Monthly Archives: February 2015

Blessed to bless

LENT CROWN OF THORNSYearly Rhythm

1 March,
the 2nd Sunday in Lent
Year B,
Colour: Purple

Using the Revised Common Lectionary to set our yearly rhythm means that we don’t get to by-pass the hard passages of scripture. We are forced to think about things like the total commitment demanded by our jealous God, (Genesis 17) and the fact that there will be suffering and even maybe death (Mark 8). The wonder of our faith, however, is that we are loved, made in the image of God and working alongside the Creator to share the blessings we have received with the whole of creation!

Learn more about the Revised Common Lectionary and how to use this blog here.

Scroll to the bottom of this post to learn about
God Bless Africa: Worship for a Time like this
A Conference to be held at Helderberg Gemeente, Somerset West
from 17 – 19 March this year.

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary   23 February – 1 March 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF HERE!

Readings for the week (thanks to www.gbod.org)  1 March is the 2nd Sunday of LENT

Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16  El Shaddai (God of the Mountains/God of Compassion) calls Abram to be exclusively loyal and offers to covenant with him to make him (to be renamed Abraham) the father and Sarai (to be renamed Sarah) the mother of many nations.

Psalm Response: Psalm 22:23-31The Lord’s acts of deliverance for one people in one age will lead to generations of praise to the Lord worldwide.

Romans 4:13-25Paul reminds the Jewish-Christian congregations in Rome that the founding stories of Judaism point to a God who graciously offers to include people in covenant on the basis of faith, not perfect obedience to the law.

Mark 8:31-38Following Jesus means following him to his death, and possibly our own. Jesus tells the disciples that he will suffer and die at the hands of the religious authorities. Peter rebukes him privately, but Jesus rebukes Peter in front of all the other disciples. Jesus then turns to the crowds to declare that all who want to be his followers must take up their cross and follow him. If you’re in this for yourself, you will lose everything. But if you’re in this to follow Jesus and see the gospel lived, even if you die, you’ve gained it all.

Confessions during Lent:  During this time we will be using our cycle of confessional prompts which you will find under the confessional focus for each day.  (Every time you use these questions let God’s Spirit search your heart and go deeper.  Then allow Him to fill your heart with his love.)  Remember God offers us transformation and hope.

Monday:

Adoration Focus:  Hallelujah for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Each day focus on some way in which God reigns.  Today: His unfolding plan.

Confession: In what areas am I envious?  Does this envy “drive” my life in any areas?  How does this indicate a restlessness within my own spirit?  How can my relationship with God help me with my envy? (Every time you use these questions let God’s Spirit search your heart and go deeper.  Then allow Him to fill your heart with his love.)

The Word: See readings and comments or use your own devotional aid.

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: Praying for your church.

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: Hallelujah for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Each day focus on some way in which God reigns.  Today: His ever-present offer of salvation.

Confession: Does a seething anger just wait to rise up within my heart?   Do I find that I am quite controlled until I unexpectedly burst out in a rage?  Do I drive my car aggressively?  Ask God to allow you to acknowledge your anger and release its hold over your life.  (Every time you use these questions let God’s Spirit search your heart and go deeper.  Then allow Him to fill your heart with his love.)

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: Praying for your town/city.

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: Hallelujah for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Each day focus on some way in which God reigns.  Today: The repeated cycles of life and the opportunity for renewal within them.

Confession: In the face of crying needs we often choose not to notice or even deliberately ignore them.  Ask God to open your heart to his call to serve. (Every time you consider these things let God’s Spirit search your heart and go deeper.  Then allow Him to fill your heart with his love.)

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: Praying for your province.

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: Hallelujah for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Each day focus on some way in which God reigns.  Today: the glory of creation.

Confession: Lord, make me aware of the pride in my life.  Pride that keeps me aloof and apart; pride that is rooted in an insecurity and a need to prove myself.  Pride that makes me humiliate other human beings.  Lord, help me to make myself vulnerable and to serve rather than be served.

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: Praying for your country.

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: Hallelujah for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Each day focus on some way in which God reigns.  Today:  The judge who restores all things to righteousness.

Confession: Lord, forgive me for alienating myself from this world that you love.  Help me to reach out in love and care.  Help me to make a difference.

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:  Praying for your continent.

