Saturday of The 3rd Week of Easter, 02 May 2020 – John 6:60-69, Acts 9:31-42, Psalm 116:12-13, 14-15, 16-17 ~ You have the words that give eternal life.

Saturday of The 3rd Week of Easter, 02 May 2020

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

Opening:

Almighty God, you gave your only Son to be for us both a sacrifice for sin and an example of godly living: Give us grace to thankfully receive his inestimable benefits, and to daily follow the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again.”

A Reading from the Gospels: John 6:60-69 (NLT)

Many Disciples Desert Jesus

Many of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?”

Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this offend you? Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again? The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.) Then he said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.”

At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave? Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.”

A Reading from the Book of Acts: Acts 9:31-42 (NLT)

The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers.

Peter Heals Aeneas and Raises Dorcas

Meanwhile, Peter traveled from place to place, and he came down to visit the believers in the town of Lydda. here he met a man named Aeneas, who had been paralyzed and bedridden for eight years. Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you! Get up, and roll up your sleeping mat!” And he was healed instantly. Then the whole population of Lydda and Sharon saw Aeneas walking around, and they turned to the Lord.

There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas). She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor. About this time she became ill and died. Her body was washed for burial and laid in an upstairs room. But the believers had heard that Peter was nearby at Lydda, so they sent two men to beg him, “Please come as soon as possible!”

So Peter returned with them; and as soon as he arrived, they took him to the upstairs room. The room was filled with widows who were weeping and showing him the coats and other clothes Dorcas had made for them. But Peter asked them all to leave the room; then he knelt and prayed. Turning to the body he said, “Get up, Tabitha.” And she opened her eyes! When she saw Peter, she sat up! He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called in the widows and all the believers, and he presented her to them alive.

The news spread through the whole town, and many believed in the Lord.
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Psalm 116 (You Turned My Soul to Rest) – Robbie Seay Band

Psalm 116:12-13 (NLT)

What can I offer the Lord for all he has done for me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and praise the Lord’s name for saving me.

Closing: John 6:63,68 (NLT)

Your words, Lord, are spirit and life.
You have the words of everlasting life.

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

Friday Morning: 25 Jan 2019 – John 6:59-71 ~ The Holy One of God!

Friday Morning

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

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – John 6:59-71 (NLT)

He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

Many Disciples Desert Jesus

Many of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?”

Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this offend you? Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again? The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.) Then he said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.”

At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”

Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.”

Then Jesus said, “I chose the twelve of you, but one is a devil.” He was speaking of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, one of the Twelve, who would later betray him.
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Morning Reflection:

On Accepting Hard Truths

In today’s reading, the crowd of 5,000+ has abandoned Jesus, and to the Twelve remaining Jesus asks – “Are you also going to leave?”

In John Chapter 6, the story has moved from the miracle (feeding five thousand), to the man behind the miracle (Jesus, the Bread of Life), to the mystery behind the man (God’s sovereignty over eternal life). And now as Jesus teaches in the synagogue, the crowd is flabbergasted – except for the Twelve.

What made the difference? The Twelve were willing to accept Jesus’ teaching even if they didn’t fully understand everything he said. And so it is today.

+ Only people who are born of the Spirit can accept the hard truths found in God’s Word.

+ Only people who are willing to confront their sin can accept the hard truths found in God’s Word.

+ Only people who are willing to confront their cultural and religious biases can accept the hard truths found in God’s Word.

+ Only people who are given to Jesus by the Father can accept the hard truths found in God’s Word.

And in the end, they are the ones who see, believe, and receive the eternal life that Jesus offers.

Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.”

Questions for consideration:

  • What comes to mind when you think of “hard truths” in God’s word?
  • How do you respond when a “hard truth” relates to you, or your lifestyle?
  • Do you believe that Jesus is “the Holy One of God”?
  • What difference does it make?

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Morning Prayer:

Sovereign God: Our lives are in your hands – send us your Spirit that we might confess your Son, Jesus Christ, as “the Holy One of God” and believe in him for eternal life. Confront our sin and cultural biases that run counter to your Word; and, in your mercy, forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Strengthen us in faith that we might love and serve you, and faithfully follow Jesus to the Cross, and beyond. All to the glory of your name. Amen.
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“No Turning Back” – For King And Country

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

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

Morning Prayer: Sat, 25 Mar – John 6:68 ~ words of life

Saturday of the Third Week of Lent

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

Opening Sentences

Heavenly Father, you made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you: Look upon the heartfelt desires of your humble servants, and stretch forth the strong hand of your Majesty to be our defense against our enemies; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.
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Reading: John 6:68 (NLT)

Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.
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Prayer:

Lord Jesus: you call me to follow you; to turn away from my own self-interest, and to take up my cross and follow after you, even if the path is difficult to see, or is heading in a direction I would never have chosen for myself.

Forgive me for being so quick to question and so hesitant to follow. Help me to see with the eyes of faith, rather than from my own human point of view.

