Strong, Fierce Love – a St. Valentine’s Day reflection and prayer based on Song of Solomon 8.5-7

matches-heart-2

Who is that coming up from the wilderness,
leaning upon her beloved?

The strong, fierce love of God in Christ Jesus
leads us out of the dry, barren places
bears weight, we can lean on it

Under the apple tree, I awakened you.
There your mother was in labor with you;
there she who bore you was in labor.

The strong, fierce love of God in Christ Jesus
opens, quickens
is more intimate than our first breath

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm;

The strong, fierce love of God in Christ Jesus
makes a lasting impression
a tattoo of everlasting grace

for love is strong as death,
passion fierce as the grave.

The strong, fierce love of God in Christ Jesus
comes for us all
an unrelenting longing for our good

Its flashes are flashes of fire,
a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.

The strong, fierce love of God in Christ Jesus
is unchanging
unquenchable
unstoppable

If one offered for love
all the wealth of one’s house,
it would be utterly scorned.

The strong, fierce love of God in Christ Jesus
is precious
priceless

Will you accept the gift of God’s love?

Rabbi Jesus
Promised Messiah
Son of the One, True, Living God
Fill me with your Spirit
Make me your love

It is your command
It is your way
It is your gift
It is You and your work

Yes, make me your witness
And yes, make me your will
But first and always, make me your love

Pause in silence to receive

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Strong, Fierce Love © 2019 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. (by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, revlisad.com) Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Worship and Sermon Resources for Trinity Sunday

trinity window

1. PRAYER: Holy Trinity, Community of Love by Lisa Degrenia
Holy Trinity, Community of Love,
Draw us together in your creative light

Root us in the ground of your being,
Vulnerable before one another,
Unashamed in your presence and each other’s

Make us joyful in the ways you gift each of us:
Quick to celebrate, serve, and share
Quick to live your love
Amen.

This prayer was inspired by the story of the creation of humanity found at the end of Genesis 1 and the beginning of Genesis 2.

2. PRAYER: Prayer to the Holy Trinity by Lisa Degrenia
Holy Trinity:
Creating Love
Saving Love
Sanctifying Love

You welcome us to your unity
Your community
You do not condemn
but make the way to new life, eternal life, with you through Christ
Hallelujah!

Grant us grace to receive the fullness of your mercy and healing and transformation.
Free us from all things that block living your love fully,
so we may be joyful and faithful in all things,
so we may speak your words with truth and fruitfulness,
so we may live and lead wisely,
so we may be your instruments of peace and hope,
so we may love as you love.

Glory to you, forever!
Honor to you, forever!
Praise and blessing to you, forever!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen!

3. PRAYER AND HYMN: Joyful Praise
Great for opening a worship service. Combines verses of the hymn Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee with a prayer from I, Francis by Carlo Carretto

4. CALL TO WORSHIP: Receive and Rejoice by Lisa Degrenia
Receive and Rejoice!
Rejoice with an indescribable joy
Inexpressible
Unspeakable
A joy greater than words
A great and glorious joy
Loose
Liberated
Boundless

Receive and Rejoice!
A joy worthy of new birth
Of a living hope
A joy anchored in the imperishable
The Eternal
Undefiled and Unfading

Receive and Rejoice!
This joy was chosen for you
Destined for you
Sanctified, sprinkled and saved for you
By the Merciful One
God… Father of grace and glory
God… Son and Savior
God… Spirit and Sustainer

Receive and Rejoice!

Based on 1 Peter 1:1-9 (NRSV)

5. RESOURCES: Trinity, Community, and Love
Quotes, an original prayer, plus an original poem/song lyric

6. REFLECTION: Holy Trinity by Steve Garnaas Holmes

7. PRAYER: a prayer from the Eastern Church

Glory to the Father, our true and only hope
Glory to the Son, our true and only refuge
Glory to the Holy Spirit, our true and only protection
Glory to the Holy Trinity, our true and only light
Now and to the ages of ages, Amen

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© 2021 You are welcome to use the original portions of this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. (by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, http://www.revlisad.com) Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Nicodemus and Jesus- Worship Resources based on John 3.1-21

Nicodemus coming to christ

Christ And Nicodemus On A Rooftop, by Henry Ossawa Tanner

1. PRAYER: Water and Spirit by Lisa Degrenia
Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.” – John 3:5-6

Holy Spirit
Pregnant with twins- Truth and New Life
Welcome home to my spirit
Let it be with me according to your word

Reveal yourself in my thoughts
Bring forth encouragement and counsel
Deliver righteousness and justice in every choice
Carry hope and healing in every touch

Give birth not just in me, but to a whole new generation,
a people so full of your gifts and power they never labor in vain

Open our eyes to the glory that is possible
Open our hearts to the great responsibility- is it of flesh or is it of you?
Open us to the fullness of you. Amen.

