SILENCE AND CENTERING (2 MINUTES)
Psalm 46:10 (NLT)
“Be still, and know that I am God I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”
Heavenly Father, we come to confession as a community of believers, admitting that we do not always live as the body of Christ. We isolate ourselves from one another, we gossip, we criticize, we speak words of pain, and we harbor grudges. Forgive us for the many ways we fail in our relationships with others and with You. As we seek to be a covenant community, we ask that You help us to pursue deep relationships with one another, to restore what is broken, to give grace even when it might not be deserved. Help us to forgive just as You forgave us. And help us to love each other as You have loved us. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.
Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18
1 Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God. 2 And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Long ago your ancestors—Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor—lived beyond the Euphrates and served other gods.
14 “Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” 16 Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; 17 for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; 18 and the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”
In peace, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For the Church, that all the baptized would be delivered from all hypocrisy and given grace to honor God not only with their lips, but in their heart, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For our pastor(s) and all servants of the Church, that they may teach the Word of God honestly and clearly, never setting forth as divine truth what is in fact only human tradition, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For an increase in pastors, teachers, deaconesses and other church workers, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For each person entrusted with public responsibility or civic duty in our land and in all nations, that they be given wisdom to know what is right and true and courage to govern according to such wisdom, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For every Christian marriage, that husbands and wives may, by the power of the Holy Spirit, relate to one another in such a way that they form a living picture of the communion of Christ and His Bride, the Church, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For those taking treatments, for the ill or injured, for the lonely and the prisoners, [and for all who have desired our prayers, including ______________,] that in meekness each hurting heart would obtain fresh joy in the Lord and exult in the Holy One of Israel, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For all who come to the table of Christ this day, where He nourishes His own with His body and blood, that they would be so wrapped in the robe of His righteousness that He would delight to present them to Himself as His Bride, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, holy and blameless in His sight, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For the faithful departed, let us offer our thanks and praise to Him who is the resurrection and the life, asking Him to give us our share with the saints in light, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” 59 He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum. 60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” 61 But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But among you there are some who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. 65 And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.” 66 Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. 67 So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE
Pray The Our Father – Slowly
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.