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: Hallelujah for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Each day focus on some way in which God reigns.  Focus:  The fact that life is sustained moment by moment

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I invest huge resources for my own entertainment but will be resentful about a minor offering to alleviate another’s deep suffering.  Lord God, I pray for a generous heart.

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:  Praying for your world.

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: Hallelujah for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Each day focus on some way in which God reigns.  Focus:  The Resurrection.

Confession:  Lord, forgive me when I give all for my own ambitions and lose your call to share in love in important relationships in my life.  Help me to count the cost of loving and discover new joy in giving.

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: Praying for the church universal (the whole entire church).

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

Joining our stories with the stories of God’s people.

To find out more about the church year and using the Revised Common Lectionary click here.

Additional information about the readings: (Notes in italics are with thanks to www.gbod.org.)

Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16  El Shaddai (God of the Mountains/God of Compassion) calls Abram to be exclusively loyal and offers to covenant with him to make him (to be renamed Abraham) the father and Sarai (to be renamed Sarah) the mother of many nations.

“Blessed to bless,” and “in the midst of it all God’s faithfulness.”  How are these two statements reflected in this passage?

Here’s a prayer of confession (based on the whole chapter) about wisdom and foolishness.

 “Awesome God,

when we catch sight of the totality of your claim on our lives;
our believing wavers.

When we hear the absurdity of your unbreakable covenant with us;
like Sarai and Abram, we laugh.

When we face the foolish wisdom of the looming cross;
like Peter, we suggest an alternative.

Meet us in our disbelieving, loving God,
move us gently into the deep waters of faith.”

— written by Katherine Hawker, and posted on her Liturgies Outside website.
Visit that site for many other wonderful resources for worship.

 

Psalm Response: Psalm 22:23-31The Lord’s acts of deliverance for one people in one age will lead to generations of praise to the Lord worldwide.

Again reflect on the same question as above: “Blessed to bless,” and “ in the midst of it all God’s faithfulness.”  How are these two statements reflected in this passage?

“God, you promise never to forsake us,
but to bring us to life,
nurture us with your presence,
and sustain us even in the hour of our death.
Meet us in our deepest doubts
when we feel abandoned,
drowning in our fear of your absence.
Visit us in the tension between our yearning and our anger,
that we may know your mercy and grace in our time of need. Amen.”

~ from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress.  Posted on Thematic, Intercessory and Scripture Prayers for the RCL, Vanderbilt Divinity Library.http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/

Romans 4:13-25Paul reminds the Jewish-Christian congregations in Rome that the founding stories of Judaism point to a God who graciously offers to include people in covenant on the basis of faith, not perfect obedience to the law.

God has thrown the door wide open. How has “Blessed to Bless” run its course?

What does this tell us about God’s heart of grace?

Mark 8:31-38Following Jesus means following him to his death, and possibly our own. Jesus tells the disciples that he will suffer and die at the hands of the religious authorities. Peter rebukes him privately, but Jesus rebukes Peter in front of all the other disciples. Jesus then turns to the crowds to declare that all who want to be his followers must take up their cross and follow him. If you’re in this for yourself, you will lose everything. But if you’re in this to follow Jesus and see the gospel lived, even if you die, you’ve gained it all.

How are you dying to live?

“O Lord Jesus,
gentle and humble of heart,
full of compassion and maker of peace,
you lived in poverty and suffered persecution for the cause of justice.
You chose the Cross as the path to glory to show us the way of salvation.
May we receive the word of the Gospel joyfully
and live by your example as heirs and citizens of your kingdom. Amen.”

~ posted on the Catholic Forum website.
http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/pray0483.htm

 

This is a worthwhile event if you are in the area or can get there.
More details and to register/pay are at www.ekklesia.org.za.

ekklesia worship conference

 

Beginning in the Wilderness

BEGIN IN THE WILDERNESSYearly Rhythm

22 February
The First Sunday in Lent,
Year B
Colour: Purple

This week marks the start of the season of LENT, beginning with Ash Wednesday on 18th Feb. A season of quiet simplicity.
At the Ash Wednesday service the minister will make the sign of the cross on the foreheads of the congregation as a sign that they are committing themselves to this season of repentance. (The ash is obtained by burning the palm leaves from last year’s Palm Sunday celebration, and is mixed with a little oil.)
Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness following His baptism and before the start of His active ministry. Lent focuses our daily worship on these 40 days and helps us to re-think our priorities and set in place some spiritual practices and disciplines that might align us more with Kingdom of God values.
The colour purple may be used to decorate our worship spaces – flowers, banners or art. Purple dye was expensive and reserved for royalty, reminding us that Jesus ushers in a new kind of Kingdom. In nature, the little violet flower bows its head, just as we do when we come before God to confess and repent.
In some churches the clergy will wear purple vestments.

