God of Love,

It seems that in my spirit, there are two songs playing, both demanding my attention, both wanting me to sing along. One song is full of discord, anxiety, worry. It is a song with many voices, the voices of expectations at work, the challenges of relationships, the nitty-gritty demands of getting from one day to the next. It is the song of a world that is in turmoil, of fussing and fighting, of regrets about the past and fears about tomorrow. But the other voice, God, is your voice. It is a voice that is clear and strong in my heart, rising as a clarion melody above a cacophony of noise that feels more like shouting than singing. And your song is one of joy, of rejoicing. It is a song of love, reminding me of your unfailing presence. It is a song of “a living hope,” promising that you have a future for me, for us, for the world you made and love. And there are so many voices who sing along with you – the chorus of my brothers and sisters in faith – and the music beckons me to sing along loudly without shame or inhibition. God, I pray that in my heart, in my life, in my family, in my church, in my neighborhood, in my city, in my nation, in my world… your song would grow so loud that all the world would hear it. In the midst of the world’s songs of lament, may I remember to sing as well your songs of joy. So today, I choose to sing joy. Amen.

This week, we continue our sermon series, “Forty Days of Joy.” Perhaps you picked up a Forty Days of Joy journal, 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, January 12, is “Rejoice and Praise,” and we will discuss the reason for our joy, no matter the circumstance. Let’s make 2020 a year where we choose joy every day.

It is so important that everyone at St. Luke’s has a “Plus One.” This is worship plus one other group or ministry where you can meet other people and build relationship, either face to face or working side by side. We have all sorts of new groups beginning soon: GriefShare, DivorceCare, “Wounds that Heal,” “Women of the New Testament,” and more. Find a group that connects with you so you can connect with others. Go to Group Life here.

Come this weekend and see Tapestry Players present “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” Thursday night through Sunday. Find out times and get tickets here.

Put Sunday, January 26 at 4:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall on your calendar for St. Luke’s Family Reunion and Annual Church Conference. We’ll celebrate what God did through St. Luke’s in 2019 and look forward to what is to come in 2020. We will elect leadership, consider candidates for ministry, and more. All are encouraged to attend.

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, “Remember and Rejoice,” on January 5? Watch it here.

Sunday, January 12
Dear God, help me to set aside time to pray to you each day. Let me come to you so that I will know you better and you will know me. Let this be a time of sharing anything, and listening so that I don’t miss what you want for me. Refresh me and strengthen me and bring peace to my soul. Amen.

Monday, January 13
Dear God, help me to follow you and leave my worldly ways behind. For then I know I will receive the peace, love, and life you have in store for me and it will be more than I ever dreamed possible. Amen.

Tuesday, January 14
Heavenly Father, we pray for our children who are returning to college this week. Guide them to a successful path this semester. Give them discernment to make sound decisions for their future and self-discipline to follow through in their actions. Amen.

Wednesday, January 15
Lord, we pray for those who are suffering from mental illness. Help them to find positive ways to cope in their daily life, and bless them with hope and encouragement. Show them new ways to live. Amen.

Thursday, January 16
Heavenly Father, we pray for our middle school and high school students. Guide them to find and develop the gifts and talents that you have given to them. Please protect them from the things of this world that they cannot handle. Bless and encourage them to grow in their faith in you. Amen.

Friday, January 17
Dear God, thank you for watching over me today and sending angels into my life who provide for me in countless ways with love. Amen.

Saturday, January 18
Lord Jesus, move us to become your true and faithful disciples so that our words and actions point the world back to you. Help us to focus on you in all things big and small so that our lives continue your great work in this world. Amen.