Morning Prayer: 29 February – Luke 4:24-30 ~ love rejected

Monday of the Third Week of Lent

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence

Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6)

Morning Reading: Luke 4:24-30 (NLT)

But I tell you the truth, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown.

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth by Jeff Watkins
Jesus Rejected at Nazareth
by Jeff Watkins

“Certainly there were many needy widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the heavens were closed for three and a half years, and a severe famine devastated the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them. He was sent instead to a foreigner—a widow of Zarephath in the land of Sidon. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, but the only one healed was Naaman, a Syrian.”

When they heard this, the people in the synagogue were furious. Jumping up, they mobbed him and forced him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They intended to push him over the cliff, but he passed right through the crowd and went on his way.

Morning Prayer

Blessed be Jesus, my Savior. Through his death he has opened up for me the way of salvation. Merciful God, by grace through faith, you gave me a new life; may I ever grow in your likeness.

+ Restore in me the joy of first-love; may I look with wonder on you today.
+ Fill me again with your Spirit; may it overflow to those who are in need.
+ Draw me nearer to you through the help I give to others; may I see you in them.
+ Help me to do what is right and good; may I seek you always with all my heart.
+ Forgive me for the times I have hurt other people. Lord, have mercy on me.

Direct all your people, Lord, in the path of true life. By your unfailing mercy purify and guard us; without you we cannot stand fast. Support and guide us always by your grace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“Oh, The Deep, Deep Love Of Jesus” – Audrey Assad

Closing Sentence

Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously. (Isaiah 55:7)

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Third Sunday of Lent, 28 February: Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15; Psalm 103; 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12; Luke 13:1-9 ~ Turn to God – if not now, when?

Third Sunday of Lent

Come let us worship our God of kindness – who calls us to repentance and, like a patient gardener, always gives his people a second chance.

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening Prayer:

God of salvation, we stand before you on holy ground, for your name is glorified and your mercy revealed wherever your mighty deeds are remembered. Since you are holy and forbearing, turn us from every rash and shallow judgement to seek the way of repentance. We ask this through Christ, our deliverance and hope, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, holy and mighty God for ever and ever.
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Hymn: “Great I Am” – New Life Worship


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A Reading from the Old Testament: Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15 (NLT)
[God reveals his name to Moses, who removes his sandals, a sign of his deep respect for God’s presence and power.]

One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.”

When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

“Here I am!” Moses replied.

“Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.

Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.
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I AM WHO I AM

But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”

God replied to Moses, “I am who i am. Say this to the people of Israel: I am has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.

This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations.
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 103 (Hillsong)


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A Reading from the Letters: 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12 (NLT)
[Paul draws lessons from Jewish history, warning people to be careful.]

I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses. All of them ate the same spiritual food, and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ. Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did….
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man on ledge

And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death. These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.

If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.
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A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 13:1-9 (NLT)
[The Gospel combines a call to repentance with a reminder of God’s willingness to give us a second chance.]

About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. “Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?” Jesus asked. “Is that why they suffered? Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.”

the-fig-tree-and-israel

Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’

“The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’”
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Hymn: “Lord, Have Mercy (Kyrie)” – Lindell Cooley

Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy!
Lord we have placed all our hope in Thee.
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Intercessions:

Gracious God, full of compassion and mercy, hear your people as we present our concerns to you today:

+ For your Church throughout the world to bear witness to your love, compassion and mercy…. Lord, hear us.
+ For an end to wars and trouble, especially in Syria and the Middle East…. Lord, hear us.
+ For Christian charities who look after the dispossessed…. Lord, hear us.
+ For refugees seeking safety and support as they wait to return home…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those who have asked for our prayers, especially our neighbors, families and friends…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who have died in Christ before us, especially family, friends and neighbors, they may enjoy the heavenly rest that we all seek…. Lord, hear us.

God of mercy and compassion, hear our prayers. Forgive us our sins and give us the grace to love one another as you have loved us, and to forgive one another as you have forgiven us. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
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Hymn: “Let Your Kingdom Come” – Sovereign Grace

Benediction:

To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17)

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Morning Prayer: 27 February – Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 ~ I was lost, but now I’m found

Saturday of the Second Week of Lent

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence

Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6)

Morning Reading: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 (NLT)

Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!