Click here for more information about Lent!

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary   16 – 22 February 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF HERE.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings with thanks to www.gbod.org.

Genesis 9:8-17.  God makes a covenant with the earth not to destroy the earth by flood again. The rainbow is the sign of this covenant.

Psalm 25:1-10.  Israel seeks God’s deliverance from enemies. Unlike the people destroyed in the flood, Israel claims it has sought to follow God’s way and wishes to learn it still better.

1 Peter 3:18-22.  Peter links the death and resurrection of Jesus with the story of Noah’s flood and the sacrament of baptism.

Mark 1:9-15.  Immediately after his baptism, the Spirit drove Jesus into the desert for a period of testing surrounded by wild animals, Satan, and ministering angels — all to prepare him to spend his life declaring the good news of the kingdom of God.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Each day thank God for an aspect of his nature as seen in this event. Today: Full Life

Confession: “I invite you, therefore…to observe a holy lent: by self examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.” (The United Methodist Book of Worship).  How will you do this today?

The Word: See readings above and comments on readings.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Christ’s death and resurrection offers our world life and light in the midst of death and darkness.  This week choose a different focus for this transforming life of God each day and pray into that situation.

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: “May the almighty and merciful God, who desires not the death of a sinner but that we turn from wickedness and live, accept your repentance, forgive your sins, and restore you by the Holy Spirit to newness of life. Amen.”  (Ash Wednesday Benediction: The United Methodist Book of Worship)

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Each day thank God for an aspect of his nature as seen in this event. Today: Victory

Confession: “I invite you, therefore…to observe a holy lent: by self examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.” (The United Methodist Book of Worship) How will you do this today?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Christ’s death and resurrection offers our world life and light in the midst of death and darkness.  This week choose a different focus for this transforming life of God each day and pray into that situation.

Personal Prayers:

            Dedication: “May the almighty and merciful God, who desires not the death of a sinner but that we turn from wickedness and live, accept your repentance, forgive your sins, and restore you by the Holy Spirit to newness of life. Amen.”  (Ash Wednesday Benediction: The United Methodist Book of Worship)

Wednesday:       Ash Wednesday: The beginning of Lent

Adoration Focus: Focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Each day thank God for an aspect of his nature as seen in this event. Today: Surprise…

Confession: “I invite you, therefore…to observe a holy lent: by self examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.” (The United Methodist Book of Worship) How will you do this today?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Christ’s death and resurrection offers our world life and light in the midst of death and darkness.  This week choose a different focus for this transforming life of God each day and pray into that situation.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: “May the almighty and merciful God, who desires not the death of a sinner but that we turn from wickedness and live, accept your repentance, forgive your sins, and restore you by the Holy Spirit to newness of life. Amen.”  (Ash Wednesday Benediction: The United Methodist Book of Worship)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Each day thank God for an aspect of his nature as seen in this event.  Today: Turning darkness to light

Confession: “I invite you, therefore…to observe a holy lent: by self examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.” (The United Methodist Book of Worship) How will you do this today?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Christ’s death and resurrection offers our world life and light in the midst of death and darkness.  This week choose a different focus for this transforming life of God each day and pray into that situation.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: “May the almighty and merciful God, who desires not the death of a sinner but that we turn from wickedness and live, accept your repentance, forgive your sins, and restore you by the Holy Spirit to newness of life. Amen.”  (Ash Wednesday Benediction: The United Methodist Book of Worship)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Each day thank God for an aspect of his nature as seen in this event. Today: New beginnings

