Monthly Archives: June 2015

On a mission

on a mission

Yearly Rhythm

Sunday 5th July 2015
The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
(Ordinary Time)
Year B
Colour: Green

Discipline is the creation of boundaries that keep time and space open for God – a time and place where God’s gracious presence can be acknowledged and responded to. (Henri Nouwen)

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary 29 June – 5 July 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF HERE.

Readings for this week with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org:

2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10.  King David seals the terms of his rule over the tribes of all Israel in a covenant ceremony at Hebron, conquers the Jebusites at Jerusalem (verses 6-8), and locates his throne there seven years into his reign.

Psalm 48.  A song in praise of Jerusalem as a sign of God’s power to defend the people/nation Israel.

2 Corinthians 12:2-10.  Paul rejects boasting in his own spiritual experiences as a way to establish an “upper hand” in his ongoing disputes with the Christian community founded there. Instead, he says, God has given him a “thorn in the flesh” to remind him of the sufficiency of God’s grace and to enable him to boast in weakness so he can identify with the sufferings of Christ.

Mark 6:1-13.  Jesus encounters resistance to his ministry in his hometown synagogue. He sends his disciples on an “advance mission” to get the word and signs of the power of the coming kingdom out to as many villages in the region of Galilee as possible.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Be still.  Acknowledge that you are surrounded by Father, Son and Holy Spirit and express your worship.  Today’s focus: Glory

Confession: Living the life.  How can you walk the talk in the day ahead? What action is God calling you to in this new day? Your reading may guide you in this “action”.

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

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: This week: praying that a full life may be available to all. Today: focus on the battered and bruised.

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 you are the life-giver.   Revive us and begin your work in me today.

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Be still.  Acknowledge that you are surrounded by Father, Son and Holy Spirit and express your worship.  Today’s focus: Accepting God’s unconditional love.

Confession: Living the life.  How can you walk the talk in the day ahead? What action is God calling you to in this new day? Your reading may guide you in this “action”.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: praying that a full life may be available to all. Today: focus on those who have lost faith.

Personal Prayers:

            Dedication: Lord you are the life-giver.   Revive us and begin your work in me today.

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: Be still.  Acknowledge that you are surrounded by Father, Son and Holy Spirit and express your worship.  Today’s focus: Just being with God.

Confession: Living the life.  How can you walk the talk in the day ahead? What action is God calling you to in this new day? Your reading may guide you in this “action”.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: praying that a full life may be available to all. Today: focus on those who have stopped caring.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: Lord you are the life-giver.   Revive us and begin your work in me today.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Be still.  Acknowledge that you are surrounded by Father, Son and Holy Spirit and express your worship.  Today’s focus: Trusting…

Confession: Living the life.  How can you walk the talk in the day ahead? What action is God calling you to in this new day? Your reading may guide you in this “action”.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: praying that a full life may be available to all. Today: focus on the hungry.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: Lord you are the life-giver.    Revive us and begin your work in me today.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Be still.  Acknowledge that you are surrounded by Father, Son and Holy Spirit and express your worship.  Today’s focus: Release and freedom

Confession: Living the life.  How can you walk the talk in the day ahead? What action is God calling you to in this new day? Your reading may guide you in this “action”.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: praying that a full life may be available to all. Today: focus on those who need a door to open.

Personal prayers:

         Dedication: Lord you are the life-giver.     Revive us and begin your work in me today.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Be still.  Acknowledge that you are surrounded by Father, Son and Holy Spirit and express your worship.  Today’s focus: Creativity

Confession: Living the life.  How can you walk the talk in the day ahead? What action is God calling you to in this new day? Your reading may guide you in this “action”.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: praying that a full life may be available to all. Today: focus on those who have found themselves needing help.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: Lord you are the life-giver.   Revive us and begin your work in me today.

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Be still.  Acknowledge that you are surrounded by Father, Son and Holy Spirit and express your worship.  Today’s focus: Joy

Confession: Living the life.  How can you walk the talk in the day ahead? What action is God calling you to in this new day? Your reading may guide you in this “action”.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: praying that a full life may be available to all. Today: focus on those who do not know how to worship.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: Lord you are the life-giver.   Revive us and begin your work in me today.

 

 Weekly Rhythm

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

 

 

Questions and prayers to help you explore the readings further:

(Notes in italics are with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org.)

 As you read remember the three basic questions: What does the passage say?  What does the passage mean?  How does it apply to my life?

 2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10.  King David seals the terms of his rule over the tribes of all Israel in a covenant ceremony at Hebron, conquers the Jebusites at Jerusalem (verses 6-8), and locates his throne there seven years into his reign.

