January 2009


As we look forward to the Lenten journey with our sisters and brothers in faith from around the world, I encourage you to share the news that the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia will again offer the encouraging and challenging words of many of its ministers to you, your congregation, and anyone else who desires to receive them with Lenten Prayerscapes

Postings of the daily devotional readings will begin at this site on the eve of Ash Wednesday (late on Feb. 24).  Those who subscribe via email (see link at right) will have them in their inbox the next morning and every day of Lent.  As in Advent, the readings will also be linked on our homepage for those who wonder through, and available to congregations and individuals who wish to download them to print as a weekly bulletin insert, or an inclusive booklet for the entire season.

The responses to the Advent adventure were so positive, and the encouragement was so strong, we are going to make the effort again.  We deeply appreciate the devotion of our clergy, and of Rev. Magdalyn Sebastian of Wheeling who has taken the lead in soliciting the writings.

Please join us for the Lenten journey, and share this news with your church family and friends!

In Christ’s Love,

David Chafin, Deputy Regional Minister

Please note that this is the last of our Advent devotion series, but please keep watch for further offerings in Mountain Prayerscapes. 
We are grateful for these gifts from our region’s ministers.

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Read Revelation 21:1-6a

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth;

for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away,

and the sea was no more. 

And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem,

coming down out of heaven from God,

prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home of God is among mortals.

He will dwell with them as their God;

they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them;

 he will wipe every tear from their eyes.

Death will be no more;

mourning and crying and pain will be no more,

for the first things have passed away.”

And the one who was seated on the throne said,

“See, I am making all things new.”

Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Then he said to me,

 “It is done!

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.”

 

  From Rev. Joshua Patty, Fairmont Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” 

            As another Christmas season fades, we can take a breath from the pervasive advertising of the season.  It doesn’t matter which store – they all have products with “NEW in 2008” stickers.  It isn’t just bigger TVs or faster computers; there’s NEW cookies, NEW soap, NEW clothing.

            For all of the newness promised, all too often NEW is just the same stuff in different packaging.  So when we read God’s promise in Revelation, maybe we think it’s just hype – same stuff in a different   package.  After all, this Christian “stuff” has been around for 2000 years.  The 2008 Christmas model – “NEW in 2008” – is pretty much like the 2007 model.

            But God isn’t interested in giving us “limited edition” packaging.  When God promises NEWness, it’s not just difference, but improvement.  God promises to take what is broken and make it better – to heal  divisions, to comfort afflictions, to encourage the struggling, to champion the meek.  To bring about a NEW heaven and a NEW earth for the children of God.  To make each of us better.

            As we move from this season of light into a NEW year, let’s not let our “NEW in 2009” model of being Christian look like the “NEW in 1973” model.  Instead, may we experience God’s promise – “I make all things NEW” – and be changed by God’s grace and bathed in God’s love this NEW year.

Refresh me for this new season of life, loving God.  Improve me through your grace that I might live more abundantly in the newness of life that you promise me, through Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

These daily readings are offered by the Order of Ministry

of the Christian Church in West Virginia for your Advent journey.

They may also be accessed online or subscribed for email delivery at:

prayerscapes.wordpress.com

 

Do not reply to this email.  For Questions, contact Rev. David Chafin

Read Psalm 98

O sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things.

His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory.

The LORD has made known his victory;

he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.

He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;

break forth into joyous song and sing praises.

Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,

with the lyre and the sound of melody.

With trumpets and the sound of the horn

make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD.

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;

the world and those who live in it.

Let the floods clap their hands;

let the hills sing together for joy at the presence of the LORD,

for he is coming to judge the earth.

He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.

 

  From Pastor Rae Browning, Cumberland, MD First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

            I can’t sing alone in public. But, I love to sing. Sometimes, I’m off key, sometimes I loose my place and sing the next line when others are singing a line above. But, I love to praise God in song.

            I wish at times that I had learned more in music, but I know since I didn’t that I can still sing and praise God. I thank Him in all I do. I praise Him for what He has done.

Help me to shout joyfully that my salvation is in Jesus, my Savior. Amen

 

These daily readings are offered by the Order of Ministry

of the Christian Church in West Virginia for your Advent journey.

They may also be accessed online or subscribed for email delivery at:

prayerscapes.wordpress.com

 

Do not reply to this email.  For Questions, contact Rev. David Chafin