*Call to Worship
Tomorrow is a new day;
we begin again, we have a fresh start!
We make resolutions to do better and be better;
and with the Lord’s help, we can and we will.
A new year brings with it renewed hope: a hope of better understanding, a deeper faith and more compassion. Write it on your heart, He will read it and it will be so.
Let us worship God!
*Prayer of Confession
Dear Lord, we set very lofty goals for ourselves when the new year begins. We take the feelings of warmth and promise of Christmas and we desire more. We dream of being healthier, so we try to make good food choices and exercise more; but so many of us will falter after a strong start. We have visions of clean closets and reduced spending, but soon return to old habits. We desire a closer relationship with You and all those we love; but life, stress and time get in our way. You know us, inside and out. You know what we are capable of and what is important. Help us to resolve to let You guide us. Help us to look to Your unbreakable promise to be with us until the end of time, then to write our oath of service to You on our hearts…
*Assurance of Pardon
Jesus was born to be strong in our weakness. We walked the path of pain, suffering and death to fulfill a promise. He forgave and loved us despite our failed attempts to follow and obey Him.
Thanks be to God!
Psalm 139 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Inescapable God
To the leader. Of David. A Psalm.
1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
3 You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
O Lord, you know it completely.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
17 How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
I come to the end—I am still with you.
19 O that you would kill the wicked, O God,
and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me—
20 those who speak of you maliciously,
and lift themselves up against you for evil!
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
24 See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.