“I came that you might have life, and have it abundantly”
Prayer of the Bible
Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O Lord. How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.
-Psalm 36: 5-7, 9
(Free expression of praise and thanksgiving to God)
Confession of Sin
I return to You, Lord my God, for I have stumbled because of my iniquity. Take away all iniquity and receive me graciously.
(Time of silence for confession of sin)
The Words of Jesus
But Jesus put them all outside and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and began walking, and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
(Think deeply on these life-giving words of Jesus)
Prayers for Ourselves and Others
You answered me when I called to you; with your strength you strengthened me.
(Time to bring before God our own needs and the needs of others)
Lord our God, we thank you that you have given us the light of life, that we can now learn how to live, and that through your great grace we may understand life in direct relationship with the Lord Jesus, who was crucified and who rose from the dead. Grant that the power of Christ may be made visible in us. Grant that his life may become our life, that we may leave behind all doubts and anxiety, even though we are often surrounded by darkness and night. Keep us in your Word. Let your will hold sway over all the world, for your will must be done in heaven, on earth, and down to the lowest depths. Let your will be done on earth as in all the heavens. Amen.
-Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt (1842-1919)