To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of our loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into a garden of solitude. The movement from loneliness to solitude, however, is the beginning of any spiritual life because it it is the movement from the restless senses to the restful spirit, from the outward-reaching cravings to the inward-reaching search, from the fearful clinging to the fearless play.” ~Henri J.M. Nouwen
Welcoming Guests and Announcements – Pastor Ross
Hymn Sing – Congregational Hymn Pick
Prayer Concerns – Pastor Ross
Pastoral Prayer – Silent Prayer, Pastoral Prayer, Lord’s Prayer
Scripture Reading – Psalm 46: 1-11 – Pastor Ross
Message – Missions – Growing Our Relationship with God
Communion – Pastors Linda, Ross & Dave
Psalm 46 – (Responsive)
Leader: 1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
All: 2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
Leader: 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
All: 4 There is a river whose streams makes glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
Leader: 5 God is in the midst of the city which shall not be moved; God will help it at the dawn of the day.
Leader: 7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
All: the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Leader: 8 Come, behold the works of the Lord, who has wrought desolations in the earth;
All: 9 who makes wars cease to the end of the earth, breaks the bow, shatters the spear, and burns the shields with fire!
Leader: 10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth!”
All: 11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Take a step of faith as Psalms invite us to, asking for God’s presence and guidance in our lives in a very personal way.
Psalms express our spiritual longing, our deep desire to know God and be known by God. How we can identify & address our spiritual longing. Finding God’s nearness. More we’re aware/we hunger for it. Steps know/meet God.
Psalms offer steps to build a stronger, daily relationship with God. We want a spiritually safe place where our innermost self can be seen & valued & appreciated & loved. God knows us intimately, searches us thoroughly. Being known by God helps us belong to God.
Our own spiritual longings within and what draws us to want more of God in our lives. Perhaps it’s a sense of loneliness, or a longing for more meaning in our lives or for more of faith. Ps. 86 makes a powerful appeal: give me an undivided heart.
Because God knows us so thoroughly, God knows where we’re needed. Our relationship with God grows when we allow God to move us out of ourselves into places where faith is needed: between sacred/secular; faith/fear; where life/society have told people they are unwanted. Can idea of faith & serving God grow in you in some fresh & compelling way?