Monthly Archives: November 2014

Prepare the Way! Advent 2, Year B, 7 December 2014

prepare the wayYearly Rhythm

7th December, 2014
Advent 2, Year B;  Colour: Purple or Blue

What is Advent all about?


The Christian year begins with the season of Advent (“coming” or “arrival”).   The four Sundays preceding Christmas take us on this journey.  Although the focus of this season is the coming birth of Christ, it explores the revelation and coming of God to us in a much broader sense; a God seeking to draw humanity and all of creation into God’s uniting purposes.  The set readings focus on Christ’s coming to us in various ways and our need to be ready. There is a creative tension between His coming in the past, His present coming to us and His future coming to consummate all things.  It is all about anticipation and preparation.

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of everyday

Devotional Diary   1 – 7 December 2014

Download a PDF of the Devotional Diary and Weekly Rhythm here.

Readings and brief notes for this week with thanks to www.gbod.org. Theme – God’s love in Advent. 

 Isaiah 40:1-11. Three prophecies declare the hope of God’s coming to rescue the exiles from captivity. In verses 1-4, a voice is to cry out “Prepare God’s way” as a highway forms across the desert from Babylon to Judea. In verses 5-8, a second cry announces human ephemerality and the eternality of God’s word. In verses 9-11, whoever may be keeping some sort of watch in Jerusalem, a city in ruins, is called to declare from the highest height the victory of God bringing the exiles home and sustaining them.

Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13.  A response of thanks and trust in God’s deliverance.

2 Peter 3:8-15a.  The coming fiery destruction or purification of the world as we know it means that we now, in the face of that, must strive for lives of holiness. We are called to make the present age a place where righteousness is at home even as we wait for new heavens and earth after that great conflagration.

Mark 1:1-8. The gospel begins with the ministry of John the Baptizer, calling all to repentance and baptism for forgiveness to get ready for the kingdom of the one to come, the one who baptizes not only with water, but with the Holy Spirit.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his love in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Confession: Mark 12:28-31: “Of all the commands which is the most important? ‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.’  This week examine your life using these two commandments of Christ.  It may be a good idea to write down some of the insights God brings to your life as you do this.  Pray that you may be set free to love!

The Word: See readings above and additional comments and prayers.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: This week simply pray as God’s love leads you.  First pray that God would fill you with his love and then reflect on your world through that heart of love.  You will find that your prayers soon flow.

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: Lord, I pray that today I may love you with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind and with all my strength; and that I may love my neighbour as myself.

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: “Love is a vulnerable infant reaching out with a tiny hand.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week simply pray as God’s love leads you.  First pray that God would fill you with his love and then reflect on your world through that heart of love.  You will find that your prayers soon flow.

Personal Prayers:

               Dedication: Lord, I pray that today I may love you with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind and with all my strength; and that I may love my neighbour as myself.

 

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: “Love was when God became a man…” (A Christian song)

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week simply pray as God’s love leads you.  First pray that God would fill you with his love and then reflect on your world through that heart of love.  You will find that your prayers soon flow.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: Lord, I pray that today I may love you with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind and with all my strength; and that I may love my neighbour as myself.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus:  “Jesus looked at him and loved him.” (Mark 10:21)  This is how Jesus looks at you today.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week simply pray as God’s love leads you.  First pray that God would fill you with his love and then reflect on your world through that heart of love.  You will find that your prayers soon flow.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: Lord, I pray that today I may love you with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind and with all my strength; and that I may love my neighbour as myself.

 Friday:

Adoration Focus: “O Love that wilt not let me go, I scares can take it in.” (A hymn of worship)

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week simply pray as God’s love leads you.  First pray that God would fill you with his love and then reflect on your world through that heart of love.  You will find that your prayers soon flow.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: Lord, I pray that today I may love you with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind and with all my strength; and that I may love my neighbour as myself.

 Saturday:

Adoration Focus:  “God’s love never stops searching.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week simply pray as God’s love leads you.  First pray that God would fill you with his love and then reflect on your world through that heart of love.  You will find that your prayers soon flow.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord, I pray that today I may love you with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind and with all my strength; and that I may love my neighbour as myself.

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: “God’s love stoops down to pick up the pieces.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week simply pray as God’s love leads you.  First pray that God would fill you with his love and then reflect on your world through that heart of love.  You will find that your prayers soon flow.

               Personal prayers:
Dedication: Lord, I pray that today I may love you with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind and with all my strength; and that I may love my neighbour as myself.

 

Weekly Rhythm

Exploring Scripture – joining our stories to God’s stories

 Isaiah 40:1 – 11: What similarities do you see between Isaiah’s context and ours?  What hope do these prophesies give us today?

 Prayer of Confession (inspired by Isaiah 40:1-11)

“Prepare the way of the Lord!

Make a straight road for him!”  Matthew 3:3

Holy and loving God,

we have dwelt in darkness

and preferred it to the light;

we have been proud of our accomplishments

and despaired over our shortcomings.

Smooth down the mountains of our pride,

and lift up the valleys of our doubts.

Open a path in the wilderness of our lives

that we might find our way to you again.

Refine us and prepare us once again

for life in your kingdom.

Hear our prayer, O Lord. Amen.

 

~ from the Ministry Matters website.

 

 Brave Wilderness Voice

(inspired by Isaiah 40:3-5, Mark 1:2-3, Luke 3:4-6)

O brave wilderness voice,

prophet of the Highest,

come among our markets

and consuming passions

and rebuke with your cry

our modern addictions

and frantic fashions.

 

O lonely, rough-hewn soul,

speaker of hard truths,

axe our mad, fruitless boasts

and viperous displays;

call us to that repentance

which we have deftly dodged

under pious cliches.

 

O smoother of crude ways,

mover of black mountains,

tread down our pampered pride

and cultured discontent;

straighten our twisted days

until each childlike hope

skips to meet the Advent.

 

~ from Beyond Words, copyright ©  B Prewer & JBCE 1995.

 

Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13.  A response of thanks and trust in God’s deliverance.

What deliverance do you hope and pray for?

 

Prayers to further explore Psalm 85

O Lord, be gracious to us.

Look upon your people with mercy.

Forgive our sin.

Bring us back again,

as you have done before.

 

Speak your word to us—

a word of peace to those who follow faithfully.

For we know, without doubt, that Your salvation is near;

your glory fills this place.

 

Let your unfailing love and truth come together among us;

let your righteousness and peace surround us.

Pour out your goodness upon us,

that we may worship and serve you all our days.

Amen.

Christine Longhurst

re:Worship

 

Prayer (inspired by Psalm 85)

Beloved, how gracious You are to your people;

You restore their souls time and time again.

You forgive their distractions

when they wander far from You;

You give them new life.

Yes, You bless them and raise up new hope;

You awaken their hearts to love.

Restore us again, O Spirit of Truth;

burn us with the refining Fire of Love!

We cannot live separated from You;

cast out the demons of fear, doubt, and illusion.

Revive us again, we pray; may your people rejoice in You!

Have compassion on your people, O Holy One,

and grant us your forgiveness.

 

Listen, O People, in the silent Chapel of your heart;

and the Beloved will speak of peace to you,

to the hidden saints, to all who turn their hearts to Love.

Surely new life is at hand for those who reverence Love;

O, that harmony might dwell among the nations.

 

Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;

righteousness and peace will embrace one another.

Wisdom will spring up from the ground

and truth will look down from the sky.

Yes, the Eternal Giver will grant what is good,

and the lands will yield abundantly.

Mercy and compassion are Love’s way;

You will guide our footsteps upon the path of peace

as we recognize with open hearts that You are our peace.

~ Nan C. Merrill, in Psalms for  Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness.  Taken from the First Lutheran website.

 

2 Peter 3:8-15a.  How do you look forward to God’s coming?  How do you prepare yourself for his coming?  How does he come to you each day?

 

Mark 1:1-8. The gospel begins with the ministry of John the Baptizer, calling all to repentance and baptism for forgiveness to get ready for the kingdom of the one to come, the one who baptizes not only with water, but with the Holy Spirit.

What might John the Baptist say to us if he were to call us to repentance in our current context?
Perhaps the prayer below might give us some clues.

