Monthly Archives: October 2014

Dealing with failure, rebellion and sin. 18th Sunday after Pentecost, Year A

cloudsYearly Rhythm

12 October  2014, the  18 th Sunday after Pentecost
Year A,  Colour: Green

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

Bringing worship into the everyday.

Devotional Diary  6 – 12 October 2014

DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE.

Readings for this week, with thanks to www.gbod.org:

Exodus 32:1-14. While Moses was up on the mountain with God, the people became anxious. Aaron led them to fashion a golden calf and to worship it. This appalled God and Moses. Only through Moses’ intercession was disaster averted.

Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23.

Philippians 4:1-9Paul addresses the specific conflict in the community at Philippi head-on, calling the two chief parties in the conflict by name and asking for the assistance of Syzygos, their bishop (?), whose name means “yokemate,” to help resolve it. The letter then turns towards its close, with exhortations to rejoice, trust God, and focus all thoughts on worthy things.

Matthew 22:1-14.   Jesus tells the parable of the Wedding Banquet. Those invited did not respond, so the king ordered his servants to hit the streets and alleys to invite everyone to come. One person came who refused to dress appropriately; he was promptly thrown out. The conclusion: many are called, but few are chosen.

READ MORE ABOUT THE READINGS HERE.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: God’s Kingdom is greater than any other kingdom.  It is the only kingdom that will stand eternally. Each day focus on an aspect of God’s reign in our midst.  Then thank God for his Kingdom.  Today: Our only hope…

Confession: Luke 17:21 “…the Kingdom of God is within you.”  This week pray that you may receive the gift of knowing God’s Kingdom within you.  Reflect on what the Kingdom of God is and how the reign of God can happen in your heart.

Today: being hopeful…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus:  The Kingdom of God is our only hope.  It is God’s peace to all.  This week pray the kingdom of God into every situation where you are losing hope and direction.  Today: Think big…

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: We sing “Heaven is in my heart”.  In the day ahead dear Lord, let the heaven that is in my heart overflow to others.

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: God’s Kingdom is greater than any other kingdom.  It is the only kingdom that will stand eternally. Each day focus on an aspect of God’s reign in our midst.  Then thank God for his Kingdom.  Today: Being fully alive.

Confession: Luke 17:21 “…the Kingdom of God is within you.”  This week pray that you may receive the gift of knowing God’s Kingdom within you.  Reflect on what the Kingdom of God is and how the reign of God can happen in your heart.  Today: Abundant life…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: The Kingdom of God is our only hope.  It is God’s peace to all.  This week pray the kingdom of God into every situation where you are losing hope and direction. Today: Think about ‘planting seeds.’

Personal Prayers:

             Dedication: We sing “Heaven is in my heart”.  In the day ahead dear Lord, let the heaven that is in my heart overflow to others.

 Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: God’s Kingdom is greater than any other kingdom.  It is the only kingdom that will stand eternally. Each day focus on an aspect of God’s reign in our midst.  Then thank God for his Kingdom.  Today: Abundant and shared provision…

Confession: Luke 17:21 “…the Kingdom of God is within you.”  This week pray that you may receive the gift of knowing God’s Kingdom within you.  Reflect on what the Kingdom of God is and how the reign of God can happen in your heart.  Today: Generosity.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: The Kingdom of God is our only hope.  It is God’s peace to all.  This week pray the kingdom of God into every situation where you are losing hope and direction. Today: Picture transformation.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: We sing “Heaven is in my heart”.  In the day ahead dear Lord, let the heaven that is in my heart overflow to others.

 Thursday:

Adoration Focus: God’s Kingdom is greater than any other kingdom.  It is the only kingdom that will stand eternally. Each day focus on an aspect of God’s reign in our midst.  Then thank God for his Kingdom.  Today: Justice and care for all…

Confession: Luke 17:21 “…the Kingdom of God is within you.”  This week pray that you may receive the gift of knowing God’s Kingdom within you.  Reflect on what the Kingdom of God is and how the reign of God can happen in your heart.  Today: A heart that cares.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: The Kingdom of God is our only hope.  It is God’s peace to all.  This week pray the kingdom of God into every situation where you are losing hope and direction. Today: Think about loving your enemies.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: We sing “Heaven is in my heart”.  In the day ahead dear Lord, let the heaven that is in my heart overflow to others.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: God’s Kingdom is greater than any other kingdom.  It is the only kingdom that will stand eternally. Each day focus on an aspect of God’s reign in our midst.  Then thank God for his Kingdom.  Today: Fulfilled longings.

