4th Sunday after Epiphany

Dealing with resistance

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Seasonal Rhythm

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany.   Still the season of light.  This Sunday: Jesus announces his mission and immediately faces opposition, but the mission continues.

I remind you of the journey of these weeks we are in:

Jan 3 The Magi: All people are called into this journey.
Jan 10 Christ’s baptism. Baptism: Discovering who we are…. is missional.
Jan 17 The wedding at Cana. Signs: where/what are we pointing to…the new wine.
Jan 24 Jesus defines his calling: What is our mission?
Jan 31 The people take offense at Christ: Facing the realities of mission.
Feb 2 Jesus is lifted up in the temple: It’s all about Jesus.
Feb 7 The Transfiguration: Transformation, this little light of mine.

This season moves into the season of Lent with Ash Wednesday on the 10 February 2016.

Weekly Rhythm

“Be still and know that I am God”.   Sit comfortably and relax.  Start at the top of your head and gradually move to the tip of your toes letting go of tension.  While relaxing, focus also on your breathing.  Breathe a little slower and deeper.  Then find a word that will help you keep your focus as you enter the silence.  Perhaps: Jesus or God or Father or….
Simply repeat this word as you breathe deeply.  Find your rest in God’s embrace.  This exercise should take about 20 minutes.  (Sometimes it is helpful to set a timer.)

Daily Rhythm

 Devotional Diary 25 – 31 January 2016

Readings for this week with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org Sunday 31 January 2016

 Jeremiah 1:4-10:   The Lord calls Jeremiah as a youth: “To pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”

Psalm response — Psalm 71:1-6Words that could represent both Jeremiah’s and our lifelong response to God’s call.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13:  A song or poem celebrating divine love, the heartbeat of every gift of the Spirit.

Luke 4:21-30:   The violent response to Jesus’ sermon in Nazareth.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. (A song of praise)

Confession: (Our confessions this week are by Neil Dixon)  Lord God, we confess that we have stifled your Spirit within us. You have sent your Spirit of love, but we have preferred to hate those who oppose us. Lord, teach us how much we need the power of your Spirit in our lives and breathe new life into us.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for the people of our world.  We rejoice together in the people of the world and we pray that they may know the freedom to be all that God has created them to be.

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: (A prayer prayed while pruning a tree) I pray Thee, Lord, to purge me and take away my selfishness and sinful thoughts, that I may bring forth more fruits of the Spirit. (Prayer of a Chinese Christian man)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Lord of all being, throned afar, Thy glory flames from sun and star; center and soul of every sphere, Yet to each loving heart how near.  (Methodist Hymn Book 32)

Confession: Lord God, we confess that we have stifled your Spirit within us. You have sent your Spirit of joy, but we have taken your gifts for granted and been ungrateful. Lord, teach us how much we need the power of your Spirit in our lives and breathe new life into us.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Today we thank God for the people of our church and rejoice in their gifting and pray that they may be encouraged in their work for the Lord.

Dedication: (A prayer prayed while pruning a tree) I pray Thee, Lord, to purge me and take away my selfishness and sinful thoughts, that I may bring forth more fruits of the Spirit. (Prayer of a Chinese Christian man)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Come let us all unite and sing – God is love! (MHB 22)

Confession: Lord God, we confess that we have stifled your Spirit within us. You have sent your Spirit of peace, but we have allowed our selfishness to cause division and disharmony. Lord, teach us how much we need the power of your Spirit in our lives and breathe new life into us.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Today we pray for all people  who live in oppressive circumstances. Pray that they may know the power to be set free from these shackles.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: (A prayer prayed while pruning a tree) I pray Thee, Lord, to purge me and take away my selfishness and sinful thoughts, that I may bring forth more fruits of the Spirit. (Prayer of a Chinese Christian man)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: The trumpets sound, the angels sing, the feast is ready to begin.  The gates of heaven are open wide and Jesus welcomes you inside.  (A song of praise)