 

A Call to Repentance

(inspired by Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:3, Luke 3:4-6, Isaiah 40:3)

As streets fill with shoppers
Bright lights and tempting offers
Christmas songs and children’s laughter
You lead us along a different path
To a desert river and a Prophetic voice
A call to repentance
A call to service
A call to immerse ourselves
In living water that will never run dry
A call to prepare a way in our own lives
For the Saviour of the world to enter in
To know the touch of tender mercy
And rest in your forgiving love

For your faithful prophets
And your Living Word
We give you thanks. Amen

~ written by John Birch, and posted on Faith and Worship.

He is coming! Advent 1, Year B, 30 November 2014

advent candleYearly Rhythm

Advent 1, Year B  Colour: Purple or Blue

What is Advent all about?

The Christian year begins with the season of Advent (“coming” or “arrival”).   The four Sundays preceding Christmas take us on this journey.  Although the focus of this season is the coming birth of Christ, it explores the revelation and coming of God to us in a much broader sense; a God seeking to draw humanity and all of creation into God’s uniting purposes.  The set readings focus on Christ’s coming to us in various ways and our need to be ready. There is a creative tension between his coming in the past, his present coming to us and his future coming to consummate all things.  It is all about anticipation and preparation.

Daily Rhythm

Bringing worship into the everyday.

Download the PDF version of the Devotional Diary and Weekly Rhythm here!

Devotional Diary 24 – 30 Nov 2014

Advent readings and brief comments with thanks to www.gbod.org: Receiving our coming King and his Kingdom!

 Isaiah 64:1-9. The prophet calls for God to appear decisively, to “tear open the heavens” so the nations would tremble. He also confesses the need for such decisive intervention — the utter sinfulness of humanity, even of those who are part of God’s covenant. Finally, he changes metaphors — from earthly catastrophe to remaking pots, begging God to be merciful when God comes.

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19: The people cry out for restoration from the midst of exile. “Restore us, Lord God of hosts. Shine the light of your countenance upon us, that we may be saved!”

I Corinthians 1:3-9. In the midst of greeting the Christians in Corinth, Paul points to the end — the coming Day of the Lord — to call them to continue to grow and be faithful in using their spiritual gifts.

 Mark 13:24-37. Jesus describes the end and instructs his disciples to be on watch for signs of it.

 Monday:

Adoration Focus: Each day we identify some aspect of the passions and loves that fill the heart of God.   Then we praise God that He is this kind of God. Today: Perfect love for the “unlovable”.

Confession: This week examine the passions of your heart.  What is your heart full of? Is your heart filled with earthly passions?  Reflect on the Godly passion above.  Pray that God may fill your life with this Godly passion.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Let the Godly passion identified above lead you in praying for someone or something.

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: Lord, in the day ahead, I choose to share in your passion for this world and its peoples.

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day we identify some aspect of the passions and loves that fill the heart of God.   Then we praise God that He is this kind of God. Today: A passion that never gives up.

Confession: This week examine the passions of your heart.  What is your heart full of? (See Monday)

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Let the Godly passion identified above lead you in praying for someone or something.

Personal Prayers:

             Dedication: Lord, in the day ahead, I choose to share in your passion for this world and its peoples.

 Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: Each day we identify some aspect of the passions and loves that fill the heart of God.   Then we praise God that He is this kind of God. Today: Passion that goes the extra mile.

Confession: This week examine the passions of your heart.  What is your heart full of? (See Monday)

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Let the Godly passion identified above lead you in praying for someone or something.

Personal prayers:

          Dedication: Lord, in the day ahead, I choose to share in your passion for this world and its peoples.

 Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Each day we identify some aspect of the passions and loves that fill the heart of God.   Then we praise God that He is this kind of God. Today: Passion for righteousness and justice.

Confession: This week examine the passions of your heart.  What is your heart full of? (See Monday)

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Let the Godly passion identified above lead you in praying for someone or something.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: Lord, in the day ahead, I choose to share in your passion for this world and its peoples.

 Friday:

Adoration Focus: Each day we identify some aspect of the passions and loves that fill the heart of God.   Then we praise God that He is this kind of God. Today: Passion for all who suffer…

Confession: This week examine the passions of your heart.  What is your heart full of? (See Monday)

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Let the Godly passion identified above lead you in praying for someone or something.

