So many things seem to rob me of joy. Fear about the future. Anxiety about meeting other people’s expectations. Frustration and anger and disillusionment that others don’t meet my expectations. Wounds I have received. Regret about things I have done or left undone. Sins I have committed against you. Expectations of myself, and disappointment that I don’t meet them. So many things I just need to let go of. I just need to let it go.

Letting it go isn’t easy, God. How can I do it? But you have let go of my sin. Forgiven it. Forgotten it. You have shown me how to forgive by doing it. Help me now to do it. Empower me to forgive myself and others as you have forgiven me. Show me how to let it go. To his disciples, your son Jesus said: “I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11) I want your joy in me, complete and overwhelming joy.

In the name of your son, Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Small Boy, by Norman MacCaig

He picked up a pebble
and threw it into the sea.
And another, and another.
He couldn’t stop.
He wasn’t trying to fill the sea.
He wasn’t trying to empty the beach.
He was just throwing away,
nothing else but.
Like a kitten playing
he was practicing for the future
when there’ll be so many things
he’ll want to throw away
if only his fingers will unclench
and let them go. 

We have a lot going on this Sunday you will not want to miss it. It is Scout Sunday, and we will recognize Troop 46 in our 11:00 service. We will have our Get Connected Fair underway, and there will be marvelous opportunities to find a place to find your “+1,” one other place to meet people and build relationships. You will hear about and find the “Serve 75” challenge for our 75th anniversary. We will recognize and celebrate our Distinguished Life Award recipients, John and Sue Farrell, Jim and Mary Henderson, and Marian Roper.

This week, we conclude our sermon series, “Forty Days of Joy.” You can download the Forty Days of Joy journal here, or you can read the daily devotionals and activities on St. Luke’s App. (To download the St. Luke’s App,https://subsplash.com/stlukesunitedmethodistchurchtx/app) The message this week, February 2, is “Let it Go!” and we will consider how forgiveness is a key to joy. 2020 is a year where we choose joy every day.

If you have not had the opportunity to make a commitment to our “Giving with Gratitude” generosity campaign to support the ministries of St. Luke’s for 2020, you can do so here.

Did you miss the message, “Give!,” on January 26? Watch it here!

Sunday, February 2
Lord, Micah 6:8 states that you require us to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with you.” Let these words reside in our hearts and guide us through each day. Amen.

Monday, February 3
Father of Joy, we are asking for your guidance today. Help us find joy in all aspects of our lives. Reveal to us how each situation can be a learning experience where we feel your presence. Since you are the ultimate source of joy, help us find you. Amen. -Prayer by Louise McEvoy, Women’s Ministry

Tuesday, February 4
Heavenly Father, we are so grateful for our student ministries. Please bless all who are a part of this amazing ministry. Feed our youth with the hunger to know you and your unconditional love for them. Create a desire in them to put you first in their lives. We look forward to seeing the plans you have for them, Lord. In your name, we pray, Amen. -Prayer by Emily Ahlquist

Wednesday, February 5
May the Lord continue to guide our church for the next 75 years keeping in mind our differences and desires for the future. Amen.

Thursday, February 6
Dear God, help us to stay close to you and make time to study your scriptures. Let us rest in Your presence on the Sabbath. Restore us to the peace and joy that only You can give. Amen.

Friday, February 7
Heavenly Father, we are grateful for your love and knowledge of each of us individually. We thank you for sending your Son so that those who believe in Him will be saved. Amen.

Saturday, February 8
Lord, help us to speak out for and to defend those who are most vulnerable. Grant us the strength to stand against injustice and suffering. Amen.