10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. 14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Are we ever contented with our lives? Are we ever satisfied? Paul states to the church at Philippi that he has learned to be content with all things – not some things – all things. I know I am not there, and may never be there, but I do believe and understand that if we truly live in the Spirit we will find contentment and joy in the Lord.
Lord, we all know that there are many things that happen in our community, our province, our world. There are many things that happen in our families and to ourselves. We look at Paul’s life and we see so much that could have caused him to give up, but he did not. May we see in other people’s lives the courage and conviction, that sensing of the spirit that causes us to be content in all. Amen
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We welcome everyone to our Service of Worship today.
We thank Bradley Gillespie for reading the Old Testament Lessons and Dennis MacIntyre for reading the New Testament Lessonsand Richard MacAulay for joining Peter MacDonald for Deep River
The sympathy of the congregation is extended to the families of former organist Jim McNeilwho passed away last Sunday andPatsy Hannam who passed away on Monday.
Mission Moment – August 9, 2020
Building Healthy Communities
(International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples)
In Guatemala, 30-year-old Marta Crisóstomo didn’t know what having a clean kitchen and a balanced diet had to do with her son’s development and her family’s health. But an unclean kitchen meant that Marta’s family could be exposed to diseases such as diarrhea and intestinal infections. Presbyterian World Service & Development (PWS&D)-supported workshops are empowering Indigenous communities like Marta’s to improve their diets and health by sharing knowledge about cleanliness and how to prepare the nutritious food they are growing. The project has given Marta and the women in her community a sense of improved self-esteem. They now use the skills they have learned in their everyday lives—boosting their confidence and improving their families’ overall health.
PWS&D empowers Indigenous communities
Monday, August 10 We pray for evangelism coaches, the Revs. Andrew Campbell, Jonathan Hong and Ross Lockhart. May they be blessed with wisdom as they guide congregations to share the good news.
Tuesday, August 11 We pray for the ministries and mission of the Presbytery of Essex-Kent.
Wednesday, August 12 We give thanks for all of the people who generously give their time to the church throughout the year in big and small ways.
Thursday, August 13 We pray for Lieutenant-Navy Mike Rundle, who serves as a regular force military chaplain in Kingston, Ont., and for his ministry of presence with the diverse communities that are part of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Friday, August 14 We pray for Dorica Nkhata, leadership development grant recipient, as she prepares to return to Malawi College of Medicine to continue her studies after the summer break.
Saturday, August 15 We give thanks for Project Ploughshares and their advocacy for policies that promote peace and disarmament.
Order of Service
Christ is coming! let creation from its groans and labour cease; let the glorious proclamation hope restore and faith increase: Christ is coming! Christ is coming! Come, O blessed Prince of peace.
Earth can now but tell the story of your bitter cross and pain; we shall yet behold your glory, Lord, when you return to reign: Christ is coming! Christ is coming! Let each heart repeat the strain.
With that blessed hope before us, flutes are tuned and harps are strung; let the mighty advent chorus onward roll from tongue to tongue: Christ is coming! Christ is coming! Let each heart repeat the song.
Long your exiles have been pining for your promised rest and home but in heavenly glory shining, soon the risen Christ shall come. Christ is coming! Christ is coming! Joyful, shout the victory psalm.
37 Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan. 2 This is the account of Jacob’s family line. Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him. 12 Now his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, 13 and Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them.” “Very well,” he replied. 14 So he said to him, “Go and see if all is well with your brothers and with the flocks, and bring word back to me.” Then he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron. When Joseph arrived at Shechem, 15 a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, “What are you looking for?” 16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?” 17 “They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. 18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. 19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” 21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father. 23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing— 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it. 25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt. 26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed. 28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.
1 Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 2 Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.
3 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. 4 Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
5 Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, 6 you his servants, the descendants of Abraham, his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
16 He called down famine on the land and destroyed all their supplies of food; 17 and he sent a man before them — Joseph, sold as a slave.
18 They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons, 19 till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the Lord proved him true.
20 The king sent and released him, the ruler of peoples set him free. 21 He made him master of his household, ruler over all he possessed,
22 to instruct his princes as he pleased and teach his elders wisdom. 45b Praise the Lord.
5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Fairest Lord Jesus, Lord of all creation, Jesus, of God and Mary the Son; thee will I cherish, thee will I honor Thou, my soul’s delight and crown
Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands robed in the verdure and bloom of spring Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer He makes the saddest heart to sing
Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight and all the shimmering, starry sky: Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines clearer than all the heavenly host on high.