Confession: Lord God, we confess that we have stifled your Spirit within us. You have sent your Spirit of patience, but we have been worried and anxious when we have not seen immediate results from our efforts, or evidence of your love. Lord, teach us how much we need the power of your Spirit in our lives and breathe new life into us.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Today we pray for people who are victims of violence and are in difficult circumstances.  We pray for insight, bravery and support.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: (A prayer prayed while pruning a tree) I pray Thee, Lord, to purge me and take away my selfishness and sinful thoughts, that I may bring forth more fruits of the Spirit. (Prayer of a Chinese Christian man)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: My life is in you Lord, My strength is in you Lord, My hope is in you Lord, in You, it’s in You.  (A song of praise)

Confession: Lord God, we confess that we have stifled your Spirit within us. You have sent your Spirit of kindness, but we have been indifferent to other people’s needs. Lord, teach us how much we need the power of your Spirit in our lives and breathe new life into us.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Today you are invited to pray for any particular situation that you may be led to pray for as you reflect on the people of this world.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: (A prayer prayed while pruning a tree) I pray Thee, Lord, to purge me and take away my selfishness and sinful thoughts, that I may bring forth more fruits of the Spirit. (Prayer of a Chinese Christian man)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: King of glory, King of peace, I will love Thee;… (MHB 23)

Confession: Lord God, we confess that we have stifled your Spirit within us. You have sent your Spirit of goodness, but through our thoughtlessness, as well as our deliberate wrongdoing, we have sinned. Lord, teach us how much we need the power of your Spirit in our lives and breathe new life into us.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Today we pray for husbands and wives and different family structures (e.g. single parent families)  Think also of those who are to be married this Saturday.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: (A prayer prayed while pruning a tree) I pray Thee, Lord, to purge me and take away my selfishness and sinful thoughts, that I may bring forth more fruits of the Spirit. (Prayer of a Chinese Christian man)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Saviour like a shepherd lead us; Much we need Thy tender care. (MHB 609)

Confession: Lord God, we confess that we have stifled your Spirit within us. You have sent your Spirit of faithfulness but we have been fickle in our resolve, unreliable disciples of Jesus.  Lord, teach us how much we need the power of your Spirit in our lives and breathe new life into us.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus:  Lift up your prayers for the peoples of this world as you gather for worship today!

Personal prayers:

Dedication: (A prayer prayed while pruning a tree) I pray Thee, Lord, to purge me and take away my selfishness and sinful thoughts, that I may bring forth more fruits of the Spirit. (Prayer of a Chinese Christian man)

Words and Actions

beach staticeYearly Rhythm

1 February 2015
The Fourth Sunday after Epiphany,
Year B, Colour: Green

‘As Jesus’ disciple, I am his apprentice in kingdom living. I am learning from him how to lead my life in the Kingdom of the Heavens as he would lead my life if he were I.’ Dallas Willard

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary
26 January –  1 February 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND ADDITIONAL COMMENTS AS A PDF HERE

Revised Common Lectionary Readings with thanks to www.gbod.org. The 4th Sunday after Epiphany.

Deuteronomy 18:15-20The people are afraid to hear God’s voice directly. God promises to raise up a future prophet, like Moses, to continue speaking to them. The people will be accountable for what the prophet tells them. And the prophet must speak only God’s word, or die.

Psalm Response: Psalm 111Praise to God for fulfilling promises of deliverance, establishing the nation, and providing guidance for the people.

1 Corinthians 8:1-13. Some in the church in Corinth have no qualms about eating meat that has been offered in pagan rites (which may very well have been nearly all the meat in Corinth!), because they — personally — do not recognize the existence of the gods to whom the meat was offered or the validity of the rites by which they were offered. Paul reminds these “cognoscenti” that while their reasoning may be correct in theory, most folks in Corinth would have been so saturated by the polytheistic culture that following Jesus for them would require them to stay away from any association with other ritual practices. Therefore, he warns them not to engage in any action that could be misinterpreted and so “wound the conscience” of “the weak.”

