Invitation — Psalm 133:1
"How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity!"
Bible Song — Psalm 132:1-5, 13-16
Lord, remember David
and all his self-denial.
He swore an oath to the Lord,
he made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
"I will not enter my house
or go to my bed,
I will allow no sleep to my eyes
or slumber to my eyelids,
till I find a place for the Lord,
a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob."...
For the Lord has chosen Zion,
he has desired it for his dwelling, saying,
"This is my resting place for ever and ever;
here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.
I will bless her with abundant provisions;
her poor I will satisfy with food.
I will clothe her priests with salvation,
and her faithful people will ever sing for joy.
Bible Reading — Romans 12:1-2, 9-16
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will...
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Read again, perhaps out loud ... how has God's Word moved you? Ponder and meditate what has connected with your heart or mind ... pray to God what it is that has moved you today ... turn your thoughts to God and quietly enjoy being with him.
- for deep gratitude for the cross of Jesus Christ
- for those living in poverty and suffering injustice
- for the equality of women in every sphere
Prayer — BC 27
Loving Father, how quickly we can become discouraged about your church, especially when we measure it by attendance, political influence, budget, or programs. Free us from trying to size up your church by the pattern of this world. Instead, keep us in your way of simple service and humble love, energized in your mission, always encouraged, knowing your hands guide and keep your people. 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."