Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Lion and Lamb

Rachel is weeping for her children, 14th century fresco from Marko's Monastery.
It has been a very difficult week for our nation as many of us cannot get the recent shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida out of our minds. I have been around long enough to know there will always be pain and suffering in the world, but my heart continues to break for these students, these families, and these communities. One photograph from the day will always haunt me. It shows a grief stricken mother wailing with the Ash Wednesday cross from a morning service still on her forehead. I keep coming back to the prophet Jeremiah, “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more” (Jeremiah 31:15, NRSV.)

I am further disheartened by our nation’s inability to talk openly and honestly about these all too frequent events. It feels like many immediately slide into their “talking point” camps and completely dismiss the earnest opinions of any who disagree. We have devolved into a troubling and rigid dichotomy. One is either with us or against us, and there is no room for dialogue in the wide center. You are either a hawk or a dove, a lion or a lamb, a predator or prey. Presbyterians are known as people of the middle way, and I believe if we are intentional and civil, there is still hope for us and the world.

It is said March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. This might be true in many places, but we all know Missouri weather is far too unpredictable to make absolute statements about what to expect. However, there is a parallel here as we get further into our Lenten journey. Consider Jesus’ movement during Holy Week. He enters Jerusalem triumphantly like a lion on Palm Sunday and leaves like a lamb on the cross on Good Friday. Jesus is both lion and lamb as he exhibits both power and sacrifice. “What wondrous love is this!”

We worship a God of justice and grace. Let us continue to contemplate this truth as we continue our journey to the cross and hope for resurrection.

In Hope and Confidence,
Pastor Dave

Read the Gospels in 40 Days: Matthew 7-9

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Lessons of the Lord

Selections from Matthew 5-7
James TissotThe Beatitudes Sermon,
Brooklyn Museum, c. 1890
Matthew 5: 1Now when He saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, 2and He began to teach them, saying: 3”Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. 10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

14”You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”

38”You have heard that it was said, “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.” But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.”

43You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Matthew 6: 5”And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the lessons You taught. We too often rush through life without pausing to remember the path sat before us. Guide us daily and lead us on our earthly journey. Amen

From St. Mark Presbyterian's Lenten Devotion on Saturday, March 21, 1998 

Read the Gospels in 40 Days: Matthew 5-6

Monday, February 26, 2018

Lenten Challenge: Water

How are you doing with the Lenten challenge?  Are you giving up coffee and putting the money in a jar for clean water?

Read the Gospels in 40 Days: Matthew 3-4

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Worship Prayers Feb. 18

CENTERING PRAYER:  God of ancient covenants, your steadfast love and faithfulness are still new every morning.  I thank you that I can begin this day in the confidence of your abiding love and unending mercy.  Help me to treat others—family, friends, coworkers, classmates, and even strangers—with love and mercy in our encounters today.  When I disappoint or am discordant, help me to show love to others.  Open my eyes to the places, people, and circumstances in which your kingdom has come near.  I pray in the name of your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, my Savior.  Amen.


From water to wilderness:
        God’s covenant continues; God’s kingdom comes near.
On stone and in hearts:
        God’s covenant continues; God’s kingdom comes near.
From the ancestor of nations to the Son lifted up:
        God’s covenant continues; God’s kingdom comes near.
We follow Jesus on the Lenten path,
        for where he is, we would be also.
Come! Let us worship our God together.

God of mercy, we begin this Lenten season in confession.  We do not live according to your ways, but according to our own.  We condone violence, participate in systems of injustice, and use power to our own advantage at the expense of others.  Forgive us, we pray, when we are tempted to follow paths other than those you set before us.

Teach us your commandments; help us to turn from evil in its many guises, and turn us toward your kingdom drawing near.  In covenantal love, remember us, we pray, and be for us, once more and always, an ark of safety and new life.  In Christ’s name we continue to pray.  (Silent Confession)

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen.
[Prayer requests may be given to one of the pastors before the service.]

   AFFIRMATION OF FAITH - Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.