Mark 1:21-28Jesus teaches with authority and performs an exorcism in the synagogue at Capernaum. In Jewish practice, a person known to be a demoniac would not have been admitted into the synagogue. The presence and prophetic authority of Jesus both surface the demon and cast it out. The people are amazed, and the report about this “went out” (same verb in Greek as the command to the unclean spirit to “come out”) to the entire region of Galilee.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Each day praise God for a blessing that has touched your life.  Today: Think of home…

Confession: This week examine your use of the power and influence that God has given you.  If God had to ask you to account for your use of the power (gifts, talents, abilities, resources,) he has given you, how would you answer?  Use the prayer of dedication to help you in this process of repentance.   Possible focus: Indecision.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in His name.  Today pray for your own life: how is God seeking to send you?

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: “God I come to you as an empty vessel.  I have no power of own; that is no genuine, life giving power.  Make me an instrument of your power, I ask, and fill me with your life giving Spirit.  I yield myself to your mission and purposes.  Make me sensitive to your promptings.  Lord, I pray that the journey ahead may be a journey of power in “yieldedness” to your Spirit.”

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day praise God for a blessing that has touched your life.  Today: Think of people…

Confession: See Monday’s confession.  Possible focus: Pride

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in His name.  Today pray for your church. Pray for a specific part of its life of service.

Personal Prayers:

            Dedication: See Monday’s dedication.

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day praise God for a blessing that has touched your life. Today: Think of creation…

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Possible focus: Success/service

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in His name.  Today pray for ministers of the Gospel that they may lead while following Christ.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: See Monday’s dedication.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Each day praise God for a blessing that has touched your life. Today: Think of church…

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Possible focus: the example of Christ.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in His name.  Today pray for your denominational church body:  that it may be empowered for mission.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: See Monday’s dedication.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Each day praise God for a blessing that has touched your life.  Think of God’s word…

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Possible focus: Sacrifice.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in His name.  Today pray for all who are struggling to see themselves as empowered to serve God.

Personal prayers:

             Dedication: See Monday’s dedication.

 Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Each day praise God for a blessing that has touched your life.  Think of your country…

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Possible focus: Submission

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in His name.  Today pray for all who are facing opposition and hardship in their service of God.

Personal prayers:

             Dedication: See Monday’s dedication.

 Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Each day praise God for a blessing that has touched your life.  Think of God…

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Possible focus: being set free to serve.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in His name.  Today pray that in your worship you may serve God by lifting up his name.

Personal prayers:

             Dedication: See Monday’s dedication.

 

Weekly Rhythm

Joining our stories with the stories of God’s people.

 Additional information about the readings: (Notes in italics are with thanks to www.gbod.org.)

Deuteronomy 18:15-20The people are afraid to hear God’s voice directly. God promises to raise up a future prophet, like Moses, to continue speaking to them. The people will be accountable for what the prophet tells them. And the prophet must speak only God’s word, or die.

 *How has God spoken to you recently?
*What message have you heard?
*How have you responded?

Psalm Response: Psalm 111Praise to God for fulfilling promises of deliverance, establishing the nation, and providing guidance for the people.

 

The works of the Lord sustain us.
God has blessed us with life.
The precepts of the Lord guide us.
God has blessed us with wisdom.
The love of the Lord redeems us.
God has blessed us with salvation.
Go with God’s blessings.

— from the Worship Elements page of the Ministry Matters website.

 

*How does God sustain you, give you wisdom and bless you with salvation?
(Think of your community as you reflect on this question.)

 

1 Corinthians 8:1-13. Some in the church in Corinth have no qualms about eating meat that has been offered in pagan rites (which may very well have been nearly all the meat in Corinth!), because they — personally — do not recognize the existence of the gods to whom the meat was offered or the validity of the rites by which they were offered. Paul reminds these “cognoscenti” that while their reasoning may be correct in theory, most folks in Corinth would have been so saturated by the polytheistic culture that following Jesus for them would require them to stay away from any association with other ritual practices. Therefore, he warns them not to engage in any action that could be misinterpreted and so “wound the conscience” of “the weak.”

*How does this passage call us to be loving rather than right?

