Easter

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.

 

 

Abiding in the vine

grapes on vine cc-by-sa

Yearly Rhythm

The 5th Sunday of Easter
Year B
Colour: White

God’s name cannot be known; it is wondered at.
Gregory of Nyssa

For more on the rhythms of the Christian Year click here!

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary   27 April – 3 May 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF HERE!

The Revised Common Lectionary Readings for this week, with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org:

Acts 8:26-40. An angel sends Philip, deacon and evangelist, to “hop on board” the chariot of an Ethiopian official puzzling over the meaning of Isaiah 53. Philip re-reads it through the story of the life, execution, and resurrection of Jesus. The man is baptized and will become a “road evangelist” in his own right.

Psalm 22:25-31. The “turnaround” verses of this psalm of profound lament were chosen as the response to the first lesson because of verse 27: “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.”

1 John 4:7-21.  The deep heartbeat of life in the Risen Lord — Abide in love; abide in the Spirit given to all who confess Jesus as Son of God; abide in God and you will abide in love; love one another.

John 15:1-8. Abide in Christ, the true vine, and you will bear much fruit, and even more as the Father prunes you. Bear no fruit, because you are not abiding in Christ, and you may expect to be cut off and cast away. The Father’s will isn’t to cast you away, but that you abide in Christ and bear much fruit.

This week our praise focus uses words from the Methodist Hymn Book.  This week we also begin a new cycle of a 21 day confession focus.  We are asked the same questions but God’s Spirit will work in new ways.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: “All praise to our redeeming Lord who joins us by His grace.” (Hymn 745)

Confession: In what areas am I envious?  Does this envy “drive” my life in any areas?  How does this indicate restlessness within my own spirit?  How can my relationship with God help me with my envy?

The Word: See readings above and comments/prayers.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: This week: praying for your country.  Today’s focus:  We begin by thanking God for the amazing gift of a land filled with such diversity, creativity and potential.

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: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” (Hymn 516)

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Christ, who knows all His sheep, will all in safety keep.” (Hymn 639)

Confession: Does a seething anger just wait to rise up within my heart?   Do I find that I am quite controlled until I unexpectedly burst out in a rage?  Do I drive my car aggressively?  Ask God to allow you to acknowledge your anger and release its hold over your life.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: praying for your country.  Today’s focus: Shalom, a peace that includes all and is fair and just…

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” (Hymn 516)

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: “Eternal life to all mankind Thou hast in Jesus given.” (Hymn 561)

Confession: In the face of crying needs we often choose not to notice or even deliberately ignore them.  Ask God to open your heart to his call to serve.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: praying for your country.  Today’s focus: That even in the face of our fears we may risk love, care and generosity.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” (Hymn 516)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: “O Love that wilt not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee.” (Hymn 448)

Confession: Lord, make me aware of the pride in my life: Pride that keeps me aloof and apart;  Pride that is rooted in insecurity and a need to prove myself;  Pride that makes me humiliate other human beings.  Lord, help me to make myself vulnerable and to serve rather than be served.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: praying for your country.  Today’s focus: People in unjust and abusive work situations whose hearts are being hardened, that they may know who they are in Christ: God’s children created to love…

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” (Hymn 516)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: “Stronger His love than death or hell, its riches are unsearchable…” (Hymn 434)

Confession: Lord, forgive me for alienating myself from this world that you love.  Help me to reach out in love and care.  Help me to make a difference.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: praying for your country.  Today’s focus: For a change of heart in those who are self-serving, that we may know that we are called to serve…

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” (Hymn 516)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: “What hast Thou done for me?  O, think on Calvary!” (Hymn 203)

Confession: Lord forgive me when I invest huge resources for my own entertainment but will be resentful about a minor offering to alleviate another’s deep suffering.  Lord God, I pray for a generous heart.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: praying for your country.  Today’s focus: That the goodness of God may rise up within the peoples and communities of our land…

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” (Hymn 516)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: “Christ above all glory seated!  King triumphant, strong to save!” (Hymn 225)

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I give all for my own ambitions and lose your call to share in love in important relationships in my life.  Help me to count the cost of loving and discover new joy in giving.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: praying for your country.  Today’s focus:  All those who gather for worship, that we may have a deep awareness of our connectedness with all of life around us and that we worship on behalf of our surrounding world.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” (Hymn 516)

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 8:26-40. An angel sends Philip, deacon and evangelist, to “hop on board” the chariot of an Ethiopian official puzzling over the meaning of Isaiah 53. Philip re-reads it through the story of the life, execution, and resurrection of Jesus. The man is baptized and will become a “road evangelist” in his own right.

What is the message (good news) that transforms this Ethiopian?

Prayer

(inspired by Acts 8:26-40, Psalm 22:25-31, John 15:1-8, 1 John 4:7-21)

Holy Spirit, give us the courage of Philip who took the time to share his faith with a curious stranger.

Set our minds on heavenly things. Fill us with your joy.

Heavenly Father, we are the people that were yet unborn when the Psalmist in exultation exclaimed: “future generations will be told about the Lord.” May we care about the yet unborn, and may our faith be as strong as the Psalmist’s.

Set our minds on heavenly things. Fill us with your joy.

Lord Jesus Christ, help us love one another, for when we do so, we are loving you.

Set our minds on heavenly things. Fill us with your joy.

— written by Paul Sauer, and posted on the Lutheran Forum website. (abbreviated)

Psalm 22:25-31. The “turnaround” verses of this psalm of profound lament were chosen as the response to the first lesson because of verse 27: “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.”

