Advent 1 - November 28, 2021
May our time in this place help us to watch faithfully for our Lord's coming just as His people of old awaited His birth so many years ago. May we hold firmly to His promises and share that faith joyfully with others.
May our time in this place help us to watch faithfully for our Lord's coming just as His people of old awaited His birth so many years ago. May we hold firmly to His promises and share that faith joyfully with others.
The signs of the end are all around us, constant reminders that “heaven and earth will pass away.” But all of these signs are centered in the cross of Christ, whereby He has conquered sin and death, that we might be raised with Him in righteousness through His Word of the Gospel, which “will not pass away”
We are so prone to waver and can be so easily distracted from God’s truth. We pray that during our time here this morning our faith and trust may be made firm in God’s promise that in Jesus Christ we have been assured of our victory over all the adversities of this world.
Our gracious and eternal God, is with us in suffering and in death to strengthen and comfort us by His Holy Spirit. May He keep us in the true faith and give us peace and joy in the assurance of the resurrection of the dead and the glory of life everlasting through Jesus Christ, His Son.
God's grace is our refuge and fortress. We are not able to do anything to get into God's good graces; he has brought us there! In Jesus, God has given us a new way to be brought to justice and liberated from sin.
We pray that God may have mercy on us! He has answered by rescuing us from spiritual
darkness by giving us eyes of faith. May we continue to follow Him along the pathway of Life, always trusting His power to rescue those who are vulnerable to the dangers of this world.
God has called us to follow Him, may we find a joy in following Him that is greater than our love for all the things in our life. Then will we rejoice in sharing His blessings and His love with those
who are oppressed and lost.
God has made us and claimed us. He has given us all that we have. May our time here today help us to remember that the greatest gift is a place in His family. May we us all He has given us as a child of His kingdom.
As Christians, we are no strangers to conflict and criticism that can touch every part of our lives. May we find here the strength and encouragement to keep on doing those things God would have us to do.
God wants us to be jealous, not for advantages and privileges we may enjoy, but for his Gospel and the spread of his Kingdom no matter who is spreading it.
Usually being chosen first is a sign of honor and respect. In God’s Word for us today, Jeremiah was chosen to be God’s prophet in a tough time. Even his family plotted against him. James explained that once God has chosen us, we must choose lives of peace, mercy, and service. Jesus showed us what it means to be chosen: He is the first to give his life in service. We have also been chosen for service in God’s family. What a risk -- and what an honor.
Through Christ, God has healed our hearts, broken by sin, and given us new life in His redeeming love. Having been called in faith, may we respond to the poor who are crushed by the injustices of society and inequities of life, using our resources of body and spirit to demonstrate God’s love to our neighbors.
God creates all things new and good again by His presence in Word and Sacrament. In His Son, Jesus Christ, He has given His answer of redemption and healing for the world. May our time here today spent in His presence make things better around us by the words we speak and the gifts of love we give.
We too often act as if we have all the answers when God then decides to surprise us with His plans. May the power of His Spirit touch us here this day that we may serve Him in word and deed always, helping us to lead others to his Word of Life through our loving deeds.
God calls us to a banquet prepared by his wisdom: "Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight." Wouldn't it be wonderful to have all the answers to our complex life? God offers the answers to everything that matters: St. Paul wrote "Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Jesus is the only one who offers us the food of eternal life, his body and blood.
Sometimes we are so discouraged that we are ready to give up on ourselves and our friends. May God’s Word heard here today remind us that we can always trust God in the days ahead receiving strength in Christ our Savior to face the next task.
May we be enriched and nourished for eternity by the Bread from Heaven, so that we may not struggle desperately for the things we need each day, but accept them gratefully from His generous hand -- and as generously, share them with others.
God has covered the dark clouds with the bright color of His rainbow as a promise of His eternal love in our world. As we come to know His love in Christ, may we spread the spectrum of His light among sad and discouraged neighbors, swamped by contrary winds in their lives.
Jesus invited His disciples to come along with Him to a quiet place to rest for a time. In the middle of our busy world and hectic schedule, may our time here this morning help us to know the hand of our gentle Shepherd leading us each moment of every day.