Confession: “I invite you, therefore…to observe a holy lent: by self examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.” (The United Methodist Book of Worship) How will you do this today?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Christ’s death and resurrection offers our world life and light in the midst of death and darkness.  This week choose a different focus for this transforming life of God each day and pray into that situation.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: “May the almighty and merciful God, who desires not the death of a sinner but that we turn from wickedness and live, accept your repentance, forgive your sins, and restore you by the Holy Spirit to newness of life. Amen.”  (Ash Wednesday Benediction: The United Methodist Book of Worship)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Each day thank God for an aspect of his nature as seen in this event.  Today: Tranformation…

Confession: “I invite you, therefore…to observe a holy lent: by self examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.” (The United Methodist Book of Worship) How will you do this today?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Christ’s death and resurrection offers our world life and light in the midst of death and darkness.  This week choose a different focus for this transforming life of God each day and pray into that situation.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: “May the almighty and merciful God, who desires not the death of a sinner but that we turn from wickedness and live, accept your repentance, forgive your sins, and restore you by the Holy Spirit to newness of life. Amen.”  (Ash Wednesday Benediction: The United Methodist Book of Worship)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Each day thank God for an aspect of his nature as seen in this event. Today: Worshipping the resurrected Christ…

Confession: “I invite you, therefore…to observe a holy lent: by self examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.” (The United Methodist Book of Worship) How will you do this today?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Christ’s death and resurrection offers our world life and light in the midst of death and darkness.  This week choose a different focus for this transforming life of God each day and pray into that situation.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: “May the almighty and merciful God, who desires not the death of a sinner but that we turn from wickedness and live, accept your repentance, forgive your sins, and restore you by the Holy Spirit to newness of life. Amen.”  (Ash Wednesday Benediction: The United Methodist Book of Worship)

 

Weekly Rhythm

Joining our stories with the stories of God’s people.

Additional information about the readings: (Notes in italics are with thanks to www.gbod.org.)

Genesis 9:8-17.

God makes a covenant with the earth not to destroy the earth by flood again. The rainbow is the sign of this covenant.

The flood washes away evil from the face of the earth.  Think of baptism. In baptism we turn from evil, the waters of baptism wash and cleanse as God renews us through His death and resurrection.  This week’s readings send us into the desert to seek the cleansing that we need.

Psalm 25:1-10

Israel seeks God’s deliverance from enemies. Unlike the people destroyed in the flood, Israel claims it has sought to follow God’s way and wishes to learn it still better.

We are cleansed for a reason: to follow our Lord.  How does this psalm call us to do just that?

1 Peter 3:18-22

Peter links the death and resurrection of Jesus with the story of Noah’s flood and the sacrament of baptism.

See the links that Peter makes: how do these links expand your view of baptism?

Mark 1:9-15

Immediately after his baptism, the Spirit drove Jesus into the desert for a period of testing surrounded by wild animals, Satan, and ministering angels — all to prepare him to spend his life declaring the good news of the kingdom of God.

Prayer Reflection:

A More Comfortable Saviour

Lent makes me so uncomfortable.
I prefer to remain in my ‘zone,’
lounging in my chair;
glued to my plasma screen;
relaxing after a long day;
but you would lead me
into the wilderness
into those uncomfortable places
of tempting,
of power,
of testing.

I would like to hear words
about success,
and praise,
and feel pats on my back,
but you talk about
self-denial;
you mention the cost
of following God;
you invite me (!)
to shoulder
a cross.

Couldn’t you have sent
a more comfortable
Savior,

O God?

© Thom M. Shuman Prayers4today

This is a worthwhile event if you are in the area or can get there.
More details and to register/pay are at www.ekklesia.org.za.

ekklesia worship conference

Shining like the Son!

Transfiguration SundayYearly Rhythm

15th February 2015
Transfiguration Sunday, Year B, Colour: White or Gold.

This Sunday marks the end of Epiphany and the move into Lent, with Ash Wednesday being celebrated on 18 February this year. We end as we began, with a revelation of Jesus Christ and a voice from the sky. During Epiphany we have been watching Jesus in action and joining in His mission to reveal the Kingdom of God. As Lent approaches we must learn to listen.

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF HERE.

Devotional Diary   9 – 15 February 2015

Revised Common Lectionary Readings with thanks to www.gbod.org.  Transfiguration Sunday.

2 Kings 2:1-12. A story of discipleship and transition of leadership. Elisha dutifully stays with and follows his master, Elijah, knowing that Elijah is about to die. He seeks one final blessing from his master — a double portion of his spirit. A chariot of fire receives Elijah into the sky.

