August 12, 2018

Poetic Order for Morning Prayer | Nicole

LEAD: Oh powerful God of creation, reigning upon the throne of heaven, send stillness swiftly down to us this day. We pray that we might feast upon the stillness of your peace, both this day and for eternal years to come.

ALL:  Amen.

LEAD: Our hope, our help, our need filled selves find comfort, rest and mercy in our God.  The hallowed, precious name, the King, the Lord who saves.

ALL:  Who sent the Word to form the land and sky.

LEAD: Mercy, mercy, mercy!

ALL:  Mercy, mercy, mercy!

LEAD:  From deep inside, where we might hide our sins from Love’s bright and searching light. Before our peers in heaven and here we recognize our depraved and sin filled plight.

ALL:  Mercy, mercy, mercy! We cry mercy, mercy, mercy!

LEAD: For deeds we’ve done, for gains ill won for arrogance and pride we placed as fools. For thoughts which cursed and hateful acts rehearsed, for chances to do good which slipped away.

ALL:  Mercy, mercy, mercy! We cry mercy, mercy, mercy!

LEAD: Forgive and heal, and by grace seal, our futures by the side of Christ our Lord. That in Love’s true light we may cast our future sight on the brightness and the beauty of the new Earth.

ALL:  Amen.

LEAD: Faithful Father, find us now!

ALL:  Sovereign Savior, save us now!

LEAD:  The Lord who’s hands brought mountains high, drove valleys deep, and hewed the sky. He whispers blessings over all, from Zion’s city, His peace will fall.

ALL:  Brothers come! Sisters come! Faultless Father’s children come!

ALL: Proclaim the praise due to the Father! Shout to the Son for the wonders He’s done! Sing of the Spirit throughout all the earth! As it was, as it is, as it will be to come.

The 139th of the Praises | Nicole

LEAD: Every fiber, every sinew, every thought and every deed, You watch and look and listen, delve so deep that you can see. But more than see; you know, you love, you treasure more than gold. You’ve searched me and you know me and placed me in your fold.

ALL:  You love us and you know us; you know us and you love us.

LEAD: If I walk or run, stand or sit, whisper, shout or cry. My inmost thought, my bellowed yell, my reddened tear filled eye. You know the arc my life will trace; the path my life will run; When I lie down to rest and sleep after the day is done.

ALL:  You love us and you know us; you know us and you love us.

LEAD: Before, behind, above, below, your love encircles me. I cannot lock and bolt the door, for your love sets me free. I cannot hide and shut you out, your touch is always near. A touch which leaves me breathless, loved and drives away my fear. I’m overwhelmed; too much your love for me. My mind is swamped, drowned and drenched; such love, how can it be? Where can I go to flee that touch, to escape the love you show? I cannot simply shut you out; there’s nowhere I can go!

ALL:  You love us and you know us; you know us and you love us.

LEAD: From far off realm to the nearest part, from the heights to the deepest place; To galaxies across the sky, I see your love etched face. I cannot fly on wings of light to the farthest, distant shore, for even there you find me; hold me close for evermore. I try to hide in darkness, in the blanket of the night, but your love tracks me down, reveals me with your light. For darkness is not dark, in the fullness of your love; Its shadows driven out by your light from high above.

ALL:  You love us and you know us; you know us and you love us.

LEAD: For before my first breath filled my lungs, before I’d yet been born, Your hand was working wonders in the way that I was formed. Your gentle touch created me, within my mother’s womb; My heart and lungs, my hands and feet, all to your love attuned. So with the fullness of my breath, with all the strength I have, I sing your praise, I shout for joy, for you have made me glad!

ALL:  You love us and you know us; you know us and you love us.

LEAD: So intricate and delicate, the form you sketched in me. So full of strength and power and life, potentiality. But this form was no secret to the one who conceived it. No fluke of fate, no happenstance, that I was carefully knit. In You, my form, my life, my deeds were known before they’re done. In You, by grace, the victory had already been won. Your book of life records my days spent on this wondrous earth. My every step, each thought, each word I uttered since my birth.

ALL:  You love us and you know us; you know us and you love us.

LEAD: My God, my God, I can’t contain the wonder you inspire. The depth of love and knowledge, which your counsel would require, to hold each child that’s born on earth so closely to your breast, to know their thoughts, their deeds, their needs, when they wake and when they rest. I cannot grasp all you perceive, my mind cannot contain, the mysterious depth of your great love, yet within it, I remain.

ALL:  You love us and you know us, you know us and you love us.

ALL: Proclaim the praise due to the Father! Shout to the Son for the wonders He’s done! Sing of the Spirit throughout all the earth! As it was, as it is, as it will be to come. Amen.

Created with Value Scriptures | Meditation / Contemplation

Isaiah 49:15 |  “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you."
Romans 5:1–11 | Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:16–21 | From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 John 3:1–3 | See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Galatians 4:1–11 | I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? You observe days and months and seasons and years! I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.

Ephesians 2:1–10 | And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

John 3:16–21 | “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

Benediction | Nicole

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, hard hearts, half-truths, and superficial relationships so that you may seek truth boldly and live from deep within your heart where God’s Spirit dwells.

May God bless you with anger: at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that we may reach out our hand in comfort and turn their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that through Jesus Christ we’ll have the strength and power necessary to create change in this world and in our neighborhood, so that together we will courageously try what others claim cannot be done.

May God bless you with remembrance that we are called to continue God’s redemptive work of love and healing in God’s place, in and through God’s name, in God’s Spirit, continually creating and breathing new life and grace into everything and everyone we touch. Amen