It is not always easy to keep the essential things of life separated from the unessential. We pray that God would grant us a measure of His Spirit that we might never compromise the truth of His grace, but that we might always maintain a winning way of sharing His love with others.
We pray that God’s Spirit might fill us with His power so that we may be willing witnesses to the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior, who gave his life to free us from the power of sin and death, that we may be His own and serve Him in everlasting righteousness. Amen.
Storms rage not only over the seas, but also in our lives. We pray as we gather here in the safety of His ship, the Church that He would calm them so that once again we may praise His gracious gift of love to us and the world. Storms rage not only over the seas, but also in our lives. We pray as we gather here in the safety of His ship, the Church that He would calm them so that once again we may praise His gracious gift of love to us and the world.
Many people insist on seeing hard evidence to back up any statement or claim. St. Paul suggests to us that as Christians, we live differently - we "live by faith and not by sight. Today we worship our God who gives us the gift of faith to trust and believe those things that He has revealed to us.
May our heavenly Father, whose curse destroys, whose blessing restores, cover us with His wings, support us by His power, hold us in His hand as we move through life, that we may receive home eternal when our life has run its course.
Our eternal, loving God has given us the right to call Him "Father" because through His only begotten Son He has given us forgiveness and eternal life. May we be guided by His Spirit that we may always confess Him as our God and Lord.
Left on our own we are overwhelmed by the task of telling people about God’s redemptive action in Christ Jesus; we are like dry bones in the valleys of Israel. But God’s new life in us, stirred by the power of the Spirit, leads us into the truth of his promises and empowers us to give faithful witness to God’s all-abiding love in overcoming the power of death in us through Jesus our Savior.
The evil one often attacks God’s people through our dependence on worldly things. Jesus’ prayer that the Father protect us from the evil one promises His Holy Spirit to keep us in the faith. May we show our trust in God as we use our time and our treasures and our talents to carry His word to others and work in His service.
The Lord never tires of loving His people. Just as He loves His cherished Bride, the Church, He calls us to love one another genuinely - with a love that exceeds emotions, but dares to invest time, talent, and treasure for the sake of another. As we continue in this season of resurrection glory we are reminded that God’s love for us and our love for one another is the answer for the well-being and preservation of God’s people.
Welcome in the name of the Good Shepherd.
We gather here to be protected and to hear His comforting voice
assuring us we are part of His beloved flock.
We pray that God’s Spirit might turn our hearts from doubt to faith. May we, as God’s children, love Him, obey His commands, and live in the victory of Christ’s resurrection that has overcome the world and sin and death.
Alleuia! Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!” That Easter greeting, proclaimed throughout the ages of the Church, takes root in our hearts so that we understand that the resurrected life is now our own. Alleluia, meaning “praise ye the Lord” infects our hymns and anthems as we tell others the Good News that our Lord is risen, risen indeed.
Jesus set His face to go to the cross of His death to answer the people’s shouts “Hosanna, save us!” As recipients of Christ’s forgiveness may we also shout “Hosanna, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Obedient to the will of His Father, Jesus suffered death in order to win forgiveness for our sins. May our time here in this place help us to see the glory of His love in the gift of His life, so that we may live joyfully in the service to Him and to one another.
Jesus did not come to this world to condemn it, but to save it. May we keep our eyes fixed on Him and His cross so that we may live by His gracious death and show people His love through the life we live for Him.
The cross of Christ is an offense to the world, but the boast of those who are saved. As Jesus cleared distractions from the Temple and declared His body the new place of worship, may our worship today be cleared of such distractions that we may share His love with those in need.
Lent 2 - Feb. 28, 2021
Our gracious God loves us, not for what we were, but for who we might become when touched by His grace in Christ Jesus. We pray for perseverance, character, and hope so that we may endure suffering for the sake of His redeeming power.
Temptations and trials come upon us every day, but yet He holds us with the love of a father for his child and the new birth into faith that He has given us shields us from the temptations of our own heart. Let that knowledge make us strong to resist evil and to rejoice in His care always.
