Saintly Sinners (Pentecost 24, Year C)

 

300px-All-SaintsYearly Rhythm

 Sunday 3rd November 2013

  This is the 24th Sunday after Pentecost (Ordinary Time) Year C

(All Saints Sunday)

 “Today is particularly a day to give thanks for all whose lives have been transformed by and reflect the holiness of our Triune God.”  (www.gbod.org) 

“We step aside from the flow of the ‘propers’ (ordinary time) and celebrate all the saints. We stop. We notice, we are surrounded by a flock of witnesses in our midst – many who have gone before us, some we are just now releasing, and still more with a full life ahead of them.  (Episcopal Church website)

Weekly Rhythm

  Engaging with the weekly Lectionary Readings

 (Comment and Questions)

(PDF Download)

 Readings for the week (Thanks to www.gbod.org)

 Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4

The prophet is appalled at destruction, violence, and perversion of justice, wondering whether God is listening or even cares. Habakkuk prophesied in the period preceding the exile to Babylon and continued to the time of the first wave attack of the Babylonians (597 B.C.)   The book of Habakkuk is a deep and honest cry from the heart.  It also gives some hints as where we should turn in troubled times.

Psalm 119:137-144.

The juxtaposition of the submission in this Psalm and the outrage in Habakkuk is striking. Do not use the Psalm as a “solution” to the prophet’s cry, but rather as part of a spectrum of responses reflecting trust in God in the face of the reality of violence and injustice around us that does not seem to abate.

2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12.

Paul greets the Thessalonians, expressing thanks for their growing faith and their love for one another even in the face of persecution. He assures them of his prayer that they be worthy of God’s call and continue to grow in faith so that Christ may be glorified in and through them. (Saintly Sinners?)

Luke 19:1-10

Jesus says to Zacchaeus, “Today salvation has come to this house.”


Paul J. Nuechterlein explores the connection between last week’s reading (the Pharisee and the tax-collector in the temple) and this Sunday’s.  “If a tax collector such as the one in the parable (of last week), for example, goes home delivered from his sin (“justified”) and empowered by the Spirit to live a life of repentance, is Zacchaeus an illustration of what that life looks like, by his promising to pay back his ill-gotten profits to the poor?… Here are some further comparisons between the two stories:

Instead of a Pharisee who lives by human justice based on divisive categories such as righteous-unrighteous, we have Jesus following God’s justice of mercy and reconnecting Zacchaeus to the family of Abraham and Sarah (and Hagar?).

Instead of the Pharisee looking down his nose in judgment on the tax collector, we have Jesus literally looking UP in mercy at Zacchaeus in the tree.

Instead of a tax collector going to God’s house, the temple, praying for salvation, we have God-in-Jesus going to the tax collector’s house, proclaiming salvation.” (Jesus finds the lost sheep?)

Paul Nuechterlein explores the theme of ‘Blessed to be a blessing.’  “Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)

  Questions

How would you see the parable from last week being expanded by this week’s parable?

How does the Zacchaeus story reflect the title “Blessed to be a blessing”?

Paul Nuechterlein suggests that we seek to be blessed (as in receiving) but that we are only really blessed when we realise that we are “Blessed to be a blessing”.   How is this true?

How do we live out this truth (“Blessed to be a blessing”)?

 

 Weekly Rhythm

(Shaping Sunday Worship)

 (Use these resources to prepare to lead or attend Sunday Worship)

Call to Worship

 based on Habakkuk 3:17-18

 

Though the fig tree does not blossom,

 and on the vines no fruit is found;

 though the olive harvest yields nothing,

 and the fields give no food;

 though the flocks have wandered far away,

 and the stalls hold no herds:

 yet will I rejoice in the Lord,

 and rejoice in the God of our salvation.

  

 

A Prayer for All Saints Sunday

  “We give thanks for

 All the saints,

 Signs of hope for us

 In a time when hope is

 Often difficult to discern.

  We give thanks for

 The communion of saints,

 Our living body–

 Hope in the flesh

 Our communities of faith.

 We give thanks

 For the saints that surround us,

 For our own call to sainthood,

 We give thanks for

 All the saints,

 Signs of hope for us

 In a time when hope is

 Often difficult to discern.

  We give thanks for

 The communion of saints,

 Our living body–

 Hope in the flesh

 Our communities of faith.

These support us

 When we lag behind,

 When we struggle to be present

 To those who suffer,

 When we let go

 Of our neighbors’ hand.

  We give thanks

 For the saints that surround us,

 For our own call to sainthood,

 That challenge of baptism,

 That creative, disruptive grace,

 That instinctive turning toward the human family.

 We are images of each other,

 We are a ruckus chorus

 Announcing the kingdom of God:

 Hear it and know

 It calls us home.”

(Jane Deren)

Intercessions

 

Our intercessory prayer is based on the prophetic book of Habakkuk.  The words of this prayer are all found in this book.  The prophet’s words are a deep passionate cry on behalf of the community. The leader shouts out the cry of Habakkuk e.g. “Violence”, then pauses allowing the congregation to pray (silently?) for our community in response to that cry. 

