A PERSONAL PRAYER
God of love,
I have been waiting, longing for you to save me. Yes, you entered my life with your grace a long time ago, and began that process of salvation. I responded to that grace as a youth, and knew that my sins were and are forgiven, and that I am loved and accepted just as I am. I guess I thought that is what salvation was really all about. But as the days and years have passed, I see that there is so much more to salvation than that. I am praying for you to complete my salvation, that through your Holy Spirit you will transform me into the image of your son Jesus, who came to be with us to show us how to live and to love. God, do it again. Do it some more. Come and fill me in every way. I fervently pray for you to save me from the power of sin in my life, and set me free from its chains. To personalize the words of Charles Wesley, “Finish, then, Thy new creation. Pure and spotless let me be. Till I see Thy great salvation perfectly restored in Thee.”
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE Advent sermon series “Savior” with a message “A Saved Life.” We talk a lot about being saved from… But what are we saved for? Come and join us!
I hope you will consider making a gift to St. Luke’s 2019 Christmas Offering, benefitting Amazing Place, a ministry that supports people with mild to moderate dementia and their caregivers. We hope to raise $500,000 to support Amazing Place’s campaign to expand to a second location and broaden their outreach programs in the community. The prophet Isaiah says “Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hand.” (Isaiah 49:15-16) Christmas is a time to remember those most vulnerable around us, and often we focus only on children. We want to be God’s agents in helping those who struggle with the isolation of dementia to know they are not forgotten. You can find out more or make a gift or pledge here.
Tonight (Friday 12/20) is “Christmas in the Chapel” at 6:00 and 8:00 pm, featuring St. Luke’s Chamber Choir “Credo.” Come and enjoy the beautiful music.
On Christmas Eve, we will be distributing an experiential guide entitled 40 Days of Joy, created to support the first forty days of 2020. We will be launching this 40 Days of Joy sermon series on January 5, but we hope you will start your 40 days on January 1. What if you decided that 2020 was the year to claim the joy that God’s love can bring in your life? What if that was your New Year’s Resolution? The daily challenges will be available on the St. Luke’s App as well. Invite a friend to come and join you as we built a habit of rejoicing in the Lord and enjoying all that God has for us.
Make sure and get Christmas Eve services on your calendar. We have family services at 3:00 and 4:15 in the Sanctuary, and 4:30 in the Fellowship Hall, with Holy Communion served at the 4:15 and 4:30 services. Traditional Candlelight Christmas Eve Communion services are at 6:00, 8:00, and 11:00, and contemporary Christmas Eve at 6:15 in the Fellowship Hall.
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 last week’s message, “A Saved Heart,” as part of our Christmas Festival on December 15? Watch it here.
Sunday, December 22
Heavenly Father, Christmas is the day that Love came down from heaven to be with us. As we celebrate this season of love, help us to embrace each moment we share with others. Place it on our hearts to mend broken relationships, to reach out to those who need a friend, to take time to really care for someone, and to extend grace and unconditional love. In the name of the one who taught us how to love, we pray. Amen.
Monday, December 23
Dear Heavenly Father, we pray for our families. Whether we are able to be together or find ourselves apart, let us all open our hearts to the Christmas story in Bethlehem and be filled with your love. Let us celebrate with joy the gift of Jesus and share the presence of your love. Thank you for continually blessing us. Amen.
Tuesday, December 24
Christmas Eve God, the world has been waiting for you to show up. We’ve been holding our breath. We need changing. We need light to chase away the darkness. So come, Lord Jesus. Come and be born again in our hearts. We’ve waited so long. Come today. Amen. -Prayer by Rev. David Horton
Wednesday, December 25
Christmas Day Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, Everlasting Father, King of Kings, Holy One, Emmanuel, thank you for your indescribable gift of eternal salvation. We rejoice as we celebrate the day that you came to change the world, and we thank you for your love, grace, and hope that our world so desperately needs. Guide us to seek you in all that we do. Amen.
Thursday, December 26
Heavenly Father, the gifts are open, the parties are over, and the decorations are coming down, but Jesus lives on in our hearts. Show us, Lord, how to live every day of our life remembering the peace and salvation of Christmas. Amen.
Friday, December 27
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of this Christmas season. Thank you for the gatherings with friends and family, thank you for our community of faith here at St. Luke’s, and thank you for the amazing worship services. Thank you for guiding us on this journey of faith. Amen.
Saturday, December 28
Loving God, we are excited to see all of the opportunities that you have planned for us in 2020. Open our ears to hear your call, and then give us the courage and obedience to follow you. Help us to seize your divine moments. Amen.