Prayer of Confession 

(based on 1 Corinthians 8: 1-13)

Holy God, we confess that we are an arrogant people – so full of “knowledge” that we hardly have any room for love.  We confess that we too often judge when we really need to listen.  We confess that we push people away when we you call us to welcome them into our communities.  We confess that we think only about protecting ourselves when we are challenged to risk everything for others.  Lord, forgive us for being more concerned with “being right” than we are with “showing love”.  Forgive us for demanding uniformity when you call us to celebrate diversity.  Guide us, Great God, to live according to your unconditional love.  Teach us to see one another as sisters and brothers so that we may learn to live as one family.

— written by Amy Loving,
and posted on The Worship Closet: The Place for Creative Worship Ideas. 


Mark 1:21-28
Jesus teaches with authority and performs an exorcism in the synagogue at Capernaum. In Jewish practice, a person known to be a demoniac would not have been admitted into the synagogue. The presence and prophetic authority of Jesus both surface the demon and cast it out. The people are amazed, and the report about this “went out” (same verb in Greek as the command to the unclean spirit to “come out”) to the entire region of Galilee.

Prayer for Worship

(inspired by Mark 1:21-28)

Brothers and sisters in Christ,
what hopes do you bring to worship?
We bring hope for health and wholeness.
What  afflictions do you bring to worship?
Physical pain?
    From illness and injury.
Emotional pain?
    From sad and scary life situations.
Mental pain?
    From dis-ease of many kinds.
With all of these afflictions,
it’s a miracle that any of us have made it to worship this morning!
But where else would we be?
We yearn to know God’s powerful love
and to know that wholeness is possible.
In today’s gospel, a person with an “afflicting spirit” * interrupts Jesus
and Jesus frees him.
And where does the miracle of his story and our stories begin?
When we bring all of who we are
—hopeful, afflicted, bold—
 into relationship with the Divine.
So come, let us enter this sanctuary with our whole selves
—hopeful, afflicted and bold—
Come, let us worship!

 

— taken from Holy, Whole-y One: Service Prayers for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany,
written by the Rev. Dr. Ginny Brown Daniel,
pastor of Plymouth United Church, UCC, in Spring, Texas.
Posted on the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways website.

 

*What would it mean for you and how would you “bring all of who you are – hopeful, afflicted and bold – into the relationship with the divine”?

Are you blessed?


tree fernYearly Rhythm

Sunday 2 February 2014

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany. Year A

“The church sets aside a holy season called Ordinary Time as sacred. The Ordinary is part of the religious tradition of being ordered in our daily lives so that we can always be in the presence of the holy.” (Becca Stevens)

 

Daily/Weekly Rhythm

Devotional Diary

27 January – 2 February 2014

A resource for the Daily Rhythm of Worship using the Lectionary Readings

Click here to download the Devotional Diary PDF.

Click here to download the Comments and Questions PDF.

These resources (Lectionary Readings, commentary and reflection guidelines) should be used flexibly and creatively as part of your daily devotions. Use these readings in the context of the Devotional Diary which follows these readings.

 Micah 6:1-8.

The Lord has a controversy with Israel, and the prophet asks what the Lord requires.

“The reading from Micah reminds us God does not simply bless, but also calls and requires something of us.  “What does the Lord require,” the prophet asks? “To do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God” (Micah 6:8). God could not understand how the people could have so completely abandoned covenant after all that God had done for them, all the ways God had saved them time and again. All God wanted, and expected, in return were these three things—justice, mercy, and a humble walk with God.

There are strong parallels between these three attributes of covenant life with God and what Jesus identifies God blesses in the beatitudes. The message in the gospel is “God is blessing such people and such ways of living now that God’s kingdom has drawn near.” The message in the prophet is “if it is blessing you seek, live these ways!” [Source]

Exploring Justice and Mercy (walking humbly?):

What does it mean to do justice? Tim Keller writes, “When I was professor at a theological seminary in the mid-eighties, one of my students was a young man named Mark Gornik. One day we were standing at the copier and he told me that he was about to move into Sandtown, one of the poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods in Baltimore. I remember being quite surprised. When I asked him why, he said simply, “To do justice.”

