Monthly Archives: July 2014

Food for the journey home

food for the journey homeYearly Rhythm

3 August  2014,
The  8th   Sunday after Pentecost
Year A,  Colour: Green

“Lent is about preparing people to live as disciples of Jesus. Easter Season is about giving especially the newly baptized or confirmed time to focus deeply on the doctrinal foundations of the faith and on discerning the Spirit’s calling and gifts for ministry, culminating in a celebration and commissioning for these ministries at Pentecost. The Season after Pentecost is about seeking the Spirit’s guidance and supporting one another as we undertake these ministries in Christ’s name.”
                                                                                                   Source

 

                 Daily Rhythm

               Devotional Diary  28 July – 3 August 2014

DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE!

Readings for week leading up to Sunday 3 August 2014 (with thanks to www.gbod.org)

 READ MORE ABOUT THE READINGS HERE!

Genesis 32:22-31. Jacob wrestles with a “man” at the Jabbok River and is renamed Israel because he has “striven with God and with humans, and has prevailed.”

Psalm 17:1–7, 15

Romans 9:1-5. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, declares his great concern and anguish for his own people.

Matthew 14:13-21. Upon hearing of the death of John the Baptist, Jesus and the disciples withdraw to a quiet place, but the crowd follows, and more than 5000 people are fed.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Revelation 1:8  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Confession: In your confessions this week you are encouraged to journey with the following prayer:  “Lord we remember that you are always knocking at our door, calling out our names and seeking to embrace us in your abundant love.  We examine the many ways we seek to live “independent lives”.  Lord our fragile egos battle to stay intact and ruling.  Help us to submit to your love and care, to your guidance and leadership.”  As you pray this prayer seek to list some ways in which you assert yourself against God and then list some way in which you can co-operate with God’s work, love and person in your life.  Then pray:  “Father forgive me. Send your Holy Spirit that He may give me the power to live as You have called me to live, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.”

The Word: See readings above or use your own devotional guide/readings.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: O Christ, be with all who face death today in fear or loneliness.

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: O Spirit of God, mighty river, flow over me, in me, through me.  O Spirit of God, cleanse me; purify the channels of my life.  O spirit of God, bear me along with thy flood of life-giving service. O Spirit of God, mighty fire, may the flames of thy love ever blaze upon the altar of my heart. (Charles Devanesan)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Revelation 2:8 These are the words of him who is the first and the last, who died and came to life again.

Confession: See Monday’s confession focus.

The Word: See readings above or use your own devotional guide/readings.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: O Christ, be with all who face change today in fear or loneliness.

Personal Prayers:

                Dedication: O Spirit of God, mighty river, flow over me, in me, through me.  O Spirit of God, cleanse me, purify the channels of my life.  O spirit of God, bear me along with thy flood of life-giving service. O Spirit of God, mighty fire, may the flames of thy love ever blaze upon the altar of my heart. (Charles Devanesan)

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by you will they were created and have their being.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession focus.

The Word: See readings above or use your own devotional guide/readings.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: O Christ, be with all who face rejection today in fear or loneliness.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: O Spirit of God, mighty river, flow over me, in me, through me.  O Spirit of God, cleanse me, purify the channels of my life.  O spirit of God, bear me along with thy flood of life-giving service. O Spirit of God, mighty fire, may the flames of thy love ever blaze upon the altar of my heart. (Charles Devanesan)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Revelation 5:12  “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength…”

Confession: See Monday’s confession focus.

The Word: See readings above or use your own devotional guide/readings.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: O Christ, be with all who face a long journey today in fear or loneliness.

Personal prayers:

              Dedication: O Spirit of God, mighty river, flow over me, in me, through me.  O Spirit of God, cleanse me, purify the channels of my life.  O spirit of God, bear me along with thy flood of life-giving service. O Spirit of God, mighty fire, may the flames of thy love ever blaze upon the altar of my heart. (Charles Devanesan)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Revelation 7:10 “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne and to the Lamb.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession focus.

