Every scar, every sacrifice, every heartbreak, each time you held on, each time you stayed true, each time you’ve started over – none of them was in vain – God was and is with you and has counted the tears and has graced the broken places and has rejoiced at your devotion…Walk With Me tonight (Wed) 8pm.www.christopherbwolf.com and www.yfnradio.com.
In the end, our call is to be a people and a place where the power of Christ transforms lives – through becoming more like Him (discipleship), through being loved and shaped in community (fellowship), and through being met, loved, and restored at our needs and wounds (mission).
Lord, make me a channel of your peace today – where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope; where there is darkness, only light; where there’s sadness, only joy; where there’s alienation, only community; where there’s desolation; only renewal; where there’s a prison; only liberation; where there’s fear; only trust and faith; where there’s brokenness; only healing and restoration; where there’s insecurity; only unconditional love. Amen. – The first three are from St. Francis and then I added some others.
Last Sunday we said the below prayer of confession together. I am blessed and want to be at a church that can say this prayer honestly – and we did. I think a lot of people want to be part of a church like that; and I want to invite you to be a part of our church:
Prayer of Confession
Dear Jesus, we acknowledge our sins to you this morning. We have not loved others as you have asked us. We’ve chosen safety over risking. We’ve chosen convenience over reaching out. We’ve chosen our ways instead of your ways. We’ve chosen loving ourselves rather than loving others. We’ve chosen preserving over pouring out. We’ve chosen fear over trusting you. We’ve chosen indifference rather than mercy. We’ve focused more on the co$t rather than the cross. We’ve chosen to turn away instead of embracing. For all of this, for all the people we have failed to care about and reach, and more, we humbly say we are sorry, ask for your forgiveness and repent of our ways. Pour out your mercy and grace upon us that we may be made new. Renew and remake our hearts in your image – let our hearts break for those for whom your heart breaks – the poor, the alienated, the prisoners, the unloved, the broken, the ones who don’t know you, the rejected, the needy – to anyone who needs you – send us we pray. In Your name, Amen.
Last Sunday, I vividly witnessed the power of fellowship – sustaining, comforting, uplifting – sharing stories, trials, triumphs and tears. I watched in awe as the Holy Spirit transformed a group of Christians into a true church – an assembly of people highly aware of their need for God and their need for one another as they were being called to care for the “least of these.” Truly awesome.
You are precious in His sight. You are worth dying for. You belong to Him. You are His child. His love for you is immeasurable and unending and unconditional…
Rev. Christopher B. Wolf
Christopher B. Wolf is pastor of First Reformed Church of Saddle Brook and is the author of Giving Faith a Second Chance: Restarts, Mulligans and Do-Overs (2007) and With You Every Step of the Way; and the host of Walk With Me, Wednesdays 8 pm on WYFN 94.9 FM-NY and on www.yfnradio.com.
“It is a matter of sharing and bearing the pain and puzzlement of the world so that the crucified love of God in Christ may be brought to bear healingly upon the world at exactly that point.