2. REFLECTION: Dear Nicodemus, Remind Me by Steve Garnaas Holmes

3. SERMON: There’s More to Life, Nicodemus by Lisa Degrenia

4. PRAYER: Make Me Your Love by Lisa Degrenia
Rabbi Jesus
Promised Messiah
Son of the One, True, Living God

Fill me with your Spirit
Make me your love

It is your command
It is your way
It is your gift
It is You and your work

Yes, make me your witness
And yes, make me your will
But first and always, make me your love

Pause in silence to receive
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© 2021 You are welcome to use the original portions of this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. (by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, http://www.revlisad.com) Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Prayers based on Matthew 22.34-46

week 7Prayers Based on Matthew 22:34-46

Prayer: Make Me Your Love
Rabbi Jesus
Promised Messiah
Son of the One ,True, Living God

Fill me with your Spirit
Make me your love

It is your command
It is your way
It is your gift
It is You and your work

Yes, make me your witness
And yes, make me your will
But first and always, make me your love

Pause in silence to receive

Prayer: Strong, Fierce Love
Heavenly One,
Your reach extends to every neighbor, every nation
Offering grace, forgiveness, wholeness, and hope
A saving embrace of unconditional love
Drawing us to you and each other and our true self

Make us holy and whole with your strong, fierce love
Your children, grateful for a place in your family
Your glory, humble before your mercy and generosity
Your faithful, honoring and welcoming all
Your testimony, joyful in sharing what we have found in you
Amen.

Prayer: We Will Love and Obey
This prayer was inspired by a prayer in the Walk to Emmaus Worship Booklet for Pilgrims
Loving God, you love us, all of us, and ask in return that we love you with all our hearts and souls and minds. By your grace we will love and obey. Let it be so, now and forever.

Loving God, you love us, all of us, and ask in return that we love our neighbors as we love ourselves. By your grace we will love and obey. Let it be so, now and forever.

Loving God, you love us, all of us, and ask in return that we forgive and not hold grudges. By your grace we will love and obey. Let it be so, now and forever.

Loving God, you love us, all of us, and ask in return that we take up our cross and follow you. By your grace we will love and obey. Let it be so, now and forever.

______________

For the next few months, I’ll be posting prayers to accompany Bishop Ken Carter’s Bible Study on Facebook. Each week, Bishop Carter will bring in a guest to speak about the passage. We’ll be walking through the last chapters of the Gospel of Matthew. 

You’re most welcome to read along and to join this Facebook discussion group. You don’t need to be a Methodist or attend a Methodist church. All are welcome and all means all.

May the grace of God’s word, the challenge, and the call, inspire us to great faith and great good works in Jesus’ name. – Lisa <

Make Me Your Love © 2019 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Strong, Fierce, Love © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
We Will Love and Obey © 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Midweek Devotion- John 17, part 3

SCRIPTURE: John 17:20-26

BREATH PRAYERS:
IN:
OUT: Make us one, Lord

IN:
OUT: Let Your love flow

IN:
OUT: Come, Holy Spirit

You’re encouraged to use the following process as you read scripture.
We use this process together on Wednesdays at 8:00AM EST.
https://www.facebook.com/TrinityUMCSarasota/

STILLNESS: Spend 5-20 minutes in silence looking to God and listening for God.

ATTENTION: Read or listen to the Scripture. What word, phrase, or verse captures your attention? Underline it or copy it onto a piece of paper.

CONNECTION: What connections do you see to other scriptures? To your own experience or current situation? Or, to the character or promises of God?

ACTION: What is God inviting you to trust, say, or do? How will your life be different because of this scripture?

PRAY: Talk to God about what you just experienced or anything else on your heart.

Recorded 9/9/2020

Bind Us Together (CCLI Song # 1228)
Bob Gillman © 1977
Thankyou Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
CCLI License # 686715

Make Us One (CCLI Song # 695737)
Carol Cymbala
© 1991, 1994 Carol Joy Music (Admin. by ClearBox Rights, LLC)
CCLI License # 686715
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Midweek Devotion- John 17, part 3 © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia