You are the Resurrection and the Life, an affirmation and prayer based on John 11

I am resurrection and life 1000x

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

In the midst of
hunger, disease, and great need
You are the Resurrection and the Life

In the midst of
conquest, prejudice, and oppression
You are the Resurrection and the Life

In the midst of
water, bread, and wine
You are the Resurrection and the Life

In the midst of
questions, promises, and prayers
You are the Resurrection and the Life

In the midst of
loneliness, hot tears, and agonizing decisions
You are the Resurrection and the Life

In the midst of
betrayal, saving your own skin, and abandonment
You are the Resurrection and the Life

In the midst of
injustice, brutality, and the misuse of power
You are the Resurrection and the Life

In the midst of
mocking, torture, and excruciating pain
You are the Resurrection and the Life

In the midst of
grave clothes, spices, and stone
You are the Resurrection and the Life

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This affirmation/prayer was inspired by Jesus final hours. It is amazing to me how his situations speak to our modern experience in fresh and relevant ways.

Consider adapting this affirmation/prayer for a group setting by having all present speak “You are the Resurrection and the Life.”

You are the Resurrection and the Life © 2017 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Prayer- Trust in Him

afraid-trust-psalm-56-3

Trust in Him and do not fear
The peace of Christ will guard your heart. Alleluia!

Trust in Him and do not worry
The promises of Christ will prove true. Alleluia!

Trust in Him and do not wander
The resurrection of Christ will open the way. Alleluia!

Trust in Him and do not give up
The power of Christ will raise a glorious harvest. Alleluia!

Trust in Him and do not despair
The grace of Christ will heal you and keep you, now and forever. Alleluia!

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This prayer would also work well as an affirmation of faith or call to worship.

Prayer – Trust in Him © 2017 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Sermon Recording- It is Finished

it is finished

Sermon Series: Final Words from the Cross
The Scriptures record Jesus speaking 7 phrases as he hung upon the cross- important and powerful final reminders of who he was and what it means to follow him.

Message: It is Finished
Scripture: Luke 24:1-10; John 19:30
Offered 3/27/16, Easter Sunday, at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

Extended Quote from Listening at Golgotha by Peter Storey
It is a strange and bitter irony that the instruments used to bring this agony should be those with which Jesus is most familiar. Wood and nails were once the tools of his trade. The sound of hammer blows was part of his life. He was accustomed to the feel of nails in his hands. He was a shaper of wood- a carpenter.

Every carpenter holds in mind a vision of the finished product, a picture of what the rude timber eventually will become. Through all the work, the wrestling and sweating over stubborn timber, the patience and strength and determination, the shaping and smoothing, that vision remains. At last comes the moment when the carpenter stands back and views the completed work. It is finished.

Study Resources for this Message
Final Words From the Cross by Adam Hamilton
Listening at Golgotha by Peter Storey
Dryness and Darkness, Thirst and Desire: Why Lent Matters a sermon by Bishop Ken Carter based on Psalm 63

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I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Leon and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9am or 10:30am, or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.

© 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

A Great Thanksgiving For Easter Incorporating Christ the Lord is Risen Today

Christ-The-Lord-by-Five-Heart-Home-700pxGreenA Great Thanksgiving For Easter
A Great Thanksgiving is also known as a Eucharistic Prayer or Prayer for Holy Communion. It is used to consecrate the bread and the wine/grape juice.

This Great Thanksgiving incorporates texts from Christ the Lord is Risen Today by Charles Wesley as congregational responses. The text are used in an order which best fits the Eucharistic Prayer. The responses may be sung or spoken. If spoken, consider speaking only one Alleluia at the end of each stanza rather than at the end of each phrase.

ALL SINGING:
Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

ONE:
Holy One, Eternal and Blessed

ALL:
We lift up our hearts to You.

ONE:
Your love overflows, calling the wonder of creation into being
Filling the world with beauty and goodness

ALL:
Receive our thanks and praise

ONE:
We join the company of heaven
and Your faithful in every time and place
in celebrating Your victory over sin and death

ALL SINGING OR SPEAKING:
Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

ONE:
Glory to You, God of grace and majesty
and glory to Your Son, Jesus Christ,
our Savior and Savior of the world

On the third day, You raised Jesus from the dead.
Death could not destroy him!
The grave could not enslave him!

ALL SINGING OR SPEAKING:
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where’s thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!

ONE:
The world despised and rejected You.
You responded with grace, humility and welcome.
The proud questioned Your power, devised Your death.
You responded with peace, forgiveness and new life.