Prayer: The Life of David

O God,
sustain us in the complexity of our humanity
as you sustained David–
playing the harp of youth,
throwing stones at giant problems,
loving our friends beyond wisdom,
dancing worship,
mourning children,
breaking our hearts in psalms, and
longing for warmth in our old bones. Amen.
 

Psalm 48.  A song in praise of Jerusalem as a sign of God’s power to defend the people/nation Israel.

Prayer: Heavenly City

(inspired by Revelation 21: 1-6)

Architect and builder of the heavenly city yet to come,
look in judgment on the cities of the world,
where greed forces many to live in squalor and filth;
where indifference condemns many to live alone and unwanted;
where lust tempts many to use others callously,
thoughtlessly and heartlessly;
where hate drives many to crowd together for protection
because their skin, their race or their belief
is unpopular or unwanted.
Look in mercy on those who suffer at the hands of their fellows,
and teach us all that in Christ we can find the power to live
generously, compassionately and lovingly,
that cities of the world may become true reflections
of the city of God;
for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
~ written by Michael Saward.

 

2 Corinthians 12:2-10.  Paul rejects boasting in his own spiritual experiences as a way to establish an “upper hand” in his ongoing disputes with the Christian community founded there. Instead, he says, God has given him a “thorn in the flesh” to remind him of the sufficiency of God’s grace and to enable him to boast in weakness so he can identify with the sufferings of Christ.

Prayer

Creating and eternal God,
whose grace is sufficient for us
and whose power is made perfect in weakness,
in our weakness and insufficiency,
we offer our lives
and the gifts of our living
for the work of your mustard seed kingdom;
in Jesus’ name. Amen.
~ written by Jeff Shrowder © Jeff Shrowder 2000, 2012.

 

Prayer

(inspired by 2 Corinthians 12:9, 1 Peter 2:9)

You are a baptised people, a community of hope,
the new race dedicated to doing the unlikely deeds of grace,
and sometimes even taking on the impossible.

Thanks be to Christ,
whose power is made perfect in human weakness.

The blessing of the Creator, Redeemer and Inspirer will always be with you.

Amen!
~ written by Bruce Prewer

 

Mark 6:1-13.  Jesus encounters resistance to his ministry in his hometown synagogue. He sends his disciples on an “advance mission” to get the word and signs of the power of the coming kingdom out to as many villages in the region of Galilee as possible.

 Prayer Reflection

(inspired by Mark 6: 7-13)

Not the wise, not the skilled, neither scholars, nor saints;
mere ordinary folk, warts-and-all characters,
and that Peter bloke;
caught up in the freedom of Jesus.

Authority: called and empowered
to release the bedevilled;
the diseased and the lame,
the crazy and the lost,
the soul filled with shame;
caught up in the love of Jesus.

Not cluttered with possessions,
free as the wind of heaven;
inviting the crowd,
anointing the sick,
rebuking the proud;
caught up in the spirit of Jesus.
© Bruce Prewer (2000).

Lament, Conflict and Miracles of life

birds on a fence

Yearly Rhythm

Sunday 28th June
The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
(Ordinary Time)
Year B
Colour: Green

“Life is too urgent to be lived fast, too important to be consumed in a blur of activity, too precious to not take notice of the God moments; the God-love that bursts out in unexpected and unanticipated beauty.” (Ann Voskamp)

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary 22 – 28 June 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF HERE!

Readings for this week with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org:

2 Samuel 1:1, 17, 17-27.   David leads his troops in a public lament for the deaths of Saul and Jonathan.

Psalm 130.  In response to the cry of national mourning, “Out of the depth I cry to you, O Lord!”

2 Corinthians 8:7-15. Last week, Paul placed the ball in the Corinthians’ court to restore their relationship. This week, Paul reminds the church to make good on its past promise to provide generous support for his collection for the poor in Jerusalem. At stake, says Paul, is not only their integrity, but their participation in the global body of Christ. He expects them to give all that they can so that the standard of living for Christians around the world would be more balanced.

Mark 5:21-43. Two more illustrations of the power of the Word to bring abundance of life where no life seemed possible: the healing of a woman with an issue of blood (and so unable to sustain a pregnancy) and the raising of the daughter of Jairus who had died.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 12:7) O Lord, you will keep us safe and protect us…

Confession: This week we ask God for a vision of life lived at its best.  This vision should inspire us to take hold of God’s gift of life. Each day ask God to help you take hold of this vision of life in a new way. Today’s focus: Joy

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

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse: Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.”