The Word: See readings above or use your own devotional guide/readings.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: O Christ, be with all who face surgery today in fear or loneliness.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: O Spirit of God, mighty river, flow over me, in me, through me.  O Spirit of God, cleanse me, purify the channels of my life.  O spirit of God, bear me along with thy flood of life-giving service. O Spirit of God, mighty fire, may the flames of thy love ever blaze upon the altar of my heart. (Charles Devanesan)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Revelation 15:3 “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty.  Just and true are your ways, King of the ages.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession focus.

The Word: See readings above or use your own devotional guide/readings.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: O Christ, be with all who face conflict today in fear or loneliness.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: O Spirit of God, mighty river, flow over me, in me, through me. O Spirit of God, cleanse me, purify the channels of my life.  O spirit of God, bear me along with thy flood of life-giving service. O Spirit of God, mighty fire, may the flames of thy love ever blaze upon the altar of my heart. (Charles Devanesan)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Revelation 16:7 “Yes, Lord Almighty, true and just are your judgments.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession focus.

The Word: See readings above or use your own devotional guide/readings.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus:  O Christ, be with all who face life today in fear or loneliness.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: O Spirit of God, mighty river, flow over me, in me, through me.  O Spirit of God, cleanse me, purify the channels of my life.  O spirit of God, bear me along with thy flood of life-giving service.  O Spirit of God, mighty fire, may the flames of thy love ever blaze upon the altar of my heart. (Charles Devanesan)

                                          Weekly Rhythm

Sunday 3 August
The 8th Sunday after Pentecost, Year A

 

Genesis 32:22-31
Jacob wrestles with a “man” at the Jabbok River and is renamed Israel because he has “striven with God and with humans, and has prevailed.”

Earlier Jacob sees the host of heaven ascending and descending on a ladder connecting heaven and earth. Jacob’s pathway is connected to God and God to Jacob’s pathway (the same is true for us).  Now as Jacob journeys to meet with Esau (he tricked Esau and so he dreads this encounter) he encounters God in a dramatic way.  He wrestles with a man, and in declaring that he has met God face to face Jacob shows that he believes this man to be God or perhaps represents God in some way.  Jacob is determined to hold on to this God even in his weakness (his injury).  Jacob insists on a blessing and this comes to him in the shape of a name change: from Jacob (meaning “he supplants”) to Israel (meaning “one who strives with God”).

How is “striving with God” a positive attribute?

How does this encounter with God give Jacob “food for the journey”?

Psalm 17:1-7, 15 .

The setting of this psalm is an ancient courtroom.  A plea is made to God, expressing the confidence that God is the righteous judge.  He will rule in our favour.
Romans 9:1-5.
Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, declares his great concern and anguish for his own people.  Paul is concerned for any persecution or rejection of the Jews.  He lists the eight privileges they have shared in.  God will not abandon them, we will discover, as we continue through these chapters.  God completes what he has begun.

Matthew 14:13-21.

Upon hearing of the death of John the Baptist, Jesus and the disciples withdraw to a quiet place, but the crowd follows, and more than 5000 people are fed.  In his grief at John’s death, Jesus seeks out a quiet place.  But the crowds find him and he translates his grief into compassion for the people.  The disciples sound like us, “We have nothing…” “What can we do?”  “The task is too big.”  But Jesus acts out of a framework of compassion.  He works with the little that is given.  He will work with the little we give.

The miracle of ‘enough for everyone’ is central here.

Why are there twelve baskets left over?  The twelve tribes were fed by God in their desert wanderings on their journey to the Promised Land.  Again Jesus (God) feeds as he restores the people of God.

  

Praying the Lectionary Readings

Here’s a pastoral prayer inspired by the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel.  It comes from the Ministry Matters website.

Pastoral Prayer

(inspired by Genesis 32: 22-31)

Lord,

we have heard the story of Jacob
as he wrestled with the angel,
how he asked for the angel to bless him.
We, too, come to you for blessing.

There are so many times in our lives
in which we have felt alienated, downtrodden, alone.
It is easy for us to wallow in our misery,
to whine about all the perceived injustices
that have been heaped upon us.

But you encourage us to stand strong;
to seek the blessings that you have provided for us;
to recognize the many ways that you are with us,
giving us strength and courage.

