Sunday, August 2
Sermon Text: The Book of Jonah
*Adapted from Jonah’s prayer in Jonah 2.
In trouble, deep trouble, we pray to you, our God. You answered us. From the belly of the grave we cried, ‘Help!’ You heard our cry. We understand Lord that the greatest trouble we face is not of this earth; it is our sin. In our sin we were born dead, destined for eternal damnation.
But God, you are rich in mercy. Because of the great love with which you loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, you made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages you might show the immeasurable riches of your grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace we have been saved through faith. this is not our own doing; it is the gift of God, not because of what we have done. Our works will never be good enough. We boast in your grace towards us (Ephesians 2:5-9).
Before you saved us, in our sin we were drowning. With ocean waves, ocean breakers crashing over us, we said, ‘We’ve been thrown away, thrown out, out of your sight. we’ll never again lay eyes on your Holy Temple.’ The ocean of our sin had gripped us by the throat. Our heads were all tangled in seaweed at the bottom of the sea where the mountains take root. We were as far down as a body can go, and the gates were slamming shut behind us forever— Yet you pulled us up from that grave alive, O God, my God! You sent your only Son to die for us! When our lives was slipping away, you reached down and saved us by your grace!
So today we say together blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to your great mercy, you have caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:3–5)
Father help us to avoid worshiping hollow gods, help us not to walk away from our only true love. Today we worship you, God, calling out in thanksgiving! We’ll do what we you have called us to do: to be holy and to be your ambassadors in this world because we know that salvation belongs to our God!”
Together as a church family we pray in your holy name,