Justice for ALL, Jesus and the demons

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Yearly Rhythm

Sunday 6 September 2015
The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
(Ordinary Time)
Year B
Colour: Green

i thank You God for most this amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite
which is yes
e e cummings

 

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary 1 – 6 September 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF HERE!

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

Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23. A selection of sayings about wealth, justice, generosity, and the poor.

Psalm Response: Psalm 125. This Psalm speaks of God’s protection for the righteous, a match to the theme of the readings from Proverbs.

James 2:1-10 (11-13), 14-17.  James teaches that partiality based on economic or social status is contrary to the call of Christian discipleship. God has enabled the poor to be rich in faith, but the rich have often exercised their power to oppress people and keep them poor. Disciples of Jesus must take direct action to relieve the needs of the poor — “faith without works is dead.”

Mark 7:24-37.  Jesus goes to Lebanon for a vacation and there encounters a local woman whose begging ultimately convinces him to free her daughter from a demon. Returning to Galilee, and re-entering the region of the Decapolis (where he had cast out a legion of demons), Jesus heals a man who could not hear or speak. The more he ordered others not to speak of this, the more they spread it abroad.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: “Rejoice in the Lord always,” and again I say, “Rejoice!”  Galatians 4:4

Confession: If the standard was perfection what would you have to bring to God for transformation today?  Today’s focus: Your passions.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Praying for revival in your church’s life.  Each day lift up an area of your church life and pray that God’s vibrant new life may sweep through it. Today’s focus: Our willingness to have shared goals.

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: Habakkuk 2:4 “…the righteous will live by faith.”  What does this mean for you in the day ahead?

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: “And so I am sure that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

Confession: If the standard was perfection what would you have to bring to God for transformation today? Today’s focus: Your goals.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for revival in your church’s life.  Each day lift up an area of your church life and pray that God’s vibrant new life may sweep through it. Today’s focus: Our prayers for one another.

Personal Prayers:

            Transforming Verse: Habakkuk 2:4 “…the righteous will live by faith.”  What does this mean for you in the day ahead?

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: “But now, by means of the physical death of his Son, God has made you his friends.” Colossians 2:22

Confession: If the standard was perfection what would you have to bring to God for transformation today? Today’s focus: How you spend your energy.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for revival in your church’s life.  Each day lift up an area of your church life and pray that God’s vibrant new life may sweep through it. Today’s focus: Our confidence in God’s way.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse: Habakkuk 2:4 “…the righteous will live by faith.”  What does this mean for you in the day ahead?

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: “Your real life is Christ and when he appears, then you too will appear with him and share his glory!” Colossians 3:4

Confession: If the standard was perfection what would you have to bring to God for transformation today? Today’s focus: Your compassion.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for revival in your church’s life.  Each day lift up an area of your church life and pray that God’s vibrant new life may sweep through it. Today’s focus: Our surrender to God’s leading.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse: Habakkuk 2:4 “…the righteous will live by faith.”  What does this mean for you in the day ahead?

Friday:

Adoration Focus: “You are the people of God; he loves you and chose you for his own.” Colossians 3:12

Confession: If the standard was perfection what would you have to bring to God for transformation today? Today’s focus: Your enthusiasm.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for revival in your church’s life.  Each day lift up an area of your church life and pray that God’s vibrant new life may sweep through it. Today’s focus: Our celebration of God with us.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse: Habakkuk 2:4 “…the righteous will live by faith.”  What does this mean for you in the day ahead?

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: “Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  For in our union with Christ he has blessed us by giving us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly world.”  Ephesians 1:3

Confession: If the standard was perfection what would you have to bring to God for transformation today? Today’s focus: Your taking up of God’s life in yourself.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for revival in your church’s life.  Each day lift up an area of your church life and pray that God’s vibrant new life may sweep through it. Today’s focus:  Our call to mission that crosses barriers and boundaries.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse: Habakkuk 2:4 “…the righteous will live by faith.”  What does mean for you in the day ahead?

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: “let us praise God for his glorious grace, for the free gift he gave us in his dear Son!” Ephesians 1:6

Confession: If the standard was perfection what would you have to bring to God for transformation today? Today’s focus: Your heart of worship.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for revival in your church’s life.  Each day lift up an area of your church life and pray that God’s vibrant new life may sweep through it. Today’s focus:  The shared life of worship.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse: Habakkuk 2:4 “…the righteous will live by faith.”  What does this mean for you in the day ahead?


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 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23. A selection of sayings about wealth, justice, generosity, and the poor.

Prayer  

(inspired by Proverbs 22, James 2:1-17)

Gracious God,
we come before you today knowing that we often fall short of your call
to love one another well.
We allow ourselves to be blinded by wealth and power.
We ignore those around us who suffer injustice, poverty, and rejection.
We tune out the cries of the poor and those on the edges of our communities.
Help us to see your great generosity,
hear your word of mercy,
and feel your great love for all who need your redemptive grace.
Strengthen us to reach out in service to those who are in need.
Make us aware of those outside our own communities,
that we may see them as your precious children
and serve them in humility and joy.
May we continue to grow in grace
as we learn how to serve you
in the name of the great Servant,
even Jesus Christ. Amen.

~ Adapted from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2009, © 2008 Abingdon Press.
Posted on the Ministry Matters website.

 

Psalm Response: Psalm 125. This Psalm speaks of God’s protection for the righteous, a match to the theme of the readings from Proverbs.


James 2:1-10 (11-13), 14-17
.  James teaches that partiality based on economic or social status is contrary to the call of Christian discipleship. God has enabled the poor to be rich in faith, but the rich have often exercised their power to oppress people and keep them poor. Disciples of Jesus must take direct action to relieve the needs of the poor — “faith without works is dead.”

Prayer

(inspired by the book of James)

This prayer is a repeat from last week and will apply to next week’s reading from James again.

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 7:24-37.  Jesus goes to Lebanon for a vacation and there encounters a local woman whose begging ultimately convinces him to free her daughter from a demon. Returning to Galilee, and re-entering the region of the Decapolis (where he had cast out a legion of demons), Jesus heals a man who could not hear or speak. The more he ordered others not to speak of this, the more they spread it abroad.

Notice Christ’s compassion: He is prepared to have his mind changed by the Syro-Phoenician woman.  In the case of the deaf and mute man, notice how Jesus uses “sign language” and mouths an easily lip-read word.