Monthly Archives: October 2015

Faithfulness, hospitality and love

west coast kids

Yearly  Rhythm

Sunday 1 November 2015
The Twenty third Sunday after Pentecost
Year B
Colour: Green

“Sacred life is lived quiet, deep and slow.
Time for stillness and waiting and listening.
Time for introspection and questions and wondering.
Time for just resting in the bliss of Christ’s Presence.”
Terri Marrie Childers

 

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary 26 October – 1 November 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF

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

Ruth 1:1-18 A Moabite widow, Ruth, determines to continue to live with and support the household of her Judean mother-in-law, Naomi, who had lost her husband and both of her sons.

Psalm 146 We praise God as one who is compassionate to widows, orphans and strangers.

Hebrews 9:11-14  Christ’s self-offering delivers us from sin and its power, while the temple’s sacrifices could only deal with ritual impurity.

Mark 12:28-34 A scribe asks Jesus to state the most important instruction in Torah. Jesus replies with love of God above all and love of neighbor as oneself. The scribe agrees, adding that this is more important than anything the sacrificial system can do or requires.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 31:21) Praise be to the Lord, for he showed his wonderful love to me…

Confession: Lord, I have used my tongue as a weapon of destruction.  I have spoken words that break down and do not build up.  I have despised my heart that has not been able to silence my tongue.  Forgive me and fill me with your words and your heart that seeks for the best for all.

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

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: This week we pray for our realisation of the fact that we are loved deeply by God. Today we pray for our own lives.

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 verse:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding”

            (Prov 3:5)

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 30:1) I will exalt you, O Lord…

Confession: Lord, I am part of a people. I am part of a community that fall far short of your Kingdom ideals.  Forgive us I pray and enable us to realise that your Kingdom is among us.  Fill us with your justice, righteousness and peace.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for our realisation of the fact that we are loved deeply by God. Today we pray for those we are close to.

Personal Prayers:

            Transforming verse:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding”

            (Prov 3:5)

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 29:2) Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I desire peace but am not prepared to sacrifice and serve in building peace.  Lord, help me to follow where you have led and to give myself that others may live in fullness.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for our realisation of the fact that we are loved deeply by God. Today we pray for someone who is lost and without love.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming verse:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding”

            (Prov 3:5)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 28:7) The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I make your grace a “cheap” commercial product.  Help me to journey below the surface froth and bubble.  Help me to go deeper.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for our realisation of the fact that we are loved deeply by God. Today we pray for the different peoples of our land.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming verse:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding”

            (Prov 3:5)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 27:1) The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?

Confession: Lord, I have neglected the gifts you have given me.  Some have atrophied.  Sometimes a lack of confidence has paralysed me, sometimes I have been caught up in struggle, sometimes I have been lazy.  Lord I pray that I may thank you for your gifts that you have given and that I may use them for your glory.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for our realisation of the fact that we are loved deeply by God. Today we pray for those who are lost in destructive ways: crime, drugs etc.

Personal prayers:

           Transforming verse:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding”

            (Prov 3:5)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 26:8) I love the house where you live, O Lord, the place where your glory dwells.

Confession: Lord, forgive me for my sins of neglect.   Those things which I have not done where You have prompted me into action.  When you speak help me to act.  Help me to develop a habit of listening and responding.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for our realisation of the fact that we are loved deeply by God. Today we pray for those who have never heard of Christ’s love.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming verse:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding”

            (Prov 3:5)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 25:10) All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful.

Confession: Forgive me Lord, when I have been difficult to live with.  Forgive me when I have not carried my share of the load.  Forgive me when I have accepted unjust roles just because they have prospered my own comfort and interests.  Help me to make space for and to care for others.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for our realisation of the fact that we are loved deeply by God. Today we pray for a realisation of this love in our worship services.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming verse:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding”

             (Prov 3:5)

Weekly Rhythm

Joining our stories with the story of God.

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?

Ruth 1:1-18  A Moabite widow, Ruth, determines to continue to live with and support the household of her Judean mother-in-law, Naomi, who had lost her husband and both of her sons.

 

Psalm 146  We praise God as one who is compassionate to widows, orphans and strangers.

 Praise the Lord.
Let all who draw breath praise the Lord.
Happy are those whose help is from God—
the One who made heaven and earth,
the One who created the seas and all that is in them.
Happy are those whose hope is in God—
the One who keeps faith forever,
the One who feeds the hungry
and defends the oppressed.
God will reign forever, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!
Let all who draw breath praise the Lord.

~ posted on the Ministry Matters website

 

Hebrews 9:11-14  Christ’s self-offering delivers us from sin and its power, while the temple’s sacrifices could only deal with ritual impurity.