Psalm 50:1-6. God calls the covenant people to assemble for judgment and redemption.

2 Corinthians 4:3-6.  Paul reminds the Christians at Corinth that his message was never about its eloquent delivery, but always about “Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake.” Just as the “god of this world” blinds those who do not receive the gospel, the true God of all opens the eyes of those who do.

Mark 9:2-9.   Six days after explaining he would be executed in Jerusalem, Jesus leads three of his disciples up a mountain where “he was transfigured before them.” These disciples saw Jesus speaking with Moses and Elijah and did not know how to respond. A voice from the cloud instructed them to listen to Jesus.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on some new way in which the Lord has provided for you and give Him thanks. Focus: Life Giver…

Confession: Has your faith expressed itself in a trust that places your life in the guiding hand of God?  Do you really walk the talk?  How can you better express your trust in God in the actions of your life? What will you do differently in the day ahead?  Each day name a new action that God may be calling you to.

The Word: See readings above and comments or use your own devotional aid.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: This week in our shared prayers we focus on the mission of the church.  What is the call of God upon the Church? This week we pray for the Church using the word “connect”. Today pray that we may “connect” more deeply to Christ and reach out through and in Him (the C of Connect stands for Christ).

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: Dear Lord, today I place my faith in you for the journey that lies ahead.  You are the Lord, my provider.

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on some new way in which the Lord has provided for you and give Him thanks. Focus: Sense of belonging…

Confession: Has your faith expressed itself in a trust that places your life in the guiding hand of God?  Do you really walk the talk?  How can you better express your trust in God in the actions of your life? What will you do differently in the day ahead? Each day name a new action that God may be calling you to.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week in our shared prayers we focus on the mission of the church.  What is the call of God upon the Church?  This week we pray using the word “Connect.” Today pray that we may “Connect” with our true selves as worshippers of God (the O of Connect stands for Ourselves).

Personal Prayers:

             Dedication: Dear Lord, today I place my faith in you for the journey that lies ahead.  You are the Lord, my provider.

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on some new way in which the Lord has provided for you and give Him thanks. Focus: Abundance…

Confession: Has your faith expressed itself in a trust that places your life in the guiding hand of God?  Do you really walk the talk?  How can you better express your trust in God in the actions of your life? What will you do differently in the day ahead? Each day name a new action that God may be calling you to.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week in our shared prayers we focus on the mission of the church.  What is the call of God upon the Church?  This week we pray using the word “Connect”. Today pray that the church may “Connect” with the laughter, fun and life of the Kingdom, that we may not take ourselves to seriously (the NN of Connect stand for Nutty Nonsense!).

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Dear Lord, today I place my faith in you for the journey that lies ahead.  You are the Lord, my provider.

 Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on some new way in which the Lord has provided for you and give Him thanks. Focus: Physical needs: food, shelter.

Confession: Has your faith expressed itself in a trust that places your life in the guiding hand of God?  Do you really walk the talk?  How can you better express your trust in God in the actions of your life? What will you do differently in the day ahead? Each day name a new action that God may be calling you to.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week in our shared prayers we focus on the mission of the church.  What is the call of God upon the Church?  This week we pray using the word “Connect.” Today pray that the church may “Connect” more deeply to each other as a family of God (the E of Connect stands for Each other).

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: Dear Lord, today I place my faith in you for the journey that lies ahead.  You are the Lord, my provider.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on some new way in which the Lord has provided for you and give Him thanks. Focus: Love.

Confession: Has your faith expressed itself in a trust that places your life in the guiding hand of God?  Do you really walk the talk?  How can you better express your trust in God in the actions of your life? What will you do differently in the day ahead? Each day name a new action that God may be calling you to.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week in our shared prayers we focus on the mission of the church.  What is the call of God upon the Church?  This week we pray using the word “Connect.” Today pray that the church may “Connect” more deeply to, and care for, God’s gift of Creation (the second C of Connect stands for Creation).

