Monthly Archives: April 2014

On the road to….

                               Yearly Rhythm

forest road blog
4 May 2014
The third Sunday of Easter, Year A,
Colour White

 

“Life from death. Light from darkness. Hope from despair.” “I love the Easter season. What a great reminder it is of God’s amazing grace and power.”
Kyle Dickinson

 

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 28 April – 4 May

               A resource for the Daily Rhythm of Worship using the Lectionary Readings

DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE.

            See “Weekly Rhythm” below for comment and question to engage with the readings.
Also “Praying the Lectionary Readings” below for prayers based on the readings.

Acts 2:14a, 36-41 The message of the resurrection of the crucified one compels a response: “What shall we do?” Repent, and be baptized — then the life of the risen Christ will come to you.

Psalm response: Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19 “Then I called on the name of the LORD: ‘O LORD, I pray, save my life!'”

1 Peter 1:17-23 Those baptized into the Risen One are exiles who live in reverent fear, hope, because the blood of Christ ransoms us, and love one another from the heart.

Luke 24:13-35 On the road to Emmaus, Jesus reminds two dispirited followers of all they have seen and heard, its grounding in Scripture, and what next steps they can take to live this way now. They “get it” only when he breaks the bread.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. (Psalm 59:16)

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I have crushed the sensitive spirit with a heavy-handed response.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: This week: praying for peace.  The peace (shalom) of God is not just the absence of conflict but also the presence of health and wholeness.  As you pray for peace in various areas picture what shape this health and wholeness will take in the different contexts and pray accordingly.   Today we pray for inner peace.  Peace within your own heart and the hearts of your neighbours.

Personal prayers: (Use this section to list people you need to pray for or situations of personal concern that you need to bring before God in prayer)

             Dedication: Show us good Lord, the peace we should seek, the peace we must give, the peace we can keep, the peace we must forgo, and the peace you have given us in Jesus our Lord. (Caryl Micklem)

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. (Psalm 57:10)

Confession:Lord, forgive me when I have lost control and have hurt others deeply.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s shared focus.  Today we pray for peace in relationships between people that are victims of some kind of prejudice – (gender, race, age, etc.)

Personal Prayers:

            Dedication: Show us good Lord, the peace we should seek, the peace we must give, the peace we can keep, the peace we must forgo, and the peace you have given us in Jesus our Lord. (Caryl Micklem)

 Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me… (Psalm 54:4)

Confession:Lord you have called me to praise your holy name.  So often it is my name alone that I seek to praise and lift up.  Help me to lift up your name in praise.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s shared focus.  Today we pray for peace in families.  We pray for peace where there is abuse, be it physical, sexual or emotional.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: Show us good Lord, the peace we should seek, the peace we must give, the peace we can keep, the peace we must forgo, and the peace you have given us in Jesus our Lord. (Caryl Micklem)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus:I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. (Psalm 52:9)

Confession: Lord I sometimes despise people.  You take delight in them.  Help me to take delight in the people I encounter.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s shared focus.  Pray for peace in the area of crime and violence.  Focus particularly on the health and wholeness issue.  Pray that our society may be a healthy one.  Focus on a specific way in which we can move in this direction and pray accordingly.

Personal prayers:

           Dedication: Show us good Lord, the peace we should seek, the peace we must give, the peace we can keep, the peace we must forgo, and the peace you have given us in Jesus our Lord. (Caryl Micklem)

 Friday:

Adoration Focus: The Mighty One, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets. (Psalm 50:1)

Confession:Lord, the splendour of your creation has grown familiar in my eyes.  Help me to look at it in new ways and realise your greatness yet again.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s shared focus.  Today we pray for our world.  Choose a country for which you have a concern and pray for God’s peace to be realised in a specific way there.

Personal prayers

          Dedication: Show us good Lord, the peace we should seek, the peace we must give, the peace we can keep, the peace we must forgo, and the peace you have given us in Jesus our Lord. (Caryl Micklem)

 Saturday:

Adoration Focus: But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself. (Psalm 49:15)

Confession: Lord sometimes I worship the stars and not you who name them.  Today help me to worship the one who controls the stars and who guides us in His paths.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s shared focus. Today, pray for any area of concern that surfaces as important for you.  Into what scenario do you need to pray God’s peace?