SCRIPTURE READING                                                              Mark 1:9-15


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Daily Prayer Feb. 24


God is love, and those who abide in love, abide in God, and God abides in them.

Genesis 41:1-13; 1 Corinthians 4:1-7; Mark 2:23-3:6

Eternal God, we praise you for your mighty love given in Christ's sacrifice on the cross, and the new life we have received by his resurrection. We thank you for the presence of Christ in our weakness and suffering, the ministry of Word and Sacrament, all who work to help and heal, sacrifices made for our benefit, opportunities for our generous giving. God of grace let our concern for others reflect Christ's self-giving love, not only in our prayers, but also in our practice. We pray for those subjected to tyranny and oppression, wounded and injured people, those who face death, those who may be our enemies. Eternal God, your love is stronger than death, and your passion more fierce than the grave. We rejoice in the lives of those whom you have drawn into your eternal embrace. Keep us in joyful communion with them until we join the saints of every people and nation, gathered before your throne in ceaseless praise. (Add your prayers.) Amen.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

(Opening sentences, prayers, and blessings are from the Book of Common Worship. Readings are from the daily lectionary in Daily Prayer. Both are published by Westminster/John Knox Press.)

Read the Gospels in 40 Days: Matthew 1-2

Friday, February 23, 2018


Hear now, a reading from the Gospel according to Luke 22: 39-46:

39 Jesus came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. 40 When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” 41 Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” 43 Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. 44 In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like drops of blood falling down on the ground. 45 When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, 46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”

This scripture gives a very moving account of the struggle Jesus felt while at the Mount of Olives. He is deeply distressed and anguished over what God has asked him to do. He is to endure a horrible crucifixion and a separation from his Father as he dies. His struggle so profound that his “sweat became like drops of blood” and an angel was sent to provide him strength. Exhibiting fierce dread and reluctance for the road set before him, Jesus’ demonstrates his humanness. Ultimately Jesus reaffirms his commitment to God by praying “not my will, but yours be done.”

This scripture is significant to me because of the depth of struggle described here. While other Biblical characters sometimes question or grappled with God’s call, this account of “struggle” is unparalleled. As a person that seeks God’s direction and works to become a more trusting follower, this passage brings comforting insight. Knowing that here, Jesus struggled immensely to follow God’s call reminds me that walking this life, as God would have me do, is not always easy. In fact, it can be a mighty struggle. Even Jesus’ innate desire was for his human self, not God’s will. The central clash between ‘the willing spirit and the weak flesh” is a continual battle.

As my children have gotten older, I am moved into a new chapter of my life. I am troubled with finding a new direction, and what purpose that course will hold for me. While my faith tells me to turn my life over to HIS WILL, I have not been able to submit. I struggle to completely trust God with my life. My human arrogance and independence insist that I should maintain control. Can I really trust that he knows best? What if I don’t like his call? Perhaps it would require leaving what is comfortable and known or bring trials and difficulties into my life. When it comes right down to it, could I really follow through and implement his wishes? I feel guilty about the level of trust I have in God. When I look around, others seem to have figured it out. Why can’t I let go- completely? I should be more secure in my faith, but it is a hard leap to take, and one I struggle with tremendously.

Please pray with me: O God, help us to live in your love. Help us accept your will for our lives and give us the proper response to your revelations. Not our will, but yours be done.

Written by D. Brown for Maundy Thursday 2017
Read the Gospels in 40 Days: Luke 22-24

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Refined Taste

“Love loves unto purity. Love has ever in view the absolute loveliness of that which it beholds.
Therefore, all that is not beautiful in the beloved, all that comes between and is not of love's kind, must be destroyed. And our God is a consuming fire.” ― George MacDonald

I have never had particularly refined tastes when it comes to wine. I spent years in California learning about grapes, corks, bottles, and breathing, but I remain a neophyte. I know the difference between an average selection and a bad glass, but I do not have the palate to taste the nuance between something good and something great. I grew an appreciation for those who spend their lives working in the soil of the various vineyards. They labor every day making sure each vintage is as good as it should.

