30 August 2013

Five Minute Friday ~ Worship

Original photo found at Messiah.edu
Last week, Brendan and I trekked to central PA for his week of orientation (provided for international students as well as missionary/third culture kids). Last night, I hugged him goodbye, and both excitedly for him but tearfully for me left him there, right at the conclusion of an annual tradition: a candlelight worship service for all incoming freshman to the college.

It was beautiful.

We worshiped the Lord in the responsive reading of His Word:
Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His Presence continually. Remember the wonderful works He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He has uttered... He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth. He is mindful of His covenant forever, of the word that He commanded, for a thousand generations... (from Psalm 105)
Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God, based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the sharing of His sufferings by becoming like Him in His death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own... (from Philippians 3)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus... (from Hebrews 12)

We worshiped Him in song:
Bless the Lord O my soul O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name
...You're rich in love and You're slow to anger
Your name is great and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find... 
Here I raise mine Ebenezer, hither by Thy help I'm come,
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God.
He, to rescue me from danger, bought me by His precious blood.... 
...In Christ alone, Who took on flesh
fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
'Till on that across as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied.
For every sin on Him was laid; here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world, by darkness slain;
Then, bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory, sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ.
No guild in life, no fear in death -
This is the power of Christ in me!
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand.
'Till He returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I stand! 
...High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.
We worshiped the Lord in prayer:

  • of thanksgiving for the past, 
  • for grace to live in the present, 
  • of hope and trust for the future...

We worshiped as everyone present accepted a charge:
Charge to parents, family and friends ~

Having trusted God for the provision, wisdom, and protection to bring you thus far, will you trust God's work in the life of your child as you continue your journey in separate places? Will you be watchful in prayer for them, liberal in encouragement, courageous in hope and unswerving in the knowledge that God holds them in His faithful hands? 

Charge to educators, staff and student leaders ~
Knowing that it is God who calls and equips you for your task, will you accept your mission to educate these students toward maturity of intellect, character, and Christian faith? Will you pray for them diligently, challenge them faithfully, encourage them wholeheartedly, lead them with integrity, and accept them as fellow companions on the journey of faith? 

Charge to new students ~
Being confident that He who began a good work in you will be faithful to bring it to completion, will you accept this opportunity and responsibility to prepare for a life of service, leadership and reconciliation in church and society? Will you seek God as the One in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, will you trust God to do in you more than you can ask or imagine, and will you be faithful in the stewardship of the gifts He has given?  

Right before the actual candle-lighting ceremony...

Talented musicians - staff and alumni - performed the song below... 
a prayer of blessing as the school year commences.

I pray you'll be our eyes, and watch us where we go.
And help us to be wise in times when we don't know
Let this be our prayer, when we lose our way
Lead us to the place, guide us with your grace
To a place where we'll be safe

La luce che tu hai
I pray we'll find your light
nel cuore rester¨¤
and hold it in our hearts.
a ricordarci che
When stars go out each night,
eterna stella sei

The light you have 
I pray we'll find your light 
will be in the heart 
and hold it in our hearts. 
to remember us that 
When stars go out each night, 
you are eternal star
Nella mia preghiera
Let this be our prayer
quanta fede c'¨¨
when shadows fill our day

How much faith there's 
Let this be our prayer 
in my prayer 
when shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place, guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe

Sognamo un mondo senza pi¨´ violenza
un mondo di giustizia e di speranza
Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino
Simbolo di pace, di fraternit¨¤

We dream a world without violence 
a world of justice and faith. 
Everyone gives the hand to his neighbours 
Symbol of peace, of fraternity
La forza che ci d¨¤
We ask that life be kind
¨¨ il desiderio che
and watch us from above
ognuno trovi amor
We hope each soul will find
intorno e dentro s¨¦
another soul to love

The force his gives us 
We ask that life be kind 
is wish that 
and watch us from above 
everyone finds love 
We hope each soul will find 
around and inside 
another soul to love
Let this be our prayer
Let this be our prayer, just like every child

Need to find a place, guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe
Need to find a place, guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe

E la fede che
hai acceso in noi,
sento che ci salver

Is it any wonder most parents and students were teary-eyed as we then said goodbye?

Personally, I didn't stand a chance!

a short video, put together by the school, to give others a glimpse
of how Messiah welcomed this year's class... to the neighborhood!

(So... this post was a lot longer than 5 minutes... and a lot of it was copied from the program of the Candlelight Worship Service...

But this little piece of Brendan's new beginning was what I wanted to share with those of you who like to follow our family.

Click on the graphic 
if you'd like to join up with the 5 minute Friday writers this week!


  1. Hi Richelle! I was thinking this might be longer than 5 minutes, but then I saw you had quotes. Thanks for sharing this. :-) I've seen for a while that you write on Five Minute Fridays and have been thinking of trying it myself.

    Grace to you for this new stage with your son at school.

    1. yeah... quite a bit longer than 5 minutes, but not too much of it was my original writing. :-)

      he's ready and i'm excited for him - and so appreciate your kind words.


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