Be with us again, precious Lord.
Guide our lives.
As we have brought our prayers before you
for those near and dear to us,
seeking healing and hope for them;
let us also remember that those same mercies
are lavished upon us,
not because we deserve them,
but because of your great and generous love for us.

Help us receive these blessings
and, in turn, be a blessing to someone else.
For we ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior.

~ posted on the Ministry Matters  website.

 

Prayer: Enough for All

Here’s a prayer for the offering inspired by the story of the loaves and fishes in Matthew 14:15-21 (or Mark 6:35-44, Luke 9:12-17, John 6:1-15). It comes from the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand website.

 Offering Prayer

(inspired by Matthew 14:15-21)

On my own
what I have to give
doesn’t amount to much
in the light of all you have given to me
and in the face of so much need.
Put together as a congregation,
what we offer you here in love
becomes more,
not simply added together,
but somehow multiplied in its usefulness.
We ask you to bless our gifts
and with the addition of your blessing,
just as it was with the loaves and fishes,
there is enough for all.

Amen

Prayer: Sharing

Here’s a prayer of reminder based on Matthew 14:15-21, Mark 6:35-44, Luke 9:12-17, John 6:1-15.
It was written by Rev. Karla Miller and posted on A Place for Prayer.

Five loaves and two fish are never enough
until you start giving it away.

Dear God,

Remind me to share whatever is in my basket,
You will do the rest.

 

 

 

 

The Kingdom of God is like…

CASTLE SMALLYearly Rhythm

27 July  2014
the 7th   Sunday after Pentecost
Year A,  Colour: Green

“Lent is about preparing people to live as disciples of Jesus. Easter Season is about giving especially the newly baptized or confirmed time to focus deeply on the doctrinal foundations of the faith and on discerning the Spirit’s calling and gifts for ministry, culminating in a celebration and commissioning for these ministries at Pentecost. The Season after Pentecost is about seeking the Spirit’s guidance and supporting one another as we undertake these ministries in Christ’s name.” Source

 

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary  21 – 27 July 2014

DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE!

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

Readings for this week (with thanks to www.gbod.org)
Genesis 29:15-28. The story of Jacob continues: The Trickster is tricked.
Psalm 105:1–11, 45b
Romans 8:26-39. Our song – with creation, because of hope.
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52. Jesus tells five short parables of the kingdom of heaven and describes the work of a “scribe trained for the kingdom.”
READ MORE ABOUT THE READINGS HERE!

The prayers of intercession are based on a prayer in “The Methodist Service Book.”

Monday:

Adoration Focus:  Praise God for the nature and shape of his Kingdom (an expression of God’s nature): Today: righteousness.

Confession:  Lord you have said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God (on earth as in heaven)”.  I have sought first my own kingdom.  Forgive me and help me to have Godly priorities.  Today’s focus: Mixed priorities.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Hear us, Lord God, as we pray for your one holy Church: make us all one, so that the world may believe.

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:   But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Mt 6:33

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Praise God for the nature and shape of his Kingdom (an expression of God’s nature): Today: Earnest mutual care, concern and ministry.

Confession:  Lord you have said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God (on earth as in heaven)”.     I have sought first my own kingdom.  Forgive me and help me to have Godly priorities.  Today’s focus: Including those different from me.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: We pray that every member of the Church may truly and humbly serve you: grant that your name may be glorified by all people

Personal Prayers:

                Dedication: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Mt 6:33

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: Praise God for the nature and shape of his Kingdom (an expression of God’s nature): Today: sharing and provision for all.

Confession: Lord you have said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God (on earth as in heaven)”.    I have sought first my own kingdom.  Forgive me and help me to have Godly priorities.  Today’s focus:  Beginning now!

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Guide and strengthen all ministers of your gospel: make them faithful in your service.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Mt 6:33

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Praise God for the nature and shape of his Kingdom (an expression of God’s nature): Today: Abundant life and celebration.

Confession: Lord you have said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God (on earth as in heaven)”.     I have sought first my own kingdom.  Forgive me and help me to have Godly priorities.  Today’s focus: Offering my daily routines up to God’s purposes.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Inspire and lead all who govern and hold authority in the nations of the world: establish justice and peace among all people.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Mt 6:33 

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Praise God for the nature and shape of his Kingdom (an expression of God’s nature): Today:  Security and safety.