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: Show us good Lord, the peace we should seek, the peace we must give, the peace we can keep, the peace we must forgo, and the peace you have given us in Jesus our Lord. (Caryl Micklem)

 Sunday:

Adoration Focus: For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end. (Psalm 48:14)

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I rely on my own strength and wisdom.  You are the one who lifts us up.  Today I turn to you.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s shared focus.  Today we pray for peace in church communities.  We focus on internal rivalry and unresolved conflict and strife.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: Show us good Lord, the peace we should seek, the peace we must give, the peace we can keep, the peace we must forgo, and the peace you have given us in Jesus our Lord. (Caryl Micklem)

Weekly Rhythm

Engaging with the Lectionary Readings (Comment and Questions.)

DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE FOR PERSONAL OR SMALL GROUP USE.

Acts 2:14a, 36-41 The message of the resurrection of the crucified one compels a response: “What shall we do?” Repent, and be baptized — then the life of the risen Christ will come to you.

Psalm response: Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19 “Then I called on the name of the LORD: ‘O LORD, I pray, save my life!'”

1 Peter 1:17-23 Those baptized into the Risen One are exiles who live in reverent fear, hope, because the blood of Christ ransoms us, and love one another from the heart.

Luke 24:13-35 On the road to Emmaus, Jesus reminds two dispirited followers of all they have seen and heard, its grounding in Scripture, and what next steps they can take to live this way now. They “get it” only when he breaks the bread.

A Meditation on the Road to Emmaus
(Source)

“That very same day a group of them were on their way into a common future, which lay
just ahead, beyond what they could see.
As they walked into the future, they talked about all the happenings among them. As they
talked with one another GOD joined them and moved with them.
But something kept them from seeing and understanding what was REALLY happening.
So, God entered into their hearts and asked: WHAT IS IT THAT TROUBLES YOU?
WHAT ARE YOU WONDERING ABOUT? WHAT QUESTIONS UNSETTLE YOU?
The group stopped, full of fear and anxiety, and began to reflect, saying:
We thought it would be simpler.
We thought our choices would be clearer.
We thought our values and priorities would be more evident.
We thought there would be more uniformity.
We thought we would agree more easily on basic issues.
We thought our resources were more extensive.
We thought God would lead us more directly.
We thought that doubts, conflicts, and confusion would lessen.
We thought that our common charism would ensure a common vision.
We had hoped our future would be uncomplicated.
We had hoped things would not be so messy.
We had hoped our experiences would confirm what we knew, not change it again.
We had hoped our familiar theories would still fit.
We had hoped.
We had hoped.
And now, some among us are saying that things are not as we first imagined them to be.
Now some are saying that the future continues to challenge us in different ways: IS THIS
OF GOD?
And God said: How slow you are as a group. How hard it is for you to trust. Have I not
promised from the beginning to be with you, to sustain you, and to continually reveal my
plans to hearts that are OPEN? Have I not promised you more than you can ask or
imagine?
And God spent time going over the history of the people gathered, and the ways that
mystery continues to be revealed. God raised up many ordinary events and interactions
and showed the people gathered God’s own way of being with them.
By the time the people had begun to understand the depth, the breadth, and height of the
love of God for them, they were already one step further into the future.
They wondered if they could sustain that kind of hope. It felt as if God was not going to
be present as clearly as they had thought. They invited God to remain with them and to
continue to help them notice, celebrate and be open to the ongoing revelation – to walk
through those doors into an unknown future.
And God chose to stay with the people.
God, and the people gathered, recognized the mystery at work among them, and they
grew more confident and able to share it with others who needed to know if God’s love
could be counted on. They moved into their lives, trusting that what God has in store will
be created together and will include more than the people could ever ask or imagine.”

To think about:
How does this reflection help you enter the ‘Road to Emmaus’ story?
How is God speaking to you  in this story?

Praying the Lectionary Readings

Let us join our hearts and our minds and our spirits with Thomas Merton when he prayed:

“MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.

I do not see the road ahead of me.

I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself,

and the fact that I think I am following your will

does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.

And I hope I have that desire in all I am doing.

I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road,

though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore I will trust you always

though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.

I will not fear, for you are ever with me,

And you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

A New and Living Way

white eye in a treeSunday 27th April
The 2nd Sunday of Easter, Year A
Colour – White

This week is the second Sunday of the Easter Season (Easter Sunday was the First). This is a fifty day period ending with Pentecost. It is a time to reflect on the life that we are called into. It is a new and living way.

