Neighborly Living

As the morning light shines on me,
may Your love warm my soul.
As the birds sing their praise,
I too worship You.
As the dew of the dawn refreshes the ground,
nourish me with Your Word.
As the sun’s rays brighten this new day,
reveal to me Your glory again and again.
Oh God, Your mercies are new every morn and Your love is ever refreshing.
Your glory is amazing and wonderful.
Your grace is abundant and true.
May this day be another chance for me to live for You and shine the light of Your love.
I know that I fell way short of Your glory yesterday.
Forgive and restore me.
Fashion and mold me.
Shape and direct me.
Renew my heart.
Wipe my slate clean.
Oh God, I long for another chance to make much of You as You have made much of me.
May Your Spirit continue to dwell in me and Your love ooze from my being as a over-soaked sponge. May I not seek ones worthy of my love, but as in the parable of the Good Samaritan, may I simply be a good neighbor;
Doing justice,
Loving kindness,
And walking humbly with You.
And so, I embark: equip me, empower me, embolden me.
You are worth it beyond all measure.
To You be all glory, honor, praise and worship, through Christ Jesus my Lord.
Amen.

Sunday morning prayer — Thank God for for being chosen

Once again I have had a busy September week but my upcoming schedule is starting to look a little better as it usually does towards the end of the month.  I have much to share with you (in addition to my scripture reading highlights).

I do have one little piece of personal news to share with you now, though (actually this is more of an update).  The Twin Cities marathon is 2 weeks from today.  Please remember me in your prayers.  I am growing more and more excited and more and more nervous.  I wonder sometimes if I am ready for this; if there is more I could’ve done or more that I can still do.  I know I can’t back out now after 13+ months of training (even though my mom and my wife wouldn’t mind if I backed out now).  I need to keep chugging along…I know I can do this and I am excited to be able to call myself a marathon runner.

With that…let’s prepare ourselves for worship today by remembering the Gospel text of the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard.  My preaching focus today is about the fact that before we do any work in the vineyard we are chosen.  And the problem I see in the Church today is that too many people get caught up with the economics of this world and try to apply them to the Kingdom.  A sense of entitlement creeps into many people’s theology.  But what we need to recapture is our sense of excitement of being chosen in the first place.  It’s like recapturing the new car smell again.  Jesus says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you” (John 15:16).  Let’s rejoice over being chosen!  Let us pray…

Almighty, loving and gracious God, we desire to be with you but we fall short of your glory through sin. Our feeble efforts do not merit us salvation. It is only through your son that we find life everlasting. Thank you, God, for choosing us. Thank you God for sending us into your vineyard. Thank you God for not treating us as we deserve to be treated. Through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord we pray, Amen.

Take care and have a very blessed day!

-edh-