See below for General Instructions
Reflections for This Week:
As we gather this week around our nation to give thanks, our sermon this week centered on Psalm 126, a reminder of God’s faithfulness in the past. The psalmist remembers how God has delivered the nation Israel from misfortunes in the past, and prays for God to continue to restore the nation. The psalmist lifts us from lament to praise and reminds us that God will find us, restore us and lead us into joy. Consider this faithfulness of God in your reflections this week. Remember the NEAR resource booklet and be picked up outside the church office or downloaded here [Gloria – include link].
Try to read this passage with the mindset of a shepherd and pastures. Ezekiel joins the psalmist and reminds us that God will bring justice to those who are lost, who have scattered, who are injured, and are weak. God will save the ravaged and give them a shepherd leader who will care for them. When have you felt far away from God’s care? Who do you think is feeling forgotten, lost and injured today? Write a prayer for the lonely and scattered in your prayer journal.
This is a short psalm, possibly very familiar to you. “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord …
Come with thanksgiving,” and praise, with the assurance that “the Lord is good.” When do you remember God intersecting your life with an enduring love, and faithfulness to to you and to generations? With whom can you share stories about God’s faithfulness? What other ways can you express your thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness? Use Ted Loder’s prayer from Guerillas of Grace on page 15 in the NEAR resource booklet (Remind me of your steady power…) to help you reflect on God’s faithfulness.
A liturgy of God’s sovereignty, beginning with a celebration of God’s power (and concluding with a warning against disobeying God’s laws.) It’s a summons to worship God because God created the world. The Psalmist continues the imagery of God’s pasture and we are God’s sheep v. 7. Reflect on how a shepherd cares for his sheep. What are the ways that you notice that God is caring for you in this time? Try writing a poem of coming to God with thanksgiving or a gratitude prayer as described on page 37 in the NEAR resource booklet.
A prayer of thanksgiving and a prayer for wisdom and revelation, as you come to know God. How can the church, as the body of Christ at work, help others to know about God’s faithfulness? Write down your ideas (possibly as a prayer) about how you can be Christ at work in the world, the nation, your community, and your family. Think of someone who you might pray this prayer for.
A picture of “the great judgment.” How are we to prepare? Name some of the “least” among you that God wants us to help. Who might God be calling you to help? Read or sing the hymn on page 29 of the NEAR resource booklet, “If You Will Trust in God to Guide You.”