This was my twist on the popular love song “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts that I did at church for Valentines Day weekend as a way to say thank you to Jesus for always being my side through all of the ups and downs of my life.
I believe that everything that we experience, good and bad, simply leads us to His truth for our lives which includes all of the ups and downs and everything else in between. And as I get older, I can see that all of those times, places and people that maybe were not the most pleasant to experience, were merely preparing me to help find my way back to Him. And because of Him, I can forgive others as I have been forgiven because that burden is finally freed from my shoulder, so that I can really live this life in the way that He would want me to live. A life filled with grace that is sufficient for every possibility and circumstance that we will encounter on the road called life..
Yes, the road is broken but the journey always leads us back to confront the reality of the cross and the open arms of Jesus Christ. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him (John 3:17).” So if we do not have condemnation from a God that could/should condemn us for our mistakes, then how could we condemn others? Can we forgive those who trespass against us as we have been forgiven by Almighty God? Yes, I believe that we can.
We can only share or gift something that we have an abundance of. We have an abundance of amazing grace, love and forgiveness, so let’s share that gift that was given to us on this broken road called life. We can’t run to Him by holding on to the baggage of yesterday, so let’s just let go and let God by following His truth and message; that all people are children of God, who are loved as His unique creation, and need to be treated with dignity, compassion and respect. Amen.
Lord Jesus, thank You for being everything that You are. Thank You for this life. This journey that started at the foot of the cross: the place where all of the darkness of the world lost to the light of God’s amazing love. You gave us more than just words on a page, you showed us what God can do and gave us a reason to live. The world may bring us down but, because of You, we don’t need to stay there. Whatever issue we are going through, Your resurrection, allows us to go through life’s dark valleys without fear for You are always with us. Jesus, You are the song that opens up our souls to the story that is bigger than ourselves. Your life, death and resurrection gave us glimpses of our own humanity intertwined with the compassionate relationship with our Creator. Because of You, we live. Because of You, we can love. Because of You we have hope in the promise of never ever being separated from the Father’s love.
Lord God, our life and our eternity belong to You and to You alone. Open our eyes to see the glimpses of heaven all around us. Reveal the signs that lead us to the embrace of Your truth. You stepped into our story, those many years ago, so that the courage of God would be revealed in His Son as proof that God stands beside us throughout every joy and sorrow in this life. Help us to grab hold of Your promises that grace and forgiveness are real, so that we can have the courage to just show up in this life and stop performing with the crowd. Don’t let us see just want what we want to see, but expose what we need to see. We exist in the here and now but You, Lord, have always existed and the doors to Your love have always been open to us through Christ Jesus. We can’t wait for anyone to give us permission to practice our faith. We just need to live out our faith in Christ, anywhere and anytime. And whether or not the crowd jeers or cheers, we serve only Him today, tomorrow and forever.
I saw this picture at an office complex. You can see my reflection behind Jesus. I like that statement!
Lord God, we are grateful that You hear us…that You listen to each and every prayer that we lift up to You in this place and in our hearts. Speak life into the darkness of death and prepare us now to receive Your forgiveness, grace and the new life that is given to us because of the sacrifice of Your only son, Jesus Christ. Show us how this life works and let our hearts beat with the same pulse of Almighty God. For it is You, Lord, who gives us worth because You value us. You took on everything that is ugly about us and You put on all of our burdens on that cross. You give us redemption. You give us escape from the limitations of this world. You give us life. And even though we don’t have it all together, and probably never will, You still look on us with love and remind us “that no matter how much time we’ve wasted in the past we still have infinite tomorrows with Jesus Christ.” (Billy Graham). So as we confront the reality of the cross, let us remember, “it is not how many days we have left in our lives but it is how much life we have in our days that count.” (Ed Ly Stevenson). Help us to live as You live in eternal grace. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Lord God, we come here today and pray that You will remove the blinders from our eyes and ears so that Your truth can be revealed to us. Thank You for “the miracle that something so small and seemingly worthless as printed words, written 2000 years ago, would utterly and completely change our lives. “ (Emily Timbol) Let Your word reverberate in this room and in our hearts so that the truth of the Gospel would resonate in our lives beyond these walls. Tune our hearts to be in line with You because Your love inspires us. Don’t let us be numb to this life or to each other. Open our eyes to see that there is a child of God deep inside all of us and that child will be the one who will see You face to face. In a world that gets it wrong so many times, we have You, Lord, and You get us. You understand us because You created us. You heal our wounds and You take our place at the cross so that we can be free to share our lives and our stories to all for the glory of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
We are here and we are smiling because there is nothing that can compare to the time spent in the presence of the One true God. So open the doors of this place and our hearts by revealing Your truth for our lives because we are ready for You but You have always been ready for us. We can’t ignore what makes us human with all that we had to go through and will have to go through. Just remind us today that You do not sleep, You do not grow weary and Your light of hope never fades. Everything else goes away but we are never alone because Your love remains. Teach us to have that same love for one another by choosing to accept each other rather than just tolerating each other. Help us to go beyond the polite conversations so that we can see the details that the Creator has set in each and every one of us. Please be patient with us because we are still learning that we are all children of God and that our differences pale in comparison to the gospel truth that we are all sinners and saints who are redeemed by the Son of God who lives and reigns in our hearts now and forever. Amen.
Lord God, breathe into us new life today and lift our eyes off of the daily rubble so that we can magnify You in this place. Whatever circumstances we are in (financial, emotional, spiritual, or personal), take us to the place that is the presence of Jesus Christ. Don’t let shame or guilt stop us from experiencing Your grace and salvation. Just make Your presence known and print Your word on our hearts. Take away any doubt of our worth because the cross at Calvary shows the cost of Your love for all of us, and by taking Your first steps on this earth You changed our history forever. Help us to see Your greatness. Help us to hear Your word. And help us to live Your love. For “no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him who loved us. For (we) have every confidence that nothing – not death, life…the present, the future…nor any created thing – can come between us and the love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39).
Lord God, Open the window that reveals Your truth so that we can breathe in Your grace, mercy and forgiveness. Bring joy back into our lives, into our jobs, and into our relationships so that we will be so overwhelmed by the awareness of Your presence, that we can’t help but experience the joy that only comes from knowing Jesus. Just simplify the complexity of the world into Your truth: That the battle has already been won and that God lives in this moment and so should we. So as we receive Christ today, at this altar, let us all remember that He also goes with us into the world that He so loves and that we can only share what we have an abundance of. So let us be full and overflowing with the joy, love and compassion that has already been given to us by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.