Happy New Year!
I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son,
that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger;
and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil,
that all my doings and life may please You.
For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things.
Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me.
God, forgive us.
Our communion is not always visible to the world.
Sometimes we allow threats to unity to enter the church,
making it hard to see that we are your community.
We act as though we do not need each other. We do not always love one another.
We do not know and bear one another’s burdens. We fail to build each other up.
We do not always give ourselves willingly and joyfully to one another.
Forgive us, and strengthen us so that we may live in the unity that you grant us.
The Apostle’s Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God
the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Scripture Colossians 2:1-5, 8, 16-17, 20-23 NIV
I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea,
and for all who have not met me personally.
2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love,
so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding,
in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,
3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.
5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit
and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
8See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy,
which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival,
a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.
17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ
Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world,
why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:
21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?
22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use,
are based on merely human commands and teachings.
23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship,
their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body,
but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
(EChurch sermons are one week behind. So the New Year sermon will be next week.)
May the Father’s hand
keep you from stumbling,
the footprints of Jesus
give you confidence to follow,
and the fire of the Spirit
keep you warm and safe
in your walk with God this day.