Monthly Archives: September 2015

Taking up your cross

spring pink

Yearly Rhythm

Sunday 13 September 2015
The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
(Ordinary Time)
Year B
Colour: Green

Sacred Rhythm and Time:
The dawn calls us to awaken to a new day and new possibilities. Noon reminds us of the fullness of time and our own fruitfulness. Dusk invites us to remember our limits and that everything comes to an end. Midnight reminds us of the grace of incubation and offers us space for reflection and renewal. 
(David Steindl-Rast in Music of Silence)

For more about the Rhythms of the Church Year see About this Blog.

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary 7 -13 September 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF HERE!

 

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

Proverbs 1:20-33. “Wisdom cries out in the street,” warning of disaster for those who remain complacent and will not heed her instruction.

Psalm Response: Psalm 19.  This psalm is a composite of two earlier and rather different psalms: verses 1-6 on creation; verses 11-14 on the law of the Lord.

James 3:1-12.  Extended instruction on the dangers of the tongue and the challenge involved in disciplining it.

Mark 8:27-38. Peter confesses Jesus is the Christ. Jesus teaches his disciples about the realities of his messiah-ship — rejection, suffering, death, and then resurrection. Peter rebukes Jesus privately. Jesus rebukes Peter publically, calling him Satan. Jesus teaches all who will hear that his followers must deny themselves, take up the crucifix, and follow where he leads.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Each day think of an aspect of God’s nature that you are really thankful for.  Thank God for what that part of his nature means to you personally.  Today: His care in the small details of life.

Confession: See Transforming Text below.  Being open is all about receiving God’s life and responding generously, allowing God’s life to flow in and out.  How have you “constipated” this flow? Today’s focus: Living with open hands, receiving from God.

The Word: See above readings.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Pray that your community may be a forgiving community and that this forgiveness may lead to reconciliation.  Pray that we may find our example for forgiveness and reconciliation in 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)

            Transforming Text:  Mark 7: 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”).    

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day think of an aspect of God’s nature that you are really thankful for.  Thank God for what that part of his nature means to you personally. Today: His creativity seen in creation.

Confession: See Transforming Text below.  Being open is all about receiving God’s life and responding generously, allowing God’s life to flow in and out.  How have you “constipated” this flow? Today’s focus:  Eyes that see, ears that hear, a heart that embraces, a mind that comprehends: all in the face of God’s loving revelation.

The Word: See above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray that your community may be a supportive community.  Pray that it may take hold of the gift of encouragement with both hands.  Pray that God may enable you to encourage someone today.

Personal Prayers:

            Transforming Text:  Mark 7: 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”).   

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: Each day think of an aspect of God’s nature that you are really thankful for.  Thank God for what that part of his nature means to you personally. Today: His invitation into relationship with him.

Confession: See Transforming Text below.  Being open is all about receiving God’s life and responding generously; allowing God’s life to flow in and out.  How have you “constipated” this flow? Today’s focus:  The flow of God’s life giving Spirit.  How does He flow through you?

The Word: See above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray that your community may be a community of the poor; that even those on the lowest rung of the ladder may be treated the same as those at the top.  Pray that God would abolish favouritism in our midst.  Each one is an important part of the body of Christ.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Text:  Mark 7: 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). 

 Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Each day think of an aspect of God’s nature that you are really thankful for.  Thank God for what that part of his nature means to you personally. Today: His desire to be with the “small” people in life.

Confession: See Transforming Text below.  Being open is all about receiving God’s life and responding generously, allowing God’s life to flow in and out.  How have you “constipated” this flow? Today’s focus: A generous spirit…

The Word: See above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray that your community may be a community of hope.  Pray that we may hear words of hope and not despair.  Pray that we may be a place where those who have lost hope may find it.  Pray that our eyes may be open to see Jesus the Light of the World shining in our midst.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Text:  Mark 7: 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). 

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Each day think of an aspect of God’s nature that you are really thankful for.  Thank God for what that part of his nature means to you personally. Today: His willingness to breathe life into the dust of life.

Confession: See Transforming Text below.  Being open is all about receiving God’s life and responding generously, allowing God’s life to flow in and out.  How have you “constipated” this flow? Today’s focus: Openess to a new work of God…

The Word: See above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray that your community may be a community of power, power not to lord it over others, not power to make our names great, but power to serve and to pour out our lives for many.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Text:  Mark 7: 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”).   

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Each day think of an aspect of God’s nature that you are really thankful for.  Thank God for what that part of his nature means to you personally. Today: That He always listens to us.