Confession: Luke 17:21 “…the Kingdom of God is within you.”  This week pray that you may receive the gift of knowing God’s Kingdom within you.  Reflect on what the Kingdom of God is and how the reign of God can happen in your heart.  Today: Kingdom longings.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: The Kingdom of God is our only hope.  It is God’s peace to all.  This week pray the kingdom of God into every situation where you are losing hope and direction. Today: think about redemption for all things.

Personal prayers:

             Dedication: We sing “Heaven is in my heart”.  In the day ahead dear Lord, let the heaven that is in my heart overflow to others.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: God’s Kingdom is greater than any other kingdom.  It is the only kingdom that will stand eternally. Each day focus on an aspect of God’s reign in our midst.  Then thank God for his Kingdom.  Today: Freedom…

Confession: Luke 17:21 “…the Kingdom of God is within you.”  This week pray that you may receive the gift of knowing God’s Kingdom within you.  Reflect on what the Kingdom of God is and how the reign of God can happen in your heart. Today: The freedom to seek God’s will.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: The Kingdom of God is our only hope.  It is God’s peace to all.  This week pray the kingdom of God into every situation where you are losing hope and direction. Today: Think about renewing the image of God in humanity.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: We sing “Heaven is in my heart”.  In the day ahead dear Lord, let the heaven that is in my heart overflow to others.

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: God’s Kingdom is greater than any other kingdom.  It is the only kingdom that will stand eternally. Each day focus on an aspect of God’s reign in our midst.  Then thank God for his Kingdom.  Today:  It is a kingdom of praise and celebration…

Confession: Luke 17:21 “…the Kingdom of God is within you.”  This week pray that you may receive the gift of knowing God’s Kingdom within you.  Reflect on what the Kingdom of God is and how the reign of God can happen in your heart.  Today: A heart of worship.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: The Kingdom of God is our only hope.  It is God’s peace to all.  This week pray the kingdom of God into every situation where you are losing hope and direction.  Today: Think about all nations worshipping together.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: We sing “Heaven is in my heart”.  In the day ahead dear Lord, let the heaven that is in my heart overflow to others.

                                                                             

Weekly Rhythm

Thinking more about the Lectionary readings – joining our stories with the stories of God’s people.

DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE

Readings for Sunday 12th October with thanks to www.gbod.org for readings and the comments in italics.

 Read Exodus 32:1-14. While Moses was up on the mountain with God, the people became anxious. Aaron led them to fashion a golden calf and to worship it. This appalled God and Moses. Only through Moses’ intercession was disaster averted.

 In this story we see God’s relationship with God’s people tested.  God certainly has the right to wipe them away and start again (the story illustrate this).  But God’s relationship stands up to the test and he shows his merciful and gracious nature.  God is the God of new beginnings and second chances.

How have you (do you) test God’s relationship with you?
How does God respond?
How do you respond to being given a second chance?
How is God giving this world a second chance?

Read Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23This psalm is one of a number that focus on Israel’s history.  But it has a specific focus: the sins, mistakes and rebellion.  We can only confess in this way in the light of God’s enduring love (see verse 1).  Picture our God always embracing us even in the midst of sins, mistakes and rebellion.  How does this make you respond to our God?

Read Philippians 4:1-9Paul addresses the specific conflict in the community at Philippi head-on, calling the two chief parties in the conflict by name and asking for the assistance of Syzygos, their bishop (?), whose name means “yokemate,” to help resolve it. The letter then turns towards its close, with exhortations to rejoice, trust God, and focus all thoughts on worthy things.

