The Watchword for the Week:
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. Matthew 3:2
Come, all who labor and are heavy laden.
Come, all who are lost and in need of a home.
Come, all who have faced their weakness and sins.
Rejoice greatly; shout for joy! See, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and brings salvation.
Give the ruler your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to a ruler’s heir.
May the ruler judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.
May the ruler defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.
May the ruler live while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
May the ruler be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth.
In the ruler’s days may righteousness flourish
and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
Blessed be the Sovereign, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be God’s glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with God’s glory.
Amen and Amen.
Amen and Amen.
Hear the voice of John the Baptist calling to us from the wilderness, challenging us to prepare the way for the coming Messiah, to repent, and to make the pathway to our heart a straight one.
Holy God, we know that you want to come and walk with us through the journey of our lives. You send to us a Savior who seeks to offer us not only an eternal home but also the pattern for the living of our daily lives. Forgive us for the times when we have turned our back on your invitation and have chosen to walk our own way. Forgive us for the times we make the path into our hearts a steep one, making it hard for you to enter. Forgive us when we treat even our loved ones with an unforgiving spirit. Forgive us when we busy our lives with diversions that deflect our attention from you. We invite your Holy Spirit to dwell within us and to bring us close to you this day.
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to them and proclaim that they have suffered long enough, their penalty is paid, and their sins are forgiven.
We give thanks to the one who creates us; we give thanks to the one who redeems us; we give thanks to the one who brings the spirit of holiness to us today. Amen.
Take time to read today’s Daily Texts. If you do not have a copy of the Daily Texts, you will find today’s texts posted in the margin on your page’s right side (at the bottom of the page if you are on a mobile phone). God speaks to us through the inspiration of scripture, so approach the opportunity to read the texts as a privilege, eagerly anticipating what might be conveyed to you today. How might today’s Word make a part of your life new again? When you have finished praying, continue as follows.
O Lord, Hear our Prayer:
Giver of life and grace who dwells in the heavens, we lift our praise to you. We pray that the ways of heaven might be made real in our earthly lives as we, your children, seek to do your will. Give us today the food that we need. Forgive us as we seek to forgive those around us, and as we fix our eyes on you, keep us from temptation and deliver us from evil influences. This is your world, and to you is due all honor, glory, and praise forever and ever. Amen.
O Emmanuel, God with Us, Jesus Christ, the desire of every nation,
come to earth, we pray.
Shepherd of all humanity and Savior of our souls
give us rest in your arms today.
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth.
You alone are the most high, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.
Come Lord Jesus,
Open our hearts to welcome you, and let the Word become flesh in our hearts and our lives. Amen.