Our lives are filled with the many crosses and trials around us and before us. We need to see the glory and love of our Lord supporting us through all the difficult times in our lives. We give thanks to Him for showing us His glory before His cross. May our time here in His presence help us share His love with others who are hurting.
When we are weak and weary, we know we can rely on our Creator. He heals us and renews us with a strong spirit and a caring heart so that we can show others His love in Christ. Amen.
We give thanks to God the Father for sending His Son and our teacher, Jesus of Nazareth, whom He sent with words of authority, to teach us the love that builds up, to silence the demons and to break the crippling grip of death forever.
We may not jump ship the way Jonah did, to avoid confronting people who are living contrary to God, but we often avoid God’s call to mission. God grant us the vision and the desire to carry His word joyfully and effectively to others.
God’s Word is clear and often more direct than we want to hear! We pray that we may not be offended by it so that we may respond eagerly to His call to serve Him with our whole life so that we may share His invitation with others in an honest but loving way.
The heavenly Father reassured Jesus at His baptism that He was His own Son and that He would be beside Him throughout His mission of redeeming the world. In Him we are His children, adopted in a special way through His blood. May we always be assured that He is always beside us in our journey through life.
Our Gospel reading for today speaks of a Savior who “grew and became strong, filled with wisdom.” Looking to King Solomon, we learn to ask not for riches or power, but to look simply for wisdom. For in so doing, St. Paul reminds us as he writes to the Ephesians that in all this we have been blessed with redemption through His blood according to the riches of God’s grace.
We bow before the Lord today, before the One who is our righteousness and strength. He is the One to whom we have turned and by whom we have been saved. With Simeon, we have the peace we need to face death. Yet, our peace is so great that we can live in it as well. Today we give thanks to the Lord with our hearts and voices, joining with the psalmist, Isaiah, Paul, Simeon and all God’s people for the peace filled life that is ours in Christ.
Our attention to Advent is drawing to a close as we begin to glimpse the story of Jesus’ birth prophesied in the Old Testament and proclaimed in the New Testament. The birth of Jesus is imminent. The salvation of our Lord is near. Angel Gabriel gives us hope and comfort with these words spoken by Mary, “Nothing is impossible for God.”
Sometimes we feel burned out and burdened by all the troubles of this life. May our time spent here help us to recognize Christ’s saving power, that we may be restored and renewed by the
joy of His favor toward us.
With the comfort of God’s promises we wait hopefully for Christ’s return and we recognize that many who don’t know our Savior are filled with dread at the thought of His coming. May our time spent here today ready us for the opportunities and means to fill the hearts of others with the comfort and hope of redemption on the last day.
In the day’s ahead, we pray for patience in our waiting that we may be ready for Christ’s return knowing that He has claimed us for Himself. Let each new day remind us that this world is drawing closer to His kingdom of glory.
As we approach the last few Sundays of the Church year, we turn our attention to the eternal kingdom. Though we find our busy lives constantly dealing with change, the Day of our Lord is coming and we have an appointment with the destiny prepared for us in Christ. As we wait without anxiety or fear, we focus on what he has done to prepare us for that date. He called us from darkness into His marvelous light. By the aid of His Holy Spirit, we learn to live as children of light, watching and waiting for His return.
Our reaction when we have done wrong is to run and hide. We come to this place not to run away, but to run to our God so that we may eagerly await the return of Christ Jesus, our Savior, who came to claim us from the power of sin and death that we may be His own for all eternity.
We do not recognize the saints of God because we see things from earth’s perspective, not God’s. Surely the Lord knows who His saints are because He has clothed them with the robe of Christ’s righteousness. When we are known by Him, we are called children of God – and called to be His children. Then opportunities to serve become blessings, and even persecution becomes a sign of our identity as a saint of God’s grace
God's grace is our refuge and fortress. We are not able to do anything to get into God's good graces; he has brought us there! In Jesus, God has given us a new way to be brought to justice. Our sentence is carried out through the blood of God's own Son, and we are set free from condemnation. In the new covenant of Jesus' blood, God forgets our sins and promises us eternal life as heirs of his kingdom!