Personal prayers:

             Dedication: Dear Lord, today I place my faith in you for the journey that lies ahead.  You are the Lord, my provider.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on some new way in which the Lord has provided for you and give Him thanks. Focus: eternity

Confession: Has your faith expressed itself in a trust that places your life in the guiding hand of God?  Do you really walk the talk?  How can you better express your trust in God in the actions of your life? What will you do differently in the day ahead? Each day name a new action that God may be calling you to.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week in our shared prayers we focus on the mission of the church.  What is the call of God upon the Church?  This week we pray using the word “Connect.” Today pray that the church may “Connect” in love to the mission field: each one a missionary! (The T of Connect stand for “The Mission Field”).

Personal prayers:

             Dedication: Dear Lord, today I place my faith in you for the journey that lies ahead.  You are the Lord, my provider.

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on some new way in which the Lord has provided for you and give Him thanks.  Focus: Joy, Praise, Celebration…

Confession: Has your faith expressed itself in a trust that places your life in the guiding hand of God?  Do you really walk the talk?  How can you better express your trust in God in the actions of your life?  What will you do differently in the day ahead? Each day name a new action that God may be calling you to.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Today simple picture your church family in worship and pray that you may receive and enjoy the wonderful blessings from our gracious God!

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: Dear Lord, today I place my faith in you for the journey that lies ahead.  You are the Lord, my provider.

Weekly Rhythm

Joining our stories with the stories of God’s people.

Additional information about the readings: (Notes in italics are with thanks to www.gbod.org.)

As you reflect on the passages see how they link to each other.

2 Kings 2:1-12
A story of discipleship and transition of leadership. Elisha dutifully stays with and follows his master, Elijah, knowing that Elijah is about to die. He seeks one final blessing from his master — a double portion of his spirit. A chariot of fire receives Elijah into the sky.

Focus on this story as a passing on of empowerment for calling.  Elisha is in the line of Elijah.  When you read the gospel passage see the “line” that Jesus stands in (and completes in his mission.)

Psalm 50:1-6
God calls the covenant people to assemble for judgment and redemption.

How does this paraphrase of the Psalm help it to hit home to you in today’s context?

Psalm Paraphrase

(Psalm 50: 1-8)

The Voice which speaks and confronts the whole world
is that of the Holy One, the God of gods.
From the time the sun rises until after it sets,
the dazzling beauty of God shines out.

When God comes, it is not always in silence;
it may be like a consuming fire or fierce storm.
God’s call is heard among the distant stars,
and on earth we are summoned to give account.

God gathers together the true believers,
those who keep faith at much cost.
The whole universe shall announce justice,
for God who has the final word says:

“I will speak against you, my people.
I your God will be a prosecution witness.

It is not what you do at church that’s wrong,
your worship is a good attempt.

It is what you do outside that upsets me,
how you exploit the land and its creatures.

For every animal in the bush is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills.

I know every bird in the mountains
And everything that moves on the plains.

Get this, you who would limit me to pious thoughts:
I could put you through the shredder!

Let all you do each day be a thanksgiving;
get things right and you will see my salvation!”

 ~ Copyright ©  B.D. Prewer 2000 & 2012. Posted on Bruce Prewer’s Home Page. http://www.bruceprewer.com/

 

2 Corinthians 4:3-6.
Paul reminds the Christians at Corinth that his message was never about its eloquent delivery, but always about “Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake.” Just as the “god of this world” blinds those who do not receive the gospel, the true God of all opens the eyes of those who do.

Who/what is your true god?  Let the Gospel passage challenge you to “listen: to the true God.”

Mark 9:2-9.
Six days after explaining he would be executed in Jerusalem, Jesus leads three of his disciples up a mountain where “he was transfigured before them.” These disciples saw Jesus speaking with Moses and Elijah and did not know how to respond. A voice from the cloud instructed them to listen to Jesus.

Moses here could represent the law, Elijah the prophets.  This is the lineage that encourages Jesus and moves him forward to complete the story of salvation.  In this passage we “see” Jesus for who He is.

Gospel Reflection: Transfiguration

(inspired by Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36)

 This is my chosen Son; listen to him.

You are God’s chosen Son, O Lord.
Please help us listen to you.
Help us open our hearts to your grace.
Help us believe, help us love.
We are small and
we become
afraid.

Show us
your dazzling glory
hidden in the hum-drum
of our wondrous, everyday lives.

Though
we are sinners,
make us one with you, and let us
bring your life, death and resurrection to all people.

~ Copyright © 2013 Anne Osdieck.  Posted on The Center for Liturgy Sunday Website.  http://liturgy.slu.edu/