Sunday, December 2, 2018
O Lord God, Unlike Us..." - 2 December 2018
(The picture is from lighting a Christmas tree, downtown Oklahoma City)
O Lord God, unlike us in your very being, unlimited by space, unrestrained by time, untouched by mortality, and unmarred by sin; yet you made us to bear and reflect your image in some way so that we might have warm communion with you! And even more, after our open rebellion you sent your Son who became as full-bloodedly and full-bodily human as we are to bring us back into communion with you! What an astounding thought! O Lord, we adore you and thank you! In grateful communion with you we plead with you for the world and the Church.
Look upon the nations of this world, including our own country. See all of the spite, insurrections, commotions, mayhem, wars, droughts, flooding, wild-fires, government-approved barbarity, orchestrated impoverishments, socially sanctioned human-sex-and-drug trafficking, as well as tribal and racial bigotry. Therefore we implore you to steer, steady and stabilize all nations; restore and renew sound justice; bring substantial relief; provide help to the orphaned, homeless, vulnerable, trafficked, insolvent and deprived; and institute a peace that will foster tranquility so that all may flourish and enjoy some sense of hopeful order, for the good of all and your Church. Preserve and protect our military members, particularly those who are close to danger at home and abroad; as well as our area firefighters and Law Enforcement Officers.
We remember before you those who are crippled with tragedy…, debilitating conditions…, physical and mental anguish…, and hardships….Raise them up, delivering and restoring them body and soul that they may happily serve you all the rest of their days. We pray for our friends at Project 66, RestoreOKC, Hope Center of Edmond, Anna’s House, and the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children. Smile on their undertakings, granting them all they need and everyone they need to greatly aid those who are in need.
O Lord, use the carols and plentiful reminders of this Advent and Christmas season to make soft and sensitive hardened hearts, and make receptive and responsive the callous and coldhearted.
Look upon your global church, including this congregation, Christ the King-Norman, Christ the King-OKC, Church of the Epiphany, Corpus Christi and Immaculate Conception Church. Heal her wounds, restore her unity, clean out her filth, purge out the heresies, reinstate sound doctrine, reestablish the centrality of the Gospel, and through her mightily further your world reclamation project. Pour out your gracious goodness on all who will be attending the Winter Youth Conference in Norman, and grant me perception and potency by your Holy Spirit as I speak on “The righteous shall live by his faith.”
All we ask here, Lord, we ask in faith and in the name of Jesus Christ your Son. Amen.