Monthly Archives: November 2015

Daily Advent Readings 2015

800px-Liesel_22-12-2012_4._AdventYearly Rhythm

29 November – 25 December
The Season of Advent
Year C
Colour: Purple or Blue

“Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
Luke 2:19 (NIV)

[image source]

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

DAILY ADVENT READINGS

I am in the middle of relocating to a new ministry post and so as a way of taking the pressure off weekly blog posting and ensuring some form of continuity through Advent I have used a series of daily readings which don’t follow the Revised Common Lectionary for Year C. The short readings will take us through the good news of God coming to ‘pitch His tent among us’ and the reflections and prayers will enable us to bring this into our everyday lives. I will put some links under  Weekly Rhythm that will direct you to other Revised Common Lectionary Resources and we will be back to the normal schedule after Christmas Day!

DOWNLOAD THE DAILY ADVENT READINGS AS A PDF HERE.

Mon 30th November – BLESSING FOR THE WORLD

Read Genesis 12: 1 – 3

Reflect: Centuries ago God promised Abraham that his descendants would become a great nation. Not only this, but through Abraham God promised that all people would be blessed. This promise comes to its fullest expression through Jesus. We receive God’s blessing through Him and are called to share that blessing as we reach out to those around us.

Pray: For opportunities to bring God’s blessing into the lives of others today.

Tues 1st December – HIS ONLY SON

Read Genesis 22: 1 – 19

Reflect: Abraham, ancient ancestor of Jesus, received the instruction from God to offer His only Son. Faithfully he set out to obey Him. As he reached the point of sacrifice he got a reprieve. Later, God would go the full length in sacrificing His only Son. Though Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, “If there is any other way, take this cup from me…” (Matt 26:39) no such reprieve was given.

Pray: Thank God for sacrificing His only Son.

Weds 2nd December – BETHLEHEM ROOTS

Read: Ruth 4: 11 – 22

Reflect: Bethlehem features early in Jesus’ story! God often uses the seemingly insignificant and unimportant situations and people, and weaves them into His plan. Here, Ruth, a Gentile widow living in Bethlehem becomes a key character in the genealogy of David and, hence, Jesus. Don’t underestimate the significance of God’s work among ordinary people – people like us.

Pray: Look back and thank God for the ways you’ve seen Him at work in your life.

Thurs 3rd December – THERE IS A REDEEMER

Read Job 19: 23 – 27

Reflect: In the place of the deepest despair, pain, confusion and suffering Job pours out his heart to God. Suddenly, his words have a deep sense of conviction and assurance that God is his redeemer. Though God seems to have brought trouble on him, He will also bring about his salvation.

Pray: Thank Jesus for being your redeemer. Trust Him for difficult circumstances today.

Fri 4th December – FORGIVENESS

Read Psalm 51

Reflect: It’s all too easy to gloss over sin and explain it away. This psalm won’t let us do that but instead brings hope without ignoring the messiness of sin. It describes the rawness of someone taking the worst to God and still finding mercy.

Pray: Thank God for Jesus. Make this psalm your own by praying it aloud. Confess your sins, receive God’s mercy and recommit yourself to love and serve Him.

Sat 5th December – JOY AND LAUGHTER

Read: Psalm 126

Reflect: God’s people had been in exile, far from home, for many years. Rescued by God, they praise Him for all He has done for them. Centuries later, Jesus would probably also have sung this psalm as he went up to Jerusalem at Passover. This Christmas, let’s celebrate what God has done for us through Jesus – what great things for us!

Prayer: Praise God for sending Jesus to rescue us from sin.

Sun 6th December – IMMANUEL

Read: Isaiah 7: 12 – 14

Reflect: A baby may seem a small thing as a sign of hope. But when His name means ‘God with us’ then there is hope. When God offers a sign of hope, no matter how small the glimmer,  it’s worth clinging to with everything we’ve got – because no matter how bad things look, then ‘God with us’ is the best that there can be.

Pray: for those who lack hope today, that they’d experience God with them.

