Glasford United Methodist Church
Inclement Weather Worship Devotion
January 13, 2019
By Rev. Ethan Carnes, OSL
Find a spot where you can worship individually or as a family. Use the devotional pattern as you wish. All songs are hyper-linked to YouTube.
Thank you for this day, O God. While we may not gather in our place of worship, we gather by your Holy Spirit. You say, “where two or three are gathered, I am there.” Come…Holy Spirt…come. May our hearts, minds, and whole selves be one with you. Let this time be an offering of praise and thanksgiving as we worship you.
Praise Song Reflection: Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin
Psalm Reading- Psalm 29
29:1 Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 29:2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory of his name; worship the LORD in holy splendor. 29:3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over mighty waters. 29:4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. 9:5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon. 29:6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox. 29:7 The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire. 29:8 The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 29:9 The voice of the LORD causes the oaks to whirl and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, "Glory!" 29:10 The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever. 29:11 May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace!
Hymn Reflection: United Methodist Hymnal pg. 522 Leave It There by Charles Albert Tindley
O Gracious God, we give you thanks this day for the: heat, the roofs over our head, blankets, food, and clean water. We pray for those who suffer by the work of the elements. We pray for those who seek to repair and maintain our infrastructures. God, we are a blessed people. Truly, today is a reminder of our abundance. There are so many with so little, we pray for them. We especially lift up to you the homeless, caught in the weather. We pray for the sick and for the elderly, that they might find respite. We pray for the lonely and forgotten, may you give them a sense of your presence in twofold abundance.
And now we lift up the names and situations of those things that tug on our hearts to you…
We pray for:
Those on our prayer list and prayer chain….
The U.S. government and the employees and persons effected by the shutdown….
For the sick….
For our family…..
For our community…
For our Pastor and denomination…
Hymn Reflection: United Methodist Hymnal pg. 465 Holy Spirit, Truth Divine by Samuel Longfellow
Scripture Reading Context
Job is leaving a conversation with one of his three friends. Chapter 23 is a response to Job’s feeling that God has, “given him too much to handle.” God is allowing Job to experience an immense amount of suffering without answers. Job’s lament is not a decrease in faith, but rather a lament prayer! Job’s ability to talk to God represents the depth of his faith. Job’s relationship with God is intimate enough for such a delicate conversation. Job’s key words in the chapter can be found in v. 17, “I am not silenced by…” No amount of pain, anguish, confusion, or anger will come between Job and his conversation with God. Job 23 is a powerful chapter, one that we might not expect to find in the Bible. Job is a reflection that faith in God does not come with easy answers. The words of Job 23 are a recognizable and familiar complaint that all of humanity can register with. For further context of Job, read Job chapter 1 and 2.
Scripture Reading: Job 23
Then Job replied:2 “Even today my complaint is bitter; his hand[a] is heavy in spite of[b] my groaning. 3 If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! 4 I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. 5 I would find out what he would answer me, and consider what he would say to me. 6 Would he vigorously oppose me? No, he would not press charges against me. 7 There the upright can establish their innocence before him, and there I would be delivered forever from my judge. 8 “But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. 9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. 10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. 11 My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. 12 I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.13 “But he stands alone, and who can oppose him? He does whatever he pleases. 14 He carries out his decree against me, and many such plans he still has in store. 15 That is why I am terrified before him; when I think of all this, I fear him. 16 God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me. 17 Yet I am not silenced by the darkness, by the thick darkness that covers my face.
What verse reflects or sounds like my relationship with God right now?
Reflecting on question 1… “why?”
V. 3, “If I only knew where to find him.” Where do you find God?
V. 6 reads, “no he would not press charges against me.” In other words, “would not condemn me.” How often do you feel that God is punishing or condemning you? Job’s words are true. God does not condemn or punish us. Do you need to tell yourself that; “God is with you,” today?
Job’s words come from a deep loss and pain that takes place in his life. Do you remember a time that a deep pain guided your life? How did your faith pull you to the other side? In addition, if you are guided by pain now… where is God speaking?
I invite you to write a brief (or long) lament to God. What do you need to ask God or vent to God? Take a step back and reflect on your letter. When you are done reflecting, write yourself back. What kind of response does God want you to hear?
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely Happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.
Glasford United Methodist Church. CCLI # 1196845.
Closing prayer: The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr.
Glasford United Methodist Church. CVLI # 504083794.
Job 23. The Message.
Reflection, Format, and Prayers written by Rev. Ethan L Carnes, OSL. (1-12-18).
The United Methodist Hymnal. Nashville, TN: The United Methodist Publishing House. 1989.
Psalm 29. Revised Standard Version