Elder's Prayer - March 25, 2018
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
"Frail as summer’s flower we flourish; blows the wind and it is gone"
Recently heard the same story a couple of times in the last couple of weeks. Dick Cavett was a talk-show host in the 70s. In 1971, he has a guest on his show named Jerome Rodale, who was a publisher and a health expert. During his 30 minutes on the show, Rodale says "I’ve decided to live to be a hundred" and "I’ve never felt better in my life".
When the next guest comes on, Rodale moves down a seat, like they did in the 70s and 80s talk shows. As the next guest is being interviewed, Rodale makes what was described as a snoring noise, and dies.
Our lives on earth are temporary. Whatever strength, authority, power we have, it will not last; it will come to an end. God gives us strength and authority and power and God takes it away.
We don’t have as much control over our lives as we like to think we do. Nor are we as self- reliant as we like to tell ourselves.
Illness, accident, age – all happen to us. They all remind us that we, like the summer flower, are here for a while, and then we’re gone.
"But while mortals rise and perish, God endures unchanging on"
So any hope that we have in life needs to be in something besides ourselves. That hope needs to be in the unchanging God of the Bible.
The God that we worship today is the same God that created Adam and Eve and gave them authority over the garden and the animals.
He is the same God that called Abram out from his own family to become a particular blessing to the nations.
He is the same God that gave authority and strength to Moses, Joshua, David, Paul, and Peter. Whatever you have in your life – authority, strength, intelligence – remember that it is this same God that gave it to you, just as he did to these men. And when we perish and lose these things, God will remain, raising up others.
Our lives should be a growing reflection of our dependence on, our faith in, God. In God to keep us alive as long as he desires; to keep his promise to save us in Christ for eternity; to never change.
God, you are the Lord of life. You created mankind in your image, with the capacity to multiply and fill the earth, with the ability to rule and subdue it. Through one man, you brought diversity to mankind – all nations and peoples come from your creative power.
You know the number of our days. You know when they will start and when they will end. You know what makes up our days. You give us each abilities that we can use. If we have strength, authority, or power, it is because you have granted it.
You are the Lord of love. We know what love is because you first loved us. You give us others to love and show us how to love them.
You have given us your son because you loved us. Because of your great love, we can know what it means to be forgiven, know what it means to be called "sons of God", know that death is not the end of your goodness to us.
Remind us that we are frail, even in our strength. Remind us that you are in control of everything in our lives. We are dependent upon you for every day that we live.
Remind us that we need your grace every day. We are not perfect, we regularly sin, and need your constant, ever-present mercy and grace to remain faithful to you until the end of our lives. Remind us that you never change. You are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, so your promises never change, your goodness never ceases, your grace never runs out.
Our hope, then, for complete forgiveness and eternity in your presence depends not on us, who rise and perish, but on you who endures, who never changes.