The Suffering Christ

“Like a Crown” (Ode 1)

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Watchword for the week — And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Sunday, July 4 — Ezekiel 2:1-5; Psalm 123; 2 Corinthians 12:2-10; Mark 6:1-13

I will go in the strength of the Lord God; I will make mention of your righteousness, of yours only. Psalm 71:16 NKJV

God, grant me strength to do

with ready heart and willing,

whatever you command,

my calling here fulfilling;

and do it when I ought,

with zeal and joyfulness;

and bless the work I’ve wrought,

for you must give success. (615)

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 NKJV

God, my faithful God,

O fountain ever flowing,

without whom nothing is,

all perfect gifts bestowing,

grant me a faithful life,

and give me, Lord, within,

commitment free from strife,

a soul unhurt by sin. (615)

God of creation, we often doubt our ability to serve others as we consider our weaknesses. Help us to accept your call to care for others, and the assurance that your Holy Spirit will guide us. In Jesus’ name, we pray and serve. Amen.

(Courtesy: Moravian Daily Texts 2021)


Scripture Read & Listen

Listen here: Psalm 123 read by Tinasha LaRaye in the NKJV

Psalm 123

Prayer for Relief from Contempt

A Psalm of Ascents.

Unto You I lift up my eyes,
O You who dwell in the heavens.
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,
As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes look to the Lord our God,
Until He has mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us!
For we are exceedingly filled with contempt.
Our soul is exceedingly filled
With the scorn of those who are at ease,
With the contempt of the proud.

The Face of Christ” or “The Suffering Christby Joan Gasco (between 1515 and 1525). Museu Episcopal de Vic. Public domain image.

Undeniably, the greatest suffering ever conceived was taken on by Christ Jesus as a gift to us on the cross.

In 2 Corinthians 12:10, Paul concludes this passage: Most gladly will I therefore rather glory in my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may rest on me, may spread its tent over me and live in me. Not a word of dissatisfaction and lamentation will the apostle utter in the midst of his sufferings, since he has the conviction of faith that the power of Christ is protecting him and helping him. He repeats: Wherefore I am fully satisfied in weaknesses, in insults, in necessities, in persecutions and distresses, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then am I strong. Those very experiences which another person would regard as evidences of the wrath of God, his own various weaknesses, the insults which he had to bear, the necessities in which he found himself, the persecutions and distresses which came upon him from both Jews and Gentiles, Paul knows to be proofs of God’s fatherly devotion. The more he is conscious of his own weakness and inability in carrying out the work entrusted to him by the Lord, the more the strength of the Master can become effective in him. “St. Paul’s words are more than a verbal paradox: they express the fact, to which history abundantly testifies, that the world’s throne is the Cross.” (Kretzmann Commentary)

Hymns & Praises

Hymn: “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
(Original Lyrics) Author: Helen Howarth Lemmel (1922)

1. O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Refrain:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

2. Thro’ death into life everlasting,
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conqu’rors we are!

3. His Word shall not fail you–He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!


Closing Prayer

O SPIRIT OF GOD,

Help my infirmities;

When I am pressed down with a load of sorrow, perplexed and knowing not what to do, slandered and persecuted, made to feel the weight of the cross, help me, I pray thee.

If thou seest in me any wrong thing encouraged, any evil desire cherished, any delight that is not thy delight, any habit that grieves thee, any nest of sin in my heart, then grant me the kiss of thy forgiveness, and teach my feet to walk the way of they commandments.

Deliver me from carking care, and make me a happy, holy person;

Help me to walk the separated life with firm and brave step, and to wrestle successfully against weakness;

Teach me to laud, adore, and magnify thee, with the music of heaven,

And make me a perfume of praiseful gratitude to thee.

I do not crouch at thy feet as a slave before a tyrant, but exult before thee as a son with a father.

Give me power to live as thy child in all my actions, and to exercise sonship by conquering self.

Preserve me from the intoxication that comes of prosperity;

Sober me when I am glad with a joy that comes not from thee.

Lead me safely on to the eternal kingdom, not asking whether the road be rough or smooth.

I request only to see the face of Him I love, to be content with bread to eat, with raiment to put on, if I can be brought to thy house in peace.

(Courtesy: The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, Edited by Arthur Bennett, p. 103)