I am reminded of Jesus’ words to his disciples, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:1-5.)

Lent is a period of penitence and preparation. God loves us so much where we are at, and God loves us so much that God does not want us to remain there. We are always called to grow, but we cannot ripen if we are not connected to vine. May we use this time to continue to stay in the Word and abide with God in prayer. Each of you is a unique vintage, and the Lord will continue to refine us as long as long as we remain in the vine-grower’s loving hands. May we all grow with grace!

In Hope and Confidence,
Pastor Dave

Read the Gospels in 40 Days: Luke 20-21

Photo by Rohit Tandon on Unsplash

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

On January 17, Pastor Dave conducted a Third Wednesday Discussion which focused on the "Hymn of Promise" by Natalie Sleeth.  The last stanza reads:

In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;
In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity,
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

To watch the video of the discussion click here, if it doesn't appear.

Don't forget to come tonight!  Potluck 5:30 Program 6:15

Read the Gospels in 40 Days: Luke 17-19

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


James 5: 15-16 This payer made in faith will heal the sick person; the Lord will restore him to health, and the sins he has committed will be forgiven. So then, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you will be healed.  The prayer of a good person has a powerful effect.

The prayer of the righteousness is powerful and effective.

It is Advent as I'm writing this.  thinking about Lent during Advent is curious.  In December, Dan Hudson wrote in the Newsletter about Advent being a time of anticipation and hope as we await the celebration of the birth of Christ.  It occurs to me that Lent is a similar time of anticipation, preparation and hope as we await the celebration of Jesus' resurrection after his crucifixion.

It also occurs to me that in a different context, we spend much of our time waiting---in traffic, at the check-out lines, for elevators, and a myriad other ways.  Frequently, these times are at least annoying, if not frustrating or infuriating.  A total waste of time, we say, and time is such a precious commodity in our busy lives.

Perhaps we can re-frame these frustrating moments and use them more constructively.  Take the opportunity to say a prayer or two for a sick friend, or one who is going through difficult times.  Maybe a prayer of thanksgiving to a loving God who supplies all our needs, physical, emotional and spiritual.  Perhaps listening for an answer to previous prayer.  These opportunities occur every day, and we might find ourselves growing closer to God by using them more positively.

Our Father, help us to use these moments in each day to draw closer to you.  In your Son's name we pray.  Amen.

Printed with permission of Nina Fish from St. Mark Presbyterian's 2000 Lenten Devotional.

Read the Gospels in 40 Days: Luke 14-16

Monday, February 19, 2018

Marion Medical Mission: Elizabeth

St. Mark donated $3275 to MMM with Christmas Alternatives, which will fund 8 new wells in Africa this year.  Kimberly Richey is coming to speak to St. Mark’s Adult Sunday School class on Palm Sunday on March 25th at 9:20.  Today, Kimberly shares some of her memories.

A well installation with Marion Medical Mission is a life-changing moment, as much for the volunteers as for the villagers who will use the well.  Every single time a well shares its first drops of clean water, the village breaks into cheers, tears and singing. 98 year-old Elizabeth overcame pain of severe arthritis to walk down a steep hill to celebrate when her village's well was installed. Even though the terrain was rough and it took her a long time to reach the well site, Elizabeth wasn't about to miss this special occasion.  This well answered prayers of her entire lifetime! She's prayed over several generations of children who were ill from drinking unclean water -  she's attended too many funerals!  She's lived to see a major change for the entire village!

Read the Gospels in 40 Days: Luke 11-13

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Worship Prayers for Feb. 11

CENTERING PRAYER:  God of glory, I greet you at the dawning of this day.  Let my life proclaim Christ Jesus and the good news of the gospel from the rising of the sun to its setting; to the glory of your name.  Amen.

The glory of God shines like a consuming fire.                    
         We have seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
The voice of God thunders like a mighty storm.
         Out of the cloud, God speaks: This is my beloved Son; listen to him!
Come! Let us worship our living God together.

