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Ready to Experience God

From Christmas to Lent

When Words Fail

February 13, 2021 • Rev. Brian Sixbey

God of grace and glory, we confess we aren’t used to either grace or glory. Tempers flare, patience withers, and our ability to be graceful all seem to have vanished. Glimpses of your glory catch us by surprise, because we only see what our eyes are used to seeing. We have become calloused by so many complaints, disgruntled by speaking so much disgust, and infuriated by all the irritants in our lives. Today, Lord, we ask: Silence our flapping tongues. Allow us to become awestruck in your presence, our words failing because of your glory abounding. Open our hearts, minds, and spirits to worship in your love, for we beg this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Don’t Outrun Jesus!

February 6, 2021 • Rev. Brian Sixbey

We get tired, and sometimes, we get sick and tired. When the Lord taught us how to live through Moses, the prophets, and by the example of Jesus, we were taught to take rest and rely on the Holy Spirit for strength. The human body, mind, and spirit need rest by design. Sometimes, taking a nap is spiritual. Sometimes, asking for help is spiritual. When and if we find ourselves getting tired, help us, Lord, to rely on your Spirit instead of our own stamina. May we wait on you Lord, and renew our strength, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Lord, Can I Come to You on the Water?

January 30, 2021 • Rev. Tommy Markham

We feel trapped behind these masks and six-foot markers. Having to maintain a close proximity to our shelter hasn’t helped one bit. Sure, this is different, and meeting the challenge has occupied us, but now something is lacking. We are dealing with that which has been put upon us. But now we are becoming aware of the need to move beyond. Sure, lifting the restrictions would help. Forgive us for becoming bored. Help us to find something extraordinary for You that would satisfy our longing.

Is Anyone Still Listening?

January 23, 2021 • Rev. Brian Sixbey

When Jonah begrudgingly walked the streets of Nineveh to proclaim the judgment of God, the people eagerly listened, repented, and turned their lives over to the Lord, who had mercy on them. Jonah then became angry at a mercy loving God! Before we walk away, shaking our heads at Jonah, perhaps you are speaking to us, Lord? Do we resent it when You shower mercy on people we do not like? Do we want triumph over enemies more than fellowship with You? Have our hearts hardened to the cries of those You created? You call us to love you with all heart, mind, and soul, and to love neighbor as self. Help us learn obedience by treasuring Your mercy to others as we treasure it for ourselves, for we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Opening Ears to Hope

January 16, 2021 • Rev. Brian Sixbey

Lord, your inspired word speaks of a time in Israel’s history when visions were rare and people did not listen to you. Are we in such a time ourselves today? It seems that listening ears are rare and shouting voices frequent. It seems that visions of gathering people together to see God’s glory are rare and fevered imaginations of getting our way over our enemies are frequent. Help us, Lord. Help us to listen. Help us to see. Help us to walk with you and away from the violence of our days, so that we can love others as Jesus has loved us, for we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Drown Your Tears, Heal Your Wounds

January 9, 2021 • Rev. Brian Sixbey

Day in, day out, week in, week out — we see that not much is changing for the better. Politics are going from bad to worse. COVID-19 cases are going from bad to worse. For many, economic and personal situations are either staying the same or getting worse. The reality is we experience is that not much changes, and what changes does not change quickly. We hate to be skeptical about it, but can God really make a difference? Can God really wash away our sins and make us new again? We look at the world around us, and we notice – in just a few months, the empty trees will be budding and blooming again. In just a little while, the leaves of fall and winter will be replaced with the flowers of spring. Even the weeds will spring back and bloom! Lord, you are always making things new, and whether it takes an instant or a lifetime, the beauty that You promise is worth waiting for! Help us, Lord, to put our faith in You, and put that faith into practice, so that we and those around us can find Your strength to move forward with Your hope. We pray in the name of the Lord who has walked the road before us, Jesus our Lord. Amen.

When the World Turned Upside Right

January 3, 2021 • Rev. Brian Sixbey

We sometimes believe that we worship the Lord because we are somehow special. In truth, we are special because we are called, and we are called because our ears have been opened, and our ears can hear because we have been forgiven and loved. Just as the magi of old had their eyes opened to see the sign of the newborn King of the Jews, so make our eyes open to see the signs that Jesus is Lord of all. We confess that we are not so special, but we are so loved. Enable us to live our lives upside right so that your love can shine through us, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

From Birth to Exit

December 26, 2020 • Rev. Tommy Markham

Lord, we are much relieved now that the rush of Christmas is over. We can’t understand why we let all that preparation get to us so. Now that it is behind us, we can make sense of our guilt. Forgive us when we lose sight of what Christmas is all about. As Christians, we have a responsibility to keep our wits about us. Help us find what that is for, to celebrate and do nothing is wrong.