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 your Kingdom come, may your will be done, in my life today.  Reign King Jesus reign!

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 11:7) For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice…

Confession: This week we ask God for a vision of life lived at its best.  This vision should inspire us to take hold of God’s gift of life. Each day ask God to help you take hold of this vision of life in a new way. Today’s focus:  Freedom from sin.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse: Psalm 91:15 “He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him.” Pray for those in trouble that they may call on the Lord and find deliverance.

Personal Prayers:

            Dedication: May your Kingdom come, may your will be done, in my life today.  Reign King Jesus reign!

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 10:16) The Lord is king forever and ever…

Confession: This week we ask God for a vision of life lived at its best.  This vision should inspire us to take hold of God’s gift of life. Each day ask God to help you take hold of this vision of life in a new way. Today’s focus:  Sharing care and love with others.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse:  Philippians 3:1 “Finally my brothers, rejoice in the Lord!”  Pray that a spirit of joy may fill God’s people.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: May your Kingdom come, may your will be done, in my life today.  Reign King Jesus reign!

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 9:1) I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders.

Confession: This week we ask God for a vision of life lived at its best.  This vision should inspire us to take hold of God’s gift of life. Each day ask God to help you take hold of this vision of life in a new way. Today’s focus: Discovering purpose and calling.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse: Revelation 3:20 “Here I am!  I stand the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him, and he with me.”  Pray that those who do not know Christ may have ears that hear and that they may open the door.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: May your Kingdom come, may your will be done, in my life today.  Reign King Jesus reign!

Friday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 8:1) O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is you name in all the earth!

Confession: This week we ask God for a vision of life lived at its best.  This vision should inspire us to take hold of God’s gift of life. Each day ask God to help you take hold of this vision of life in a new way. Today’s focus: Relationships

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse:  Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Pray that Christians may stand firm in their faith and not be misled by destructive forces that rob us of life.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: May your Kingdom come, may your will be done, in my life today.  Reign King Jesus reign!

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 7:10) My shield is God most high…

Confession: This week we ask God for a vision of life lived at its best.  This vision should inspire us to take hold of God’s gift of life. Each day ask God to help you take hold of this vision of life in a new way. Today’s focus: Order out of chaos.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse:  John 13:34 “A new commandment I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love you another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  Pray that God’s church may be united in its love and witness.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: May your Kingdom come, may your will be done, in my life today.  Reign King Jesus reign!

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 6:9) The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.

Confession: This week we ask God for a vision of life lived at its best.  This vision should inspire us to take hold of God’s gift of life. Each day ask God to help you take hold of this vision of life in a new way. Today’s focus: Trust and faith.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse: Psalm 92: 1+2 “It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night…”  Pray that God may increasingly release his church to bring praise to his name.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: May your Kingdom come, may your will be done, in my life today.  Reign King Jesus reign!

Weekly Rhythm

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

Questions and prayers to explore readings:

(Notes in italics are with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org.)

As you read remember the three basic questions: What does the passage say?  What does the passage mean?  How does it apply to my life?

2 Samuel 1:1, 17, 17-27.   David leads his troops in a public lament for the deaths of Saul and Jonathan.

Think of David’s relationship with Saul.  What does this public lament tell us about David in the light of this relationship?  How does David’s action speak into any situation in your life?

Think of David’s relationship with Jonathan? What does this public lament tell us about David in the light of this relationship?  How does David’s action speak into any situation in your life?

Psalm 130.  In response to the cry of national mourning, “Out of the depth I cry to you, O Lord!”

Prayer

(inspired by Psalm 130)

O Lord our God,

we come to you, seeking to rise up from the depths and agony of despair.

Please listen, our Saving God – we need your help and blessing.

Lord, through the tenderness of your mercy towards us

we have learned to worship you – and to revere your Holy Name;

therefore, we place our entire trust and hope in you, our Trustworthy God.

We gather to offer you our thanks, for we know that you offer us

your unfailing love and mercy that is beyond our understanding.

You know our longing for forgiveness, and you offer us your presence –

Which blesses us from God’s overflowing store of mercy, hope, freedom and joy.

Amen.

 

~ written by Joan Stott, and posted on The Timeless Psalms.
If any part of these Prayers and/or Meditations is used in shared worship, please provide the following acknowledgement: © 2011 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year A

 

2 Corinthians 8:7-15. Last week, Paul placed the ball in the Corinthians’ court to restore their relationship. This week, Paul reminds the church to make good on its past promise to provide generous support for his collection for the poor in Jerusalem. At stake, says Paul, is not only their integrity, but their participation in the global body of Christ. He expects them to give all that they can so that the standard of living for Christians around the world would be more balanced.

