Monthly Archives: March 2016

Extravagant Worship: love poured out.

The_Ointment_-_James_Tissot

Yearly Rhythm

“The 40 days of Lent, which precedes Easter is based on two Biblical accounts: the 40 years of wilderness wandering by the Israelites and our Lord’s 40 days in the wilderness at which point He was tempted by Satan.

Each year the Church observes Lent where we, like Israel and our Lord, are tested. We participate in abstinence, times of fasting, confession and acts of mercy to strengthen our faith and devotional disciplines. The goal of every Christian is to leave Lent a stronger and more vital person of faith than when we entered.” ( http://www.catholic.org/clife/lent/faq.php)

Weekly Rhythm

Example of a Covenant Discipleship Agreement (David Lowes Watson).  This can be used to examine your life during lent:

“Knowing that Jesus Christ died that I might have eternal life, I herewith pledge myself to be his disciple, witnessing to his saving grace, and seeking to follow his teachings under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I faithfully pledge my time, my skills, my resources, and my strength, to search out God’s will for me, and to obey.

Acts of Devotion:

  • I will practice daily devotions
  • I will read and study the scriptures regularly through the week.
  • I will exercise the gift of prayer each day in growing in my relationship with God.

Acts of Worship:

  • I will be faithful in attendance and participate in worship each Sunday unless prevented.
  • I will receive Holy Communion each month.
  • I will pray for those who lead us in worship each week, and especially for the preacher.
  • I will pray for those who visit our worship service, that they will be touched by grace.
  • I will support the church financially to the best of my ability exercising scriptural generosity, sacrifice and obedience.
  • In my life’s worship journey I will seek to be filled with a sense of mystery and thankfulness.

Acts of Compassion:

  • I will strive to increase my service to others and graciously acknowledge others’ service to me.
  • I will express feelings of genuine appreciation to at least one person each day.
  • I will encourage our congregation in its missional giving, and do this by personal example.
  • In my interactions with others I will practice listening and improving communications.
  • I will be alert for opportunities to reflect Christ on a daily basis.
  • I will prayerfully care for my body and for the world in which I live.

Acts of Justice:

  • When I am aware of injustice, I will take action as I am led by the Holy Spirit.
  • I will dissociate myself from racial slurs and jokes.
  • I will turn from racial, social, and sexual prejudice among my relatives and friends.
  • I will practice responsible stewardship of the world’s resources in the context of my personal life and communal commitments
  • I will support our local feeding scheme.
  • I will seek to get to know and learn from at least one person from a different ethnic grouping to me.
  • I will spend time each month to further the cause of the disadvantaged in my community.
  • I will provide encouragement and tools to assist others in their educational goals.
  • I will witness for justice, inclusiveness, and equality, and encourage forgiveness always and reconciliation wherever possible.
  • I will pray every day for the coming of the reign of God and seek first the Kingdom of God.

Daily Rhythm

 Devotional Diary 7 – 13 March 2016

Readings for this week with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org Sunday 13 March 2016 Fifth Sunday of Lent.

Suggestion: Read one reading each day for the first days of the week and then return to any that you feel draw to on the remaining days.

Isaiah 43:16-21.God does a new thing. Springs burst forth in the desert, and the world’s strongest military power is paralyzed.

Psalm 126.

Philippians 3:4b-14. No accomplishments or faults of the past compare to knowing Christ Jesus our Lord in the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings.

John 12:1-8. Mary anoints Jesus at Bethany. Judas protests, using Jesus’ own teaching about caring for the poor against him. Jesus rebukes Judas with words pointing to the uniqueness of his presence and of this occasion that called forth the very response Mary had made.

 This week: Our adoration focus is based on another 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 in your confessions reflect each day on this prayer: “Lord, make me according to thy heart.” (Brother Lawrence 1611 – 1691)  As you reflect on these words discern how God would offer you His gift of transformation day by day.

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

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)

Dedication: Jesus, purify my heart; teach me to speak and act, not for my glory but for your glory. (IBRA Notes)

 Tuesday:

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

Confession: This week in your confessions reflect each day on this prayer: “Lord, make me according to thy heart.” (Brother Lawrence 1611 – 1691)  As you reflect on these words discern how God would offer you His gift of transformation day by day.

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

Dedication: Jesus, purify my heart; teach me to speak and act, not for my glory but for your glory. (IBRA Notes)

Wednesday:

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

Confession: This week in your confessions reflect each day on this prayer: “Lord, make me according to thy heart.” (Brother Lawrence 1611 – 1691)  As you reflect on these words discern how God would offer you His gift of transformation day by day.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

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

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Jesus, purify my heart; teach me to speak and act, not for my glory but for your glory. (IBRA Notes)

Thursday:

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

Confession: This week in your confessions reflect each day on this prayer: “Lord, make me according to thy heart.” (Brother Lawrence 1611 – 1691)  As you reflect on these words discern how God would offer you His gift of transformation day by day.

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:

Dedication: Jesus, purify my heart; teach me to speak and act, not for my glory but for your glory. (IBRA Notes)

Friday:

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

Confession: This week in your confessions reflect each day on this prayer: “Lord, make me according to thy heart.” (Brother Lawrence 1611 – 1691)  As you reflect on these words discern how God would offer you His gift of transformation day by day.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

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

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Jesus, purify my heart; teach me to speak and act, not for my glory but for your glory. (IBRA Notes)

Saturday:

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

Confession: This week in your confessions reflect each day on this prayer: “Lord, make me according to thy heart.” (Brother Lawrence 1611 – 1691)  As you reflect on these words discern how God would offer you His gift of transformation day by day.

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:

Dedication: Jesus, purify my heart; teach me to speak and act, not for my glory but for your glory. (IBRA Notes)

Sunday:

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

Confession: This week in your confessions reflect each day on this prayer: “Lord, make me according to thy heart.” (Brother Lawrence 1611 – 1691)  As you reflect on these words discern how God would offer you His gift of transformation day by day.

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:

Dedication: Jesus, purify my heart; teach me to speak and act, not for my glory but for your glory. (IBRA Notes)