This passage does not ignore conflict.  It must be addressed and worked through, if necessary through a respected mediator.  Even in the midst of this process Paul points us in a direction that would transform us and inspire our lives.  Spend some time firstly listing and noting his advice.  Then look at how you can apply it in your life.  Action some steps you intend taking.

Read Matthew 22:1-14.   Jesus tells the parable of the Wedding Banquet. Those invited did not respond, so the king ordered his servants to hit the streets and alleys to invite everyone to come. One person came who refused to dress appropriately; he was promptly thrown out. The conclusion: many are called, but few are chosen.

“…the wedding garment for such an event as Jesus describes would have been supplied by the host, by the king in this parable. Those arriving would have been issued the appropriate garment at the door. So, if persons were in the party but not wearing the garment, it wasn’t because they didn’t have the garment. It was because they refused to wear it! It was such refusal of the “qualification” after acceptance of the “invitation” that resulted in this person being cast into the “outer darkness.”

(John) Wesley argued, the wedding garment points to “the holiness without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

Wesley then goes on to describe what that holiness does not entail—neither the adoration of holy things, nor acts of “holy war” (persecution or worse), nor mere harmlessness (“Whereas were a man as harmless as a post, he might be as far from holiness as heaven from earth”), nor even doing all the good one can to others.

“Yea, suppose a person of this amiable character to do much good wherever he is; to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, relieve the stranger, the sick, the prisoner; yea, and to save many souls from death: it is possible he may still fall far short of that holiness without which he cannot see the Lord.”

Nor is it even “attending upon all the ordinances of God.”

So what is the wedding garment, “the holiness without which no man shall see the Lord”? Wesley cites Galatians 5:6 (“faith which worketh by love” KJV) and writes: “In a word, holiness is the having ‘the mind that was in Christ,’ and the ‘walking as Christ walked.’”  Source

Time for a wardrobe audit?
How can you better clothe yourself?

Praying the Lectionary Readings

 Prayer of Intercession

(based on Exodus 32:1-14, Psalm 106, Philippians 4:1-9 and Matthew 22:1-14)

God, we come into Your presence
with praise and thanksgiving for Your faithful love.
Your love never fails—not even when we turn away from You:
when we ignore Your invitation,
or desert You for gods of our own making.
Even then You do not abandon us,
but reach out—again and again—
inviting us back into relationship once more.
As You welcome us, so You welcome our prayers.
We bring them to You with confidence,
knowing that You will hear and answer.
We pray for the world You created, and the people who share it with us:
– for countries caught up in war or violent conflict,
– for countries in economic crisis,
– for regions of the world recovering from natural disaster,
– for the starving people,
For these and all the other areas in our world
where there is need and despair,
Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for our country and for its people:
– for our government leaders,
– for our judicial system, police forces and military,
– for our cities, towns, and rural communities,
– for employers and employees, for young and old,
For all who are part of our country,
Lord, hear our prayer.

 We pray for our local community—the people of this city/town,
– for those who are unemployed,
– for those in prison,
– for those who are hungry,
– for those who are alone and afraid,
For all our neighbours, both known and unknown to us,
Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for our local church congregation—our brothers and sisters in Christ,
– for those who are ill,
– for those who are anxious about the future,
– for those struggling with their faith,
– for those who minister among us,
For all Your people in this place,
Lord, hear our prayer.

Pour out Your Spirit on us!
Fix our hearts and minds on what is true and honourable and right.
Give us the joy and peace that comes from knowing and doing Your will.
Keep us faithful to the call we have received in Christ Jesus, our Lord,
extending Your loving invitation to the world around us.
In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Originally posted on the re:Worship blog. (Adapted)

Commission & Benediction

(based on Philippians 4: 4-9)

Be glad in the Lord always!
Focus your thoughts on all that is true,
all that is holy, all that is just,
all that is pure, all that is lovely,
and all that is worthy of praise.
And the peace of God—
peace that goes far beyond anything we can comprehend—
that peace will guard your hearts and minds
as you live in Christ Jesus.
So go from here with confidence and joy,
to serve the Lord.

Originally posted on the re:Worship blog.