A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Monday, December 5, 2016

Pastoral Prayer (December 4) - Athens First UMC

[In the picture above, these 2X4 boards will be part of a new 2017 Habitat for House build in nearby Amesville. After each worship service, our congregation was asked to sign the boards since our special Christmas offering will be used to help build the house. What a great way to reclaim Christmas by helping to provide a home for a family in need. Click here for the sermon. Checks toward our Christmas Missions offering may be made payable to "First UMC" with "Christmas Missions" on the memo. We also provide the convenience of online giving on our church website.]  

O God, thank you for this time of year when we are reminded that love came down at Christmas in the form of a helpless baby who needed the protection and care of his parents. Thank you for offering us your risk-taking love, even to the point where you sent your only Son to die on a cross for the sins of the world.

We are humbled to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion this morning where we will cradle the bread of life, just as Mary cradled her newborn son. As we receive the Sacrament this morning, may it be a time that we open ourselves to receiving a love that we do not deserve, but a love that you freely offer to each and every one of us.

During these weeks leading up to Christmas, we especially pray for Habitat for Humanity and we give you thanks for the homes they were able to build and repair for needy families in our surrounding community this past year. We pray that our Christmas missions offering this year will contribute to a new miracle of helping a needy family to find affordable housing in 2017. O God of miracles, we long for the day when we can be part of a new house dedication thanks to our partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

As we think about providing a home for a family, we also think about the many families in Tennessee who have lost their homes due to the raging wildfires in that area of our country. Comfort the people who have been in the path of these fires so that they would be able to receive the resources they need to get back on their feet again.

We pray this in the name of the one who is to come, Jesus Christ our Lord, who taught us to pray together saying…

“Our Father, who art in heaven…

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