Finding Joy in the journey

Welcome to the year of our Lord 2017 and the continuation of an exciting and unprecedented time in the life of St. Andrew! 

As a reminder that God is present with us along the way, St. Andrew will be producing a series of simple weekly devotionals to help us navigate this uncharted territory, commemorate this historic year in the life of our congregation, and celebrate the work of Christ in our midst. Each installment of Finding Joy in the Journey will contain Scripture readings, reflections, and prayers to offer encouragement and hope in these momentous days.

  • Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to the one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

  • In him we live and move and have our being... 

    (Acts 17:28)

  • Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  

    (Hebrews 10:23-25)

  • You set the boundaries of the earth, and you made both summer and winter.  (Psalm 74:17)

  • But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The Lord is my  portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." (Lamentations 3:21-24)

  • Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (Psalm 51:10-12)

  • And they called Rebekah, and said to her, "Will you go with this man? She said, "I will." So they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse along with Abraham's servant and his men. And they blessed Rebekah an said to her, "May you, our sister, become thousands of myriads, may your offspring gain possession of the gates of their foes."
    (Genesis 24:58-60)

  • He leads me in right paths for his name's sake. (Psalm 23:3)

  • ...so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, yo may know what is the hope to which he called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints... (Ephesians 1:18)

  • Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre. For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble victory. Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their couches. (Psalm 149:3-5)

  • Neverthless, the men rowed hard to bring the ship back to land, but they could not, for the sea few more and more stormy against them. Then they cried out to the Lord, "Please, O Lord, we pray, do not let us perish on account of this man's life. Do not make us guilty of innocent blood; for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you." So they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea; and the sea ceased from raging....But the Lord provided a large fish to swallow up Jonah; and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. (Jonah 1:13-15, 17)

  • Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  
    Hebrews 10:23-25

  • I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.  

    Psalm 104:33

  • I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. John 10:14-16

  • Let your work be manifest to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and prosper for us the work of our hands--O prosper the work of our hands!   Psalm 90:16-17

  • [Naomi] said, "See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law." But Ruth said, "Do not press me to leave you or turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people and your God my God. Where you die, I will die--there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!" (Ruth 1:15-17)

  • (Abram) pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord.  (Genesis 12:8)

  • When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." (John 20:19-21)

  • People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke stearnly to them. But when Jesus saw this he was indignant and he said to them, "Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it." And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16)

  • "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  (Jeremiah 29:11)

  • "For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." They said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always." Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."  (John 6:33-35)

  • Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10)

  • I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, Holy One of Israel. My lips will should for joy when I sing praise to you. (Psalm 71:22-23)

  • Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.  (Romans 16:16)

  • Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Keep straight the path of your feet, and all your ways will be sure. 

    (Proverbs 4:26, NRSV)

  • The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, "Look, here is the Lamb of God!" The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, "What are you looking for?" They said to him, "Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are you staying?" He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon....The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said t him, "Follow me." Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth." Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." (John 1:35-39, 43-46, NRSV)

  • My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast. I will sing and make melody. Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn. I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens; your faithfulness extends to the clouds. (Psalm 57:7-10, NRSV)

  • From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in--we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! And now we're telling you in the most sober prose that what we witnessed was, incredibly, this: The infinite Life of God himself took shape before us. We saw it, we heard it, and now we're telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his  Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy! 

    (1 John 1:1-4, The Message)

  • Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Romans 12:9-13

  • "Just come and see for yourself," Philip said. John 1:46

  • The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work...through the testing of this ministry you glorify God by y our obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ and by the generosity of your sharing with [the saints in Jerusalem] and with all others, while they long for you and pray for you because of the surpassing grace of God that he has given you. Thanks be to God for hi indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:6-8, 13-15)

  • This is what the Lord Almighty says: "Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there."  Zechariah 8:4-5

  • That's what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we're going in our new grace-sovereign country. Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life--no longer at sin's every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ's sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. (Romans 6:3b-8, The Message)

  • For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than  your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until  they have watered the earth, making it bring forth  and sprout, giving seed to the sower an bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out of my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:9-11

  • And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on  earth peace among those whom he favors!"  Luke 2:13-14

  • What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.  

    John 1:4-5


    Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, bu it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.  1 Corinthians 12:4-6

  • Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10

  • In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family from David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.  Luke 2:1-7

  • I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples, and I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is higher than the heavens, and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Psalm 108:3-4

  • Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.   Joshua 1:9

  • We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Colossians 1:3-5a

  • As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance....Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Get up and go on your way, your faith has made you well."            Luke 17:12, 15-19

  • I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  2 Timothy 4:7

  • [Jacob] came to a certain place and stayed there for the night...taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down...And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of  God were ascending and descending on it. And the Lord stood beside him and said, "I am the Lord, the god of Abraham your father and the  God of Isaac...the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring...and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go..." Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, "Surely the Lord is in this place--and I did not know it!"   Genesis 28:11-16

  • Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"  Matthew 8:23-27

  • Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

  • O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him. O fear the Lord, you his holy ones, for those who fear him have no want. The young lions suffer want and hunger, bu those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.  Psalm 34:8-10

  • You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.  Leviticus 19:34

  • I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 89:1

  • How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion. For there the Lord ordained his blessing, life forevermore. Psalm 133

  • ...and when [Jesus] had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body that is for  you. Do this in remembrance of me." 1 Corinthians 11:24

  • Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  James 1:2-4