Our great God has formed the light and created darkness; He brings prosperity and create disaster; apart from Him there is no God. As we ponder His goodness, may we see that because we belong to Him our work is produced by faith and our labor prompted by love, so that all people everywhere may know His salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
We know that every good gift comes from God’s generous hand. He has supplied all our needs in Christ my Savior, and still in many ways we want more. May we learn to be content with His gifts and to be generous in sharing not only material things, but especially the spiritual blessings of His love and forgiveness in Christ.
Our gracious God has planted us like a vine in His vineyard to bear good fruit by championing justice in this world. May we recognize opportunities to show His love to our neighbors in acts of righteousness so that we may live as a good citizens of His kingdom.
Confronted by God’s authority over us, we blame others for our resistance and rebellion. We refuse to acknowledge God’s command letting our selfish ambition destroy our relationships with others, preventing us from reaching out to help those who suffer. May we recognize Jesus’ lordship over us by becoming our servant on the cross, dying for our rebellion, and drawing us into eternal fellowship with him that we may be in service to other.
Whether we are first or last, least or greatest, the riches of God’s kingdom are there for all. Recognizing His unbelievable and undeserved mercy, may we eagerly share these gifts with others.
We are reminded that God has good plans for us, sometimes hidden in adversity. We pray that our time here would help us to see how He brings us blessings even through the wrongs we suffer from others. As we know His love in Christ, let us be loving, even to those who do us wrong.
We pray that in our presence here today we may see our sin and seek God’s forgiveness so that when sisters and brothers are found to be at fault we will be ready and willing to help them come to the knowledge of God’s grace and be restored to the family of faith for eternity.
Christ has called us to follow Him. And so we are gathered here in this place. At times we get discouraged and come to be reassured with His strong word and perfect will. May we use the gifts freely given to give God glory that others may also receive His gifts.
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Moses, has called us to do some special work for Him. Today in our time here in His house we pray that we may see Him at least a little more clearly, so we may follow Him more nearly
according to His will.
Our good and gracious Father, has made us His children and embraced us with His grace in Jesus Christ. May our time gathered in this place today help us cross borders of jealousy, anger, and fear to be at home with all those His love has claimed. Amen.
Our questions often come from hearts that presume we have all the answers. May our time here this morning help us to hear God’s rebuke of Peter: “O you of little faith.” to overcome the doubt in our hearts and the doubt in our actions. Thus strengthened may we be eager to proclaim the Word we have heard so all may believe.
Jesus fed the crowds with plenty and had even more left over! May our time here today enable us to recognize the plenty in His grace that we may be generous in sharing the leftovers of His love with others.
Welcome! God has chosen us with a love we cannot comprehend! Even though His Kingdom of grace is a free gift to us, we pray that we may always appreciate how precious His redeeming love is and be ready always to be ready to sacrifice great things to bring that gift to others.
Many of us suffer from “selective hearing,” that is, we hear mostly what we want to hear. Even when it is our Lord speaking, Satan works to block out or pervert the message. Our prayer this day is that God would open our hearts and ears to hear the pure message of the Gospel, and that He would give us power to go out from this place to share that message with others.
Welcome to this place.
God spoke and the world was made. He speaks today and provides everything we need for life. We pray that He may speak to our hearts this day to fill us with patience in our suffering, hope in our waiting, and trust in our Savior.
Thank you for being here. We are burdened by our love of things while true joy comes from living in service to Christ. May our time here today help us to lighten the burden from the bondage that ownership brings and strengthen our trust and reliance on Christ.
Welcome. Sometimes God seems to hide His purpose in unrecognizable ways. We pray that we may always look behind the obvious to see His hand of love hidden even in strife and conflict as we make our journey along the rough road of Christian life.
Welcome - The Lord is our strength. He delivers us from danger and guard us from evil. May our time here in worship better enable us to respond to His call and be faithful to Christ our Lord so that we may not fear the terrors of this world but rejoice in His promise of eternal life.
Welcome - God has called us to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths untrodden, through perils unknown. We pray that we might receive the faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we are going but assured that His hand leads us and His love supports us.
Welcome - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." By God's Word the world was made. By God's Word the creation was pronounced good. After sin entered the world and that goodness was destroyed, God sent out his Word again, in the flesh, so that by his sacrificial death all nations might be re-created in God's image and blessed with the grace and love and fellowship of the Triune God. We are sent to carry that re-creating Word of God’s grace to all nations.