Mon 7th December – THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

Read Isaiah 9: 2 – 7

Reflect: God raised Isaiah’s vision to the future hope that would one day be fulfilled in Jesus. Even though Isaiah couldn’t have known how or when God would do it, he sees clearly the birth of a baby – the one who would be called ‘Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’ In a dark world the light shines in Jesus.

Pray: for opportunities to share His light today.

Tues 8th December – HOPE

Read Isaiah 11: 1 – 5

Reflect: A Saviour is coming. From the stump (Israel) and from the family line of David (Jesse), Jesus would be born. There was still hope for the ‘fallen’ tree of Israel. For us too, though we are fallen, there is hope through God’s Son.

Pray: Ask the Holy Spirit to rest on you today. Take time to delight in God. Be ready to share the hope He brings with those you meet today.

Weds 9th December – SHOUT FOR JOY

Read Isaiah 35

Reflect: Isaiah looks ahead and sees all of nature cheering at the brilliance of God. Jesus is the one who would bring healing to the diseased and make the ‘feeble’ strong. Jesus himself is the ‘Way of Holiness’. We were once struggling along in the desert, too. What a great hope we have to share with people.

Pray: for opportunities to share this hope today.

Thurs 10th December – GET READY!

Read Isaiah 40: 1 – 5

Reflect: For God’s captive, exiled people this prophecy brought good news – one day they’d be set free. As Christmas approaches, what might it mean for us to ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’ (v3). When John the Baptist quotes this verse (John 1: 23), it’s clear that it’s about repentance – preparation to allow God into our hearts.

Pray: confess anything that is getting in the way of your relationship with Jesus.

Fri 11th December – GOD’S CHOSEN ONE

Read Isaiah 42: 1 – 9

Reflect: Four hundred years before Jesus’ birth Isaiah paints an intimate word picture of the Father’s love for His only Son and the nature of His vocation. Through the prophet’s words God makes promise after promise about what ‘his servant’ will do and what He will be like. The hallmarks of justice, compassion and the light of God’s presence will be stamped on every detail of the new covenant.

Pray: ‘Lord, give me your heart of compassion, your sensitivity to the vulnerable and weak.’

Sat 12th December – THE SUFFERING SERVANT

Read Isaiah 53: 1 – 6

Reflect: Isaiah sensed that God’s saving plan would only come through suffering. Israel was expecting God’s Saviour, but what would He be like? Humble, vulnerable, not good-looking, no oozing charm; He’s the one people overlook. He knows about pain. Read verses 4 – 6 again slowly as you meditate on Jesus’ death on the cross for you.

Pray: It was all done for us. Thank God for His servant Jesus.

Sun 13th December – CONSIDER JESUS

Read Isaiah 53: 7 – 12

Reflect: Take a moment to pause in awe and wonder. We are on holy ground here touching the Father heart of a God whose nature is love, seeing again that grace is completely free yet enormously costly. Reading this description of God’s servant we are moved by his commitment to the task and by his willingness to suffer for others.

Pray: Spend some time in wonder that it is God doing this for us.

Mon 14th December – GOOD NEWS!

Read Isaiah 61: 1 – 3

Reflect: God’s true compassion is revealed in this word of hope for the down-trodden and broken-hearted. God’s new day is dawning and He will bring an end to injustice. The poor will hear and know that they matter to God, the broken-hearted will be strengthened, the captives of fear and sin will be released and the grieving will find comfort.

Pray: Who are the poor and broken-hearted in your community? Will you tell them the good news?

Tues 15th December – PROMISE FULFILLED

Read Jeremiah 33: 14 – 16

Reflect: Jeremiah’s listeners must have all been filled with hope when they heard God’s promise to them here. Despite their failures, God was ensuring stability and safety for Judah and Jerusalem and his continuing commitment to His chosen people. But it was also a promise for all people fulfilled through Jesus, the Lord, our Righteousness.

Pray: Thank Jesus that all the promises of God find their ‘yes’ in Him.