Personal prayers:

             Dedication: Lord, in the day ahead, I choose to share in your passion for this world and its peoples.

 Saturday: 

Adoration Focus: Each day we identify some aspect of the passions and loves that fill the heart of God.   Then we praise God that He is this kind of God. Today: Passion for new transformed life…

Confession: This week examine the passions of your heart.  What is your heart full of? (See Monday)

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Let the Godly passion identified above lead you in praying for someone or something.

Personal prayers:

             Dedication: Lord, in the day ahead, I choose to share in your passion for this world and its peoples.

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Each day we identify some aspect of the passions and loves that fill the heart of God.   Then we praise God that He is this kind of God. Today: For the holiness of worship…

Confession: This week examine the passions of your heart.  What is your heart full of? (See Monday)

The Word:
Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Let the Godly passion identified above lead you in praying for someone or something.

Personal prayers:

             Dedication: Lord, in the day ahead, I choose to share in your passion for this world and its peoples.

Weekly Rhythm

Exploring Scripture
Joining our stories with the stories of God’s people

Text in italics with thanks to www.gbod.org

Isaiah 64:1-9. The prophet calls for God to appear decisively, to “tear open the heavens” so the nations would tremble. He also confesses the need for such decisive intervention — the utter sinfulness of humanity, even of those who are part of God’s covenant. Finally, he changes metaphors — from earthly catastrophe to remaking pots, begging God to be merciful when God comes.

The question is asked, “How long must we suffer?”
How does your suffering heart cry out to God?  How does the birth of Christ into our world answer that cry?

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19: The people cry out for restoration from the midst of exile. “Restore us, Lord God of hosts. Shine the light of your countenance upon us, that we may be saved!”

God is the shepherd enthroned as King.  Israel is the vine brought out of Egypt, flourishing for a while but now in trouble.  The psalmist calls out to God, why does he not act?
How much longer, Lord God Almighty?  How does this psalmist’s cry reflect  your cry?
We are living in the era of yet and not yet.  God has acted but we await the new heaven and the new earth.
How is this reflected in the psalmist’s cry?

 I Corinthians 1:3-9. In the midst of greeting the Christians in Corinth, Paul points to the end — the coming Day of the Lord — to call them to continue to grow and be faithful in using their spiritual gifts.

This passage speaks about gifts we receive from God.  As you read these verses list the gifts that we receive from God.
Who is it that keeps us firm to the end? Again even this is a gift from God.  It is all about God, this is the meaning of grace.

Mark 13:24-37. Jesus describes the end and instructs his disciples to be on watch for signs of it.

Note the different ways in which this passage creates a sense of expectation among the early Christians.  We should always live with a vibrant sense of Christ ready to enter our lives in new and life giving ways.
Do you live with this sense?  How can we cultivate this sense and embrace the Christ who always comes to us?

Praying the Lectionary Readings

Advent Prayer: Draw Close, Lord Jesus Christ

The coming of our Lord is near,

And we wait in joyful expectation,

Draw close, Lord Jesus Christ,

Shed your light on all that is filled with darkness.

 

The coming of our Lord is near,

And we wait with hope filled hearts,

Draw close, God’s beloved son,

Teach us the wonder of your all-embracing love.

 

The coming of our Lord is near,

And we wait for God’s redeeming presence,

Draw close, Saviour of all creation, 

Our hearts ache for justice,

our minds long for holiness,

our spirits seek for unity.

 

The coming of our Lord is near,

And we wait for the fulfillment of God’s promises,

Draw close, reconciler and transformer of all things,

Renew our world, restore your peace, display your righteousness.

 

The coming of our Lord is near,

And we wait for God’s light to shine over all the earth,

Draw close, pain bearer, life giver, love sharer, 

Shine through us, in us, around us, shine for the world to see.

 

The coming of our Lord is near,

And we wait attentive to the signs of his coming,

Draw close, Lord Jesus Christ,

God beyond imagining, fully God yet truly human, draw close 

Amen

 

~  by Christine Sine, and posted on Godspace.

