Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Jan
27

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While Jesus is at the table, he takes the bread, breaks it, and looks at Matthew. As far as we know, Matthew is the only one of the twelve that, when he starts following Jesus, people are pulling Jesus aside and saying things like, “Are you sure you want to be hanging around this guy? Because he’s a tax collector.” Which meant he was taking money from his fellow countrymen to fund the Roman army. Many tax collectors were thought to be cheats and thieves. Jesus looks at this man, who lived that kind of life, and he hands him the bread and says, “This is my body, and it’s given for you.”

Next, Jesus sees Peter, and he knows that Peter is about to have a bad night. They all are, but Peter firmly believes in the strength of his courage. In a few short hours, Peter will betray Jesus. Out of fear, Peter will deny even knowing him. Jesus knows this. He looks his companion, his friend, who will abandon him, and he hands him the bread and says, “This is my body, and it’s for you.”

And then he turns to Judas, Judas who feels the extra weight in his lap of the thirty coins tucked into his purse. He has already betrayed Jesus, sold him out, and he is sitting there at the table with Jesus. The plot is already in motion. Jesus knows this. He knows what Judas has done, and what he will do. He looks at Judas, and he hands him the bread and says, “This is for you.”

It’s not that our sins don’t matter. They do. When we compromise our integrity, when we hurt each other, when we set the commands of Christ aside because they’re not convenient, it matters. When we come to this table, we come with our sins. There’s no other way we can approach God. It is not in spite of our sins that Jesus offers us his flesh and blood, bread and wine. No, it is precisely because of our sin, that Christ breaks bread, and he hands it to us, and says. “This is my body,” and no matter who you are, or what you’ve done or will do, this is for you.

Submitted by Roy Rhodes

Jan
26

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Heavenly Father,

This year, as every year, we commit ourselves to be people who give to missionaries at home and around the world. We continually strive to be individuals who help the poor and bring hope to people in need. We are also intent on helping our own children, families, widows and others who make this congregation their home.

We vow to continue to worship God in prayer, Bible study, meditation, singing and the Lord’s Supper as acts of righteousness. We also promise to continue to reach out benevolently and evangelistically as acts of justice to our community.

We remember that every dollar we have, whether those we put in the collection plate or the dollars that stay in our personal bank accounts, are all to be used for the glory of God. This year, as every year, we are reminded that we are honored stewards of Your money that You provide us through our sources of income.

Our gift of money is important to us because it is sometimes hard for us to give up. We offer it to you Father and we look forward to seeing how it will be used to bring You glory.

The offering we make this year is more than money. We also offer you our time, energy, and most of all, our hearts. We pray our hearts will continually strive to serve ways to glorify you through worship and acts of service.

May you receive all the glory!

In Christ, Amen.

Submitted by David Duncan

Jan
25

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Text: John 13:1-15 or 1 Th 4:11-12

As I was preparing for our time around the Lord’s Table this morning I got to thinking about our hands.

If you look down your row, there are different kinds of hands. Some soft. Some calloused. These hands have helped to provide food for their family. Each set of hands belongs to a different profession. All of these hands belong to the Lord.

Look at your hands.

What do you see? Your hands tell a story. Your hands have been a help to others. They have caressed the face of your spouse. They have clasped the hand of a friend. Maybe they have helped someone witness the love of Jesus.

The night of the Last Supper we all benefit from the hands that washed the disciples feet. Think about the hands in that room during the Last Supper. Hands of fishermen, a tax collector, a revolutionary, a betrayer.

Each set of hands tells a story. Our hands like Peter’s reach out for Jesus when we are drowning in the sea of life. Our hands like Judas’s have betrayed our Lord when we have reached for the forbidden fruit.

Thankfully our hands aren’t what saves us. No, we are saved by the hands that stooped to wash the dirt off of the disciples feet. These hands were stretched out wide for us on the cross. These hands have the scars to demonstrate his own love for us!

When we get together to celebrate the Lord’s Supper we reach with our hands to take the bread and the cup. We reach out for these emblems that draw us into the story of Jesus.