Weds 16th December – A RULER FROM BETHLEHEM

Read Micah 5: 1 -5a

Reflect: Bethlehem was an obscure village south of Jerusalem yet it is from here that God’s promised ruler would come. He promises to bring something out of nothing. He promises to do that for us too. No matter how insignificant and ordinary we may think we are God’s plans for us are breath-taking. Guidance, care, security and peace are available for all God’s family.

Pray: place your life in God’s hands once more, trusting in His plans for you.

Thurs 17th December – THE COMING OF JESUS

Read Matthew 1: 1 – 17

Reflect: Descended from Abraham and David, Matthew wanted to show his Hebrew readers that Jesus IS the Messiah, the one God had promised to send. Whether righteous or sinners, kings or poor, all of these people in the list played a role in God’s great plan to bring salvation to the world through Jesus. Most were unaware of the part they played.

Pray: Use me for Your purposes today, Lord.

Fri 18th December – SURPRISE!

Read Luke 1: 26 – 38

Reflect: The angel tells Mary she is going to give birth to the Messiah, the one whom god has promised would reign forever – not just over Israel but over the whole world. This King would be God’s Son. How would you have responded? Mary is available and willing to serve, to go where God leads knowing that His grace will supply all that she needs.

Pray: Father, give me the same willingness to follow You.

Sat 19th December – PREPARE FOR THE LORD

Read Luke 1: 5 – 17

Reflect: Do you sometimes respond unbelievingly to God? It seems that Zechariah needed to learn that God will perform what He has promised but in His time and His ways, which may be unexpected, even mysterious. The child to be born would play a vital role in God’s purposes. God’s plan would be worked out through the void in this couple’s life being filled.

Pray: Lord, help my unbelief.

Sun 20th December – ZECHARIAH’S SONG

Read Luke 1: 57 – 58, 67 – 80

Reflect: Zechariah’s song expresses his praise, first for God’s gift of a Saviour and then for his own son, John, who would ‘prepare the way’. The neighbours joined in the celebrations. (v 58) God’s story has amazing power on its own. Sometimes we need to explain it and sometimes we need to let it make its own impact.

Pray: Ask God to help you share your story with a neighbour today.

Mon 21st December – THE KING IS COMING

Read Matthew 3: 1 – 6

Reflect: John the Baptist announces the coming King. The essential requirement was a change of heart and mind leading to a change in behaviour. How do we approach for the King’s approach? Have we become complacent about His grace and His forgiveness? What might living a life to please the King look like for you?

Pray: Confess your sins to God today, asking Him to cleanse you and forgive you.

Tues 22nd December – JOSEPH AND MARY

Read Matthew 1: 18 – 25

Reflect: Joseph may have wanted children at some point in his life, but not now, not this way. The unmarried status of this engaged couple made them both vulnerable: if this got out reputations and lives would be ruined. But Joseph’s stature in this story is immense. He is prepared to trust God and not the conventions of his age – he does what the angel commands.

Pray: Lord, show me how I too may hear and obey You.

Weds 23rd December – SHEPHERDS AND ANGELS

Read Luke 2: 8 – 20

Reflect: You can’t help feeling some sympathy for these unsuspecting shepherds who are suddenly blasted with enough light to flood a football stadium and given a message of monumental significance. But once they get over the shock they don’t waste time but hurry off to look for the sign the angel told them about.

Pray: Are you prepared for the unexpected today? God might just surprise you!

Thurs 24th December – VISIT OF THE MAGI

Read Matthew 2: 1 – 12

Reflect: Whereas Herod was desperately scheming to prevent a challenge to His throne, a star in the sky proclaimed Jesus’ authority and His kingship. While Herod turned to advisors and experts to decide what to do, God sent a dream and an angel with instructions for the protection of the King Jesus.

Pray: For Christian leaders in all areas of society to base their authority in what God says about them, rather than in the power struggles of this world.