Lord God today we cry out with the prophet Habakkuk:

 How long, Lord, must I call for help,

 but you do not listen?

And the Lord answers:

This revelation is a witness

pointing to what’s coming.

It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait!

And it doesn’t lie.

If it seems slow in coming, wait.

It’s on its way. It will come right on time.

We cry out “Violence!” (Pause)

 Lord God today we cry out with the prophet Habakkuk:

 How long, Lord, must I call for help,

 but you do not listen?

 And the Lord answers:

 This revelation is a witness

 pointing to what’s coming.

 It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait!

 And it doesn’t lie.

 If it seems slow in coming, wait.

It’s on its way. It will come right on time.

 We cry out: “Injustice!” (Pause)

 We cry out “Wrongdoing!” (Pause)

 Lord God today we cry out with the prophet Habakkuk:

 How long, Lord, must I call for help,

but you do not listen?

And the Lord answers:

This revelation is a witness

pointing to what’s coming.

 It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait!

 And it doesn’t lie.

 If it seems slow in coming, wait.

It’s on its way. It will come right on time.

We cry out:  “Destruction!” (Pause)

We cry out:  “Strife!” (Pause)

We cry out:  “Conflict!” (Pause)

Lord God today we cry out with the prophet Habakkuk:

How long, Lord, must I call for help,

but you do not listen?

And the Lord answers:

This revelation is a witness

pointing to what’s coming.

It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait!

And it doesn’t lie.

 If it seems slow in coming, wait.

It’s on its way. It will come right on time.

And so we declare:

Though the fig tree does not blossom,

and on the vines no fruit is found;

though the olive harvest yields nothing,

and the fields give no food;

though the flocks have wandered far away,

and the stalls hold no herds:

yet will I exult in the Lord,

and rejoice in the God of our salvation.

In Jesus name

Amen

Sending out prayer

Today you are blessed to bless others!

 Receive the blessing of your Saviour

 Climb down your tree

And go and bless!

Daily Rhythm

The Devotional Diary

  A resource for the Daily Rhythm of Worship

 (PDF Download)

 

 

Readings for the week (with thanks to gbod.org)

Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4. The prophet is appalled at the destruction, violence, and perversion of justice, and wonders whether God is listening or even cares.

Psalm 119:137-144. The juxtaposition of the submission in this Psalm and the outrage in Habakkuk is striking. Do not see the Psalm as a “solution” to the prophet’s cry, but rather as part of a spectrum of responses reflecting trust in God in the face of the reality of violence and injustice around us that does not seem to abate.

2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12. Paul greets the Thessalonians, expressing thanks for their growing faith and their love for one another even in the face of persecution. He assures them of his prayer that they be worthy of God’s call and continue to grow in faith so that Christ may be glorified in and through them.

Luke 19:1-10Jesus says to Zacchaeus, “Today salvation has come to this house.”

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 92:1 – “It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High…”

Confession: 2 Peter 1:5-7 “…make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.”  Each day examine yourself using the above call by Peter.  Allow God to challenge you in different ways and to fill you with his Spirit of faith, goodness, godliness, perseverance, kindness, self-control and love.

The Word: See weekly readings above and use them if they are helpful to you.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: In our shared focus we pray for our land.  This time we pray for the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) to grow in the midst of all our peoples.  Today we pray for love.

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:

2 Peter 1:5-7 …make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 92:2 – (“It is good) to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: In our shared focus we pray for our land.  This time we pray for the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) to grow in the midst of all our peoples.  Today we pray for joy.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication:

2 Peter 1:5-7 …make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: Psalm 92:4 – “You make me glad by your deeds, O Lord…”

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: In our shared focus we pray for our land.  This time we pray for the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) to grow in the midst of all our peoples.  Today we pray for peace.

Personal prayers:

Dedication:

2 Peter 1:5-7 …make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 92:4 – “I sing for joy at the work of your hands.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: In our shared focus we pray for our land.  This time we pray for the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22)   to grow in the midst of all our peoples.  Today we pray for patience.

Personal prayers:

Dedication:

2 Peter 1:5-7 …make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

 Friday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 92:5 –  “How great are your works, O Lord, how profound your thoughts.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: In our shared focus we pray for our land.  This time we pray for the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) to grow in the midst of all our peoples.  Today we pray for goodness.

Personal prayers:

Dedication:

2 Peter 1:5-7 …make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 92:8 – “But you, O Lord, are exalted for ever.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: In our shared focus we pray for our land.  This time we pray for the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22)   to grow in the midst of all our peoples.  Today we pray for kindness.

Personal prayers:

Dedication:

2 Peter 1:5-7 …make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

 

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 92:15 … “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: In our shared focus we pray for our land.  This time we pray for the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) to grow in the midst of all our peoples.  Today we pray for temperance and self-control.

Personal prayers:

Dedication:

2 Peter 1:5-7 …make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

 

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