Submitted by Jason Retherford

Jan
14

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“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)

The Greek word translated transform in this passage is metamorphousthe. This is where our English word metamorphosis comes from. It literally means to change form. When we become a Christian, we are expected to become something different. We are not to stay the same. God now lives in us. Through his presence and the influence of Scripture and Christian practices, we are shaped into a new being.

As we go through life, it is helpful to stop from time to time and compare our life to what it once was. We need to look at our life before we were a Christian and now that we are a Christian. We need to examine our progression over the years. We should be growing in Christ. If we are the same person we were five, ten, fifteen years ago, then something is wrong.

One of the primary goals of the Christian life is to be transformed into the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18). If this is not happening, then we need to make some changes. We need to begin by praying to God and developing a healthy prayer life. We need to make sure we are meditating on God’s word. We need to digest it and make it a part of us. We need to be engaged in Christian practices (disciplines). We need to be actively in involved in helping the poor. We need to focus on our spiritual health through fasting. By devoting ourselves to Christian practices and trusting in God to work in our lives, we can become something new.

Jan
14

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Greeting

Scripture Reading – Psalm 1

God Himself Is With Us

Introductory Talk & Prayer – Beginning the New Year focusing upon God
Count Your Blessings

Scripture Reading – Psalm 2

Prayer: Pray for Community & Leaders – that God might use the church to influence them How Great Thou Art

Scripture Reading – Psalm 3 followed by…

Reading from Ps 3 section in Handout Notes & 1 minute of silent contemplation and personal prayer then…

Listen to Recording – A Shield About Me (Zoe Group)

Scripture Reading – Psalm 19

Communion Reflection – focused on vv12-14
Communion Distribution
Offering

Thank You Lord (during collection)

Scripture Reading – Psalm 20

Prayer: God Hears Our Prayers – including a prayer for the needs pinned on our prayer board Great Is Thy Faithfulness

I Need Thee Every Hour

Scripture Reading – Psalm 145

All Creatures of Our God and King

Shepherds Blessing and Prayer

Prayer Service Supplement

Submitted by Peter Horne

Jan
13

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[Derived from Various Forms]

Almighty God,

We pray for God’s people throughout the world; for our elders and deacons; for this gathering; and for all ministers and people. Grant that every member of the Church may truly and humbly serve you.

We pray for peace; for goodwill among nations; and for the well-being of all people. Guide all those who govern into justice and peace.

We pray for the poor, the sick, the hungry, the oppressed, the unemployed, those in prison, and all who remember and care for them. Deliver them from distress and have compassion toward their need.

We pray for all who seek you, or a deeper knowledge of you. May they find and be found by you.

We pray for the departed who died in hope of the resurrection [especially                    ]. We praise you for your saints who have entered into joy. May we also come to share in your heavenly kingdom.

We pray for                              .

We offer thanksgiving for                              .

We praise you, O Our God, for those in every generation in whom Christ has been honored. May we have grace to glorify Christ in our own day.

Defend us, deliver us, and in thy compassion protect us, O Lord, by thy grace.

In the communion of all the saints, let us commend ourselves, and one another, and all our life, to Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray to you in your Spirit.

Amen.

Submitted by Benjamin Williams

Jan
12

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[After entering the baptistry]

Responsive Reading I:

Reader: Put to death what is earthly in you.

Congregation: Put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, foul talk, and untruthfulness.

Reader: The world walks in these, but you must now put them all away.

Confession & Baptism

[Following the baptism, remain in the baptistry and ask the newly baptized to join the congregation for the following reading.]

Responsive Reading II:

Reader: Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead.

Congregation: And Christ will give you light.

Reader: Put on then, as God’s chosen people,

Congregation: compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience.

Reader: As the Lord forgives you, you must also forgive others.

Congregation: Above all, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your heart.

Prayer for the Newly Baptized and the Church’s Commitment to Them

Submitted by Matt Porter

Jan
08

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“What we have fully explored and comprehended, wearies us by familiarity, and loses its attractive charm. But mystery awakens curiosity; engages attention; excites inquiry; gives activity to thought and zest to enjoyment. How just, then, that the most important things should be the most mysterious! How proper that we should be thus led to dwell upon these with fixed attention! How fitting, also, that we should be most deeply interested in the things which Christianity presents! Nature attracts us by the wonders of a life and a death which are temporal, but religion enchains the soul by the deeper mysteries of a life and a death which are eternal.”

