September 1, 2013
The Lord will bless your towns and your fields.
The Lord will bless you with many children, with abundant crops, and with many cattle and sheep.
The Lord will bless your grain crops and the food you prepare from them.
The Lord will bless everything you do.
The Lord will defeat your enemies when they attack you. They will attack from one direction, but they will run from you in all directions.
The Lord your God will bless your work and fill your barns with grain. He will bless you in the land that he is giving you.
If you obey the Lord your God and do everything he commands, he will make you his own people, as he has promised. (Deuteronomy 28:3-9)
But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’
He answered, ‘Yes, here I am.’
‘Don’t hurt the boy or do anything to him,’ he said. ‘Now I know that you honor and obey God, because you have not kept back your only son from him.’
Abraham looked around and saw a ram caught in a bush by its horns. He went and got it and offered it as a burnt offering instead of his son. Abraham named that place ‘The Lord Provides.’ And even today people say, ‘On the Lord’s mountain he provides.’
The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time, ‘I make a vow by my own name—the Lord is speaking—that I will richly bless you. Because you did this and did not keep back your only son from me, I promise that I will give you as many descendants as there are stars in the sky or grains of sand along the seashore. Your descendants will conquer their enemies. All the nations will ask me to bless them as I have blessed your descendants—all because you obeyed my command. (Genesis 22:11-18)
Almighty God, you are infinite in all ways, and yet you condescend to love and care for us. You have the whole universe to watch over and order, still You have such concern for us that you called us into Your fellowship. You have just as much communion with each one of us as we open ourselves to You.
Father, when we stop to contemplate Your majesty and compare our paltry accomplishments, we are awestruck at the enormity of the difference between Your glory and our lives. We can hardly comprehend the magnitude of Your Gift to us, the sending of Your only and most precious Son to demean Himself to live as we live. We shudder when we become fully aware that Your Son, our Lord Jesus who is and ever was Lord God Almighty, took our place on the cross, bore our sins, experienced in our place the penalty for our sin. He has given us that most precious Gift, Himself.
Before our Savior placed Himself on the cross, in His celebration of the Passover, He included those of us present here today in his blessing of the Disciples, in His declaration of love, in His Communion of His Body and Blood, and in His High Priestly prayer.
We are tremendously blessed by Your love, Your complete acceptance, and most generous gifts. We acknowledge our unworthiness. We can barely begin to appreciate the magnitude of the gifts you have given us.
Because of all you have done in our lives, we open our hearts to give you thanks. Because of all you have given to us we lift our voices in praise.
While these promises we have read were for us, they were specifically granted to God’s Chosen People. This day Jews in Israel are surrounded by enemies who desire to drive them into the sea.
America has not only been a bastion of freedom, but also an example for all the world to see how God blesses the nation whose God is the Lord. And yet we have begun turning our backs on YHWH to pursue our own interests.
Acknowledging that we cannot live a godly life without the power of the Holy Spirit, and confessing our sins—blatant, secret and unknown to us. Let us before we come to Communion, ask Forgiveness for ourselves and confess our need for Christ.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time; casting all your anxiety upon him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6)
The grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; (I Timothy 1:14-15)
… that ye were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus ye that once were far off are made nigh in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace. (Ephesians 2:13)
… for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not of works, that no man should glory. (Ephesians 2:8)
Therefore, ministering to you in the name of Christ, I declare that your sins are forgiven to the glory of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.