Teach me to follow you without fear, knowing that you are always with me, leading the way to eternal life. Amen.
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“Wonderful Words of Life” – Dallas Christian Adult Concert Choir


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Blessing

The Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.

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

Morning Prayer: 16 April – John 6:60-69 ~ you alone…

Saturday of the Third Week of Easter

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

Opening Sentence

The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Alleluia.

Morning Reading: John 6:60-69 (NLT)

Many Disciples Desert Jesus

60 Many of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?”

Christ and the Apostles by Georges Rouault, 1937-38 Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Christ and the Apostles
by Georges Rouault, 1937-38
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

61 Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again? 63 The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.) 65 Then he said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.”

66 At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. 67 Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”

68 Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. 69 We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.”

Prayer

Lord Jesus: you alone have spoken the words that are spirit and life. We believe that you are the Holy One of God – give us your peace and joy.

+ You are the risen Lord of life; lead us in the path of righteousness and make us more like you.
+ You are the peace and joy of all who believe in you; help us to live as children of light, rejoicing in your victory.
+ You underwent great sufferings to enter the Father’s glory; wipe away all our tears and turn our sorrows into joy.

God our Father, by your grace through faith you have given new life to those who believe in you. May your pilgrim Church grow in faith; strengthen us to bear witness before the world to your resurrection. Protect us and help us resist all false beliefs, and so keep intact the grace of your blessing. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

In Christ Alone – Adrienne Liesching and Geoff Moore

Closing Sentence

Simon Peter said, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we believe; we know that you are the Christ, the Son of God.’ Alleluia.

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

Sunday: 23 August – Joshua 24:1-2, 15-18; Psalm 34:2-3, 16-21; Ephesians 5:2, 21-32; John 6:60-69 ~ Lord, to whom would we go?

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Opening sentence and Prayer:

We gather as people who have chosen to serve the Lord and walk in faith. We worship God who leads us on — and ask for strength to continue as we have begun.
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In every age, O God, You give Your people freedom to walk in faith or to turn away. Grant us grace to remain faithful to Your Holy One, whose words are spirit and life, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
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Hymn: Jesus shall reign


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A Reading from the Old Testament:Joshua 24:1-2, 15-18 (NLT)
[Given a choice by Joshua, the people of Israel decide to serve the Lord, thus renewing the covenant.]

Then Joshua summoned all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, including their elders, leaders, judges, and officers. So they came and presented themselves to God.

Joshua said to the people, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Long ago your ancestors… lived beyond the Euphrates River, and they worshiped other gods.
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But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”

choose

The people replied, “We would never abandon the Lord and serve other gods. For the Lord our God is the one who rescued us and our ancestors from slavery in the land of Egypt. He performed mighty miracles before our very eyes. As we traveled through the wilderness among our enemies, he preserved us. It was the Lord who drove out the Amorites and the other nations living here in the land. So we, too, will serve the Lord, for he alone is our God.”
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 34:2-3, 16-21 (NLT)

I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.
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But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil; he will erase their memory from the earth. The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken!

Calamity will surely destroy the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
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Let Us Exalt His Name Together


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A Reading from the Letters: Ephesians 5:2, 21-32(NLT)
[St Paul uses images from the husband-wife relationship to represent Christ’s love for the Church.]

Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
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And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.

old couple kissing

For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body.

As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.
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A Reading from the Gospels: John 6:60-69 (NLT)
[After hearing Jesus describe himself as the bread of life, some of the disciples stopped following him. But Peter spoke for the loyalty of those who remained.]

Many of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?”

Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this offend you? Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again? The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.) Then he said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.”

To-whom-shall-we-go-

At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”

Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.”
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All I Have Is Christ

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ / Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

I once was lost in darkest night / Yet thought I knew the way / The sin that promised joy and life / Had led me to the grave / I had no hope that You would own / A rebel to Your will / And if You had not loved me first / I would refuse You still

But as I ran my hell-bound race / Indifferent to the cost / You looked upon my helpless state / And led me to the cross / And I beheld God’s love displayed / You suffered in my place / You bore the wrath reserved for me / Now all I know is grace

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ / Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone / And live so all might see / The strength to follow Your commands / Could never come from me / Oh Father, use my ransomed life / In any way You choose / And let my song forever be / My only boast is You
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Intercessions:

Sisters and brothers, the Lord is close to the broken-hearted, so let us pray for His assistance in our time of need.

+ For the gift of faith – that we may accept and apply what Christ has taught us…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the gift of perseverance – that those who have difficulty believing may discover truth in Jesus Christ…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the gift of true love – that all married people may be as close to each other as Christ is to the Church…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the gift of wisdom – that students and teachers returning to school at this time of year may have the strength they need to glorify God in all things…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the gift of eternal life for those who have died in Christ – that the message of eternal life may be fulfilled for them…. Lord, hear us.

Lord our God, You save those whose spirits are crushed: hear our prayers and give us the gifts we need to persevere in faith, hope and love through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: Be Thou My Vision

Benediction:

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24-25)

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