Confession: Lord you have said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God (on earth as in heaven)”.    I have sought first my own kingdom.  Forgive me and help me to have Godly priorities.  Today’s focus: Giving of my possessions, resources and money.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Have compassion on all who suffer from any sickness, grief or trouble: deliver them from their distress.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Mt 6:33

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Praise God for the nature and shape of his Kingdom (an expression of God’s nature): Today: Warmth, love and affirmation.

Confession: Lord you have said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God (on earth as in heaven)”.    I have sought first my own kingdom.  Forgive me and help me to have Godly priorities.  Today’s focus: Acknowledging people as people, especially the “dis-empowered”.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Give us courage to do your will in all that we undertake: reveal the life of Christ within us.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Mt 6:33

 Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Praise God for the nature and shape of his Kingdom (an expression of God’s nature): Today: Glorious worship.

Confession: Lord you have said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God (on earth as in heaven)”.    I have sought first my own kingdom.  Forgive me and help me to have Godly priorities.  Today’s focus:  Worshipping with others.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus:  We praise you for all your saints who have entered your eternal glory: bring us all to share in your heavenly kingdom.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Mt 6:33

                                                                         

 Weekly Rhythm

Comment and Questions
o
n the Lectionary Readings for
Sunday 27 July, the 7th Sunday after Pentecost

DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE!

 Genesis 29:15-28 The story of Jacob continues: The Trickster is tricked.

What examples can you see in this story of people being abused, used and manipulated?

Can you identify similar abuse in our world today?  In your life today?

How does Christ give us a new model in dealing with others?

 

Psalm 105:1-11, 45b The psalmist speaks about the mighty works of God.

How does he do this?

If someone had to ask you to tell them about God’s might, His wonderful works, how would you respond?

How do these things shape your life?

 

Romans 8:26-39  Last week—our groaning with creation as it longs with hope.

“What we know about God in Jesus Christ gives us hope for the future.”

How is this statement reflected in today’s passage from Romans?

 

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
Jesus tells five short parables of the kingdom of heaven (mustard seed, yeast, hidden treasure, an extraordinary pearl, a fishing net) and describes the work of a “scribe trained for the kingdom.”

All these parables start with the words:” The Kingdom of God is like…”  As you read them remember what they are teaching you about.  After each parable try to complete this phrase: “So the Kingdom of God is like…”

“No farmer would choose to keep mustard around long enough to grow as large as this parable describes it. And no Jewish farmer (or listener!) would have thought a roosting place for all of these dirty birds a good thing. But this is what the kingdom of God is like, Jesus says!

 In the parable of the woman and the bread starter (verse 33), three measures of flour would have made enough bread to feed hundreds of people! And bread starter had a rather ambivalent set of associations with it in that culture—both positive and negative. On the positive side, starter makes bread rise, and for Christians ‘rising’ points to resurrection. Far more commonly, though, starter was associated with rot and decay, hardly positive connotations at all. So Jesus compares the kingdom of God to rising rot! How is God’s kingdom experienced as both resurrection and decay where you are?

Commercial fishing practices as eschatology? What’s that about? And listen closely to the parable. The kingdom of God here is like the net, not the sorters (is this an echo, or even counterpoint, perhaps, to last week’s parable?)

 Jesus offers one final parable. Scribes trained for the kingdom of God are like a household manager who has treasures old and new to show for his labours. Usually when we hear about scribes in the New Testament, the connotations are entirely negative. They’re picky. They’re negative. They’re self-centered. Not so here. Not at all. Scribes, those meticulous preservers and copiers of old texts, are heroes in God’s kingdom.”   Source

 

Praying the Lectionary Readings

Responsive Call to Worship: Romans 8: 31-39

If God is for us, who is against us?
He who gave us his son,

now gives us the Spirit in power!
The Holy One is in our midst:
equipping us for life in the service of Christ.
In Christ we are more than conquerors,
for nothing in creation can separate us from the love of God!
May the all surpassing grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
And the unshakable love of God be with you.
The joyous communion of the Holy Spirit be with you.
And also with you!