 

Advent Litany

O Morning Star, splendour of light eternal
and bright Sun of righteousness:
come and enlighten all who dwell in darkness and in the shadow.
Lord Jesus, come soon!
O King of the nations, you alone can fulfill their desires:
Cornerstone, you make opposing nations one:
come and save the creature you fashioned from clay.
Lord Jesus, come soon!
O Emmanuel, hope of the nations and their Saviour:
come and save us, Lord our God.
Lord Jesus, come soon!

~  by David Beswick,

 

Image Credit: photo credit: mripp via photopin cc 

Christ the King! (Christ the King Sunday, Year A)

christ the kingYearly Rhythm

23rd November 2014, Christ the King Sunday
Year A, Colour: White/Gold

Christ the King Sunday was first celebrated in 1925 in the face of certain governments declaring that they were the ultimate authority on all matters including religion.  It declares the Christ in our King, the ultimate authority.

Daily Rhythm

Bringing worship into the everyday

 

Devotional Diary  17 – 23 November 2014

DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE

Readings for “Christ the King” Sunday, 23 November, with thanks to www.gbod.org

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24To the people scattered in exile in Babylon (Iraq), the prophet Ezekiel declares the word of the Lord: “I will seek out my sheep… I will rescue them… I will bring them into their own land.” To the Babylonian rulers, God announces that it is God, and not they, who will judge the covenant people, and that God, and not they, will establish a shepherd over them, a descendent of David.

Psalm 100.

Ephesians 1:15-23. Paul reminds the Christians in Ephesus of the glorious inheritance of all believers. The same power that raised Christ from death and placed him above every imaginable power is at work on our behalf.

Matthew 25:31-46The final public teaching of Jesus. At the Great Assize,” the final Judgment, the King to Come, seated upon a throne and surrounded by the angels, will judge all based on how they have treated “the least of these.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE READINGS HERE

Monday:

Adoration Focus: We sing: “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!”  Each day thank God for his goodness.  Today: Abundance of creation.

Confession: This week examine the burdens that you are trying to carry on your own.  How can you hand them over to God?  Today: Personal fears…

The Word: Use the readings above or your own Scripture reading plan.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: In our shared focus you are encouraged to pray for those things that burden you and in which you need to trust God “In His time…”

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: Lord, I lay all of my burdens down at your feet…

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: We sing: “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!”  Each day thank God for his goodness.  Today:  Just and merciful judge.

Confession: This week examine the burdens that you are trying to carry on your own.  How can you hand them over to God? Today: Family….

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: In our shared focus you are encouraged to pray for those things that burden you and in which you need to trust God “In His time…”

Personal Prayers:

 Dedication: Lord, I lay all of my burdens down at your feet…

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: We sing: “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!”  Each day thank God for his goodness.  Today:  Longing for every single human being.

Confession: This week examine the burdens that you are trying to carry on your own.  How can you hand them over to God? Today: Country…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: In our shared focus you are encouraged to pray for those things that burden you and in which you need to trust God “In His time…”

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord, I lay all of my burdens down at your feet…

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: We sing: “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!”  Each day thank God for his goodness.  Today:  He will transform all things in a wonderfully creative way.

Confession: This week examine the burdens that you are trying to carry on your own.  How can you hand them over to God? Today: Future security…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: In our shared focus you are encouraged to pray for those things that burden you and in which you need to trust God “In His time…”

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord, I lay all of my burdens down at your feet…

Friday:

Adoration Focus: We sing: “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!”  Each day thank God for his goodness.  Today:  He will always love you.

Confession: This week examine the burdens that you are trying to carry on your own.  How can you hand them over to God? Today: The poor and suffering…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: In our shared focus you are encouraged to pray for those things that burden you and in which you need to trust God “In His time…”.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord, I lay all of my burdens down at your feet…

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: We sing: “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!”  Each day thank God for his goodness.  Today: He never hesitates to suffer with us.

Confession: This week examine the burdens that you are trying to carry on your own.  How can you hand them over to God? Today: Health…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: In our shared focus you are encouraged to pray for those things that burden you and in which you need to trust God “In His time…”.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord, I lay all of my burdens down at your feet…

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: We sing: “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!”  Each day thank God for his goodness.  Today: He allows us to enter his gate with thanksgiving!