Prayer Reflection: Who Could Love Us More? (inspired by Hebrews 9:11-15)

“Christ entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood,
thus obtaining eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:12

Once
for all time
Christ sealed the
covenant
with his own blood.

He barged straight into
the sacred place,
with all of us
in tow.

Who could love us more?
Thank you, Lord.
Thank you.

— written by Anne Osdieck. Last paragraph by Karl Rahner.
Posted on The Sunday Website of Saint Louis University.

  

Mark 12:28-34 A scribe asks Jesus to state the most important instruction in Torah. Jesus replies with love of God above all and love of neighbour as oneself. The scribe agrees, adding that this is more important than anything the sacrificial system can do or require

Prayer

Loving God,
we take this time today to come before you,
but as we do, we are aware that all is not right within us.
We neglect your word,
we fail to meditate on your law,
we forget to speak with you,
we make plans without turning to you,
we do things that we know are wrong.
We did not put you first in our lives.
Forgive how we have failed to love you
with all our heart, our soul, our mind, and our strength.

Loving God,
our relationships with each other are not all that they can be or should be.
There is hurt and injury between ourselves and others.
There are walls of anger and hatred between us and our neighbors.
Forgive us for how we deny our part in this
and for how we blame others for the brokenness around us.
Forgive how we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

Gracious God,
we believe that you offer to us and our world a whole and good life.
For all that we have done to deny this life to each other and to ourselves,
we ask your forgiveness and your mercy.

~ from the website of the Tuckahoe Presbyterian Church , Richmond, VA

 

Intercession and Restoration

word and light Yearly Rhythm

Sunday 25 October 2015
The Twenty Second Sunday after Pentecost
Year B
Colour: Green

“The un-examined life is not worth living.”
Socrates

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary 19 – 25 October 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF HERE!

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

Job 42:1-6, 10-17  Job acknowledges God’s power and presence and his own need to repent. God restores Job when Job has offered intercession for the “friends” who had misrepresented God.

Psalm 34:1-8 (19-22) A psalm of trust and testimony.

Hebrews 7:23-28  The writer continues to compare the priesthood of Christ with that of the Aaronic/Levitical priesthood. The Aaronic/Levitical priesthood offered physical sacrifices daily for their own sins and the sins of the people. Christ’s priesthood, a priesthood of intercession, has ended such sacrifices. By offering himself in obedience to God, even to the point of death, Jesus became the perfect and complete channel of intercession for the whole world.

Mark 10:46-52 As Jesus and his disciples leave Jericho for the final journey to Jerusalem, a blind man, Bar Timaeus, seeks healing, is healed, and becomes a disciple himself.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 24:1) The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it…

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I rely only on my own strength and I ignore your call to share in the richness of your infinite resources.  Help me to “plug-in” and to live out of your power.

The Word:  See readings above or use 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: Brother, Sister let me serve you…

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 23:1) The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I fill my life with hurry and never touch base with your order and love.  Help me to listen to your breathing and to be filled with your breath.

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: Brother, Sister let me serve you…

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 22:28) …for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I live only for what I can get.  Lord, I find it so hard not to get swallowed by the spirit of materialism, and sometimes I don’t even recognise that I am guided by its ethics.  Set me free that I may be guided by your values.

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: Brother, Sister let me serve you…

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 19:1) The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Confession: Lord, I do not have a firm faith; at times I doubt and am unable to trust you. O Lord, strengthen my faith I pray, that I may find my peace in you.

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: Brother, Sister let me serve you…

Friday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 18:46) The Lord lives!  Praise be to my Rock!  Exalted be God my Saviour!

Confession: Lord, I am so reluctant to actively witness to your glory.  Lord, forgive me and show me how to witness in loving and creative ways.

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: Brother, Sister let me serve you…

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 16:11) You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Confession: Lord, I am so self-focussed I find it difficult to praise others and even to really lose myself in my praise of you.  Forgive me Lord and give my heart wings to rise up in praise.

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: Brother, Sister let me serve you…

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 13:6) I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.

Confession: Lord you have said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God.”  I have sought first my own kingdom.  Forgive me and help me to have Godly priorities.

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: Brother, Sister let me serve you…


Weekly Rhythm

Joining our stories with the story of God.

 

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?

 Job 42:1-6, 10-17.  Job acknowledges God’s power and presence and his own need to repent. God restores Job when Job has offered intercession for the “friends” who had misrepresented God.

Prayer of Intercession (inspired by Mark 10:46-52, Job 42, Hebrews 7:23-28)

Heavenly Father, like Job, when we ask for your presence and intervention, we will end up on our knees, astounded at your greatness, and humbled by our own unworthiness.