ALL SPEAKING:
Forgive us, merciful Jesus
Our arrogance
Our selfishness
Our violence
Make us like You

ONE:
On the night in which he gave himself up for us,
Jesus took bread, gave thanks to You, broke the bread,
gave it to those gathered around the table, and said:
“Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

When the supper was over, he took the cup,
gave thanks to You, gave it to those gathered and said:
“Drink from this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

ALL SPEAKING:
We remember You
We need You
We claim Your resurrection power:
Dying, You destroyed our death
Rising, You restored our life.
Lord Jesus, come in glory.

ONE:
Come Lord Jesus
And come Holy Spirit,
Abide with us and in us
And on these gifts of bread and wine
Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ
That we may be, now and forever, Your Easter people,
Whole, Holy, Alive
One with You and one with each other
Together fulfilling Your saving work

ALL: singing or speaking
King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

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A Great Thanksgiving For Easter © 2015 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia.
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Poem: No Record of Wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5)

checklist1 Corinthians 13:5 NRSV
Love keeps no record of wrongs.

We keep to-do lists so we don’t forget
We check them twice
We carry them in our pockets
Holding on to the pain
The disappointment
The failure
Re-viewing the wrong
Point by point by point
Plotting revenge on ourselves and others

We carry them
They keep us cross
Wounded and bleeding
Divided and dying

You take our lists
Crossing out
Crossing off
Nailing them to your tree
Burying them in a blaze of love
So we may rise free

You keep no record of wrong
Instead you write our names on your palm
A life list on your lifeline
A love list by your scar

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No Record of Wrongs © 2014 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Worship Resource: Eyes Open

Christ Icon by Nikola Mihaylov via Wikimedia Commons.

Christ Icon by Nikola Mihaylov via Wikimedia Commons.

Faith is trusting what the eye can’t see.
Eyes see the prowling lion. Faith sees Daniel’s angel.
Eyes see storms. Faith sees Noah’s rainbow.
Eyes see giants. Faith sees Canaan.

Your eyes see your faults. Your faith sees your Savior.
Your eyes see your guilt. Your faith sees his blood.
Your eyes look in the mirror and see a sinner, a failure, a promise-breaker.
But by faith you look in the mirror and see a robed prodigal
bearing the ring of grace on your finger and the kiss of your Father on your face.
– Max Lucado, When God Whispers Your Name

Hebrews 11:1 NRSV
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

The following worship resource was inspired by a devotion entitled Eyes Open by Steve Garnaas-Holmes and is adapted and published here with his gracious permission. I have found Steve’s work consistently beautiful, thoughtful and prayerful and look forward to worshipping alongside him through his daily posts on his blog, Unfolding Light. Consider this an enthusiastic recommendation to join me as a subscriber.
– Lisa <><

Worship Resource: Eyes Open
ONE:
On the road to Emmaus,
their eyes were kept from recognizing the Risen Christ.

ALL:
Open my inner eye to see your presence.

ONE:
Thinking the Risen Christ to be the gardener,
Mary Magdalene asked, “Where have you taken him?”

ALL:
Help me see you in all people.

ONE:
The Risen Christ stood on the beach in the morning light,
but the heartbroken fishermen did not know it was him.

ALL:
Help me trust in your presence,
even when I do not feel it.

ONE
Weary and guilt-ridden, Jacob realized,
“Truly, God was in this place and I,
I did not know it.”

ALL:
You have walked with me
even when I did not know it.
Grant me gratitude and trust.
May I ever wonder at your presence
and walk in faith. Amen.

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Eyes Open © 2014 Steve Garnaas-Holmes
adapted by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Steve and Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Prayer for a Loved One Near Death

Ria Munk on her Deathbed by Gustav Klimt. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Ria Munk on her Deathbed by Gustav Klimt. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Last week, I received an e-mail from a friend requesting prayer for herself, her family and her mom who was nearing death. I had to trust that the prayer could travel where I could not. My friend read the prayer to her mother, and God used it to bring peace. That was all God’s grace, not anything special about me or these words. God was already present and at work. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

It is a sacred honor to be with someone while they are dying. The veil between this life and the life to come is thin. It can be a stressful time, but also a holy time. In these times, and all the other times as well, cling to the presence and promises of God. God is near. God is good. God is strong to save. – Lisa <><

Psalm 23 NKJV
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

Jesus,
You are the Good Shepherd
We are the sheep of your fold
So is name the loved one

You love her and know she is moving towards death
You love her and promise she is also headed to a new life with you beyond death

We trust you are walking with her and her loved ones right now
We trust you will see her all the way through the shadowy valley
and into everlasting light with you

Help us to hear your voice and cling to your promises
Dispel all fear and guard every heart
Come with peace and provision
Come with strength and comfort
Come with salvation and hope

Our cups run over in praise and thanks
For your goodness and saving love
Lead her, and later all of us, home to you
Amen.

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Prayer for a Loved One Near Death © 2014 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia.
You are welcome to use this work in a worship or other devotional setting with proper attribution. Contact the Lisa for posting and publication considerations.