It had been decades since any white people had moved into Sandtown. For the first couple of years there, it was touch and go. Mark told a reporter, “The police thought I was a drug dealer, and the drug dealers thought I was a police officer. So, for a while there, I didn’t know who was going to shoot me first.” Yet over the years Mark, along with leaders in the community, established a church and a comprehensive set of ministries that have slowly transformed the neighborhood.

Although Mark was living a comfortable, safe life, he became concerned about the most vulnerable, poor and marginalized members of our society, and made long-term personal sacrifices in order to serve their interests, needs and cause.

That is, according to the Bible, what it means to “do justice.”  [Source]

Mercy is a force that compels us to acts of compassion. But in time mercy will collide with an ominous, opposing force: Injustice. Against this dark and overpowering force, acts of mercy can seem meagre. What good is a sandwich and a cup of soup when a severe addiction has control of a man’s life? Or a night in a shelter for a young woman who must sell her body to feed her child?

Perhaps that is why the Bible places equal emphasis on both mercy and justice. The ancient prophet Micah succinctly summarizes God’s design: “He has told you, oh man, what is good and what the Lord desires of you—that you love mercy and do justice and walk humbly with your God.”

Love mercy: Mercy is “compassion, kindness or forgiveness shown especially to someone a person has power over.”

Do justice: Justice is “fairness or reasonableness, especially in the way people are treated or decisions are made.”

Twinned together these commands lead us to holistic involvement. Divorced they become deformed. Mercy without justice degenerates into dependency and entitlement, preserving the power of the giver over the recipient. Justice without mercy grows cold and impersonal, more concerned about rights than relationships. The addict needs both food and treatment. The young woman needs both a safe place to sleep and a way out of her entrapping lifestyle. Street kids need both friendship and jobs.”  ROBERT D. LUPTON  [Source]

Question for reflection:

How would you describe one who does justice, loves mercy and humbly walks with God? (Micah 6: 1 – 8)

A Prayer Based on Micah 6:8

by Carolyn W. Dandridge, GBOD

Give us, o Lord, an eye for injustice.
For it is only when are able to recognize injustice and feel its awful sting that we will be moved to make things right.

Give us, o Lord, a tender heart.
Sometimes we are too hard-hearted to recognize when we have been uncaring, unfeeling, or unkind.

Grant us, o Lord the ability to view life from the dust.
All our lives we have been taught to make others proud, to be proud of ourselves, to hold our heads high — all the while missing the virtues of being poor in spirit.

Teach us dear Lord, to do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with you. Amen.

Psalm 15.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?

Question for reflection:

How do you see Psalm 15 adding to the profile of one who does justice, loves mercy and humble walks with God?

1 Corinthians 1:18-31.

God’s saving love confounds every source of human boasting. Let your only boasting be in the cross of Christ.

Matthew 5:1-12.

The Sermon on the Mount begins with eight words of blessing. 

“Who is Jesus speaking to?  As He sees the crowds, He has a particular audience.    He is speaking to a predominantly Jewish audience who have their situation in their minds.  They were an oppressed people under occupation by a foreign army.  These foreign occupations had been part of their history.  The Jewish people had been trampled by the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Greeks and finally the Romans.  It was to this kind of people that Jesus was speaking.  But more than that, they were also a people who had become disillusioned with their attempts at building a new world.  They had been given the law that had given them the picture of the kind of society that God desired.  They had heard the proclamation of the prophets as God’s spokesmen challenged them again and again.  And yet their best efforts had failed.  They were unable to pull themselves up and develop a society that would be pleasing both to God and to themselves.  Here too they had become disillusioned.  Many were looking forward to a “day of the Lord;”  a day when God would intervene and establish a golden era of righteousness, justice and peace.  This new kingdom was to be a kingdom of God or, as Matthew terms it, “the Kingdom of Heaven”.  It would be a work of grace brought about by God’s action.  It is to these people that Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven”.  If we take that statement out of context we can easily hear it as bad news.  We can hear it as saying, “we need to be the poor in spirit if we are to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven”. The question that would then follow would be, “So, how can we set about making ourselves poor in spirit?”  But that is not what that verse is saying.  Jesus speaks to those who are the poor in spirit and He says, “You, poor in spirit, you who have been trodden upon, you who despair, know this -the Kingdom of Heaven is yours”.  There is no need for them to become the poor in spirit.  That is what they are and to them comes the Kingdom of Heaven as a gift of God.  They had become disillusioned in their own efforts.  This Kingdom was the work of God.

