Invitation — Romans 5:5
"God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
Bible Song — Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the mountains —
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip —
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you —
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm —
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Bible Reading — Acts 8:1-8
And Saul approved of their killing [Stephen].
On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.
Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.
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 wide appreciation of the beauty and complexity of creation
- for the care of creation
- for those suffering persecution for their faith
Prayer — BC 27
Sending God, thank you for not allowing your church to get stuck in Jerusalem, limited to one location or bound to one era. Instead, your church fits and functions in any and every context, spread across the world and yet joined in heart and will, united in one and the same Spirit. Thank you that I am part of this amazing community of faith. Amen.
Blessing — 2 Corinthians 13:14
"May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."