~ from Keeping in Step with the Spirit, posted on the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship 

 

Intergenerational Prayer


(inspired by Matthew 13: 31-33)

 

Dear Lord God

we thank you for mustard seed

and for the wonders of yeast

and for how these things teach us about your love.

Lord, plant your seed into our lives,

help us work your yeast into our hearts

that wonderful things may happen.

We ask it in Jesus’  name. Amen.

~ written by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild, and posted on Kir-shalom

Weeds/Wheat: Either/or or Both/and?

wheatYearly Rhythm

20 July  2014
6th   Sunday after Pentecost
Year A,  Colour: Green

“Lent is about preparing people to live as disciples of Jesus. Easter Season is about giving especially the newly baptized or confirmed time to focus deeply on the doctrinal foundations of the faith and on discerning the Spirit’s calling and gifts for ministry, culminating in a celebration and commissioning for these ministries at Pentecost. The Season after Pentecost is about seeking the Spirit’s guidance and supporting one another as we undertake these ministries in Christ’s name.” [Source]

 

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary   14 – 20 July 2014

A resource for the daily rhythm of worship using the Lectionary Readings from www.gbod.org

DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE.

Genesis 28:10-19a.  Jacob encounters God in a dream while “on the run” after tricking his brother. Rebekah’s favorite, he is on the way to join Rebekah’s family in Haran (modern-day Turkey) and find a wife among her kin.

Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24.

Romans 8:12-25. The Spirit witnesses we are the adopted children of God and heirs with Christ — provided we suffer with him. Creation groans with us and the Spirit within us while we wait in hope for the promised deliverance from bondage to decay, futility, and death.

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43.  Jesus tells the parable of the weeds sown in the field and interprets the parable to the disciples.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE READINGS HERE.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: God is love. (Galatians 5:22)

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I have chosen indifference before the cost of love.

The Word: See above readings or use whatever weekly readings you prefer.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week you are asked to focus on an area, situation or person and then pray as the Spirit of God leads you to.  Today: Focus on a call for help…  How is God leading you to pray?

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:         O love ever burning and never extinguished charity;
My God set me on fire.  (Saint Augustine)

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: God is joy. (Galatians 5:22)

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I have not resolved issues that have festered within and robbed me of joy.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week you are asked to focus on an area and then pray as the Spirit of God leads you to.  Today: Think of the space in which you live.  How is God leading you to pray?

                Dedication:         O love ever burning and never extinguished charity;
My God set me on fire.  (Saint Augustine)

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: God is peace. (Galatians 5:22)

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I have been disruptive and have sown discord and prejudice rather than peace.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week you are asked to focus on an area and then pray as the Spirit of God leads you to.  Today: Think of the times in which we live.  How is God leading you to pray?

Personal prayers:

                Dedication:         O love ever burning and never extinguished charity;
My God set me on fire.  (Saint Augustine)

Thursday:  

Adoration Focus: God is patience. (Galatians 5:22)

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I have lost faith in your Kingdom transformation and have gone it alone.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week you are asked to focus on an area and then pray as the Spirit of God leads you to.  Today: Think of the journey that lies ahead.  How is God leading you to pray?

Personal prayers:

Dedication:          O love ever burning and never extinguished charity;
My Go
d set me on fire.  (Saint Augustine)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: God is kindness. (Galatians 5:22)

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I have written off kindness because of my own bruises.  Help me to offer up small acts of kindness.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week you are asked to focus on an area and then pray as the Spirit of God leads you to.  Today: Focus on the people around you.  How is God leading you to pray?

Personal prayers:

                Dedication:          O love ever burning and never extinguished charity;
My God set me on fire.  (Saint Augustine)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: God is goodness. (Galatians 5:22)

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I have not reflected your goodness.  Fill me with your goodness that I may build positive community.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week you are asked to focus on an area and then pray as the Spirit of God leads you to.  Today:  Focus on something you would like to see happen or come about.  How is God leading you to pray?

Personal prayers:

Dedication:          O love ever burning and never extinguished charity;
My God set me on fire.  (Saint Augustine)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: God is faithfulness. (Galatians 5:22)

Confession:  Lord, forgive me for my unfaithfulness. Name some areas where you have wondered off the path or given-up half way through.  Lord, fill us with your faithfulness.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week you are asked to focus on an area and then pray as the Spirit of God leads you to.  Today: Focus on the worship services you may attend/have attended.  How is God leading you to pray?