How is God calling you to live out the generosity of the Gospel?

Prayer

(2 Corinthians 8:7-15)

Go out, among the outcast and the grieving,
and speak the word of life and hope.
Do not fear, but trust in God’s word.
Watch for the Lord with eager expectation,
and be generous with all God has given you.

And may God respond to your every cry with mercy;
May Christ Jesus take you by the hand and lift you to life;
and may the Holy Spirit build you up in faith, in speech,
……..in knowledge, in passion and in love.

… go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
……..In the name of Christ. Amen.

— Copyright © 2003 Nathan Nettleton http://www.laughingbird.net/

 

Mark 5:21-43. Two more illustrations of the power of the Word to bring abundance of life where no life seemed possible: the healing of a woman with an issue of blood (and so unable to sustain a pregnancy) and the raising of the daughter of Jairus who had died.

How may God be calling you to risk and touch the healing power of Christ?

Call to Confession

God calls us in our lives to take a risk,
to be like the woman in the gospel
who reaches out to Jesus for healing for herself;
or the father who risks the scorn of others
to bring Jesus to his dying daughter.
Let us ponder for a moment the places in our lives
where we may resist turning to God for healing and change.

(silence)

Litany of Confession

When we resist your call to open our hearts to allow
the freshness of your grace to enter:
God have mercy.

When we close our eyes to your new and unexpected possibilities
of healing and reconciliation.
Christ have mercy

When we let fear overwhelm us,
and cling to the security of what we know
instead of risking new steps toward your freedom and justice:
God have mercy.

Assurance of Grace

God’s mercies are fresh every morning.
In Christ God offers forgiving grace
and welcome into a community of trust, abundance, and hope.
Let us give thanks for the mercy of God,
and pass the peace of Christ in community among us.

— written by Rev. Susan A. Blain, and posted on the Worship Ways website.
http://uccfiles.com/

 

 

Battles and Storms.

stormy seaYearly Rhythm

Sunday 21 June
The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
(Ordinary Time)
Year B
Colour: Green

“Courage is not something that you already have that makes you brave when the tough times start. Courage is what you earn when you’ve been through the tough times and you discover they aren’t so tough after all.”
Malcolm Gladwell, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary 15 – 21 June 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF HERE.

Readings for this week with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org:

1 Samuel 17 (1a, 4-11, 19-23), 32-49.  The shepherd, David, uses the implements of his trade and the power of the Lord to defeat the giant warrior, Goliath. “The Lord does not save by sword and spear” (verse 47).

Psalm 9:11-20.  The psalm celebrates God’s defence of those who are afflicted by catching the offenders in the traps they have made.

2 Corinthians 6:1-13. Tension abounds. Paul argues that his suffering for the sake of the gospel provides all the credentials he needs for the Corinthians to listen to him. The ball is in their court now.

Mark 4:35-41. Jesus treats a storm the same way he treats demons. He rebukes it, and tells it to shut up. Then Jesus rebukes the disciples for their fear — not just of the storm, but of what Jesus did to end it.

In our adoration and confessional focus this week we follow a suggestion from “Signposts to Spirituality” by Trevor Hudson.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?””

Confession: “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance today/tomorrow?”  Focus: Cleansing

The Word: See readings and comments.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: We pray for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for your own life: how is God seeking to send you?

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: “I am thine O Lord, I have heard Thy call and it told of Thy love for me…” (Methodist Hymn Book)

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?””

Confession: “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance tomorrow?” Focus: New beginnings…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: We pray for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for your church. Pray for a specific part of its life of service.

Personal Prayers:

           Dedication: “I am thine O Lord, I have heard Thy call and it told of Thy love for me…” (Methodist Hymn Book)

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?””

Confession: “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance tomorrow?”  Focus: Breathe in and out, deeply, slowly…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: We pray for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for ministers of the Gospel that they may lead while following Christ.

Personal prayers:

           Dedication: “I am thine O Lord, I have heard Thy call and it told of Thy love for me…” (Methodist Hymn Book)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?””

Confession: “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance tomorrow?”  Focus: Let God’s Spirit fill you…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: We pray for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for the Methodist Church of Southern Africa: that it may reach Africa for Christ.

Personal prayers:

           Dedication: “I am thine O Lord, I have heard Thy call and it told of Thy love for me…” (Methodist Hymn Book)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?””

Confession: “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance tomorrow?”  Focus: Walk in step with God’s Spirit: find a new rhythm…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: We pray for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for all who are struggling to see themselves as empowered to serve God.

