Silence and Centering – Pause for 5 minutes of Silence
“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:10
Confession: Dear God, we know that it is Your will to help those that are afflicted, to comfort and strengthen the weak, and to provide support and financial help for those in great need. And yet, there are moments where we hold back and we miss the joy of freely giving from a heart of generosity. We confess our sin, and we ask for Your cleansing forgiveness. May our humble gifts be multiplied to help those with meager resources. We pray all this in the precious name of Jesus, Our Savior. Amen.
FIRST READING: Psalm 29
A psalm of David.
1 Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of his[a] holiness.
3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
Sirion[b] like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord strikes
with flashes of lightning.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord twists the oaks[c]
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
11 The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.
SECOND READING: ROMANS 8:9-11
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[a] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[b] his Spirit who lives in you.
Today’s reading is a psalm of praise that presents an amazing vision of awe and glory. It calls all of creation, including earthly and heavenly beings, to honor God for God’s majesty and power. Notice, though, the impact that God’s Reign has on the world: So many traditional symbols of power – mountains, strong trees, wilderness, floods – are either brought low, or transformed into dancing youngsters; and peace and justice are brought into being. God, whose nature is love and community, does not reign in oppressive or domineering ways, but rather rules in order to bring justice and peace to all.
Notice also how God’s people benefit from God’s Reign: They receive strength and blessing as they acknowledge God’s glory and respond in worship. When we go through tough times, it is easy to fall out of the practice of praise. When we celebrate, it is also easy to fall out of the practice of praise. However, in both good times and bad times, praise reminds us of God’s glory, love, justice, and welcome, and opens us to receive God’s strength for our struggle, and God’s joy for our celebration. How can you allow more of God’s loving welcome and grace into your life through the practice of praise?
DO: It is the practice of praise, as this psalm demonstrates, that reveals God’s glory to us and leads us into submission to God’s gracious Reign and gentle power. Make today a day of praise and allow it to lead you into deeper worship and connection with God.
PRAY: God of glory and majesty, I honor you and praise your Glory.
Let us pray for the whole Church of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs.
Gracious Lord, Your Spirit fills the world and gladdens Your Church with the remembrance of all Christ Jesus has spoken. Glorify His name among us in every word and deed. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Almighty God, by Your Spirit You have established Your Holy Church on the proclamation of Christ, our Savior. Sustain the apostolic preaching to the ends of the earth, that in every tongue the mighty works of God in Christ may be heard. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
God of comfort, give hope to Your people in the midst of this world of death and despair. Put Your Spirit within us to believe, to live and to serve according to Your promises and commands. Lead our homes to confess our confidence in Your power to raise the dead — now and at the Last Day. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Almighty God, Your Son acknowledged Satan as ruler of this world and its ways, yet one whose reign is judged and whose time is short. Beat back his lies and deadly work, that the order of Your creation may be seen. Give us good government and leaders who are both honest and faithful. Even so, let us look eagerly for Your Son’s return, and let that be quickly. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
We call on Your name, O Lord, praying in Your Spirit to help and save all Renew the face of the earth, look with favor on Your creatures and fill the hearts of Your faithful, kindling in them the fire of Your love. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Lord, send Your Holy Spirit upon Your faithful people, that convicted of their sin they may also be convinced that the righteousness of Christ is theirs, and in such repentance and faith receive the things of Christ declared in this Supper: His holy body and precious blood for the forgiveness of sins. Unite us by Your Spirit of truth in faith and confession, and comfort us with the knowledge that this world’s prince is judged. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Lord God, heavenly Father, through Your Son You promised Your Holy Spirit, who would convince the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. Enlighten our hearts so that we confess our sins, obtain everlasting righteousness through faith in Christ and, through every trial and temptation, abide in the consolation that Christ is Lord over the devil, death and all things, and that He will graciously deliver us from all affliction to make us partakers of eternal salvation; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Conclude with 3 Minutes of Silence