Personal prayers:

               Dedication:          O love ever burning and never extinguished charity;
M
y God set me on fire.  (Saint Augustine)

                                                                                 

 Weekly Rhythm

Sunday 20 July, the 6th Sunday after Pentecost

DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE

 Genesis 28:10-19a.

Jacob encounters God in a dream while “on the run” after tricking his brother. Rebekah’s favourite, he is on the way to join Rebekah’s family in Haran (modern-day Turkey) and find a wife among her kin.

 

In what ways is God’s relationship with Jacob affirmed in Jacob’s vision?  How does Jacob respond?

 

Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24
Romans 8:12-25.
The Spirit witnesses we are the adopted children of God and heirs with Christ — provided we suffer with him. Creation groans with us and the Spirit within us while we wait in hope for the promised deliverance from bondage to decay, futility, and death.

 

We must be careful to distinguish between Paul’s use of the word “flesh” which is sometimes translated “body” or “sinful nature” and our actual bodies.   It is the sinful nature which is left behind; our bodies are continued into the life in the Spirit and are “temples of the Holy Spirit”.   This new life reflects a new focus, from self to God.  We are now God imitators.

Note that all creation shares in this redemption, which is yet to be completed.

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43.

Jesus tells the parable of the weeds sown in the field and interprets the parable to the disciples.

“How should we deal with evil?  The weeds were probably darnel, a noxious weed, which in its early growth so closely resembles wheat that it was hard to distinguish the two.” (Basic Bible Commentary)  How easy is it to distinguish between good and evil?   When does it get confusing?  How does this parable encourage us to deal with evil in the present age?  The imagery for the judgement is not to be taken literally.  If we took all the passages concerning the judgement literally we end up with an entirely confusing picture.  The judgement speaks of transformation, completion and the new life all being in God’s hands.

 

Praying the Lectionary Readings

 

A Litany of Solidarity: With and Through the Spirit
(inspired by Galatians 5: 22-23, Romans 8: 14-15)

Come, Holy Spirit,

Fill us.

Come, Holy Breath,

Live in us.

Come, Holy Wind,

Move through us.

“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves,

so that you live in fear again.” (Rom 8:14-15a)

Where we are led by other impulses 

we become slaves again

and our way of being is guided by fear.

Where we are guided by prejudice,

Fill us with love.

Where we are guided by pessimism,

Fill us with joy.

Where we are guided by misunderstanding,

Fill us with peace.

Where we are guided by superficial quick-fixes,

Fill us with patience.

Where we are guided by self-interest,

Fill us with kindness.

Where we are guided by apathy,

Fill us with goodness.

Where we are guided by convenience,

Fill us with faithfulness.

Where we are guided by complacency,

Fill us with meekness.

Where we are guided by temptation,

Fill us with self-control.

Come, Holy Spirit,

Fill us.

Come, Holy Breath,

Live in us.

Come, Holy Wind,

Move through us.

Source 

 

Prayer of Confession

(based on Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)
Merciful God,

you plant each of us like seeds in the same field and together we are nourished and nurtured by the sun.  We sway in the wind and are refreshed by the rain. We are blessed by the knowledge that you want us to grow towards what you call us to be.
When we deprive others of that same opportunity,
forgive us.
When we want to uproot those whom we believe

do not belong in our part of the field,
forgive us.
When we label others as good or bad

rather than accept them for who they are,
forgive us.
When we are reluctant to acknowledge

that we ourselves are a mixture of weeds and wheat,
forgive us.
When we are afraid to look into the fields of our own lives

to see what is growing there,
forgive us.
O God, you know us inside and out, through and through.
You search us out and lay your hand upon us.
You know what we are going to say even before we speak.
So we pray that you will help us to reach out to the uprooted and rejected,
the lonely and the outcast,
and to develop and grow the good in ourselves, in others and in the world. 

This we pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen

 

—Moira Laidlaw’s Liturgies Online website.  Visit that site for many other good resources