Jesus continues and says to them, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”.  Must we mourn in order to be comforted?  How do we become the mournful?  Again, the wrong question.  Jesus says, “To you who mourn for your land, your land under oppression, know this – you will be comforted.  Know this – my Kingdom is among you, my Kingdom comes”.

Again He says to those who are before Him, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth”.  Here He addresses one of the longings of the Jewish people to inherit the earth, the gift of land.  He addresses the nation, “You, who are a meek nation, know this – God’s promise to you – you will inherit the land”.

And then again He says to His audience, “Blessed are those who hunger or thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled”.  The oppressed people, the disillusioned people, stand before Him.  They hunger and thirst for a land of righteousness.  They will be filled.” (Extract from a sermon by James Nicolson.)

Question for Reflection:

After reading Matthew 5: 1 – 12 how do you find yourself among the poor in spirit, those who mourn; the meek and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness?

Read through the passage and, as it progresses, reflect on what the gift of grace is to each of the above categories.   As you reflect on each section ask how you can receive and act on this gift of grace.

A Prayer based on the Beatitudes

by John Vest

God of the prophets,

God of Christ:

we are reminded today

that your blessings do not necessarily follow the logic of the world.

The world believes that the rich are blessed,

but Jesus reminds us that it is the poor who are blessed,

the poor in spirit

and the materially poor as well.

We pray for a more just world

in which all have enough and none are left behind.

Though we fear death and avoid its inevitable arrival,

Jesus tells us that those who mourn are blessed.

Help us to experience the truth of this mystery;

bring healing and wholeness to those who are sick;

and comfort those of us who have lost loved ones.

While people covet power,

Jesus blesses the meek;

instruct us, O God, in the ways of humility;

help us to stand in solidarity with the oppressed and marginalized;

show us your presence in the faces of those the world forgets.

Give us a hunger and thirst for righteousness;

fill our hearts with love, overflowing with mercy;

make our hearts pure, and give us a vision of your glory.

In a society divided by race, gender, class, ideology, sexual orientation,

and so many other labels we alone have created,

remind us that we are created in your image,

each of us a beautiful reflection of you,

each of us your beloved child.

Help us then to end our conflicts and wars,

help us to be peacemakers and agents of reconciliation.

Gracious God,

you have so richly blessed us with life,

with love and joy,

with hope in the midst of despair.

Help us to be the salt of the earth.

Help us to be the light of the world,

sharing with others that which we have received,

boldly proclaiming the good news of your love,

finding the seeds of your kingdom within us

and letting your way grow in our lives and throughout the world.

Give us eyes to see the ways you are changing the world in which we live.

Give us ears to hear your call to join with you in the great transformation.

Hear us now, o God,

as we pray for the coming of your kingdom,

following Christ as he taught us to pray:

Our Father…

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Each day recall your previous day and give God thanks for showing His presence in some way in your life.

Confession: Richard Rohr points out that often we focus on our sinful behaviour and fail to bring the big issues of control before God’s gaze.  This week be still and know that God is God.  Confession focus:  arrogance/pride.

The Word: Read from the readings above or your own scripture reading plan.

Seeking the Kingdom: Our response to the Word, looking outwards.                                                                                                                     Shared Focus: This week we pray for our mission in our local Church.  Each day ask God to reveal what He would have happen in and through your church and pray accordingly.   It may help you to focus on various parts of your church each day e.g. Youth, leadership, small groups, men’s/women’s groups, areas of service etc.  Offer yourself into the Mission of God.                           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:

“God will make a way where there seems to be no way…”  Lord, help me to trust that you will make a way for me and help me to walk in that way of hope today.

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day recall your previous day and give God thanks for showing His presence in some way in your life.