“It is untrue then, that a mystery that is truly divine, can obstruct our progress or hinder our vision. On the contrary, it tends to give us truer and nobler views of Deity, because it brings us nearer to Him, and yet veils, in a favoring obscurity, that dazzling glory which would otherwise blind our feeble vision. Thus it is not the light of day that gives to us the most glorious and sublime view of the material universe. We then see the earth beneath us, and the blue expanse above us, with its single sun, on which, from its very brightness, we dare not gaze, and whose very light conceals from us the rest of the material system. It is when the light is withdrawn, and darkness casts her sable mantle over the things of earth, that our view, instead of being contracted, is enlarged, and fixed upon the heavens. It is then that worlds upon worlds arise before us, and millions of suns appear in place of one, and distant and still more distant orbs lead us farther and farther through the regions of illimitable space, to the unresolved nebulae of utmost vision; to the sublime mysteries of nature; to the overwhelming grandeur and magnificence of the divine creation; to the infinite power and glory of the Creator.”

Robert Richardson, Communings in the Sanctuary

Jan
07

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Father God, thank you for the light you have given me and have enabled me to walk in thus far. Praise be to you, my God, Dispeller and Defeater of darkness, my light and my salvation!

Forgive me of every grain of darkness in me. I beg you to continue to be patient with me for I know that I remain so very blind to so very much more of what you would have me to see, what you would have me turn from, and what you would have me embrace. I will die in this condition, on this ceaseless journey of enlightenment, in and toward, your light. How I need your constant guidance and direction! I know this, and so, into your hands I commit my spirit.

Keep me humble, Father, about what I think I know. Never stop working on me. In your Son’s name I pray, chisel me into something useful and good for your name. Make me a good reflector of your light. Grow me!

And I ask such not for myself alone, but also for all of my brothers and sisters everywhere, in every church family. Especially for those who are very young and are so very dependent on how those who are older model the meaning and practice of a walk of faith with you. Shield their hearts and minds from being shaped wrong, lest they grow hardened or cold, misled and misleading. Grow in them great discernment and persistence, so that they pick the good and toss the chaff away.

And I pray especially for those who are up in years and are growing more limited in their options in life and company. Mature in them a mind ever opening wider to your work and ways of mercy and love. Protect their spirits lest they give way to disappointment and fear, give up and quit their journey with you, or fall prey to the manipulative ways of our enemy, the evil one.

Please hear my prayer in the name of your Son, my Savior.

Amen.

Submitted by David Smith

Jan
06

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Almighty Father in heaven, we thank You for making all things new!

We praise You now as our Creator, and we will praise You forever as our Re-Creator in Jesus Christ.

Thank You for washing us, cleansing us, and purifying us, for hiding Your face from our sins and blotting out our iniquities through the washing of regeneration that we have received in Jesus’ blood and by the renewing of the Holy Spirit.

Father, we thank You that the old things have passed away; that we no longer live in sin, in guilt, in shame, under condemnation, alienated and distant from You, but that we have been brought near through the sacrifice of Your Son and we stand before You clean and pure; counted as righteous and holy through Your Son.

Father, just as You created us in our nature after Your own image, give us the strength, courage, and commitment to be more and more conformed to the image of Christ in our lives.  Help us to walk daily in His steps, to speak His words, to show His grace, compassion, and love, and to be His hands and feet in this world.

Father, may we truly come to know Jesus; may we see Him face to face.  Lord, touch us, hold us, use us, and mold us.  Let us truly live in You.

Father, may we allow Jesus to draw us ever nearer, and hold us in His loving arms.  May He wrap us in His gentle presence, and, when the end comes, Father, we ask that He bring us home to You.

We ask these blessings of You and give You our eternal thanks through the name of Jesus Your Son and our Savior, Amen!

Submitted by Tim Pyles

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