God of all glory, beauty, and grace, we have tried to hide from you—to hide our faces, to hide our sin—yet you have never hidden your love for us.  We have tried to search for you—in temples, in clouds, on mountaintops—yet you have already revealed yourself to us in the face of Jesus Christ.  Forgive us, and transform us so that our lives may shine with your glory, beauty, and grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  (Silent Confession)

† AFFIRMATION OF FAITH (Apostles’ Creed)
I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.


SCRIPTURE READING                                             Mark 9:2-9

For Pastor Burgess sermon "Glimpses of Glory", click here.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

What Would We Do?

Luke 9:48 Whoever welcomes this child in my name, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, also welcomes the one who sent me.  For the one who is least among you is the greatest.

What would we do if Jesus came to town? 
Would we believe his preaching or tear him down? 
What would we say about this man we see? 
Would we compliment his ideas or doubt his ability? 
And if he called on us to help his plight,
Would we have excuses or join his fight?

Is not each new person we meet a child of God-a reason to be kind when we speak?

Perhaps we are called in a more subtle way to follow our Lord, to let him stay.

Dear Lord, help me be kind to those I meet; help my life reflect your ways.

Reprinted with permission of Renee Vetter from St. Mark Presbyterian's Lenten Devotional 2000

Read the Gospels in 40 Days: Luke 9-10

Friday, February 16, 2018

Feasting on the Word: Never Again!

This Adult class with Candyce Cranston, meets Sunday, 9:30-10:15 AM in Fellowship Hall.  Join us.
February 18 ‘Never Again!’

Genesis 9:8-17New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark.[a] 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”


  1. Genesis 9:10 Gk: Heb adds every animal of the earth
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Read the Gospels in 40 Days: Luke 6-8

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Are We There Yet?

I remember going on long road trips with my family when I was a child. Normally, my parents would
wake up all the children around four in the morning, lead us to our big blue Dodge van, and encourage us to go back to sleep. I would wake up somewhere in the middle of Tennessee or Indiana and ask the familiar question, “Are we there yet?” The answer I received is the same one I give to my children when we travel, “No, but we’re getting closer.”

We are starting this Lenten Journey together as a congregation this week, and we know we are nowhere near the destination, but I hope the travel brings us closer together and closer to God. Part of today’s reading from Luke’s Gospel traces Jesus’ lineage on his earthly father side all the way back to the first man, Adam. If you remember reading this passage from the King James Version, you’re likely to recall a lot of “begetting” going on. One might wonder why both Matthew and Luke include Jesus’ very extensive family tree, and there are a lot of theories about this. I think it is enough for us today to see God had a salvation plan in place from the very beginning. Jesus’ arrival time on this earth is part of the much larger divine message that God will not let anything separate us from God’s love (Romans 8.)

Over the next few weeks, we will certainly wonder, “Are we there yet?” The answer will be, “No, but we’re getting closer.” More than this, may this season remind us all that we are not the ones at the wheel. God is driving, God knows where we need to go, and, ultimately, God will bring us home. This season starts in the ashes of death and concludes in the lilies of resurrection. May we all trust that the Lord is God of it all.

In Hope and Confidence,

Pastor Dave

Read the Gospels in 40 Days:  Luke 3-5 (click the link for the scripture reading)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

"Hopes and Fears

“Hopes and Fears”
“When you plant a seed in the ground, it does not sprout to life unless it dies.”
1 Corinthians 15:36

The ancient tradition of Ash Wednesday carries with it an interesting twist of symbolism. The ashes, representing the penance and contrition – the bankruptcy of human attempts for salvation, are derived from an interesting source.

In Roman and Orthodox churches, some of the palms from the prior year’s Palm Sunday celebration are saved and burned to make the ashes for Ash Wednesday. It is a symbolic way of saying that even the highest and best aspirations that we have are ultimately “fit for fire.” Palm Sunday, after all, is our attempt at celebration and exultations. It is our highest aspiration for welcoming the reign of God in human life.