All fairest beauty heavenly and earthly. Wondrously Jesus is found in thee; none can be nearer, fairer or dearer than thou, my Saviour, art to me.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
One of Paul’s writings that is used often in so many different situations. Rejoice! What a powerful word. To say it is to proclaim it. Rejoice in the Lord always! Rejoice! The Lord is King! Rejoice and be glad! Rejoice! For the Lord brings back his own. Lots of hymn writers have proclaimed the gospel by beginning with the word rejoice and Paul chose it to begin this passage. Is there a better word to begin worship with than the word rejoice? It stirs a feeling, an emotion within us and stirs our mind to what we are doing. Paul is writing his last words of his letter and he is moved to tell the people to join him in rejoicing at what is happening in the church and to give God the praise and the glory.
You cause us to rejoice each and everyday at what you bring to us and provide for us. We have much to rejoice about. Paul states that we ought to rejoice in everything and that should be obvious, but it something that we seem to need to be reminded about. We thank you for the rejoicing that fills our hearts in the very thought of all that you are. May that lead us to rejoice with all that we share life with. Amen.
4 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! 2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
There seems to have been a disagreement between two women who were leading the church at Philippi and Paul asks the women “to be of the same mind in the Lord.” He also asks a “true companion” to help them in doing this. The church hasn’t changed much in 21 centuries. There are still issues which cause leaders to get into argument and cause division. I think we need to be reminded of Paul’s concern for division and his admonition “to be of the same mind in the Lord.” It is not an easy task, but disagreement doesn’t need to lead to division. We are all one in Christ.
Lord, please do not allow any of us to think that our understanding of who you are and how you work is the same for all. Let us be open to the work of the spirit in all of our lives and in so doing realize that another might be led to your love and grace in a different way through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. 17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
These words allow me to dream of what it might be like in heaven and they give me a sense of relieve. I cannot imagine what my appearance will be, but it gives me promise to think that I will no longer struggle with trying to be good. I will be good like God is good and that is a wonderful thought. All will be well.
Lord, we can only imagine what heaven will be like. We are told of its majesty and grandeur in your Holy Word, but we really cannot understand what it will be like to live without temptation and sin. We know it will be wonderful because we will see and know you in a way that is not possible here. As the hymn writer says, “that will be glory for me,” it will be for all of us through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
3 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. 7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Paul was a scholar but that meant nothing to him. It was his faith found in Jesus Christ that was the one thing all important in his life. His goal during the years after his conversion was to make Christ known so that all would have the assurance he had.
Lord, may each of us “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Amen.
19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24 And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon. 25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29 So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.
Paul, out of his concern for the church is ready to send not one, but two co-workers to them. He notes that Epaphroditus almost died but he wants them to see that he is now doing well, and that God is working through him. He hopes to be able to send Timothy and that he will hear of the church’s good news. He hopes one day himself to be able to go. Paul loved the church and he did everything he could to give the church hope, peace, joy and love.
Lord, we thank you for Paul’s ministry and his care for people. Help us to be faithful in our calling as we care for all we share ministry with. Amen
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
Yes, all things: Get out of bed, receive criticism, shovel snow, cut the lawn, put out the garbage, get cut off by someone who does a quick stop or no stop at all, late for an appointment, change a flat tire, answer mail or emails, and do everything else without one murmuring word. Hmm, I wish…but I am called to do so. Yes, we have to take other humans for who they are, and they have to take us as we are. Isn’t the latter the gift of God’s grace. That those that live life with us don’t say, “Oh, not another day with him.” We would never say that about our Lord. We are always thankful for all he does. May we see Christ in others, so we live without grumbling.
Lord, we thank you that through Jesus, you have given us the ability to live without grumbling. It isn’t easy. We are human and we give into the temptation to get angry and to grumble. Our Lord daily faced those who were grumbling, always not happy with what he was doing and out of envy and jealousy causing a disturbance. Help us to take a moment to see your presence in those moments where we are wont to grumble and in so doing to continue to serve you with a gladness of heart. Amen.
