Thursday, January 17, 2013

Don't be…. God will….

Eight years ago this week in January, my family and I were moving in to our new home in New Castle, Indiana. It was in the midst of downright frigid, subfreezing (if not subhuman) weather that I remember the movers from New Jersey unloaded the truck while whipping winds walloped anyone exposed to the external elements of that wintry day. And, if being subjected to that kind of "welcoming" environment wasn't enough, it was at the same time necessary to keep the front door open with the crosswind gusts rushing in, especially during the challenge of maneuvering our Steinway grand piano from the cold outside into the not-so-warm house inside.


We were trying hard as we could to help effect our move into the new place expeditiously, but it was all too easy to become overwhelmed by the seeming immensity of the task remaining before us. I marveled then at the tenacity of the workers doing the work of helping relocate a large family of eight in the bleak midwinter of the Midwest.


From the time of the kings of old in ancient Israel, there comes to mind a verse which the Spirit brings for my continued reflection in the Word this month.


"Don't be frightened by the size of the task. Be strong and courageous and get to work for the Lord my God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished." 1 Chronicles 28:20 (TLB/NRS)


These were words from King David speaking to his son Solomon who would be the king presiding over the building of the temple in Israel. The plans for the task at hand were vastly enormous! So many grand and intricate details and logistics to comprehend and oversee were to be passed on from one generation to another that the next mighty moments in Israel's worship of the Lord their God would be manifested, embodied in the building of a temple for the majesty and glory of God to be known and witnessed all the more into the future.


This is not unlike what some may be facing in our own day and time of these latter days. Even as the wisdom given from on high to King Solomon came to bear upon the way of building the temple for the Lord God almighty in the ancient days of Israel, the writer in Ephesians (5:16) exhorts anew the reader and hearer of the New Testament to wisely make "the most of the time, because the days are evil."


Beloved, this is indeed no time to minimize our pledge to the gracious and almighty Lord our God, of whom it is said by James (1:5) that to those needing wisdom who ask God, "gives generously to all without finding fault."


The Lord Jehovah Jireh our God is always and for ever our provider. The Lord will provide for everything we need in order to accomplish the task given us in these days. He's at our side until every last detail is completed. Will we act faithfully in a way "worthy of the calling [we] have received" (Ephesians 4:1) by renewing our pledge to Christ and his church? As the Word is proclaimed in Revelation (4:11, 5:12), he is worthy to receive all glory, honor, blessing, and power.


In a loud voice they sang:"Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"


Courageously yours in Christ,

Pastor Rex

Revive Epiphany II Evening Service of Prayer and Praise on Wednesday 16 January 2013

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

From the rising of the sun to its setting
your glory is proclaimed in all the world.
From Where the Sun Rises

One or more of the following is said or sung:
this or another prayer of thanksgiving
Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
our light and our salvation,
to you be glory and praise for ever.
You gave your Christ as a light to the nations,
and through the anointing of the Spirit
you established us as a royal priesthood.
As you call us into your marvelous light,
may our lives bear witness to your truth
and our lips never cease to proclaim your praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.            
Hope of the Nations

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Bow down before him, his glory proclaim;with gold of obedience, and incense of lowliness,
kneel and adore him, the Lord is his name!

Low at his feet lay thy burden of carefulness,
high on his heart he will bear it for thee,
comfort thy sorrows, and answer thy prayerfulness,
guiding thy steps as may best for thee be.

Fear not to enter his courts in the slendernessof the poor wealth thou wouldst reckon as thine:
truth in its beauty, and love in its tenderness,these are the offerings to lay on his shrine.

These though we bring them in trembling and fearfulness,
he will accept for the name that is dear;mornings of joy give for evenings of tearfulness,
trust for our trembling and hope for our fear.

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Bow down before him, his glory proclaim;with gold of obedience, and incense of lowliness,
kneel and adore him, the Lord is his name!        
J S B Monsell

This opening prayer may be said
That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful,
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.
As our evening prayer rises before you, O God,
so may your mercy come down upon us
to cleanse our hearts

and set us free to sing your praise
now and for ever.
Every Time That We Are Gathered

Refrain:    You created all things, O God,

and are worthy of our praise for ever.


You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honour and power.


For you have created all things,
and by your will they have their being.


You are worthy, O Lamb, for you were slain,
and by your blood you ransomed for God
saints from every tribe and language and nation.


You have made them to be a kingdom and priests
serving our God,
and they will reign with you on earth.

Revelation 4.11; 5.9b, 10
To the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might,

for ever and ever. Amen.


You created all things, O God,
and are worthy of our praise for ever.
         Above All Others


These scriptural verses are to be used throughout the time
after Epiphany (from the Baptism of the Lord through the
Transfiguration of the Lord) as a repeating, seasonal "envelope"
around the Prayer of Confession for the day.
Though darkness covers the earth,             Isa. 60:2
and thick darkness the peoples;
the Lord will arise; God's glory will appear.


That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful:
we pray to you, O Lord.


That your holy angels may lead us in the paths of peace
and goodwill:
we pray to you, O Lord.


That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offences:
we pray to you, O Lord.


That there may be peace in your Church and for the whole world:
we pray to you, O Lord.


That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit,
in communion with all your saints,
entrusting one another and all our life to Christ:
we pray to you, O Lord.


Arise, shine; for your light has come!             Isa. 60:1
The glory of the Lord has risen upon you.




Almighty and ever-living God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth,
hear our prayers for this congregation and community.
Strengthen the faithful,
arouse the careless, and restore the penitent.
Grant us all things necessary for our common life,
and bring us all to be of one heart and mind
within your holy church;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Response here may be sung after each of the following petitions:
"O Lord, Hear My Prayer… when I call, answer me… Come and listen to me."


In peace, let us pray to Jesus our Lord,
who ever lives to make intercession for us.


Savior of the world,
be present in all places of suffering, violence and pain,
and bring hope even in the darkest night.

Inspire us to continue your work of reconciliation today. R


Lord of the Church,
empower by your Spirit all Christian people,
and the work of your Church in every land.
Give us grace to proclaim the gospel joyfully in word and deed. R


Shepherd and Guardian of our souls,
guide and enable all who lead and serve this community
and those on whom we depend for our daily needs.
Grant that we may seek the peace and welfare of this place. R


Great Physician,
stretch out your hand to bring comfort, wholeness and peace
to all who suffer in body, mind, or spirit.
Fill us with compassion, that we may be channels of
your healing love. R


Conqueror of death,
remember for good those whom we love but see no longer.
Help us to live this day in the sure and certain hope of
your eternal victory. R


Let us commend ourselves, and all for whom we pray,
to the mercy and protection of God.


Open prayer may be offered and silence is kept.
The Collect and Lord's Prayer follow.


Lighten our darkness,
Lord, we pray,
and in your great mercy
defend us from all perils and dangers of this night,
for the love of your only Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.



From Where The Sun Rises


Hope Of The Nations

Every Time That We Are Gathered

Above All Others

O Lord, Hear My Prayer

  • Jacques Berthier
  • TaizĂ© (France)