Loving God, you hear our prayers: You live among us.

Holy Spirit, when we tearfully share our hopes and dreams with you, you promise a harvest of joy. Fill us with expectations of your goodness.

Loving God, you hear our prayers: You live among us.

Lord Jesus Christ, high priest and intercessor for our sins, help us live as your children, trusting that we are also children of the Heavenly Father.

Loving God, you hear our prayers: You live among us.

Lord Jesus, healer of Bartimaeus’ blindness, help us see you in this world active in love, and help us see you by our side, so we may walk your way without stumbling.

Loving God, you hear our prayers: You live among us.

Lord Jesus, Great Physician, hear now the names of those we know who need your healing _____.

Loving God, you hear our prayers: You live among us.

The love of God has won. The new life has begun. Amen.

 

~ written by Paul Sauer.  Posted on the Lutheran Forum website.

 

Psalm 34:1-8 (19-22).  A psalm of trust and testimony.

 

Prayer  (based on Psalm 34:1-3)

I will praise God in every moment,
and through every situation.
Through my words and action,
my life will pay tribute to Him.
Whenever the poor and humble hear of His greatness,
they will celebrate, too!
Come and lift up God’s name with me;
let’s praise His name together!

~ inspired by Psalm 34:1-3 (The Voice translation)

 

Hebrews 7:23-28.  The writer continues to compare the priesthood of Christ with that of the Aaronic/Levitical priesthood. The Aaronic/Levitical priesthood offered physical sacrifices daily for their own sins and the sins of the people. Christ’s priesthood, a priesthood of intercession, has ended such sacrifices. By offering himself in obedience to God, even to the point of death, Jesus became the perfect and complete channel of intercession for the whole world.

 Assurance of Forgiveness (Hebrews 7:25)

Jesus is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

Hear then the good newsth at in and through Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
Thanks be to God!

~ written by Moira Laidlaw, and posted on Liturgies Online.

 

Mark 10:46-52. As Jesus and his disciples leave Jericho for the final journey to Jerusalem, a blind man, Bar Timaeus, seeks healing, is healed, and becomes a disciple himself.

 

Prayer

“’Teacher,’ the blind man said, ‘I want to see!” Mark 10:51

Lord God, our Provider.
We worship you as the one who meets our needs,
who grants our daily bread,
who restores our humanity.
We worship you as the God who knows human need from experience,
who knows want, and thirst and humiliation.
And we worship you as your people,
in a world where wealth is mixed with poverty;
where we have all we need, but don’t know how to share.
Where want, and hunger and thirst and humiliation are hidden
from those with the power to offer challenge and bring change.

So, open our eyes.
Not only that we learn sad facts about the world,
But open the eyes of our heart,
that we may feel our place in this world, as your people.
Where there is need,
teach us to learn where our wealth lies, and help us to give.
Where there is injustice,
teach us to learn the causes, and help us to fight.
Where there is brokenness,
teach us to learn of our own brokenness, and help us to bring wholeness.

Help us to look to you,
that we neither remain ignorant of the world,
nor lose ourselves in despair at its brokenness.
Show us how to worship you,
the crucified God,
the risen God,
the God who provides.

Help us to carry our cross,
to accept your gift of new life,
to bring that gift to others.

~ from the Baptist Union of Great Britain website.

 

Our questions, God’s answers

Desert rose and dewdrops

Yearly Rhythm

Sunday 18 October 2015
The Twentyfirst Sunday after Pentecost
(Ordinary Time)
Year B
Colour: Green

“It matters not where a person may be at this moment;
the point is whether they are growing.”
George MacDonald

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE RHYTHM OF WORSHIP AND THE CHURCH YEAR HERE!

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary 12 -18 October 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF HERE!

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

Job 38:1-7 (34-41). A voice from the whirlwind (tornado) answers Job and the friends with a series of questions about their ability either to create or provide for the universe, the earth, and its inhabitants.

Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c. A hymn praising God’s work in creation.

 Hebrews 5:1-10. Jesus exercised his high priesthood, established directly by God, as was Melchizedek’s, through supplications, prayers, sufferings, and obedience.

 Mark 10:35-45. The boldest misconstrual yet of leadership and position in the kingdom of God by disciples of Jesus. Leadership is service, not honor; and position is gained through suffering (cup, baptism, ransom) and God’s initiative, not self-promotion or favoritism.

This week in our daily confessions we begin a new cycle of our 21 day confession.  Remember to let God’s Spirit take you deeper into confession and transformation each time you do this cycle (we will follow it for three weeks)  The cycle will be found under the confessional focus for each day.

