Devotional Diary

Ascension Sunday

Ascension

Yearly Rhythm

Sunday 17th May 2015
Ascension Sunday – The Seventh Sunday of Easter
Year B
Colour: White or Gold

Ascension Day is on Thursday this week – 40 days after the Resurrection. During these past 40 days Jesus has appeared several times to His disciples, preparing them to take on His mission.

The colour Gold which may be used for this day reminds us of the power and kingly nature of Christ as he takes His place beside the Father, continuing to pray for us as we participate in the work of His Kingdom.

Why follow the Church calendar?

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary   11 – 17 May 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF HERE.

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

Acts 1:1-11Before Jesus ascends into heaven, he twice directs his disciples to stop focusing on earthly kingdoms and glory to focus instead on the Spirit-empowered mission (and the coming of the same Spirit) that lay before them — to be witnesses in all the world. When the angels “interrupt” their wondering gaze, they also (a third time) redirect the disciples to continue in this mission by waiting for the coming of the Spirit in Jerusalem.

Psalm 47 An enthronement psalm celebrating God’s kingship. This Psalm was chosen because ascension language is enthronement language. Jesus ascending into heaven means that Jesus is now enthroned in heaven.

Ephesians 1:15-23Paul encourages the churches connected with the congregation(s) at Ephesus to remember the fullness of who they now are because of what God has made them in Jesus Christ, risen, ascended to the right hand of all power and reigning in, through and beyond the church.

Luke 24:44-53We heard this story a few weeks ago to focus on repentance. Today we hear it to focus on ascension and mission. “Power from on high” will come to the apostles to empower a ministry of proclamation of repentance and forgiveness to the whole world.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God.”  Each day focus on a different way in which the glory of God encounters you.  Then respond in lifting up the glory of the name of the Lord.

Confession: 2 Corinthians 3:18 “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  This week try to spend time allowing God’s glory to fill your life.  Just wait on the Lord in prayer with an open heart each day.

The Word: See readings above or your own reading plan.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus:  God’s glory should shine from every aspect of our world.  Our sin has tarnished this glory.  This week pray that we may discover the power of God in our lives so that his glory may shine from us so we may be instruments of his glory in every aspect of life.   Pray for these different aspects of life as God’s Spirit brings them to your mind.  Our prayer is that in each we may clearly see God’s glory.  Today: Our personal witness.

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, may our lives bring you glory in the day ahead.

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God.”  Each day focus on a different way in which the glory of God encounters you.  Then respond in lifting up the glory of the name of the Lord.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s focus.  Today: Our local church.

Personal Prayers:

           Dedication: Dear Lord, may our lives bring you glory in the day ahead.

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God.”  Each day focus on a different way in which the glory of God encounters you.  Then respond in lifting up the glory of the name of the Lord.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s focus.  Your church denomination/affiliation.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: Dear Lord, may our lives bring you glory in the day ahead.

Thursday: Ascension Day

Adoration Focus: Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God.”  Each day focus on a different way in which the glory of God encounters you.  Then respond in lifting up the glory of the name of the Lord.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s focus. Today: The care of our earth.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: Dear Lord, may our lives bring you glory in the day ahead.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God.”  Each day focus on a different way in which the glory of God encounters you.  Then respond in lifting up the glory of the name of the Lord.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s focus. Today: Our places of work.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: Dear Lord, may our lives bring you glory in the day ahead.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God.”  Each day focus on a different way in which the glory of God encounters you.  Then respond in lifting up the glory of the name of the Lord.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s focus. Today: The ministries/areas of service that we are committed to.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: Dear Lord, may our lives bring you glory in the day ahead.

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God.”  Each day focus on a different way in which the glory of God encounters you.  Then respond in lifting up the glory of the name of the Lord.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: See Monday’s focus. Today: Our shared life of worship.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication:  Dear Lord, may our lives bring you glory in the day ahead.

 

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.umcdiscipleship.org.)

 Acts 1:1-11.  Before Jesus ascends into heaven, he twice directs his disciples to stop focusing on earthly kingdoms and glory to focus instead on the Spirit-empowered mission (and the coming of the same Spirit) that lay before them — to be witnesses in all the world. When the angels “interrupt” their wondering gaze, they also (a third time) redirect the disciples to continue in this mission by waiting for the coming of the Spirit in Jerusalem.

How is this a handing over moment?

How would you define the mission that we are being called to?

Prayer of Petition

(inspired by Acts 1: 9-11)

 

Risen and ascended Lord Jesus,
When we are numbed by the suffering of the world,
Take us back to the deep truth
Of your power and glory,
Of your invincible Kingdom,
Of your promise of reconciliation.
In the knowledge of this truth,
Help us to bring our gaze to earth
And find the strength to go into the world,
to do your will on earth as in heaven.
To build the kingdom of God
On earth as it is in heaven.

~ from the Monthly Prayers page of the Christian Aid website.
http://www.christianaid.org.uk/

 

Psalm 47 An enthronement psalm celebrating God’s kingship. This Psalm was chosen because ascension language is enthronement language. Jesus ascending into heaven means that Jesus is now enthroned in heaven.

What are the attributes of God that are emphasised is this psalm?

Why is it worth clapping our hands that this God reigns?


