Invitation — Psalm 133:1
"How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity!"
Bible Song — Psalm 129
"They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,"
let Israel say;
"they have greatly oppressed me from my youth,
but they have not gained the victory over me.
Plowmen have plowed my back
and made their furrows long.
But the Lord is righteous;
he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked."
May all who hate Zion
be turned back in shame.
May they be like grass on the roof,
which withers before it can grow;
a reaper cannot fill his hands with it,
nor one who gathers fill his arms.
May those who pass by not say to them,
"The blessing of the Lord be on you;
we bless you in the name of the Lord."
Bible Reading — Romans 3:21-26
But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood — to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished — he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Read again slowly ... find a word or phrase that catches your eye or moves your heart ... slowly repeat it ... pray your thoughts, desires, needs, and feelings from your meditation ... enjoy the presence of your Lord and Savior.
- for the call to follow Christ into our neighborhoods and workplaces
- for the well-being of our communities
- for those who work in government and law
Prayer — HC 60
God of good news, I know I fall short in so many ways, and then there's a nagging, accusing voice in my head letting me know how incapable I am to set things right. But today I plant my trust in the gospel, your verdict that has proclaimed me innocent because of Christ — approved, righteous, as if I'd never sinned at all. Amazing! Amen.
Blessing — Ephesians 3:16-17
"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith."