Joy Unending

The following is the preface to the Great Thanksgiving for Holy Communion that I wrote for this morning. The inspiration is from the Gospel text, John 16:16-24. To God be the glory!

It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, oh God, for through the death of Jesus Christ you tore away the veil that separated us from You. Through Jesus’ resurrection You crushed the reign of Satan through the forgiveness of our sins. Now, through the Holy Spirit, we live in joy. Continue to draw us closer to You that we may know this joy more and more as we anxiously await the consummation of Your Kingdom, the coming of Your Son. And so, as we long to dine with You at Your Great Banquet table we join with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven in singing Your unending praise.

Uninhibited Worship

Scripture: 2 Samuel 6, Psalm 150

Awesome and mighty God,
as David danced before You in uninhibited worship and praise;
dancing with all of his might,
shouting Your praises with a loud voice,
may my spirit know the freedom of letting go
to worship You without fear or judgment from others.
David, as king, sought not the approval of man,
but of You and You alone.
Oh, how I seek the approval of man.
Oh, how I seek shelter from judging eyes.
But the psalmist calls all living beings to praise You;
everything that has breath;
not according to our gifts and abilities,
not according to how well or awful we sing,
but to praise YOU, for your mighty deeds,
and your exceeding greatness.
Yes, Your mighty deeds and exceeding greatness.
For it is not about me.
David knew that.
May I know that.
May my heart and soul show that in uninhibited worship;
dancing and singing for You.
Praise the Lord, oh my soul,
Praise the Lord!

Secure

The following is the preface for the Great Thanksgiving in the Holy Communion liturgy for today (based on the Gospel text from Jon 10:22-30)…

It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, oh God, Maker of all things. Through Jesus Christ You have brought us into Your eternal Kingdom, giving us a security and peace like nothing the world can offer. You hold us firmly in Your loving hands, where no thing or no one can touch us. You keep us free from all harm. Though the body is fragile and wastes away, our soul is kept perfectly in Your care. And so, with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven we join in singing Your unending praise…

Mother’s Day Prayer 2019

The origins of this prayer is from a blogger I stumbled across a while ago. I have since modified and added to this prayer over the years as I have discovered motherly vocations that I have omitted. If you have ideas for additions and/or modifications to this prayer, please let me know. This continues to be a work in progress, but here it is for 2019…

This Mother’s Day, we give thanks for loving, wonderful mothers, who have given their children so many invaluable gifts. We give thanks for new mothers, welcoming new life into the world. We give thanks for those who choose their children, responding to a unique calling; adoptive and foster parents, who model the adoptive love of God. We give thanks for aunts and godmothers and neighbors, who share maternal love with so many children; and for far too often overlooked stepmothers. We give thanks for those who choose to remain without biological children, sharing love with the world in many ways.

Together we pray for the many mothers who have had to bear the unimaginable burden of burying a child, and those who have born the silent grief of stillbirth or miscarriage. For those who have had hope seemingly ripped away from them through a failed adoption. We pray for those who struggle with infertility, whose desire for a child is met with frustration. We pray for the mothers of children with special needs and chronic illness, who know anxiety and exhaustion better than most. We pray for those who were given abuse and heartbreak by the ones called to love them. We pray for mothers who have made the difficult and loving decision to entrust a child to adoptive parents. We remember mothers who parent alone for a variety of reasons, who deal with challenges that many can not understand but do so with grace and love.

We remember all women, who function in roles, names and not named, even though they may not have children as the world defines it, yet they are mothers to many by showing a motherly love, that is tender, compassionate, caring in a way that only a mother can show. Lord, we thank you for the gift of mothers, of all kinds.

The Gift

This is the Great Thanksgiving liturgy I wrote for Holy Communion today, based on the preaching text from John 20:19-29…

It is indeed right and salutary
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks and praise to you,
oh God,
Creator of life.
Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ died on the cross
and rose from the dead that our sins would be forgiven.
This is awesome and incredible news,
but also unbelievable to our human brains.
For one thing we are sinners worthy of condemnation
and secondly dead people don’t come back to life.
But all thanks and praise to You
that You have given us the gift of Your Holy Spirit
that we can believe this Good News;
that Jesus is alive,
and thus be saved.
And so we join with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven
in singing Your unending praise…

You

There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.” [1 Samuel 2:2 ESV]

Holy God,
Father,
the Almighty,
there is indeed no one like You — not even close.
There is no one or no thing that can come close to comparing to You.
You are
Holy,
Sovereign,
Creator of all.
You are my God and thus I worship You.
You, oh Lord do I worship.
You
You
for You and You alone are worthy.
But what am I?
As the psalmist say, I am but a worm.
I am only worthy of condemnation and destruction.
Oh Lord, my God, have mercy on this worm,
a sinner,
wretched,
insolent
Have mercy, Lord, have mercy, in Jesus name.
Forgive me
Forgive me
Forgive me
May I sing Your praise day and night.
May I proclaim Your glory.
May I shout of Your salvation.
May I dwell in You.
For You are indeed my Rock and Salvation.
Ohhhh…
…there is no god like You,
for You are my Rock and Salvation.
You
You
only You.
You are my God.

Washed Clean

It is indeed right and salutary
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks and praise to you,
oh God,
righteous King and Creator.
We are a sinful people; lost, corrupt and seekers of our own glory.
We have gone astray and sought after other gods.
We are deserving of Your wrath-filled judgment.
But You, oh God, are a merciful God.
You are holy and just
and so You sent Jesus to redeem our sin-filled selves.
He washed us clean with his blood;
taking our sins upon himself
and thus gave us entry into the Wedding Feast.
And so we worship You;
joining with Church on earth and the hosts of heaven
in singing Your unending praise.