A Brand-New Year -- 2018. For some of us it almost seems like science fiction. (And I love science fiction.) I am more excited to live this year than any other year of my life. I don’t think it is an accident that God has given us the gift of life. Discovering his purposes for this year is an all-time adventure. We have never had a more fruitful Christmas worship than this year. In terms of reaching out to new prospects and seeing people make fresh commitments to Christ, it was beyond anything we expected. After 33 years of leading Christmas services at Washington Cathedral, never have so many people left saying “this was the best yet!” Thank you to all who did so much for our church family allowing so many to enjoy this great blessing!
Now on to a new year. We on the Pastoral Staff felt led to begin an exciting new series of messages in weekend worship. The title was inspired by the favorite book of Jesus Christ; a book he quoted more than any other book…the Book of Isaiah. The title:
"SOAR, RUN, WALK"
(A new adventure with the prayers of Jesus)
And, yes, that is the order of the words used in Isaiah 40. I think those words teach us something about prayer itself. I am going to be challenging you to a new level of prayer through one practical New Years’ Resolution – “Will you dare to try and take a prayer-walk once a day until Easter?” You can take it at the mall, or at the dog park, or with your best friend, or with a new friend. Just make sure to take the walk with Jesus by soaking up the surroundings in prayerful meditation and by having an open-hearted conversation. Every day from now through Easter.
We will be studying many aspects of prayer: The prayer metaphor of Jesus with the widow and the wicked judge. The baptism prayer of Jesus. The Lord’s Prayer. The Resurrection prayer for Lazarus. Jesus’ teaching on how not to pray. Why we pray in Jesus’ name and what he says we should ask for. Why Jesus teaches us meditation and thanksgiving in our prayer. Why does Jesus say, “his house shall be a house of prayer?” The mystical prayer at the Mount of Transfiguration. The high priestly prayer of Jesus. Jesus' prayers from the cross. Jesus’ Easter prayer with St. Thomas. And the great blessing prayer before his ascension.
We have assembled a great team of preachers from across the state, within the staff and within the church. You will witness an Ordination of new pastors out to change the world. You will discover what children can teach us about prayer. I promise you we will all grow in our prayer lives. So, expect great blessings, solid encouragement, visionary inspiration and just the best sermon series in the history of our church.
Your friend for the rest of my life,
Pastor Tim White