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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday Words of Encouragement June 26, 2016

We had three grand messages this morning. Our Sunday School teacher taught a lesson from Romans 13 entitled “A Wake Up Call”. I will share more of that another day.  We had a guest evangelist who shared a lovely message on "A True Shepherd" as we prepare to meet candidates to be our new pastor. I am saving that message also.

In between we shared communion and my words today are from that time of sharing. Our church shares an ‘open communion’ which means visitors can partake. They do not have to be members of the church but they must be believers and take the offerings with the remembrance and reverence intended for the Sacrament of Holy Communion. (I was raised in an Episcopal, liturgical church, so I still recall the formal names.) Our Pastor reminded us that sharing in communion should be done after self-reflection so that we do not partake lightly lest we bring judgment on ourselves. I took the warning and wrote this phrase in my Sunday Journal: Self-reflection to submit to God’s discipline so that we may be saved. We will not be judged by worldly standards but by God’s standards which are higher; yet through the loving eyes of grace we are judged with mercy. This tied in with the Sunday School message which talked of the process of salvation which will not be complete until Christ returns.

Evangelical or fundamental churches rarely use ‘rote’ prayers or formal liturgy. But communion time always takes me back to my childhood lessons of the 'general confession'.  That is something I can, and should, pray at the end of every day.

The formal version is from the Book of Common Prayer 1662 (and in the small devotional book In God’s Presence which was given to me in 1965 at my confirmation). I also remember this shorter version that I think of at each communion:

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent, for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

We sang this song in worship this morning. 
I found it comforting as Bob and I prepare for his open heart surgery tomorrow morning.
Verses for today:
2 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

I thank you, Lord, for your great mercies. I seek your strength and guidance daily to do all as I ought; as you desire.
I thank all my family, local church family and friends, and my distant online friends for prayer support!

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