Meditation-TAWG

GATHERING OF GOD’S PEOPLE

*CALL TO WORSHIP

L: The Lord our God invites us to this time of prayer and meditation. We will explore God’s secret purposes and extravagant blessings.

P: We come before Jesus our Lord with praise and thanksgiving as we meditate on His Holy Word.

L: We come because we want to, we pray for an experience of God’s grace and meditate on the meaning of God’s love.

P: We invite the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds to Christ’s presence among us.

L: The Lord lifts every shutter within our mind, and open every door within our soul, so we see the Lord of glory.

P: May our worship this morning bring honor and glory to Christ who alone is worthy of our praise!

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Steadfast God, we confess that we are so busy putting up walls between ourselves and others. We note the differences between us and others. We are blind in our darkness, so open our eyes to our sins.

(Silent Searching, Courageous Confession)

Forgive us, by your grace, help us to see others through your eyes. Unless you strengthen our spirits and create our hearts anew, we cannot make the journey home. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our peace, our hope, our Lord, our Savior. Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

* HYMN         “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” #403

THE SCRIPTURE:           Ephesians 1:15-22                       Thanksgiving and Prayer

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

MESSAGE: “Prayer and Meditation: TAWG”

PRAYER OF THE DAY AND THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.

We come to the end of our Lenten mid-week worship series. Sunday, we begin Holy Week with Palm Sunday. I’ve regularly referred to next week as Holy –Hell Week.  It’s a special Holy week, but it’s also a hell of a lot of work. I will prepare and participate in four extra services.  And, even regular Sunday worship takes a new twist, how to reach ChrEasters, with a new message than what they heard last Easter. I will be busy. Please don’t take this as a complaint, I love Holy Week.

Do you have busy times in your life? A particular time that you don’t know if you are coming or going? Or the frustrating busy-ness that it just takes longer to do things that used to be routine? We live through different seasons of life when our lives can be very busy. Who would like to be busy today?              This week?               or next month?

Richard Foster, the guru of Spiritual Disciplines, begins his discussion on meditation with “In contemporary society our Adversary majors in three things noise, hurry, and crowds.” He then shares a quote by Carl Jung, the Psychiatrist, “Hurry is not of the Devil; it is the Devil.” I’ve received a spiritual email several years ago, entitled B.U.S.Y. The acrostic BUSY stands for Being Under Satan’s Yoke. When we live busy, hurried, calendar packed lives, we crowd out TAWG, an acrostic for Time Alone With God.  The antidote of BUSY is slowly spending Time Alone With God.

Throughout Scripture we discover references to meditation and prayer. These time focused time. The Psalmist invites us to listen to God’s Word, ruminate on God’s Law, and spending time in the intimate embrace of our Lord. Each time, a person encounters the Living Lord, they become changed by the presence of the Holy. We take time to listen to God’s decrees. We discover our need for confession and repentance when we realize God’s command. We experience a pull to be more obedient. We seek to be more faithful. This takes time of a crock pot, slowly blending the meat of our lives with the spice of Christ.

Moses, Eli, Jeremiah, Isaiah, the Psalmist all take Time Alone With God. It was in the quiet stillness of meditation that they could hear the voice of their Creator and listen with their ears, minds, and hearts. Yet, God’s chosen people did not always feel comfortable with this intimate relationship with the Almighty. They told Moses to speak to God and then come share with them a message from the Lord. God continuously reached out to restore this intimate relationship. The Lord constantly desires to be in direct communion with us.

When Jesus entered human likeness, he modeled this intimate relationship talking with his Father, as Adam and Eve talked with God. In the busy-ness of ministry to the crowds, Jesus regularly attended worship and drew away for Time Alone With God. Jesus spent time apart from the daily distractions in the perpetual presence of the source of life. Jesus made a priority of connecting deeply, personally, and intimately with the Heavenly Father.

So what about you? When is your best time, morning, afternoon, evening to spend with God?  Do you have a space that’s reserved for an appointment with Christ? How do you block out the distractions of life? Do you invest time to listening for God’s guidance? Foster states that one cannot learn to meditate from a book. It takes practice and concerted effort to immerse our life into this Holy connection. We need to stop our busy-ness and engage in an encounter with the Living Lord. Let this be the beginning of our meditation conversation as we spend TAWG regularly to develop our intimacy with our Lord. . TGBTG. Amen.

  July 2017  
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