“The consuming fire of your great love”

My sermon today, which I’ll post soon, focused on Matthew 13:44-45, the Parables of the Treasure Hidden in a Field and the Pearl of Great Price. My main point was that the kingdom of God is worth everything that we have to give. Here is my pastoral prayer from this morning, followed by the Vinebranch band performing a song that fit the theme very well.

Almighty God, author of life and salvation, we come before you this morning to say thank you, but words are inadequate to express what you’ve done and what you do for us. To think that we have the opportunity to speak with you, to be in relationship with you, oh God, who made the universe and everything in it. Who are we that you are mindful of us, and yet here we are, enjoying life because you’re giving it to us right now? How is it possible? How is it possible that any of us could stand in your holy presence and not be instantly destroyed by the consuming fire of your great love? And yet you graciously let us stand. We thank you even as we plead forgiveness and mercy. And we thank you that forgiveness and mercy are available through the life, death, and resurrection of your Son. Though we can never earn what you give us, may our every word, thought, and action demonstrate our gratitude. When we are tempted to take for granted this gift of life and eternal life, wound our hearts with the pain of your great love. May we learn to be faithful to you even at the expense of our comfort, our false security in worldly goods, our pride, and our feelings of entitlement. Oh God change us. Discipline us. Place us under your yoke and guide us. We pray these things through the name of your Son, who lives and rains with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.


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