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Bethel Presbyterian Church
9th Sunday after Pentecost
We welcome everyone to this service of praise this morning
We thank Carol Ferguson and Chris McCall for reading the lessons this morning and Hailey Yhard for singing with Poppie on the third hymn
Mission Moment – August 2, 2020
Making Space for a New Generation of Believers
The Well Church in Mississauga, Ont., started with a group of only 13 people. They were drawn together by their deep love of Jesus and a desire to share that love with others. Inspired by a vision to become a welcoming space for second-generation immigrants, they developed a style of evangelism and worship that spoke to those they desired to reach. Since the congregation started worshipping together three years ago, their community has grown and has become a home for many young people who had strayed from the church. Please pray for the Well Church and the many other churches in The Presbyterian Church in Canada that are making space for a new generation of believers.
Presbyterian Sharing supports new faith communities
Monday, August 3 We pray for new ministers in first pastoral charges.
Tuesday, August 4 We pray for congregational leaders who are taking vacation this month. May this be a time of rest and renewal.
Wednesday, August 5 We pray for the Assembly Council as it continues to give leadership to the denomination during these changing times. Give thanks for each member’s leadership and commitment to serving our church, and especially for the convener, Ms. Sandra Cameron Evans.
Thursday, August 6 (Anniversary of the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima) We remember the victims from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and pray to God for an end to the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Friday, August 7 We give thanks for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a guiding light on the path to justice and reconciliation.
Saturday, August 8 We pray for Indigenous women in Guatemala as Presbyterian World Service & Development works alongside them to improve empowerment and self-esteem.
Order of Worship
God of mercy, God of grace, show the brightness of your face Shine upon us, Saviour, shine; fill your world with light divine, and your saving health extend unto earth’s remotest end.
Let the people praise you, Lord; be by all that live adored. Let the nations shout and sing glory to their gracious King; at your feet their tribute pay, and your holy will obey.
Let the people praise you, Lord; earth shall then its fruits afford. Unto us your blessing give; we to you devoted live, all below and all above, one in joy and light and love.
22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. 28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” 29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” 31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.
1 Hear me, Lord, my plea is just; listen to my cry. Hear my prayer— it does not rise from deceitful lips.
2 Let my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right.
3 Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me, you will find that I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed.
4 Though people tried to bribe me, I have kept myself from the ways of the violent through what your lips have commanded.
5 My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled.
6 I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. 7 Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.
9 I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, 4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.
13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” 16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. 18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
There were ninety and nine that safely lay in the shelter of the fold, but one was out on the hills away, far off from the gates of gold, away on the mountains wild and bare, away from the tender Shepherd’s care, away from the tender Shepherd’s care.
“Lord, thou hast here thy ninety and nine: are they not enough for thee?” But the Shepherd made answer, “This of mine has wandered away from me, and although the road be rough and steep, I go to the desert to find my sheep; I go to the desert to find my sheep.”
But none of the ransomed ever knew how deep were the waters crossed, nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through, ere he found his sheep that was lost. Out in the desert he heard its cry, sick and helpless and ready to die, sick and helpless and ready to die.
And all through the mountains, thunder riven, and up from the rocky steep, there rose a cry to the gate of heaven, “Rejoice, I have found my sheep.” And the angels echoed around the throne, “Rejoice, for the Lord brings back his own; rejoice, for the Lord brings back his own.”
Creation sings the Father’s song; He calls the sun to wake the dawn And run the course of day, yill evening comes in crimson rays. His fingerprints in flakes of snow, His breath upon this spinning globe, He charts the eagle’s flight, commands the newborn baby’s cry.
Hallelujah! Let all creation stand and sing: “Hallelujah!” Fill the earth with songs of worship, Tell the wonders of creation’s King.
Creation gazed upon His face; the ageless One in time’s embrace, Unveiled the Father’s plan of reconciling God and man. A second Adam walked the earth, whose blameless life would break the curse, Whose death would set us free to live with Him eternally.
Creation longs for His return, when Christ shall reign upon the earth; The bitter wars that rage are birth pains of a coming age. When He renews the land and sky, all heaven will sing and earth reply With one resplendent theme: the glory of our God and King.
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
In verses 2 and 3 Paul says, “2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” It was evident in Paul’s work that he valued others above himself. He was in prison, but he continued to write letters and pray for the people of the church. He bowed his knee and gave glory to God in all things.
Lord, you have given us a wonderful gift to be able to pray for other people and the know then when we are praying we are praying to the One who has brought all people and things into existence. We pray for all your creation that is might become all you meant it to be and that we would act in such a way as to help make this happen, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.