Monday:

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

Confession: In what areas am I envious?  Does this envy “drive” my life in any areas?  How does this indicate restlessness within my own spirit?  How can my relationship with God help me with my envy?

The Word: See readings above or use your 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)

            Transforming Verses: Psalm 139:7-10 “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Tuesday:

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

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.

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:

            Transforming Verses: Psalm 139:7-10 “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Wednesday: 

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

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.

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:

            Transforming Verses: Psalm 139:7-10 “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Thursday:

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

Confession: Lord, make me aware of the pride in my life.  Pride that keeps me aloof and apart.  Pride that is rooted in 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: 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 at 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:

            Transforming Verses: Psalm 139:7-10 “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Friday:

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

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: 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:

             Transforming Verses: Psalm 139:7-10 “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Saturday:

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

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: 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:

         Transforming Verses: Psalm 139:7-10 “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

 

Sunday:

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

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: 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 you 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:

            Transforming Verses: Psalm 139:7-10 “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Weekly Rhythm

Joining our stories with the story of God.

 

Sunday 18 October is the Twenty first Sunday after Pentecost (Ordinary Time), Year B

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?

Job 38:1-7 (34-41). A voice from the whirlwind (tornado) answers Job and the friends with a series of questions about their ability either to create or provide for the universe, the earth, and its inhabitants.

 

Praying for Wisdom (based on Job 38)

Lord, you laid the earth’s foundations;
you placed its cornerstone;
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy
you set limits for the sea and said,
“This far and no further!’
You gave orders to the morning and showed the dawn its place;
you moulded the earth until it took shape.
You alone know the springs of the sea;
you alone comprehend the vastness of the universe;
you alone know the laws of heaven:
Lord, give wisdom to our hearts
and understanding to our minds. Amen.

~ written by Michael Perry, and posted on the The Jubilate Group website.

 

Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c.  A hymn praising God’s work in creation.

Prayer (inspired by Psalm 104:1, 5-15, 24, 27-28, 31)

Praise the Lord!

O Lord my God, how great you are!
You placed the world on its foundation
so it would never be moved.
You clothed the earth with floods of water—
water that covered even the mountains.
At your command, the water fled;
at the sound of your thunder, it hurried away.
Mountains rose and valleys sank to the levels you decreed.
Then you set a firm boundary for the seas,
so they would never again cover the earth.
You make springs pour water into the ravines,
so streams gush down from the mountains.
They provide water for all the animals—,
even the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
The birds nest beside the streams
and sing among the branches of the trees.
You send rain on the mountains from your heavenly home,
and you fill the earth with the fruit of your labor.
You cause grass to grow for the livestock
and plants for people to use.
You allow them to produce food from the earth—
wine to make them glad,
olive oil to soothe their skin,
and bread to give them strength.
O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!
In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your creatures.
They all depend on you to give them food as they need it.
When you supply it, they gather it.
You open your hand to feed them,
and they are richly satisfied.
May the glory of the Lord continue forever!
May the Lord take pleasure in all he has made!

Christine Longhurst

 Hebrews 5:1-10. Jesus exercised his high priesthood, established directly by God, as was Melchizedek’s, through supplications, prayers, sufferings, and obedience.

 

Prayer  (inspired by Hebrews 4:14-16; Hebrews 5:7-10)

Father, O God most high,
who dwells in the highest of heavens,
we praise you.

Father, O Lord most exalted,
beyond our thoughts and imaginations,
we praise you.

We celebrate the victory of your Son,
who has overcome death
and saved us from the power of sin.
We rejoice in his exaltation!
Our great high priest
has gone before,
has entered into the Holy of Holies,
and has opened up a way for us to follow.
In his name, we too would enter into your eternal presence,
for he is our priest forever
after the order of Melchizedek.
To him be all praise,
together with you, O Father,
and the Holy Spirit,
one Lord, the same in every age.

Amen and Amen.

~ Hughes Oliphant Old, Leading in Prayer: A Workbook for Ministers

 

 Mark 10:35-45. The boldest misconstrual yet of leadership and position in the kingdom of God by disciples of Jesus. Leadership is service, not honor; and position is gained through suffering (cup, baptism, ransom) and God’s initiative, not self-promotion or favoritism.

Gospel Reflection

Can you drink the cup that I drink?  Mark 10:38.

Can you drink the cup that I drink?
Can we drink of your cup?
Can we do what you do?

No.
Not on our own;
we think not.
But through you,
with you,
in you:

Yes.

If you give us the grace.
Let us come along with you

~ written by Anne Osdieck, and posted on The Center for Liturgy Sunday Web Site