BLESSED GOD, I use this day as an occasion to look back upon the week I have lived. In doing so, I trace the footprints of your presence with me. I have seen you at work in the little things and the big things that have happened. I am particularly mindful of your goodness in relation to (_____). When I count my blessings, naming them one by one, it is wonderful to see all that you have done.
Set me free from the temptation to grovel in my failures and also save me from any presumptions that would keep me from taking them seriously. It is in the space between despair and pride that I need you to work most in my life.
And what I ask for myself, I ask for others, especially (_____). I ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
God-with-us is God-among-us, God sharing every part of our lives. The ministry of Jesus reflected God’s presence in the time he spent with people, especially those at the margins of society. The meals he shared, the conversations with outcasts and leaders alike, his concern for those who came to hear him speak, all remind us that the essence of our work is the forging of relationships.
Again, we are mistaken if we think it is our activities that are at the heart of mission. Constructing buildings, providing medical care, and helping with education projects are all important. But, more importantly, through these tasks we witness to the God among us.
WHEN GOD INVITES YOU to change, God also helps you make the change. But don’t expect big changes to be automatic or easy. Human growth, whether rapid or slow, is a process that involves commitment, hard work, mistakes, and side trips. Almost always you must grow into a change, even after you have stopped a certain behavior. You will need to make adjustments and ask for more help, always paying attention and surrendering as you go.
GOD, you have placed the solitary in families and church is your family of faith. Yes, we can find you in our moments of solitude and contemplation, but we need the support, presence, and love of a faith community. Amen.
In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength.
–Isaiah 30:15b (NIV)
JESUS LIVED with noise. To cope, he took time away to center his thoughts on the one who is the source of all strength — God. In doing so, Jesus provides the perfect example of how we can refuel our tanks. If Christ needed time alone to rest and to be with God, certainly we do!
Look at your day. When can you carve out time to be alone with God? What noise will you have to tune out?
Commit to a regular meeting time with God. You’ll be amazed how refreshing it is to spend time in God’s presence.
The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it;
for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers.
Psalm 24:1-2, NRSV
So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
2 Samuel 6:15, NRSV