Welcome! We are glad that you are here. The Holy Spirit once came to a select few among God's people, but on Pentecost after Jesus' resurrection, it was poured out on many, an event for which Moses had once hoped. Today we celebrate God's gift of His Spirit to us - many and diverse though we may be - by which we are able to call Jesus Lord .
Welcome to our family of faith. Through Christ we are given the courage and strength to face the troubles of each day. May our presence here today help us to grow in the grace of Christ more fully that we may share His love more freely.
Welcome! Thank you for joining us
We sometimes find it hard to find the right words when people ask about God and His love. May our time gathered here nourish and strengthen us and make us ready to tell anyone who asks about God’s gift of love in Christ and His promise of life in heaven.
Welcome! Thank you for being here. We are a society of people who want to know the reasons and explanations for everything. We reason if we cannot understand something, how can we trust the outcome. Jesus calls us to trust Him and put our lives in His hands. May we know Him becoming His people, eager to declare His wonderful deeds as people called out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Welcome! We are glad you are here. Jesus' promise turns hearts from despair to hope as it did for the first believers who lived in unity, sharing their faith and their food, praising God in worship and prayers. May we share this hope with one another and with those who do not yet know this hope.
Too often we would rather hold to our opinions rather than be informed by the truth that comes from facts. The disciples on the Emmaus road saw their hopes and dreams that Jesus was the Messiah crumble because of rumors and lack of facts. A stranger joined them and put a halt to their uncertainty. The Word of God still reveals the Christ to us today taking us from bewilderment to bewonderment.
The Easter celebration continues! Jesus' appearance to His disciples on that first Easter evening with the message "Peace be with you!" becomes a word of reassurance to us today in the midst of our doubts and uncertainties.
ALLELUIA! HE IS RISEN! CHRIST IS RISEN, INDEED! ALLELUIA!
"Justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (Rom. 3:24). St. Paul's words give us God's answer to the world's hopeless situation. In Jesus' death on the cross God declares people righteous despite their sinfulness.
Even though we are apart, we take time for renewal in our common Lord and in our common blessings.
Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! As we celebrate Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem we set our sights on His Passion, His suffering and His death. May your time with us here in spirit be a blessing.
We continue our look at "Lent: A Time for Renwal" We focus on "godly fear." For many, their fear of God is distorted, for others it is misunderstood. If we have ignored it or misused it or forgotten it, it must be retrieved and renewed.
Our world seems to get us all tied up in knots. In the midst of our helplessness and hopelessness, Jesus comes to us with the words, "Unbind him and let him go." Join us as we worship together in spirit.
Welcome! In a world where so many seem to put their trust in the accumulation of goods as trivial as toilet paper, we turn to our Father in heaven, the Source of our hope, light, and truth. May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to the Lord, our Strength and Redeemer.
In light of the recent COVID-19 health recommendations, Rev. Michael Newman, President of the Texas District has prepared a brief video and a resource letter regarding gatherings and practices in our district. May your Savior fill you with strength, bless you with wisdom, and give you the gift of health as you serve God's dear people.
Let me begin by sharing a quote from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther when he was dealing with The Black Death plague:
“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God." Luther's Works Volume 43 pg 132
Following the advice and guidelines from President Trump, Gov. Greg Abbot, Fort Bend County Judge KP George, Rev. Matthew Harrison (President LCMS), Rev. Michael Newman (President Texas District LCMS), and a host of other sources both in the news and online, we have made the decision to go ahead with our Midweek Lenten Devotions tomorrow, March 18. The rationale is that these two gatherings at 12:30 pm and 7:00 pm pretty much fall in line with the guidelines of small attendance. Once again, please use your best judgment. If you are a person who is at high risk for any reason, please do not hesitate to stay safely in your home.
That being said, we have decided that we WILL NOT have services this Sunday, March 22. I am working on providing some resources for worship at home. Please stay tuned as things develop. Due to the rapidly changing circumstances, we will continue to monitor and let you know of any changes.