Confession: This week examine the burdens that you are trying to carry on your own.  How can you hand them over to God? Today: Your salvation…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: In our shared focus you are encouraged to pray for those things that burden you and in which you need to trust God “In His time…”.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord, I lay all of my burdens down at your feet…

 

                                                                            

Weekly Rhythm

Exploring Scripture
Joining our stories with the stories of God’s people

DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE

Notes in italics with thanks to www.gbod.org

 

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24.

To the people scattered in exile in Babylon (Iraq), the prophet Ezekiel declares the word of the Lord: “I will seek out my sheep… I will rescue them… I will bring them into their own land.” To the Babylonian rulers, God announces that it is God, and not they, who will judge the covenant people, and that God, and not they, will establish a shepherd over them, a descendent of David.

 

The leaders of the nation are its shepherds.  They receive from the sheep, in return they must care for the sheep. Sometimes (often?) the leaders fail in this call and neglect their call.  Here we see that God is faithful in his care as he gathers the sheep.

How can we allow God to shepherd us?  How are we called to be shepherds?

 Psalm 100.

What a wonderful call to praise.  God is above all.  He has created us, he cares for us (the shepherd. We are called to experience the actual presence of God in his love, faithfulness and goodness.

Recall your best moments of worship.  How did worship open your eyes to God?  What did it affirm about God?

Ephesians 1:15-23.

Paul reminds the Christians in Ephesus of the glorious inheritance of all believers. The same power that raised Christ from death and placed him above every imaginable power is at work on our behalf.

This passage affirms many characteristics that are only to be seen in the expected Messiah.  This passage paints an amazing picture of Jesus.  As you read through it picture the Christ and note his different attributes as listed here.  Are you called into worship?

Matthew 25:31-46.

The final public teaching of Jesus. At the Great Assize,” the final Judgment, the King to Come, seated upon a throne and surrounded by the angels, will judge all based on how they have treated “the least of these.”

Looking at this parable what would you describe as the nature of Christian mission and service?
What is the criterion for accountability and judgement?
How is Christ manifest in the hungry or the stranger?  What are the implications for us?

 

Praying the Lectionary Readings

 

Call to Worship: The Kingship of Christ

 

Litany

 

Thanks and praise to you,

Jesus Christ, King and Lord of all,

given the name above every other name

 

Jesus, King and Lord of all,

we worship and adore you.

 

King of righteousness, King of peace,

enthroned at the right hand

of Majesty on high

 

Jesus, King and Lord of all,

we worship and adore you

 

Great high priest,

living for ever to intercede for us;

 

Jesus, King and Lord of all,

we worship and adore you.

 

Pioneer of our salvation,

you bring us to glory

through your death and resurrection;

 

Jesus, King and Lord of all,

we worship and adore you.

 

Every knee bows to you;

every tongue confesses,

you are King of kings

and Lord of Lords,

to the glory of God the Father.

 

~ copyright © John Leach/administered by The Jubilate Group.  Posted on The Jubilate Group website.http://www.jubilate.co.uk/liturgy/liturgy/kingship_call_to_worship

 

Prayer to the King of Glory

 

O Jesus,
You are the King of Glory,
You are the Lord of Lords, and King of Kings.
And we pray that your Kingdom will reign forever
in our hearts and in this world.

Lord, we pray for your Kingdom to come here now,
bringing a kingdom of justice, righteousness, hope, love,
peace, mercy and grace for all.
Lord, we ask that you rule in our hearts,
lead in this world and govern over your kingdom.

But Lord honestly,
We often have our own plans and agendas
And we want to be rulers of our world.
Forgive us for those times.
And Lord we live in a time that would rather idolize the King of Pop
than worship you.
Help us to know how to live as your Kingdom People in these times.

And Lord , there are a lot of Kings in this world who terrorize, over tax, humiliate,
over exploit, and abuse those they are to lead.
Help us to spread the good news of the different kind of King you are.
Lord, thank you for being a different kind of King.
Thank you for your goodness and kindness in our lives.
Thank you for your generosity.
Thank you for loving us.
Thank you for your Kingdom that is unlike any
Kingdom in this world

 

~ written by Rev Abi, and posted on RevGalBlogPals blog. http://revgalblogpals.blogspot.ca/


Prayer Litany

 

May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done here on earth,
just as it is in heaven.  Matthew 6:10

 

Into places of conflict

may Your Kingdom come.

