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A journey through Lent - 2016

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Day Twenty Six - The Treasure of the Nations.

Jesus the Shepherd

Haggai spoke to those who had returned from Babylonian after Cyrus had conquered Babylon and issued a decree allowing the Jews to return home.

He calls on the people to rebuild the temple which had been destroyed.

He spoke encouragement and a challenge to rebuild from the rubble.

His powerful message speaks of our need to hope despite the damage and destruction around us. To stand firm in our belief despite times of hardship and disappointment.

The image of the shaking of the world is a powerful one it tells us that those things that stand on firm foundations will remain while those that are weak and transient will be shaken away.

The image is perhaps more powerful given the destruction and rubble to which the people had returned.

Haggai, also promises a great treasure not only in the temple but also in the form of the one who is our greatest treasure, Jesus.

What a great gift our places of worship are, be it the greatest of Cathedrals or our own "ordinary" church building. For they are the places where we touch God in our worship together. They are indeed treasures for our hearts and souls.

They are places where, as God promises, we are granted peace.

When our world shakes, do we look for God's hand in it?

Does his hand shake the things we need to release?

Is it holding us firm as the world shakes around us?

Help us grasp and to hold fast to the hand of the treasure of all nations.

Bible Passage: - Haggai 2:6-9 (NIV)

'This is what the Lord Almighty says: "In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land.

I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory," says the Lord Almighty.

"The silver is mine and the gold is mine," declares the Lord Almighty. "The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house," says the Lord Almighty.

"And in this place I will grant peace," declares the Lord Almighty.'

Contemplation Saying.

"In this place I will grant peace"

Contemplative Prayer.

Think of the saying in order to understand context and meaning,

Feel the meaning of the saying with and in your heart,

Pray, using the saying, for yourself or others. With only a name and without explaining the reasons or pre-defining any answers.

Listen for God's voice in the quiet of your prayers.

Pray using your own prayers or one of those which have been prepared below.

Hymn: Singing the Faith - "My Peace I give unto you"

Let us pray together.

Twitter Prayer

We pray that you will help us, hold fast to Jesus, when our world is being shaken around us. Amen.

Facebook Prayer

Lord, we pray, shake our lives.

Reduce the foolish things in our lives to rubble.

Help us build our lives on the firm foundation of your salvation.

In the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Full Prayer

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Loving Father, you have revealed yourself through your Son Jesus, our firm foundation and cornerstone.

We pray that you will help us to hold fast to him, everyday, especially when our world is being shaken.

Help us to see the shaking of the world as Jesus walked to the cross.

Help us declare in confidence and with loud voices that we shall not be shaken from our belief.

When the treasures of the world fail, as they always will, help us see that you are the unperishable treasure of our lives and of all the nations.

In the power of Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

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Lord, as we worship, may we feel your peace descend on us.

Calm the noisy clanging of our lives as we come into your presence.

As we pray, amid the chaos and calamity of the earthquakes of our lives, may we hold fast to your unshakeable love for us.

Let us hear your still small voice.

In our quiet reflection, bless us as we pray, in the power of Jesus' name. Amen.

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Lord, shake my life.

Reduce the foolish things in my life to rubble.

Help me build my life on the firm foundation of your salvation.

In the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Loving God, we thank you that you freely share your treasure with us. May we see, know and believe that Jesus is truly the treasure of the nations.

We pray for the times when we are more concerned with building our own houses than with yours.

Lord help us to prioritise the building of your kingdom over our own wants

Help us, as we worship in your house, to see the beauty of your presence as we bow our heads in prayer.

When we see rough places in your house, may we be quick to restore them, for our premises are a measure of our love for you.

Help us to see the beauty in the everyday, for at all times we are in your presence. Help us acknowledge that there is nothing ordinary in your creation, everything is a gift from you and so to be treasured. Amen.