Jesus said, “Ask, and it shall be given you, seek and you shall find; knock and the door shall be opened unto you.” (Matthew 7:7)
You are the source of our existence and the goal of our journey. You have been our dwelling place in all generations. We thank you for loving us! We thank you for trusting us and inviting us to preach the gospel. You have called us and we have answered. You are the solid rock and fortress we lean upon. You are the bread of life; you are the light of the world. If we follow your example, we shall never walk again in the shadows.
You have promised, “As our days, so shall our strength be.” As the heavens are high above the earth, so are your thoughts higher than our thoughts, and your ways higher than our ways. Without God, we can do nothing, but with God, there is nothing we cannot do.
His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. We confess our sins. Forgive the unkind word and the hasty criticism. When life is difficult, give us hope; when the burdens are heavy, give us strength; when the way is blurred, let us feel the gentle touch of your guiding hand; when we do not get our way, keep us faithful to the spirit and mind of the gentle Galilean.
It has been said that, “Happiness, if you are not very careful, will sneak in through a door you didn’t know you left open.”
The hill of Zion yields
A thousand sacred sweets,
Before we reach the heavenly fields,
Or walk the golden streets.
We pray for the church, the ministers and those who come searching for the Bread of Life! We remember with love the nurture she gave to our spiritual life in its infancy. When we compare her with all human institutions, we rejoice, for there is none like her. But when we judge her by the mind of the master, we bow in contrition. Baptize her afresh, O God, in the life-giving spirit of Jesus. Put upon her lips the ancient gospel of her Lord. Give to her the courage to speak out against every sin, and a Christ like tenderness for the lonely and the lost.
Robert V. Ozment is a retired United Methodist minister.