Watchword for the Week
God says, “I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations.” Genesis 17:7
Do not fear, for I am with you. Isaiah 43:5
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed ,perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Prayer for Today
O great Comforter, our lives have been overshadowed by economic calamity, social conflict, and the threat of a global pandemic. In faith, we turn to you as you carry us in your heart through troubled waters. Amen.
LITURGY: IN CELEBRATION OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Help us, O Lord, to understand the world in which we live. There are conflicting views of how we ought to live; each one beckoning us to follow and making a claim on our lives. O God, help us to look to you as we listen and accept your word to us this day. In your mercy, convince us that your Son Jesus Christ is the true pattern for our lives. Teach us to know that his words are the truth and that if we listen to him, our lives can become what you desire them to be.
We humbly turn to you for your guidance today, O Lord.
Oh God, as we pause to remember today, we know that you have heard the anguished cries of our ancestors. Their sounds echo and penetrate time to remind us of our fore parents who were captured from their African homelands and forcibly enslaved in this and other distant realms.
“Stony the road we trod”
El Roi, the God who Sees, you have taken note of the millions of bodies of our ancestors buried beneath the waves, and those that have become one with the earth of this and other lands. We know that you have seen the countless attempts to demean them and control their destiny.
“Bitter the chastening rod, felt in the days when hope unborn had died.”
God of Justice, you have ignited the sparks within us into a blazing demand for freedom, equality and justice. So many in these United States, the Caribbean, and elsewhere in the Diaspora, have fought tirelessly, and died, in order to keep this spark ablaze.
“Yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet, come to the place for which our fathers
Merciful God, you have seen our tears and have been pained by the evil that continues in human
hearts. Yet, we know that in your boundless wisdom and love, this is the reason you sent your only Son to identify with the outcast, marginalized, and rejected in every place.
“God of our weary years, God of our silent tears.”
Almighty God, we thank you for our fore-parents who dared to dream that one day, their children
and grandchildren could become leaders and take their place at the tables in the lands of their oppressors.
“Lest our feet stray from the places our God, where we met Thee.”
The hard work of our mothers and fathers, their courage, their convictions, and their belief in
you, paved the way for our emancipation and education. It is clear, O God, that you have
liberated us from the bonds of the oppressors. Yet in our day, we still yearn for your work of liberation to continue. Hasten the day when we shall be freed from mental slavery, which imprisons our lives and binds our future to underachievement and defacement of your image in us. Hear our cry, Great Liberator!
“Lest our hearts drunk with wine of the world we forget Thee. Shadowed beneath Thy
hand, may we forever stand. True to our God and true to our native land.”
O Holy One, heal our hearts of the pain caused by racism. Work within each of us to heal our world, our communities, and our lives; that children in the future will grow up in a world unscathed and untouched by this sin.
O God, make us more holy, make us more holy.
God of all that is, we praise you this morning, lifting up our voices in thanksgiving for the lives of all persons of African ancestry:
Who have led our nation;
Who have stood up to injustice;
Who have pointed the way to freedom;
Who honor you through the arts;
Who have made great discoveries in the sciences;
Who have celebrated the gifts of life and the wonders of your creation.
Thank You for their gifts to your creation, our Savior and Lord.
O God, we praise you today for the hope and inspiration that you continue to give to all oppressed people across the world. Give us the resources to join hands and hearts with those who continue to strive for equal rights.
Thank You, Lord God, for you have brought us all from a mighty long way, a mighty long way.
Almighty God, empower and guide us to be voices of justice, of hope, and of peace in our world.
Keep our minds stayed on Jesus and make us your living examples of love to all your creation. Amen!
Hymn # 498 (AAHH): Let There Be Peace On Earth Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be. With God as our Father, siblings all are we. Let me walk with my neighbor in perfect harmony. Let peace begin with me; let this be the moment now. With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow; To take each moment, and live each moment in peace eternally; Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. (REPEAT)