An Easter Prayer of Faith

Holy and awesome God,
We come to this place this morning to worship YOU
because of the LIFE we have through faith in Jesus.
But I am keenly aware,
oh God,
that there may be people here this morning
only because they are visiting family
or because grandma and grandpa said,
“You’re going to worship this morning”
or because they were taught this is just what you do on Easter.
Whatever the case,
oh God,
I pray that the words I speak here may have power,
not because I say them,
but because they are ordained by YOU
and infused with Your Holy Spirit.
If it be Your will,
may someone who doesn’t know You come to faith,
so much so,
that they proclaim Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
May people be drawn to You
that You may be glorified.
And so, may the words of my mouth
and the meditations of our hearts
be acceptable to You,
oh God,
our rock and Redeemer,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Living Worship

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. [Romans 12:1]

Weekly gathering for corporate worship is just part of what we do as members of the body of Christ. We worship not to become Christians, we worship because we are Christians. Worship is not a have to; a duty, but rather a get to; a want to; a joy. That’s part of our worship life. Another part of our worship life happens “Monday through Saturday” as we present our bodies; our very lives to God. We offer our lives to God as a living sacrifice; forsaking all others and all things; placing God first. We live in such a way that is different from the world and that, right there, is really what is at the core of worship. You see, everyone worships. It is just a matter of who or what. What makes Christians different; holy, is that we worship a living, eternal God, not a finite, powerless god. We worship a God that is holy and thus demands that we be holy. God does not demand just part of our life, but the whole thing.

When you present your body to God as an act of worship you are saying to God, “Here I am. Mold me, shape me, guide me, direct me. Help me be more like Jesus. Help me be more holy as You are holy. Here I am, all of me.”  Don’t mistake worship as a weekly event but rather see your worship as a 24/7 way of life that submits to and glorifies God. When we divide our worship out or only present part of our bodies/lives to God, there is conflict and tension within our lives and our very being but when our whole being and life is presented to God, then you are at peace. Don’t divide your life up, present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. In the words of a popular praise and worship song…

Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You’re my God
You’re altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me

The Pastor -|—

Joyful Noise

“Oh come, let us sing to the LORD;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!”
[Psalms 95:1-2]

Many of you did this yesterday. Many of you entered sanctuaries and other places of worship. You gathered with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to worship our awesome God through Jesus Christ. You sang songs/hymns using a variety of instruments. You confessed your sins and heard absolution in the name of Jesus. Scripture was read and the Word was preached. Some of you celebrated and participated in the sacraments. You gave your offerings and lifted your petitions to the Lord.

[At least, I hope all this happened in your worship. That’s me, but I digress…]

My point this morning?

I love the fact that scripture encourages me to make a “joyful noise” to God, because when I make a sound with music, to others, that’s exactly what it is, noise. Call it what you want, coming out of me, though, it is a joyful noise because of who God is through Jesus Christ. Therefore I will “sing”.

So sing your hearts out and never let someone tell you to keep it down. And not just on Sunday’s (or whenever you worship) but everyday. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord that the whole world may hear and give glory to God. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord because trust me, no matter what anyone thinks, when the “noise” comes from your heart, God smiles 🙂

The Pastor -|—

With a Word

Creator God,
with a word you created life.
With a word, You created all that we can see and not see.
And with THE Word You gave us hope for eternal life.
May we cling to this hope in the midst of life’s trials
as we rejoice in our Savior;
for in him,
there is no cause for weeping.
All praise be unto You,
Father God,
through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Unending Praise…

Holy God,
it is indeed right and salutary
to give You thanks and praise,
oh God,
our giver of life.
Through Jesus Christ You made us righteous in Your eyes
and thus redeemed our lives from the grip of death.
You sustain us through Your Holy Spirit
and lead us into all Truth.
You have revealed Your glory to us
that we may reflect that Light unto the world around us.
And so,
we go with boldness into this world
to shine the light of Your love and grace.
And as we go,
we join with the Church on earth
and the hosts of heaven
in singing Your unending praise…

The Pastor -|—

Righteousness

Holy God,
through Jesus Christ
you have made us righteous in your eyes
and thus redeemed us from the pit of death
through the forgiveness of our sins.
You have given us a new hope
as we look forward to and long for the paradise prepared for us.
You are an awesome God
and thus you are worthy of all
praise
and glory
and worship.
Help us to understand what it means
to bring You glory through the practicing of our righteousness.
May we not fall to the temptation of glorifying ourselves.
May we not steal the praise that is due Your wonderful name.
Now may the words of my mouth
and the meditation of our hearts
be acceptable in Your sight,
oh God,
our Rock and redeemer,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—