Confession: See Transforming Text below.  Being open is all about receiving God’s life and responding generously, allowing God’s life to flow in and out.  How have you “constipated” this flow? Today’s focus:  A channel of life…

The Word: See above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray that your community may be a community of faith.  That we would not just speak words but that our faith would be a biblical faith that walks with God in trust and dares to live by God’s Kingdom values.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Text:  Mark 7: 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”).

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Each day think of an aspect of God’s nature that you are really thankful for.  Thank God for what that part of his nature means to you personally.  Today: His invitation into a life of worship.

Confession: See Transforming Text below.  Being open is all about receiving God’s life and responding generously, allowing God’s life to flow in and out.  How have you “constipated” this flow? Today’s focus: Worshipping freely.

The Word: See above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray that your community may be a community of worship in Spirit and in truth.  That is a community that worships in response to the revelation in Jesus Christ.  Holy Spirit, lead us in our worship today!

Personal prayers:

Transforming Text:  Mark 7: 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”).  

 

Weekly Rhythm

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

Questions and prayers to explore the readings further. The 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?

Proverbs 1:20-33. “Wisdom cries out in the street,” warning of disaster for those who remain complacent and will not heed her instruction.

Prayer (inspired by Proverbs 1:20-33)

We long for wisdom, O Lord, but prefer that it be our own.
We turn away from the ideas of others
and ignore the possibility and promise that come from life together with you.
Most of all,

we drown out your gift of Wisdom as she seeks to get our attention,
for we believe that we know better or would prefer to decide where we make her welcome.

Forgive us, loving God.
Bring an end to the self-righteousness that ignores you
and awaken us anew to the Wisdom that comes only from you.
Show us how to walk in your ways

and listen to your promise each and every day.

~ written by Rev. Andy James, New York.  Posted on LiturgyLink. 

 

 Psalm Response: Psalm 19.  This psalm is a composite of two earlier and rather different psalms: verses 1-6 on creation; verses 11-14 on the law of the Lord.

Prayer (inspired by Psalm 19)

Eternal God,
whose signature we see, if we dare to look,
in the creation of the universe,
help us this hour to look and to listen
for Your handwriting and Your voice in this place,
among these people.
Connect our temporary praise to Your timeless rhythms,
Your ageless melodies,
Your everlasting joyful noise.
Guide us now to focus upon You,
knowing that in You,
our distractions become new possibilities for action.

Breathe life into our singing, our praying,
our speaking, our listening, our touching,
that all these activities might become more than they are.
In our worship we reach out to You, O God,
knowing that You have already enfolded us in Your arms.
In Jesus, we pray. Amen.

~ posted on My Redeemer Lives website.


James 3:1-12.  Extended instruction on the dangers of the tongue and the challenge involved in disciplining it.

Prayer (inspired by the book of James)

This prayer is a repeat from last week.

Father of Lights, from whom comes every perfect gift,
hear our prayers which we offer fervently to you, and in the name of our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.

We pray for the church, that we might show forth our faith in action,
regard all with impartiality, and be quick to listen and slow to anger.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for our nation, that whenever trials may befall us,
that God may grant us endurance and wisdom.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the world, that the lowly may be raised up,
and that mercy may fall on us all.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the sick, the injured, the vulnerable,
and those undergoing all forms of adversity,
that they might all be raised up; especially ______.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for those celebrating this week, especially ____.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who have died (especially ____),
that they would draw near to God, and that God would draw near to them.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Gracious God, let our prayers be offered to you
with the gentleness that is born from your wisdom from above,
that is pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, and full of mercy. Amen.

~ written by Rick Morley, and posted on his A Garden Path blog.

 

Mark 8:27-38. Peter’s confesses Jesus is the Christ. Jesus teaches his disciples about the realities of his messiah-ship — rejection, suffering, death, and then resurrection. Peter rebukes Jesus privately. Jesus rebukes Peter publically, calling him Satan. Jesus teaches all who will hear that his followers must deny themselves, take up the crucifix, and follow where he leads.

 Prayer   (inspired by Mark 8:31-38, Psalm 17:1)

El-Shaddai – God Almighty –
we have failed to serve you faithfully.
Our lives are anything but blameless.
You invite us to see with a new vision,
but we continue in our old ways.
You call us to set aside our own desires
so that we may embrace your desires,
but we are stubborn and refuse to let go.
Lord, rebuke our shameful ways.
Guide us to find our place, directly behind Christ.
Teach us to take up our crosses
and follow wherever you lead, we pray.

~ written by Amy Loving, and posted on The Worship Closet: The Place for Creative Worship Ideas.