Invitation — Nahum 1:7
"The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him."
Bible Song — Psalm 6:1-5
Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
My soul is in deep anguish.
How long, Lord, how long?
Turn, Lord, and deliver me;
save me because of your unfailing love.
Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
Who praises you from the grave?
Bible Reading — 1 Peter 2:4-10
As you come to him, the living Stone — rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him — you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:
"See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame."
Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,"The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,"
and,"A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall."
They stumble because they disobey the message — which is also what they were destined for.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
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 diversity of creation
- for those at the forefront of caring for creation
- for the welfare of all living creatures
Prayer — HC 54
Skillful Savior, as you build your church from the entire human race, you gather in sinful, broken people who long for your kingdom. You take us as individuals and build us into so much more than we could ever be on our own — a spiritual house, a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. May your church flourish everywhere. Amen.
Blessing — 1 Peter 5:10
"The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."