Friday 25th December – THE BIRTH OF JESUS

Read Luke 2: 1 – 7

Reflect: Being born in an animal’s feeding trough isn’t what you’d expect for the long-awaited Messiah. Yet this is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. If we were arranging the birth of the Saviour of the world we might have organised a rather more spectacular entry!

Pray: Worship Jesus today – the one who came in humility but who brought our salvation.

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Weekly Rhythm

Joining our stories with the story of God

For those who want to keep up with the Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Year C:

John van de Laar’s thoughts may be found at his website Sacredise.
The United Methodist Church (USA) has good resources for bible study and worship preparation.
For those of you who enjoy podcasts try Pulpit Fiction, a lectionary podcast for preachers and bible geeks!
Christine Sine shares many different approaches to the church year at Godspace, including an advent photo-challenge and a free, downloadable colouring book!

Advent Sunday, Year C (2015 – 2016)

Adventskranz 1. Advent

Yearly Rhythm

Sunday 29 November 2015
Advent Sunday
Year C
Colour: Purple or Blue

Advent invites us into the holy practice of waiting and attending the birth that is coming. This is a time for pausing, savouring and soaking in awe and wonder.

Christine Valters Paintner
www.AbbeyoftheArts.com

image source

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary 23 – 29 November 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AS A PDF HERE

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

 (These readings lead us into the season of Advent: Expecting the Lord who comes to us!)

Jeremiah 33:14-16.  “The days are coming when I will fulfill the promise,” the prophet tells the people of Judah in exile in Babylon. The promise is for a leader, a “righteous branch” from the house of David, to bring justice and righteousness to the land then lying in ruins. This promised leader would later be known in Judaism as “Messiah,” and the reign he would establish, “the messianic age.”

Psalm 25:1-10  Reflecting on this psalm, pray and hear in the voice of those in exile who have waited and still wait. In your waiting, confess with them the need for God to sustain you daily, to cleanse you from sin, and lead you in paths of righteousness here and now.

1 Thessalonians 3:9-13. Today’s reading flows as a kind of a blessing in response to the Psalm. In Jesus, the love and righteousness longed for have been provided. In the community called church, such love and righteousness may not only abound but continue to make us perfect in holiness until the final coming of Christ.

 Luke 21:25-36. The signs of the end Jesus announces look different from what the folks who first heard Jeremiah’s prophecy may have expected. In the immediately preceding verses, Jerusalem is destroyed, not “established forever.” It is worldwide suffering accompanied by unstoppable cataclysm, not the progressive development of a golden age of “peace on earth, goodwill to men,” that marks the promised redemption. Don’t be lulled, Jesus warns! Stay awake and alert to suffering; that’s where you’ll see God’s reign coming in power, beginning now.

This week we focus on living with Christ as our King:

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Christ our King reigns over all things,

Confession: Christ our King we now examine how we allow your reign to be expressed in our lives; both our personal lives and also our lives shared together as a body of Christ with you as our head.  In this we seek to follow your example:

Your reign sought not your own will but the Fathers will. Can we say with Christ: Not my will but yours?

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

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus:  Pray for specific areas where God’s reign needs to be expressed more clearly.  His reign brings love, peace, righteousness, justice, provision, faith, light…   Pray the fruits of God’s reign into a new situation each day.  Allow God’s Spirit to guide you as to what you need to pray for.

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: You first in our lives: Reign King Jesus reign!

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Christ our King created all things.

Confession: Christ our King we now examine how we allow your reign to be expressed in our lives; both our personal lives and also our lives shared together as a body of Christ with you as our head.  In this we seek to follow your example: Your reign found purpose and mission in being sent.  Can we say with you: As the Father has sent me?

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for specific areas where God’s reign needs to be expressed more clearly.  His reign brings love, peace, righteousness, justice, provision, faith, light…   Pray the fruits of God’s reign into a new situation each day.  Allow God’s Spirit to guide you as to what you need to pray for.

Personal Prayers:

            Dedication: You first in our lives: Reign King Jesus reign!

