What Do You Mean by God?

 A. W. Tozer once wrote, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” I believe that this is true. I think that most Christian’s God is too small. What do we mean when we use the word “God”? Many people envision God as a being like other beings, he just happens to be the supreme being. This makes God just one more thing among others, he just happens to be the biggest, strongest, and smartest. But I don’t think God is the same order of reality as us. God is wholly other, completely different from us. In fact, so completely different that we speak most accurately about him when we say what he is not. God is not a being, but the ground of being. For “in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). David Bentley Hart gives the best definition of God. God “is the infinite fullness of being, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, from whom all things come and upon whom all things depend for every moment of their existence, wit

Psalm 23 - The Lord is My Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd;      I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures;      He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul;      He leads me in the paths of righteousness           For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,      I will fear no evil; For You are with me;      Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;      You anoint my head with oil;           My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me      All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord      Forever.

The Renewal of Baptismal Vows

Celebrant: Do you reaffirm your renunciation of evil and renew your commitment to Jesus Christ? People: I do. Celebrant: Do you believe in God the Father? People: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. Celebrant: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God? People: I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.      He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.      He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.      He descended to the dead.      On the third day he rose again.      He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.      He will come again to judge the living and the dead. Celebrant: Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit? People: I believe in the Holy Spirit,      the holy catholic Church,      the communion of saints,      the forgiveness of sins,      the resurrection of the body,      and the life everlasting. Celebrant: Will you continue

Prayers of the People

The Leader and People pray responsively In peace, we pray to you, Lord God. Silence For all people in their daily life and work;  For our families, friends, and neighbors, and for those who are alone. For this community, the nation, and the world; For all who work for justice, freedom, and peace. For the just and proper use of your creation; For the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression. For all who are in danger, sorrow, or any kind of trouble; For those who minister to the sick, the friendless, and the needy. For the peace and unity of the Church of God; For all who proclaim the Gospel, and all who seek the Truth. For [N. our Presiding Bishop, and N. (N.) our Bishop(s); and for] all bishops and other ministers; For all who serve God in his Church. For the special needs and concerns of this congregation. Silence The People may add their own petitions Hear us, Lord; For your mercy is great. We thank you, Lord, for all the blessings of this life. Silence The People

Before Meal Prayers

Dear heavenly Father, thank you for this food. Bless it and nourish it to our bodies. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. Catholic Bless us, O Lord, and these, Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen. Eastern Orthodox O Christ God, bless the food and drink of Thy servants, for holy art Thou, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen. Anglican Bless, O Father, Thy gifts to our use and us to Thy service; for Christ’s sake. Amen. Lutheran   Come, Lord Jesus, be our Guest, and let these gifts to us be blessed. Amen.

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Rev. Jay N. Forrest, D.Min., is an ordained Christian minister, a hospice chaplain, and a certified meditation teacher writing on Christian spirituality.

Scripture Quotations

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scriptures are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.