 

Into the heart of the terrorist

may Your Kingdom come.

 

Into the heart of the soldier

may Your Kingdom come.

 

Into the heart of the politician

may Your Kingdom come.

 

Into the heart of one bereaved by war

may Your Kingdom come.

 

Into the heart of one made hungry

may Your Kingdom come.

 

Into the heart of one made homeless

may Your Kingdom come.

 

Into the heart of one who is in despair

may Your Kingdom come.

 

Into the heart of one who is ill

may Your Kingdom come.

 

Into the heart of one who has been abused

may Your Kingdom come.

 

Into the heart of one who is addicted

may Your Kingdom come.

 

Into the heart of one who is faced with unpayable debt

may Your Kingdom come.

 

Into the heart of the lonely

may Your Kingdom come.

 

Into the heart of the fearful

may Your Kingdom come.

 

Into the heart of the depressed

may Your Kingdom come.

 

Into the heart of one we wish to pray for…

may Your Kingdom come.

 

Into the heart of our world.

may Your Kingdom come.

 

~ adapted from http://wellsprings.org.uk/ and posted on Third Space blog.http://third-space.org.uk/blog

 

Blessing: You Who Bless

You who bless

 

“Come, you who are blessed,” Jesus says;

“for I was hungry and you gave me food,

I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,

I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

I was naked and you gave me clothing,

I was sick and you took care of me,

 was in prison and you visited me.”

Matthew 25: 34-36

 

You who are yourselves a blessing

 

who know that to feed the hungering

is to bless

 

and to give drink to those who thirst

is to bless

 

who know the blessing in welcoming

the stranger

 

and giving clothes to those who have none

 

who know to care for the sick

is blessing

 

and blessing

to visit the prisoner:

 

may the blessing you have offered

now turn itself toward you

 

to welcome and to embrace you

at the feast of the blessed.

 

~ written by Jan L. Richardson, and posted on The Painted Prayerbook.http://paintedprayerbook.com/


The Lordship of Christ

Here’s a three-voice reading on the Lordship of Christ I put together for a service a few weeks ago.  It draws from the following scripture texts:  1 Corinthians 1:2-3, Colossians 1:15-17, 19-20; Philippians 2:6-11; 1 Corinthians 8:5-7; Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 7:21; Ephesians 4:1; Romans 14:7-9; 1 Corinthians 15:57; 1 Thessalonians 5:22-24.

 

1:         To the church of God,

to all those whom Christ Jesus has made holy,

who are called to be God’s men and women,

to all true believers in Jesus Christ—their Lord and our Lord—

grace and peace to you

from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ!

 

2:         Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.

He existed before anything was created

and is supreme over all creation,

for through him God created everything in heaven and on earth.

 

3:         He existed before anything else,

and he holds all creation together.

 

1:         God in all his fullness

was pleased to live in Christ,

and through him, God reconciled everything to himself,

making peace…by means of his blood on the cross.

 

3:         Though he was God,

he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.

Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;

he took the humble position of a slave

and was born as a human being.

 

2:         When he appeared in human form,

he humbled himself in obedience to God

and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

 

1:         Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor

and gave him the name above all other names,

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

 

2:         We know that there is only one God, the Father,

who created everything,

and we live for him.

 

3:         And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ,

through whom God made everything

and through whom we have been given life.

 

1:         This is the message we preach:

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord

and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,

you will be saved.

 

3:         For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God,

 

2:         and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

 

1:         Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’

will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.

 

2:         I beg you,

lead a life worthy of your calling,

for you have been called by God.

 

3:         We don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves.

If we live, it is to honor the Lord.

And if we die, it is to honor the Lord.

 

1:         So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—

to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.

 

2:         So, brothers and sisters,

be strong and immovable.

Stand firm.

 

3:         Always work enthusiastically for the Lord,

for you know that nothing you do for him is ever lost or wasted.

 

1:         May the God of peace make you holy in every way;

 

3:         may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless

until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

2:         He who calls you is utterly faithful,

 

1:         and he will finish what he has set out to do.

Christine Longhurst  http://re-worship.blogspot.com/search/label/Proper%2029%20A