Personal prayers:

           Dedication: “I am thine O Lord, I have heard Thy call and it told of Thy love for me…” (Methodist Hymn Book)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?””

Confession: “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance tomorrow?”  Focus: Find a new centre out of which to live…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: We pray for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for all who are facing opposition and hardship in their service of God.

Personal prayers:

           Dedication: “I am thine O Lord, I have heard Thy call and it told of Thy love for me…” (Methodist Hymn Book)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?””

Confession:  “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance tomorrow?”  Focus: Bow/kneel before your God and worship…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: We pray for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for that in our worship we may serve God by lifting up his name.

Personal prayers:

           Dedication: “I am thine O Lord, I have heard Thy call and it told of Thy love for me…” (Methodist Hymn Book)

Weekly Rhythm

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

 

Questions and prayers to explore readings:

(Notes in italics are with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org.)

 As you read remember the three basic questions: What does the passage say?  What does the passage mean?  How does it apply to my life?

1 Samuel 17 (1a, 4-11, 19-23), 32-49.  The shepherd, David, uses the implements of his trade and the power of the Lord to defeat the giant warrior, Goliath. “The Lord does not save by sword and spear” (verse 47).

Read the passage and then the prayer below; try to link the thoughts in the prayer to the reading. How do they speak to you?

Prayer (inspired by 1 Samuel 17:32-49)

Our faith in your power and your providence, O God, is strengthened today in our reflection upon the experience of David in his encounter with the giant Goliath. You remind us that there is nothing in all creation that is more powerful than your word in all its two-edged glory.  By it Jesus calmed the storm; by it he healed and made people whole—and by it we too are sustained from day to day and from minute to minute.  Help us, O God, to cling to your living word—and to root ourselves in it—that we may be a people who overcome all the trials and tribulations that come upon us.

Lord hear our prayer….

We are reminded today, O God, of how the strong can be defeated by the weak, of how the exalted and the mighty can be overcome by those who are humble and lowly—and we thank you for this.  We pray, O God, for all those today who are oppressed, as Israel was oppressed in Egypt, we pray for those who must contend with forces greater than they—grant them faith and in faith, grant them courage; act for them, and in them, to bring about their liberation.

Lord hear our prayer….

We pray today, O God for all those who live in fear and insecurity—for those who need encouragement, for those who need our help and the help of their neighbours and their communities if they are to know life in its fullness.

Lord, hear our prayer…

We ask it through Jesus Christ our Lord—saying together the prayer he taught us:  Our Father…  

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

 

Psalm 9:11-20.  The psalm celebrates God’s defense of those who are afflicted by catching the offenders in the traps they have made.

Prayer (inspired by Psalm 9: 9-20)

Gracious and loving God,
you enabled the Psalmist to turn to you,
confident that all his cries and prayers
would be heard by you and answered by you.
Prayers uttered in the belief that you would not permit evil and despair
to have the last word.

We offer our prayers in that same belief,
and with even greater confidence,
for in Jesus you have made known your great love for all people.
He bears our burdens in times of trouble and through his sacrificial love,
our lives are blessed, strengthened, and empowered by the gift of the Holy Spirit.

For these great gifts,
we offer our thanksgiving, our praise, our adoration,
and this prayer,
in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

— written by Moira Laidlaw, and posted on Liturgies Online. 
Visit that site for many other lectionary-based worship resources.

 

2 Corinthians 6:1-13. Tension abounds. Paul argues that his suffering for the sake of the gospel provides all the credentials he needs for the Corinthians to listen to him. The ball is in their court now.

Prayer (inspired by 2 Corinthians 6:1-2)

Hear the witness of scripture:
God listens; God helps. Now is the day of salvation.
Open wide your hearts and receive God’s forgiveness.
Amen.

— Adapted from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2012, © 2011 Abingdon Press. Posted on the Worship Elements page of the Ministry Matters website.

 

Mark 4:35-41. Jesus treats a storm the same way he treats demons. He rebukes it, and tells it to shut up. Then Jesus rebukes the disciples for their fear — not just of the storm, but of what Jesus did to end it.

Prayer (inspired by Mark 4:35-41)

Mighty God, who speaks a word of peace to calm our troubled sea;
Caring God, who nudges us away from fear and toward faith;
Ever-present God, who fills us with awe
but also raises many questions
without easy answers;

Open our eyes to see you in our boat—today,
Strengthen our hearts for the challenges that lie ahead,
Open our ears this hour to hear the word you speak.

This we pray, In Jesus’ name. Amen
— posted on the Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren website.