Ephesians 1:15-23
Paul encourages the churches connected with the congregation(s) at Ephesus to remember the fullness of who they now are because of what God has made them in Jesus Christ, risen, ascended to the right hand of all power and reigning in, through and beyond the church.

Prayer  

(Ephesians 1:17-19, The Voice)

Imagine that this prayer is being prayed for you.

 God of our Lord Jesus,
the Liberating King,
Father of Glory:
I call out to You on behalf of Your people.
Give them a mind ready to receive wisdom and revelation
so they will truly know You.
Open the eyes of their hearts
and let the light of Your truth flood in.
Show them what You have promised them.
Shine Your light on the hope You are calling them to embrace.
Reveal to them the glorious riches You are preparing as their inheritance.
Let them see the full extent of Your power that is at work
in those of us who believe,
and may it be done according to Your might and power.

Amen.

The Voice.™  Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

Luke 24:44-53.  We heard this story a few weeks ago to focus on repentance. Today we hear it to focus on ascension and mission. “Power from on high” will come to the apostles to empower a ministry of proclamation of repentance and forgiveness to the whole world.

Christ has joined us in life, walking with us, dying our death, being raised, and shares his life. What does it mean to you that this Christ is now the ascended and reigning Lord?

Prayer 

(based on Luke 24:36-48, 1 John 3:1-7)

Lord of Dawn and Darkness,
how grateful we are for your loving mercies.
You saw our fear and doubt, our suspicion, our mistrust,
and you banished them from our lives,
replacing them with hope, peace, love, and joy.

You called us to be your witnesses, to all the world,
unafraid of what others might think or say about us.
We have been invited out of our darkened hideaways,
into the light of your world as emissaries of hope and justice,
peace and compassion.

Be with us, as we participate in ministries of healing and hope
through this church, in our community, region, nation, and world.
Give us courage and strength to be your disciples
in all the circumstances of our lives;
for we ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 — written by Nancy C. Townley,
and posted on the Worship Connection page of the Ministry Matters website.

 

 

Holy Week, Good Friday, Easter Day. Year B, 2015

March LilyYearly Rhythm

5th April 2015
Holy Week, Good Friday, Easter Day
Year B
Colours: Purple for Holy Week,
White or Gold for Easter Day.

This week is Holy Week.  It is holy in that we set it aside to specifically and intensively focus on the events of the week in Christ’s journey which culminated in death and resurrection.  I have given you the set readings for each day (thanks to www.gbod.org).  If you do not find time to reflect on all the readings, focus on the Gospel readings.  This week all you are asked to do is read the story.  But read it slowly and be open to God’s Spirit.  This is God’s work of salvation for you and your world.

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 

Making worship part of the everyday
DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND PRAYERS AS A PDF HERE!

As you read the scriptures ask:

What is this passage saying?
What did it mean for the original hearers?
What does it mean to me?
How will this Good News change the way I live?

 

Monday of Holy Week

Isaiah 42:1–9
Psalm 36:5–11
Hebrews 9:11–15
John 12:1–11

Tuesday of Holy Week

Isaiah 49:1–7
Psalm 71:1–14
1 Corinthians 1:18–31
John 12:20–36

Wednesday of Holy Week

Isaiah 50:4–9a
Psalm 70
Hebrews 12:1–3
John 13:21–32

Holy Thursday

Exodus 12:1–14
Psalm 116:1–4, 12–19
1 Corinthians 11:23–26
John 13:1–17, 31b-35

Good Friday

Isaiah 52:13–53:12
Psalm 22
Hebrews 10:16–25
John 18:1–19:42

Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil

Job 14:1-14
Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16
1 Peter 4:1-8
Matthew 27:57-66

Easter Sunday: The Resurrection of Our Lord

Acts 10:34-43
Psalm 118:1–2, 14–24
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
John  20:1-18

Weekly Rhythm

Joining our stories to the stories of God’s people

A Story of Love

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son….” John 3:16

gather round
I have a story to tell
of one who reached inside himself
and took a handful of love
like a pile of stardust
and said: this is for you
it is all you need
it is all you will ever need
there is enough here
to change the whole world
take it

many laughed at him
mocked him
and ignored the invitation

but some dared to take it
and those who did
noticed something about this love
they found they could do what the gift-giver could do
they could stand with the lost
welcome the traveller
eat with the hungry
they found themselves doing what the man first did to them
give something of themselves to others
they became like the man
offering themselves
and as they offered themselves
others took the invitation
and many still do
and many still trust
it is enough to change the whole world

~ written by Roddy Hamilton, and posted on Listening to the Stones.
http://newkilpatrickblog.typepad.com/nk-blogging/mucky-paws/

 

A holy week of statement of faith

some shout hosanna
some shout crucify
some shout Jesus
some shout Barabbas
some wave palms
some shake their fists
today we choose…
some break bread
some break silence
some proclaim Jesus
some deny Jesus
some carry the cross
some run from the cross
today we choose…

some are angry
some rejoice
some anoint with costly perfume
some complain at the waste
some like the light
some prefer the shadows
today we choose…

some weep
some conspire
some follow
some hide
some believe
some betray
today we choose

to shout for life
to follow the cross
to break bread
to hold belief
to trust love
and tell the world
we choose to follow Jesus

 

~ written by Roddy Hamilton.