Evening Prayer: January 4th

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O God of peace, who has taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence, shall be our strength: By the might of your Spirit lift us, we pray, to your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Daily Scripture Passage: Micah 6:8

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Micah 6:8 (ESV)

He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?

Thoughts to Ponder from John 1:35-42

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John 1:35-42 (ESV)

Jesus Calls the First Disciples

35 The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

“We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41)

Have you ever had to wait a long time for something you were really looking forward to? Something like your wedding or the birth of a child? Do you remember what it felt like when the big day finally arrived? You probably felt as if you were going to burst with excitement!

Now imagine that you have shared that sense of anticipation with thousands of other people and that you are part of a long history of thousands and thousands more who have been waiting for centuries. How do you think you would feel if it turned out that you were in the generation that saw the fulfillment? What if you had the privilege of being an eyewitness to it?

That gives you some idea of the excitement that Andrew must have been feeling when he told his brother, Simon Peter, “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41). Israel’s Redeemer has finally arrived – and he is right there with you!

No single word can describe the exuberance that this realization brings. How great Andrew’s excitement must have been! He must have drawn on that delight and confidence many times, especially when doubts surfaced, or when he faced opposition for his faith. We, too, should do the same. Just as you may weather a tough time in your marriage by remembering the love that brought you together, you can let that spark of initial spiritual enthusiasm strengthen and inspire you through spiritual, physical, or emotional challenges.

So today, ask the Spirit to help you keep the memory of Jesus’ blessings alive in your heart. Meditate on the times when you have felt lifted up and inspired by the Lord. Recall the magnitude of this gift of God to you – and to the whole world. Day after day, tell yourself, “I have found the Messiah!”

Lord, help me recapture my joy as I dwell on the way you have fulfilled God’s promises. Teach me to sustain  that joy during my dark hours so that I can find rest in your salvation. Amen.

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