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary
21-27 April 2014

Download the PDF here

The Word – Lectionary Readings for this Sunday:
Acts 2:14a, 22-32 The first of several readings from the sermon of Peter at Pentecost. In today’s text, he declares the resurrection of Jesus to a crowd amazed at the signs of the Spirit’s presence and power.

Psalm 16

1 Peter 1:3-9 We have been born anew and granted an imperishable inheritance in the Risen Lord.

John 20:19-31 This story is not only about Thomas, but about Christ. It reminds us, the body of Christ, to go to similar lengths to show the signs of Christ’s resurrection to those who doubt so they may come to believe.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Each day try to spot a new sign of resurrection in the world around you. Then praise God for his gift of new life.
Confession: Focus on resurrection. Ask God what he wants to raise up in your life. Then as he gives you a focus spend some time allowing the Spirit of God to produce that fruit that God desires in you. Today’s hint: facing a challenge.
The Word: Use readings above.
Seeking the Kingdom
Shared Focus: This week pray resurrection into the world around you. Pray for your church, for your town, for your land and for our world. Each day allow God to lead you into a new area.
Personal prayers: (Use this section to list people you need to pray for or situations of personal concern that you need to bring before God in prayer)

Dedication: “It is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me!” (St Paul)

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day try to spot a new sign of resurrection in the world around you. Then praise God for his gift of new life.
Confession: Focus on resurrection. Ask God what he wants to raise up in your life. Then as he gives you a focus spend some time allowing the Spirit of God to produce that fruit that God desires in you. Today’s hint: forgiveness/reconciliation.
The Word:
Seeking the Kingdom:
Shared Focus: This week pray resurrection into the world around you. Pray for your church, for your town, for your land and for our world. Each day allow God to lead you into a new area
Personal Prayers:

Dedication: “It is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me!” (St Paul)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day try to spot a new sign of resurrection in the world around you. Then praise God for his gift of new life.
Confession: Focus on resurrection. Ask God what he wants to raise up in your life. Then as he gives you a focus spend some time allowing the Spirit of God to produce that fruit that God desires in you. Today’s hint: using a gift that he has given you.
The Word:
Seeking the Kingdom:
Shared Focus: This week pray resurrection into the world around you. Pray for your church, for your town, for your land and for our world. Each day allow God to lead you into a new area.
Personal prayers:

Dedication: “It is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me!” (St Paul)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Each day try to spot a new sign of resurrection in the world around you. Then praise God for his gift of new life.
Confession: Focus on resurrection. Ask God what he wants to raise up in your life. Then as he gives you a focus spend some time allowing the Spirit of God to produce that fruit that God desires in you. Today’s hint: learning to love and accept your life.
The Word:
Seeking the Kingdom:
Shared Focus: This week pray resurrection into the world around you. Pray for your church, for your town, for your land and for our world. Each day allow God to lead you into a new area.
Personal prayers:

Dedication: “It is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me!” (St Paul)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Each day try to spot a new sign of resurrection in the world around us. Then praise God for his gift of new life.
Confession: Focus on resurrection. Ask God what he wants to raise up in your life. Then as he gives you a focus spend some time allowing the Spirit of God to produce that fruit that God desires in you. Today’s hint: being creative.
The Word:
Seeking the Kingdom:
Shared Focus: This week pray resurrection into the world around you. Pray for your church, for your town, for your land and for our world. Each day allow God to lead you into a new area.
Personal prayers:

Dedication: “It is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me!” (St Paul)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Each day try to spot a new sign of resurrection in the world around you. Then praise God for his gift of new life.
Confession: Focus on resurrection. Ask God what he wants to raise up in your life. Then as he gives you a focus spend some time allowing the Spirit of God to produce that fruit that God desires in you. Today’s hint: Joy/optimism.
The Word:
Seeking the Kingdom:
Shared Focus: This week pray resurrection into the world around you. Pray for your church, for your town, for your land and for our world. Each day allow God to lead you into a new area.
Personal prayers:

