?  What is his name, and the name of his son?  Tell me if you know!”

Great and mighty God, creation serves you as her rightful master.

SONY DSCThe wind answers your call and the sea steps back at your bidding.  The tempest bows to the authority of the Father in the voice of the Son.

Teach us that you always reserve ultimate control.  Strengthen our faith as you command a dry seabed for our feet and ensure our boats need no more bailing.

This we ask in the name of Jesus; Lord of the wind, Master of the raging water.

Listen to ‘Shelter in the Time of Storm’ by David Potter

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Yes

Job 23:3-6
“If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling!  I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments.  If would find out what he would answer me, and consider what he would say.  Would he oppose me with great power?  No, he would not press charges against me.”

2 Corinthians 1:19b-20
“…but in him it has always been ‘Yes.’  For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ.”

Revelation 22:20b
“…‘Yes, I am coming soon.’  Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus.”

Great and mighty God, you are the resounding affirmative to the soul’s searching cry.

yesYou take our impossibilities and proclaim, ‘Let it be so.’  At every door we are denied entrance you step forward with an overriding welcome.

Let our lives ring with the heavenly ‘Yes’ spoken over us.  Come, Lord Jesus in answer to your promises, to free us from the constraints of sin.

May his name be praised forever; amen and amen.

Listen to ‘Amen, Amen’ by Sojourn

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Fountain

Psalm 36:9
“For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.”

Zechariah 13:1
“On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.”

1 Timothy 1:14
“The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”

Merciful Redeemer, you are the source of every drop of love and life that we are blessed with.

fountainYou pour a pure cascade over our choked-dry spirits.  The fountain of your forgiveness revives our souls to joy.

Soak through the bitter crust left by the mirages we have chased.  Shower us with refreshment as your grace descends like a mist, and let us drink from your sweet abundance.

Thank you for the gift of true water in Jesus Christ, the wellspring of our living hope.

Listen to ‘Come Thou Fount’ by Dave Hunt

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Speech

Exodus 4:10-12
“Moses said to the Lord, ‘O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant.  I am slow of speech and tongue.’  The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave man his mouth?  Who gives him sight or makes him blind?  Is it not I, the Lord?  Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.’”

1 Corinthians 2:1-5
“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters.  When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.  For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.  I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.  My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”

Isaiah 32:3-4
“Then the eyes of those who see will not longer be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen.  The mind of the rash will know and understand, and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear.”

Eternal Word, you spoke, and the formless void became vibrant creation.

speechYou replace the stammering of our dull tongues with worthy phrases.  From hesitant articulations you draw eloquent voice.

Seal our boastful lips and silence all contrived speech.  Loosen praise from mouths once mute so that all may hear the Spirit’s clear intonation.

By the might of Christ we pray, the Word spoken in redeeming power over our souls’ lifeless sound.

Listen to ‘Though I May Speak with Bravest Fire’ featuring Caryn Schafer

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Valleys

1 Kings 20:23, 27-28
“Meanwhile, the officials of the king of Aram advised him, ‘Their gods are gods of the hills.  That is why they were too strong for us.  But if we fight them on the plains, surely we will be stronger than they.’…When the Israelites were also mustered and given provisions, they marched out to meet them.  The Israelites camped opposite them like two small flocks of goats, while the Arameans covered the countryside.  The man of God came up and told the king of Israel, ‘This is what the Lord says: ‘Because the Arameans think the Lord is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the Lord.’’”

Luke 9:28b-29, 34b-35, 37
“…[Jesus] took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.  As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightening…a cloud appeared and enveloped them…A voice came from the cloud, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.’…The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him.”

Isaiah 40:4-5a
“Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; and the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.  And the glory of the Lord will be revealed…”

Mighty God, majestic mountains lie like stepping stones to heaven’s gates.

Though you are seated in the heights, you walk the depths with us.  You claim victory in the heart of the shadowlands.

valley (2)Raise our rugged valleys as we follow in the wake of your glory.  Be the God of shining peak and troubled plain.­

We ask this in the name of the One who ascended the hill to descend into the valley of death for us, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Listen to ‘On Solid Ground’ by Loud Harp

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