So Jesus told them this story:
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“A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

The Return of the Prodigal Son Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 1667/1670 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
The Return of the Prodigal Son
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 1667/1670
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’

“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

“Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, and he asked one of the servants what was going on. ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’

“The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’

“His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”

Morning Prayer

Thank you, heavenly Father, for welcoming me into your presence this morning. I come before you in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son and my Savior. Help me by your grace.

+ Forgive my sins against you and against your name.
+ Receive me as your lost child come home.
+ Cleanse me and keep me – body, mind and spirit – free from sin.
+ Fill me to overflowing with your Holy Spirit.
+ Show me how to offer myself to those around me this morning.
+ Strengthen me to do your will throughout the day.
+ Fill me with joy and peace because of my trust in your Son, Jesus Christ.
+ Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.

Almighty God: your healing grace here on earth offers me the gifts of heaven. Guide me through this season of reflection and lead me by your light to my home in heaven. Through my Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“Amazing Grace”

Closing Sentence

Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously. (Isaiah 55:7)

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: 26 February – Matthew 21:33-46 ~ the stumbling stone

Friday of the Second Week of Lent

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence

Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6)

Morning Reading: Matthew 21:33-46 (NLT)

“Now listen to another story. A certain landowner planted a vineyard, built a wall around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape juice, and built a lookout tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenant farmers and moved to another country. At the time of the grape harvest, he sent his servants to collect his share of the crop. But the farmers grabbed his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. So the landowner sent a larger group of his servants to collect for him, but the results were the same.

“Finally, the owner sent his son, thinking, ‘Surely they will respect my son.’

“But when the tenant farmers saw his son coming, they said to one another, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Come on, let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ So they grabbed him, dragged him out of the vineyard, and murdered him.

“When the owner of the vineyard returns,” Jesus asked, “what do you think he will do to those farmers?”

tripping hazard

The religious leaders replied, “He will put the wicked men to a horrible death and lease the vineyard to others who will give him his share of the crop after each harvest.”

Then Jesus asked them, “Didn’t you ever read this in the Scriptures?

‘The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.’

I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that will produce the proper fruit. Anyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on.”

When the leading priests and Pharisees heard this parable, they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers. They wanted to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowds, who considered Jesus to be a prophet.

Morning Prayer

Christ Jesus, my Savior: you redeemed me by your death and resurrection. Lord, have mercy on me.

+ You went up to Jerusalem to endure the passion and enter into glory; lead me into the paschal feast of eternal life.
+ Your heart was pierced with a lance; heal the wounds of my human weakness.
+ You made your cross the tree of life; share your victory with me.
+ You gave salvation to the repentant thief; pardon all my sins.

Almighty God, have mercy on me. Purify my heart through this Lenten journey of renewal, so that I may approach the coming celebration with single-minded devotion. Through my Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“Cornerstone” – Hillsong Worship

Closing Sentence

Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously. (Isaiah 55:7)

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: 25 February – Luke 16:19-31 ~ poor man Lazarus

Thursday of the Second Week of Lent

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence

Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6)

Morning Reading: Luke 16:19-31 (NLT)

Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.

homeless-man 1

“Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.

“The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’

“But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’

“Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’

“But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’

“The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’

“But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

Morning Prayer

Praise to you, heavenly Father, for your loving-kindness, which is revealed to us in Jesus Christ. Remember, Lord, that we are your children.

+ Lead your children more deeply into life together in your Church; and, through us, make it a clearer sign of the world’s salvation.
+ Lover of mankind, help us to play our part in the growth of our civic communities; and help us to build up your kingdom in every way.
+ Lighten our loads, Lord Jesus, when we are burdened; and refresh us in your wellspring of living water when we are thirsty.
+ Forgive the harm that we have done; and guide us in the path of justice and truth.

Remember, Lord God, that we are your children. You love innocence of heart, and when it is lost you alone can restore it. Turn then our hearts to you, and kindle in them the fire of your Spirit, so that we may be steadfast in faith and unwearied in good works. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“Come To The Water” – Paul Baloche | The New Hymns of Fanny Crosby

Closing Sentence

Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously. (Isaiah 55:7)

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!