worship Posts

And the Angels were Silent – Saturday

“He put Jesus’ body in a new tomb that he had cut out of rock, and he rolled a very large stone to block the entrance of the tomb.”  Matthew 27:60

How quiet it is on Saturday before Easter.  How sad it is.  How despairing it must have been for those who had seen their teacher, their friend, and their hope die right before them.  All of creation held its breath to see what would happen next.  All of heaven peered toward earth to see how we would respond.  And God didn’t move.  Not one word; not even a sign.  Have you ever been there?  You had great expectations that God was up to something big, something life changing, and then…nothing.  Have you ever put all of your hopes in a person or in yourself, only to see them come crashing down before you?  Then you know how the disciples must have felt.

They had all run away scared.  They couldn’t believe it.  Their leader, their master was dead.  He was really dead!  It was all over.  No hope, nowhere to turn, no plans.  On Saturday all they could do was run for their lives and hide out hoping no one would find them.  Do you ever think God is silent?  Do you ever pray thinking it doesn’t get past the ceiling?  Let Easter Saturday serve as a lesson for every day of the year.  God may seem to be silent, but in reality, He’s about to bring about His greatest work!  If you ever wonder if He’s at work on your behalf, ponder the difference between Saturday and Sunday.  Remember, God may seem slow, but He’s never late.

Pray:  Lord, I confess I have not trusted You in Your silence. I want You to work in my time and in ways that don’t require a lot of waiting and wondering. I realize that when You are silent is when You will soon show your greatest work.  And when You are silent, I can show my greatest faith and trust in You.

 

You’re Invited to a Party – Tuesday

“Come to the wedding feast.”  Matthew 22:4

I once heard Billy Graham say, “Jesus has two verbs in His vocabulary: Come and Go.”  Our God is an inviting God.  He says, “Come.”  “Come let us reason.  Come and drink.  Come to me all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, I will give you rest.  Come and I will make you fishers of men.”  And, “Come to the wedding feast”, He says on the last Tuesday of His life.  His invitation is to life eternal with Him.  His invitation is to come eat at His banquet table.  Who can come?  Whoever wishes.  The invitation is both universal and personal.  But you must decide.

Have you ever had a personal invitation ignored?  If so, then you know a fraction of how Jesus must feel.  It’s amazing that He leaves this choice to us.  You can’t choose the weather, or your parents, or whether you’re born with a little nose or blond hair – or born at all.  But you can choose to attend the wedding feast.  You can choose to “come”, but you can also choose to “go”.  The other side of this story, told with great urgency, is that we have a choice to go as well.  This Holy Week many people are thinking about Christ’s death.  Many more are not and have no idea what Easter is about.  Will you go to them?  Look for opportunities to tell others about the wedding feast.  Invite someone to church this Sunday!

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”  Matthew 22:14

Pray:  Lord, I praise You for putting me on Your guest list for the big wedding feast.  I praise You that You have made a way for me to have eternal life.  This week I’m especially mindful of what it cost You for me to come.  Today I will watch for others I can invite to the party.

 

The Day God Got Mad – Monday

“My Temple will be called a house of prayer but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”  Matthew 21:13

Most of us have the mental picture of Jesus as the Good Shepherd with a baby lamb on His shoulders, carrying it to safety. We think of the soft images of Jesus in the manger as a baby or as a grown up with children sitting in His lap. But there’s one picture few of us ponder very often. It’s the picture of Jesus on the Monday before His death storming through the temple like a wild man yelling at people to leave! In one of the most dramatic acts of His ministry, Jesus said more about the priority of prayer than in a hundred sermons on the subject. He actually did this twice in His ministry and the first time He made a whip out of cords and was thrashing people out of the temple.

Why was He so mad?  As Jim Cymbala states in Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, “His house was being prostituted for purposes other than what was intended.” The Bible never says, “My house shall be called a house of preaching, or programs that suit me perfectly, or lots of great music.” No, He says His shall be a house of prayer. Cymbala says, “I’ve seen God do more in people’s lives in ten minutes of real prayer than in ten of my sermons.” Then he asks, “What does it say about our churches today that God birthed the church in a prayer meeting, and prayer meetings today are almost extinct?” What about you? Is prayer your first priority?  Is your house a house of prayer? Is your life a life of prayer? Determine that it will be. Let’s let our first priority of the church be prayer!

“The prayers of an upright person accomplishes much.”  Proverbs 15:8

Pray:  Lord, I want prayer to be the first priority of my church and of my life. I don’t want to grieve Your heart because of prayerlessness in my life. I will devote time to pray to You every day. I will be in constant conversation with You today.

St. Patrick’s Prayer

I arise today,

Through the strength of heaven;

Light of the sun,

Splendor of fire,

Speed of lightning,

Swiftness of the wind,

Depth of the sea,

Stability of the earth,

Firmness of the rock.

I arise today

Through God’s strength to pilot me;

God’s might to uphold me,

God’s wisdom to guide me,

God’s eye to look before me,

God’s ear to hear me,

God’s word to speak for me,

God’s hand to guard me,

God’s way to lie before me,

God’s shield to protect me,

God’s hosts to save me
afar and anear,

Alone or in a multitude.

Christ shield me today
 against wounding

Christ with me,

Christ before me,

Christ behind me,

Christ in me,

Christ beneath me,

Christ above me,

Christ on my right,

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down,

Christ when I sit down,

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in the eye that sees me,

Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today

Through the mighty strength

Of the Lord of creation.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas.

Thank you to my friend Emily Davidson (in our youth ministry) for using her amazing gift of voice to worship her Savior!