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: Christ our King holds all things together.

Confession: Christ our King we now examine how we allow your reign to be expressed in our lives; both our personal lives and also our lives shared together as a body of Christ with you as our head.  In this we seek to follow your example: Your reign seeks salvation and wholeness for all.  Can we say with you: I come not to condemn but to seek God’s salvation?

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for specific areas where God’s reign needs to be expressed more clearly.  His reign brings love, peace, righteousness, justice, provision, faith, light…   Pray the fruits of God’s reign into a new situation each day.  Allow God’s Spirit to guide you as to what you need to pray for.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: You first in our lives: Reign King Jesus reign!

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: In Christ our King all things (including us) find their completion and place.

Confession: Christ our King we now examine how we allow your reign to be expressed in our lives; both our personal lives and also our lives shared together as a body of Christ with you as our head.  In this we seek to follow your example: Your reign expresses sacrificial love: a love that pours out itself for others. Can we say with you:  I came not to be served but to serve and give my life…

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for specific areas where God’s reign needs to be expressed more clearly.  His reign brings love, peace, righteousness, justice, provision, faith, light…   Pray the fruits of God’s reign into a new situation each day.  Allow God’s Spirit to guide you as to what you need to pray for.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: You first in our lives: Reign King Jesus reign!

Friday:

Adoration Focus: As we bow before Christ our King we find that He is perfectly trustworthy.

Confession: Christ our King we now examine how we allow your reign to be expressed in our lives; both our personal lives and also our lives shared together as a body of Christ with you as our head.  In this we seek to follow your example: Your reign has declared; everything for the Father’s glory!  Can we say with you: I live to bring glory to the Father?

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for specific areas where God’s reign needs to be expressed more clearly.  His reign brings love, peace, righteousness, justice, provision, faith, light…   Pray the fruits of God’s reign into a new situation each day.  Allow God’s Spirit to guide you as to what you need to pray for.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: You first in our lives: Reign King Jesus reign!

 

Saturday:

Adoration Focus:  Christ our King is the suffering servant: He lays down his life for all the world.

Confession: Christ our King we now examine how we allow your reign to be expressed in our lives; both our personal lives and also our lives shared together as a body of Christ with you as our head.  In this we seek to follow your example: You are the originator of all that we are.  May all that we think and do find its beginning in your prompting.

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for specific areas where God’s reign needs to be expressed more clearly.  His reign brings love, peace, righteousness, justice, provision, faith, light…   Pray the fruits of God’s reign into a new situation each day.  Allow God’s Spirit to guide you as to what you need to pray for.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: You first in our lives: Reign King Jesus reign!

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Let us worship Christ the King!

Confession: Christ our King we now examine how we allow your reign to be expressed in our lives; both our personal lives and also our lives shared together as a body of Christ with you as our head.  In this we seek to follow your example:  May all our actions and words express your heart.  And in our moment of rest may we know that you are the completion of all things.

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for specific areas where God’s reign needs to be expressed more clearly.  His reign brings love, peace, righteousness, justice, provision, faith, light…   Pray the fruits of God’s reign into a new situation each day.  Allow God’s Spirit to guide you as to what you need to pray for.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: You first in our lives: Reign King Jesus reign!

Weekly Rhythm

As you read and pray remember these three basic questions to make the Scriptures relevant to your life:
What does the passage say?
What does the passage mean?
How does it apply to my life?

You may want to choose one passage of scripture to focus on. Write your thoughts or prayers in your journal; learn some parts of the passage by heart or create something that has meaning for you using any skills you might have (art, music, cooking, gardening etc.)

Christ the King, Year B, 2015

Christ the King stained glass

Yearly Rhythm

Sunday 22 November 2015
Christ the King
Year B
Colour: White or Gold

This is the last Sunday in the Christian Year. We are celebrating the Reign of Christ the King – reminding ourselves that Christ is our King, the ultimate authority in all things. As citizens of His kingdom we are guided by grace, love and justice in all that we do.