Confession: Richard Rohr points out that often we focus on our sinful behaviour and fail to bring the big issues of control before God’s gaze.  This week be still and know that God is God.  Confession focus:  self -reliance.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for our mission in our local Church.  Each day ask God to reveal what He would have happen in and through your church and pray accordingly.   It may help you to focus on various parts of your church each day e.g.: Youth, leadership, small groups, men’s/women’s groups, areas of service etc.  Offer yourself into the Mission of God.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication:

“God will make a way where there seems to be no way…”  Lord, help me to trust that you will make a way for me and help me to walk in that way of hope today.

 Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: Each day recall your previous day and give God thanks for showing His presence in some way in your life.

Confession: Richard Rohr points out that often we focus on our sinful behaviour and fail to bring the big issues of control before God’s gaze.  This week be still and know that God is God.  Confession focus:  asking God to bless your plans (instead of seeking out His plans).

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for our mission in our local Church.  Each day ask God to reveal what He would have happen in and through your church and pray accordingly.   It may help you to focus on various parts of your church each day e.g.: Youth, leadership, small groups, men’s/women’s groups, areas of service etc.  Offer yourself into the Mission of God.

Personal prayers:

Dedication:

“God will make a way where there seems to be no way…”  Lord, help me to trust that you will make a way for me and help me to walk in that way of hope today.

 Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Each day recall your previous day and give God thanks for showing His presence in some way in your life.

Confession: Richard Rohr points out that often we focus on our sinful behaviour and fail to bring the big issues of control before God’s gaze.  This week be still and know that God is God.  Confession focus:  not trusting God enough to risk following where He leads.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for our mission in our local Church.  Each day ask God to reveal what He would have happen in and through your church and pray accordingly.   It may help you to focus on various parts of your church each day e.g.: Youth, leadership, small groups, men’s/women’s groups, areas of service etc.  Offer yourself into the Mission of God.

Personal prayers:

Dedication:

“God will make a way where there seems to be no way…”  Lord help me to trust that you will make a way for me and help me to walk in that way of hope today.

 Friday:

Adoration Focus: Each day recall your previous day and give God thanks for showing His presence in some way in your life.

Confession: Richard Rohr points out that often we focus on our sinful behaviour and fail to bring the big issues of control before God’s gaze.  This week be still and know that God is God.  Confession focus:  not developing a listening lifestyle.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for our mission in our local Church.  Each day ask God to reveal what He would have happen in and through your church and pray accordingly.   It may help you to focus on various parts of your church each day e.g.: Youth, leadership, small groups, men’s/women’s groups, areas of service etc.  Offer yourself into the Mission of God.

Personal prayers:

Dedication:

“God will make a way where there seems to be no way…”  Lord, help me to trust that you will make a way for me and help me to walk in that way of hope today.

 Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Each day recall your previous day and give God thanks for showing His presence in some way in your life.

Confession:  Richard Rohr points out that often we focus on our sinful behaviour and fail to bring the big issues of control before God’s gaze.  This week be still and know that God is God.  Confession focus:  not being prepared to re-evaluate your course of action.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus:  This week we pray for our mission in our local Church.  Each day ask God to reveal what He would have happen in and through your church and pray accordingly.   It may help you to focus on various parts of your church each day e.g.: Youth, leadership, small groups, men’s/women’s groups, areas of service etc.  Offer yourself into the Mission of God.

Personal prayers:

Dedication:

“God will make a way where there seems to be no way…”  Lord, help me to trust that you will make a way for me and help me to walk in that way of hope today.

 Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Each day recall your previous day and give God thanks for showing His presence in some way in your life.

Confession: Richard Rohr points out that often we focus on our sinful behaviour and fail to bring the big issues of control before God’s gaze.  This week be still and know that God is God.  Confession focus: not being able to let go and worship God.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for our mission in our local Church.  Each day ask God to reveal what He would have happen in and through your church and pray accordingly.   It may help you to focus on various parts of your church each day e.g.: Youth, leadership, small groups, men’s/women’s groups, areas of service etc.  Offer yourself into the Mission of God.

Personal prayers:

Dedication:

“God will make a way where there seems to be no way…”  Lord, help me to trust that you will make a way for me and help me to walk in that way of hope today.

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