Invitation — Psalm 148:13
"Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens."
Bible Song — Psalm 79:1-4, 9
O God, the nations have invaded your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple,
they have reduced Jerusalem to rubble.
They have left the dead bodies of your servants
as food for the birds of the sky,
the flesh of your own people for the animals of the wild.
They have poured out blood like water
all around Jerusalem,
and there is no one to bury the dead.
We are objects of contempt to our neighbors,
of scorn and derision to those around us...
Help us, God our Savior,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
for your name's sake.
Bible Reading — Judges 13:1-5, 24-25
Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, so the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.
A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth. The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, "You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines."...
The woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson. He grew and the Lord blessed him, and the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him while he was in Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.
Become aware of God's loving presence and read again ... what in God's Word has caught your heart's attention? Is there a command to be obeyed, a comfort to be savored? Talk to God about the Scripture you've just read ... yield yourself to God and enjoy his presence.
- for creative and risk-taking ministry in the church that engages the community
- for unity and holiness in the church
- for deacons and others who serve
Prayer — HC 49
Extravagant God, in the past you sprinkled your Spirit on particular people at specific times for special tasks or roles. Thank you for pouring out the Holy Spirit on all your people, making the Spirit's power and presence a normal part of following Jesus. With my whole heart I ask for the fullness of the Holy Spirit in my life, to stir up and disturb, revive and renew. In Jesus' name, amen.
Blessing — Matthew 5:3
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."