Banished From Eden
Call to Worship
The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.
Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side.
His lightning lights up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all peoples see his glory.
For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.
You are exalted far above all gods.
Let those who love the Lord hate evil,
for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light shines on the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,
and praise his holy name.
— Psalm 97:1-6, 10-12
Lord, God of my salvation,
I cry out before you day and night.
May my prayer reach your presence;
listen to my cry.
My strength is gone and I feel like I am near to death
You have placed me in the Pit and your waves are battering me.
My friends are gone and they despise me.
I am shut in and cannot go out.
My eyes are worn out from crying.
Lord, I cry out to you all day long;
I spread out my hands to you.
I call to you for help, Lord;
Why do you reject me?
Why do you hide your face from me?
You have distanced loved one and neighbor from me;
darkness is my only friend.
How long, Lord, must I call for help
and you do not listen
or cry out to you about violence
and you do not save?
Why do you force me to look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Oppression and violence are right in front of me.
Strife is ongoing, and conflict escalates.
This is why the law is ineffective
and justice never emerges.
For the wicked restrict the righteous;
therefore, justice comes out perverted.
— From Psalm 88 and Habakkuk 1:2-4
Lord I Need You
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In response to Habakukk’s longing for Justice the word of God came:
I am doing something in your days that you will not believe when you hear about it.
In response to Elijah’s despair about the faithlessness of Israel the word of God came:
Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.
In response to David’s lament for idolatry and wickedness the word of God came:
The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer.
We also, though we grieve the brokenness in our world and our own lives,
Remember your promises and the seal of the Holy Spirit the guarantee of our salvation.
You, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.
Amen. Thanks be to God.
The peace of God,
which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds
in the knowledge and love of God,
and of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord;
and the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
remain with you always.
—based on Philippians 4:7