These thoughts are particularly pertinent as we #PrayForHumanity this week following the violence in Burundi, Paris, Syria, Lebanon and all the other places where intolerance and prejudice cause death, oppression and displacement.

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary 16 – 22 November 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AS A PDF HERE

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

2 Samuel 23:1-7David’s final song: “One who rules over the people justly… is like the light of the morning, the rising sun of a cloudless morning glistening off the dew.”

Psalm 132:1-5, 11-12A plea to God to remember David’s devotion in wishing to build a temple for God and God’s promise to sustain David’s line if his descendants kept God’s covenant.

Revelation 1:4b-8. The opening salutation to John’s vision: “Grace to you from the one who was, and is and is to come, and from the seven spirits … and from Jesus Christ, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.”

John 18:33-37. Jesus answers the charge that some call him “King of the Jews”: “My kingdom is not from this world.”

This week: Our adoration focus is based on a prayer edited by Neil Dixon in “Companion to the Lectionary.”  The prayers of intercession are based on a prayer in “The Methodist Service Book.”

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, source of power and love, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession: This week we focus on defences, barriers, and excuses; things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today: Fears

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Hear us, Lord God, as we pray for your one holy Church: make us all one, so that the world may believe.

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:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, source of forgiveness and hope, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession: This week we focus on defences, barriers, excuses, things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today: Hidden hurts.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: We pray that every member of the Church may truly and humbly serve you: grant that your name may be glorified by all people.

Personal prayers

            Transforming Verse:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, shown to us in Jesus your Son, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession: This week we focus on defences, barriers, excuses; things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today: Not wanting to let go…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Guide and strengthen all ministers of your gospel: make them faithful in your service.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, constantly present in our lives by your Spirit, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession: This week we focus on defences, barriers, excuses; things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today:  Things we value more than God…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Inspire and lead all who govern and hold authority in the nations of the world: establish justice and peace among all people.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, ceaselessly working in human history, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession

The Word: This week we focus on defences, barriers, excuses; things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today:  Timing: not at the moment Lord…

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Have compassion on all who suffer from any sickness, grief or trouble: deliver them from their distress.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, head of your Church, guide of your people, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession: This week we focus on defences, barriers, excuses; things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today: What about others? Surely not me!

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Give us courage to do your will in all that we undertake: reveal the life of Christ within us.

Personal prayers:

             Transforming Verse:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, lover of our souls, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession: This week we focus on defences, barriers, excuses; things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today:  I’m not that bad…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus:  We praise you for all your saints who have entered your eternal glory: bring us all to share in your heavenly kingdom.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Weekly Rhythm

Joining our stories with the story of God

As you read and pray remember these three basic questions to make the Scriptures relevant to your life:
What does the passage say?
What does the passage mean?
How does it apply to my life?

Some other questions you might like to work through this week as you contemplate Christ the King:

  1. How do you experience the reign of Jesus bringing light and beauty and love and an inviting and enduring softness to the world where you are?
  2. How do you experience those who rule unjustly bringing thorns, and with them pain, hurt and destruction?
  3. What does a “beautiful” and “inviting” and loving politics of justice look like where you are?
  4. What people or organizations already seem to embody such a beautiful, inviting politics of justice?
  5. How does the prayer life of your congregation—corporately and individually– reflect the work of the priesthood Christ our King has made us to be? How might better ways forward be modeled in worship today?
  6. Above all, and foundational to all, how do what you say and do in worship AND daily life model the core truth about God’s kingdom and Jesus as its King—“thy nature and thy name is Love” (Charles Wesley, “Come, O Thou Traveler Unknown,” verse 4).

(Taken from here.)

God of Eternity, we stand with the courage of those who insisted, even in perilous times,
that not even the most powerful rulers of this earth hold our eternal destiny in their hands.
We are secure in Christ, whose reign is just, whose power is endless, and whose love is unfathomable.
God of Eternity, we join the chorus of saints who continue to declare that Christ is our King.
Amen.

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