Rooted in God, Greatest or Least?

SPRING path and sea

Yearly Rhythm

Sunday 20 September 2015
The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
(Ordinary Time)
Year B
Colour: Green

There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.
Rachel Carson

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary 14 – 20 September 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF HERE!

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

Proverbs 31:10-31. In praise of the “model” married woman, rooted in God, faithful and competent as the manager of the household.

Psalm 1.  A celebration of a way of life rooted in God and fed by the “streams of water” through prayer and meditation on the word of God.

James 3:13—4:3, 7-8a. Those who live from the wisdom from above live in peace — responding graciously toward others, resisting the selfish willfulness of the flesh, and drawing near to God.

Mark 9:30-37. Jesus teaches his disciples a second time that he will face betrayal, execution, and resurrection. For the second time as well, the disciples demonstrate they do not understand his teaching. They continue to argue about who is the greatest. Jesus places a child already in their midst at the centre of their attention to remind them that whoever welcomes such a child welcomes Jesus and the One who sent him.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: We have so much to celebrate: Give God thanks for one reason for celebration today.  Suggestion: Your ability to plan and vision.

Confession: This week each day list some things that stop you from really celebrating God’s greatness.  Remember, these things are robbing you of living life in abundance.  Bring them before God and pray that he may open the floodgates of celebration.  Today’s focus: thankfulness.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Each day we pray that the spirit of celebration may touch a new area of our shared lives.  Today we pray for those who share in the youth ministry and children’s church (also teachers and schools).

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: Dear Lord, each day enable me to know a moment of real celebration. 

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: We have so much to celebrate: Give God thanks for one reason for celebration today. Suggestion: That we are surrounded by mystery.

Confession: This week each day list some things that stop you from really celebrating God’s greatness.  Remember, these things are robbing you of living life in abundance.  Bring them before God and pray that he may open the floodgates of celebration. Today’s focus: Seeing the simple blessing of life.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Each day we pray that the spirit of celebration may touch a new area of our shared lives.  Today we pray for all those involved in a specific serving ministry.

Personal Prayers:

            Dedication: Dear Lord, each day enable me to know a moment of real celebration.

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: We have so much to celebrate: Give God thanks for one reason for celebration today.  Suggestion: The people you will meet today.

Confession: This week each day list some things that stop you from really celebrating God’s greatness.  Remember, these things are robbing you of living life in abundance.  Bring them before God and pray that he may open the floodgates of celebration. Today’s focus:  Seeing God’s hand in the awesomeness of life.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Each day we pray that the spirit of celebration may touch a new area of our shared lives.  Today we pray for small groups within church life.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: Dear Lord, each day enable me to know a moment of real celebration.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: We have so much to celebrate: Give God thanks for one reason for celebration today. Suggestion: For art and song.

Confession: This week each day list some things that stop you from really celebrating God’s greatness.  Remember, these things are robbing you of living life in abundance.  Bring them before God and pray that he may open the floodgates of celebration. Today’s focus:  Seeing common things through new eyes of delight.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Each day we pray that the spirit of celebration may touch a new area of our shared lives.   Today we pray for our women’s groups.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: Dear Lord, each day enable me to know a moment of real celebration.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: We have so much to celebrate: Give God thanks for one reason for celebration today. Suggestion: For flowers and colours.

Confession: This week each day list some things that stop you from really celebrating God’s greatness.  Remember, these things are robbing you of living life in abundance.  Bring them before God and pray that he may open the floodgates of celebration. Today’s focus: Taking nothing for granted.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Each day we pray that the spirit of celebration may touch a new area of our shared lives.  Today we pray for all those who are called to give in special ways.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: Dear Lord, each day enable me to know a moment of real celebration.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: We have so much to celebrate: Give God thanks for one reason for celebration today.  Suggestion: For warmth and food.

Confession: This week each day list some things that stop you from really celebrating God’s greatness.  Remember, these things are robbing you of living life in abundance.  Bring them before God and pray that he may open the floodgates of celebration. Today’s focus: Living with a sense of gift and grace.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Each day we pray that the spirit of celebration may touch a new area of our shared lives.  Today we pray for any individual that you are led to pray for.

Personal prayers:

           Dedication: Dear Lord, each day enable me to know a moment of real celebration.

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: We have so much to celebrate: Give God thanks for one reason for celebration today.  Suggestion:  For God and love.

Confession: This week each day list some things that stop you from really celebrating God’s greatness.  Remember, these things are robbing you of living life in abundance.  Bring them before God and pray that he may open the floodgates of celebration. Today’s focus:  Hearts that worship with abandon.

The Word: See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Each day we pray that the spirit of celebration may touch a new area of our shared lives.  Today we pray for your church’s worship services.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: Dear Lord, each day enable me to know a moment of real celebration.

 

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 31:10-31. In praise of the “model” married woman, rooted in God, faithful and competent as the manager of the household.

 

Psalm 1A celebration of a way of life rooted in God and fed by the “streams of water” through prayer and meditation on the word of God.

 

Prayer  (inspired by Psalm 1)

King of all the earth,
Creator of the universe,
Holy Triune God,
From everlasting to everlasting, you are Lord.
Your law brings life, O Lord, and we meditate on it day and night;
Happy are we when we walk in your ways, O Lord.
You are a rich stream of living waters, and we would immerse ourselves in you;
Happy are we when we walk in your ways, O Lord.
You bring forth fruit in due season and establish the work of our hands;
Happy are we when we walk in your ways, O Lord.
Who is like our God, the One whose ways are full of life?
Happy are we when we walk in your ways, O Lord.
This is our God, the Holy One.
Come before him with thanksgiving
and offer him the sacrifice of praise.

~ excerpted from a longer prayer posted on Oratio Contemplativa.

 

James 3:13—4:3, 7-8a. Those who live from the wisdom from above live in peace — responding graciously toward others, resisting the selfish willfulness of the flesh, and drawing near to God.

Prayer of Confession (inspired by James 3)

O God,
we live our lives as best we can—
dealing with difficult relationships and situations,
putting failures and disappointments behind us,
and moving into each new day
with as much energy, goodwill,
and optimism as we can muster.
But here, right now,
we seldom have the right answers,
we seldom seek your higher wisdom in our lives,
we just move ahead.
Forgive us for not asking for your insight.
Fill us with your wisdom,
that we may live lives
of goodness and peace. Amen.

Words of Assurance (inspired by James 3)

When we come before God in humility and honesty,
God draws near to us with forgiveness
and renewed blessing.
Thanks be to God!

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

 

Mark 9:30-37. Jesus teaches his disciples a second time that he will face betrayal, execution, and resurrection. For the second time as well, the disciples demonstrate they do not understand his teaching. They continue to argue about who is the greatest. Jesus places a child already in their midst at the centre of their attention to remind them that whoever welcomes such a child welcomes Jesus and the One who sent him.

Prayer (inspired by Mark 9:33-37)

The first shall be last.
We come to worship as we are.
The last shall be first.
We come with confidence.
The first shall be last.
We come with questions.
The last shall be first.
We come burdened by failure.
The first shall be last.
We come celebrating success.
The last shall be first.
We come fearful of the future.
The first shall be last
and the last shall be first
and a little child shall lead them. 

~ written by Katherine Hawker, and posted on Liturgy Outside
Vanderbilt Divinity Library.