Dedication: “It is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me!” (St Paul)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Each day try to spot a new sign of resurrection in the world around you. Then praise God for his gift of new life.
Confession: Focus on resurrection. Ask God what he wants to raise up in your life. Then as he gives you a focus spend some time allowing the Spirit of God to produce that fruit that God desires in you. Today’s hint: resting in the work that God has done on your behalf and for you.
The Word:
Seeking the Kingdom:
Shared Focus: This week pray resurrection into the world around you. Pray for your church, for your town, for your land and for our world. Each day allow God to lead you into a new area.
Personal prayers:

Dedication: “It is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me!” (St Paul)

Weekly Rhythm

Engaging with the weekly Lectionary Readings (Comment and Questions)
Download the PDF here for personal or small group use

We are exploring the meaning of resurrection and the difference it may make in the way we live our daily lives.
As you reflect on the readings this week consider this quote:
Philip Yancey in his book “The Jesus I never knew” explores Easter faith. He concludes: “There are two ways to look at human history. One way is to focus on the wars and violence, the squalor, the pain and tragedy and death. From such a point of view, Easter seems a fairy-tale exception, a stunning contradiction in the name of God…
There is another way to look at the world. If I take Easter as the starting point, the one incontrovertible fact about how God treats those whom he loves, then human history becomes the contradiction and Easter a preview of ultimate reality. Hope then flows like lava beneath the crust of daily life.” (Philip Yancey)

As you read ask how you are being challenged to move into the second way of looking at human history.

Acts 2:14a, 22-32.
Peter declares the resurrection of Jesus to a crowd amazed at the signs of the Spirit’s presence and power.

Psalm 16

1 Peter 1:3-9.
We have been born anew and granted an imperishable inheritance in the Risen Lord.

John 20:19-31.
This story is not only about Thomas, but about Jesus Christ. It reminds us, the body of Christ, to go to similar lengths to show the signs of Christ’s resurrection to those who doubt so they may come to believe.

Praying the Lectionary Readings

Sunday 27th April 2014

Prayers you may pray during the week and on Sunday

 

Prayer to St. Thomas the Apostle
Almighty and ever-living God, who strengthened your apostle Thomas with sure and certain faith in your Son’s resurrection: Grant us so perfectly and without doubt to believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that our faith may never be found wanting in your sight; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

O Lord,
give us a mind
that is humble, quiet, peaceable,
patient and charitable,
and a taste of your Holy Spirit
in all our thoughts, words, and deeds.

O Lord,
give us a lively faith, a firm hope,
a fervant charity, a love of you.

Take from us all lukewarmness in meditation
and all dullness in prayer.
Give us fervor and delight in thinking of you,
your grace, and your tender compassion toward us.

Give us,
good Lord,
the grace to work for
the things we pray for.
Amen

by Hans Holbein

[Source]

Easter Sunday, Year A

He is risen small

Holy Week and Easter Sunday

Sunday 20th April 2014, Year A

This week is Holy Week.  It is holy in that we set it aside to specifically and intensively focus on the events of the week in Christ’s journey which culminated in death and resurrection.  I have given you the set readings for each day (thanks to www.gbod.org).  If you do not find time to reflect on all of them simply focus on the Gospel readings.  This week, all you are asked to do is read the story.  But read it slowly and be open to God’s Spirit.  This is God’s work of salvation for you and your world.

Devotional Diary 14 – 20 April 2014 

Step 1 Be still

Step 2 Read the passage

Step 3 Let the passage speak to you

Step 4 Pray and live what you hear

Monday of Holy Week


Isaiah 42:1–9
Psalm 36:5–11
Hebrews 9:11–15
John 12:1–11

Tuesday of Holy Week


Isaiah 49:1–7
Psalm 71:1–14
1 Corinthians 1:18–31
John 12:20–36

Wednesday of Holy Week


Isaiah 50:4–9a
Psalm 70
Hebrews 12:1–3
John 13:21–32

Holy Thursday


Exodus 12:1–14
Psalm 116:1–4, 12–19 
1 Corinthians 11:23–26
John 13:1–17, 31b-35

Good Friday


Isaiah 52:13–53:12
Psalm 22 
Hebrews 10:16–25
John 18:1–19:42

Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil


Job 14:1-14
Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16 
1 Peter 4:1-8
Matthew 27:57-66

Easter Sunday — The Resurrection of Our Lord


Acts 10:34-43
Psalm 118:1–2, 14–24
Colossians 3:1–4
John 20:1-18
Matthew 28:1–10