Words of love, being fruitful, clean from the inside

little stream kirstenbosch

Yearly Rhythm

Sunday 30 August 2015
The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
(Ordinary Time)
Year B

“Because our hearts are oriented primarily by desire, by what we love, and because those desires are shaped and molded by the habit-forming practices in which we participate, it is the rituals and practices…that shape our imaginations and how we orient ourselves toward the world.”

-James K. A. Smith, Desiring the Kingdom

To discover why following the Revised Common Lectionary and the seasons of the Church Year click here! And some further reading here.

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary 24 – 30 August 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF HERE!

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

Song of Solomon 2:8-13. A suitor calls on his beloved to prepare for their uniting.

Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9.  A fitting response to the first reading with its celebration of young love and marriage.

James 1:17-27. Be the first fruits of God’s generosity toward others. Stay away from excess and impurity. Actively do the word. Restrain the tongue. Make sure the weak and vulnerable are protected.

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23. Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem confront Jesus about why his disciples do not follow the customary hand washing rituals before eating. Jesus insists that true cleanness is not a matter of external cleansing, but the cleansing of the “inner self.” Uncleanness results not from anything external, but only and always from what is inside.

Monday:

Adoration Focus:  Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: This week our focus is the engaged life.  Confess ways in which you have quit or put your arrow back into the quiver.  Offer your mind to God for a new spirit of Kingdom of God engagement: Be a Kingdom Builder!  How is He calling you to engage?  Link this to the Shared focus below.

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

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?”  Area of focus: Making the difference.

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 Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: See Monday’s Confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?” Area of focus:  Meeting a need.

Personal Prayers:

            Transforming Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: See Monday’s Confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?”  Area of focus:  Discovering a new avenue of service.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus:  Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: See Monday’s Confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?”  Area of focus: The mission of your church community.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: See Monday’s Confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?”  Area of focus:  An area that is facing threat.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: See Monday’s Confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?” Area of focus: A confusing issue…

Personal prayers:

           Transforming Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: See Monday’s Confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?” Area of focus: Worship.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

 

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?

 Song of Solomon 2:8-13. A suitor calls on his beloved to prepare for their uniting.

Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9.  A fitting response to the first reading with its celebration of young love and marriage.

  

James 1:17-27. Be the first fruits of God’s generosity toward others. Stay away from excess and impurity. Actively do the word. Restrain the tongue. Make sure the weak and vulnerable are protected.

Prayer of Intercession (inspired by the book of James)

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 (my) 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 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23. Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem confront Jesus about why his disciples do not follow the customary hand washing rituals before eating. Jesus insists that true cleanness is not a matter of external cleansing, but the cleansing of the “inner self.” Uncleanness results not from anything external, but only and always from what is inside.

 

Gospel Reflection

(inspired by Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23)

These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far away.  Mark 7:7

Lord,
let our hearts not be
far from you.

Help us reach out to our neighbour,
even when we are busy or tired.
Let us tear down walls
when we’d
rather
let them stand.

Stretch us, please.

Whether we are
visiting a prisoner, offering a smile, feeding the hungry,
be within us so that whatever we do,
we do with your love.

Let the world know we are your disciples
not because our hands are clean,
but because they are soiled
with the mark of your
people.

 

~ written by Anne Osdieck, and posted on Saint Louis University’s The Center for Liturgy web site.