During Holy Week, It took only five days to see that our aspirations do not make the stuff of salvation. The crowd’s cries of “Hosanna” needed less than a week to turn into cries of “Crucify Him.” We, with our best intent, cannot accept God.

Ash Wednesday reminds us of all that. It reminds us that we, of our own power, fail each time. Yet in God’s plan for salvation there is a pattern; in the words of the creed, “life, suffering, death, burial and Resurrection.” That is the path for Jesus and for us.

Several years ago as I prepared to participate in his funeral, I was trying to remember the gift a friend had given me. In the end, what I thought he did for me, was that he stood by my side while dreams died. I thought and do think that to be the holiest of tasks for a human – to see another through the path laid out by Jesus in Holy Week.

Ash Wednesday calls us not just to give up excess, not just sin or evil It calls us to give up completely – even our dreams and aspirations. It is through this pattern, along the path and not around it, that God accomplishes Resurrection. Surely God’s promise of new life exceeds any hope or goal we might generate on our own. We reach that goal by staying on the path He set out for us.

Printed from St. Mark Presbyterian's 1998 Lenten Devotional with Larry Jackman's permission

Read the Gospels in 40 Days:  Luke 1-2  (Click on the scripture for the link)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Lenten Challenge

We all know February 14 is Valentine’s Day, but it also kicks off the Lenten Season this year as Ash Wednesday falls on the same day. It will be a delicate balance between cards, candy, and flowers on one side and sackcloth, ashes, and penitence on the other. I believe this “double-booking” allows all of us to examine the true meaning of love. The biblical witness tells us love is more of a lasting commitment than a fleeting emotion. It is far more about sacrifice than sugary treats or saccharine Hallmark cards.
  • “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another” (John 15:9-17, NRSV.)
I want to challenge you to do something different this Lent. Lots of people give something up like sugary sweets or meat on Friday (it’s Filet-O-Fish Season.) Others do something extra like volunteering with children, writing letters to the homebound, or reading the Bible every day. For the past decade, I have encouraged members to drink only clean tap water for the 40 days of Lent. Giving up the morning trip to Starbucks or the evening glass of wine might be a tall task for some, but it will help us comprehend how much money we spend on beverages. Moreover, we can use the money we save to support agencies like the Marion Medical Mission who dig wells across Africa. We are blessed to have clean water in our community, and this challenge helps us to understand the needs of those who have less and support groups who are working to provide living water for all God’s children.
We will present our gifts the Sunday after Easter and have a special celebration. I hope you will join me and the St. Mark family as we take the Lenten Challenge together.
In Hope and Confidence,
Pastor Dave

Monday, February 12, 2018

Read the Gospels in 40 Days

There are a few small typos---Day 4 and Chapters 14-16 are missing for the Gospel of Luke. Each day on the blog, we will have a link at the bottom which will take you directly to the passages for the day.  But, if you wish to print this chart, please make those corrections.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Worship Prayers Feb. 4

CENTERING PRAYER:  In the morning, while it was still very dark, Jesus got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.  As I turn to you in prayer this day, God, bless me with a sense of purpose.  As I go out into this day, show me what I am to do.  Amen.


Have we not known? Have we not heard?                            
         Has it not been told to us since the beginning?
Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
         they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
         they shall walk and not faint.
Come, let us worship the Lord!

God, you are everlasting, the creator of all that is.  Your understanding is beyond measure.  We confess that we have sinned against you and our neighbors.  In your compassion, forgive us, for we place our hope in your steadfast love.  We continue to pray in Jesus’ name.  (Silent Confession)


Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen.
[Prayer requests may be given to one of the pastors before the service.]

† AFFIRMATION OF FAITH – Westminster Confession Shorter Catechism Question One
Question One:        What is our chief end?
Answer:                  Our chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy God forever.

SCRIPTURE READING                                                                           Mark 1 29-39

For the sermon "Open Hands and Moving Feet", click here