God, you promise never to forsake us,
but to bring us to life,
nurture us with your presence,
and sustain us even in the hour of our death.
Meet us in our deepest doubts
when we feel abandoned,
drowning in our fear of your absence.
Visit us in the tension between our yearning and our anger,
that we may know your mercy and grace in our time of need. Amen.

~ from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers
copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress.
Posted on Thematic, Intercessory and Scripture Prayers for the RCL,
Vanderbilt Divinity Library.http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/

1 John 4:7-21.  The deep heartbeat of life in the Risen Lord — Abide in love; abide in the Spirit given to all who confess Jesus as Son of God; abide in God and you will abide in love; love one another.

Prayer

(based on Psalm 22, 1 John 4)

As the weak realize their strength;
as the poor eat and are satisfied,
God’s love abides in us.
As the stranger finds a friend;
as the family offers forgiveness,
God’s love abides in us.
As the ends of the earth know of Christ’s grace,
God’s love abides in us.

— Adapted from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2012, © 2011 Abingdon Press.
Posted on the Worship Elements page of the Ministry Matters website.

John 15:1-8. Abide in Christ, the true vine, and you will bear much fruit, and even more as the Father prunes you. Bear no fruit, because you are not abiding in Christ, and you may expect to be cut off and cast away. The Father’s will isn’t to cast you away, but that you abide in Christ and bear much fruit.

How do you abide in Him?

Gospel Reflection

Remain in me as I remain in you.

Lord of the
one true
Vine,

in you we
live and move
and have our being.

We are your branches,
spindly and slight and fragile.

Please ask your Father to prune us
(though gently).
We want to bear more
of your fruit.

— written by Anne Osdieck,
and posted on The Sunday Website of Saint Louis University.

Good Shepherd Sunday

sheep crop
Yearly Rhythm

Sunday 26 April
The Fourth Sunday of Easter,
Year B
Colour: White

(Why follow the church year? Read more here!)

“All our life is a festival. Since we are persuaded that God is present everywhere on all sides, we praise God as we till the ground; we sing hymns as we sail the sea; we feel God’s inspiration in all that we do…. Whenever we pay attention to God, every place and every time becomes truly holy.”
—Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis7.7.39

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary   20 -26 April 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF HERE!

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

Acts 4:5-12.  The leaders who had Peter arrested for healing the lame man and proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus demand by what authority he acted. Peter boldly proclaimed it was by the power and name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and that all salvation there is comes through him.

Psalm 23.

1 John 3:16-24. By the authority and power of the Risen Christ, we are led to love not in words only, but also in truth and in action.

John 10:11-18.  The authority of the Risen Lord, the Good Shepherd over his flock, comes from knowing his sheep by name, caring for them, and laying down his own life to protect them. Jesus also notes his “flock” includes people not in “this fold,” and he extends the same mission and care to them.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: This week focus on the greatness of God.  Each day praise God for a different aspect of His greatness.

Confession: “Without worship you shrink, it is as brutal as that.” (Peter Schaeffer, Equus)  In our confessions we reflect on how we diminish God in our lives.  Today: Ignoring God.

The Word:  See readings above and attached comments.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: When God’s great purpose and plan has its way with our world all creation will be renewed.  This week pray out of this future vision for our world today: that God’s Kingdom may come.  Focus: worship

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: Holy Spirit come, recreate us that we may be renewed to reflect your New Creation.

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: This week focus on the greatness of God.  Each day praise God for a different aspect of His greatness.

Confession: “Without worship you shrink, it is as brutal as that.” (Peter Schaeffer, Equus)  In our confessions we reflect on how we diminish God in our lives.  Today: Ignoring God’s Word.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: When God’s greatness has its way with our world all creation will be renewed.  This week pray out of this future vision for our world today: that God’s Kingdom may come.  Focus: care

Personal Prayers:

               Dedication: Holy Spirit come, recreate us that we may be renewed to reflect your New Creation.

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: This week focus on the greatness of God.  Each day praise God for a different aspect of His greatness.

Confession: “Without worship you shrink, it is as brutal as that.” (Peter Schaeffer, Equus)  In our confessions we reflect on how we diminish God in our lives.  Today: Ignoring the gift of prayer.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: When God’s greatness has its way with our world all creation will be renewed.  This week pray out of this future vision for our world today: that God’s Kingdom may come.  Focus: Resources

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: Holy Spirit come, recreate us that we may be renewed to reflect your New Creation.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: This week focus on the greatness of God.  Each day praise God for a different aspect of His greatness.

Confession: “Without worship you shrink, it is as brutal as that.” (Peter Schaeffer, Equus)  In our confessions we reflect on how we diminish God in our lives.  Today: Ignoring the gift of creation.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: When God’s greatness has its way with our world all creation will be renewed.  This week pray out of this future vision for our world today: that God’s Kingdom may come.  Focus: Joy

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: Holy Spirit come, recreate us that we may be renewed to reflect your New Creation.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: This week focus on the greatness of God.  Each day praise God for a different aspect of His greatness.

Confession: “Without worship you shrink, it is as brutal as that.” (Peter Schaeffer, Equus)  In our confessions we reflect on how we diminish God in our lives.  Today: Ignoring the call to praise.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: When God’s greatness has its way with our world all creation will be renewed.  This week pray out of this future vision for our world today: that God’s Kingdom may come. Focus: Security

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: Holy Spirit come, recreate us that we may be renewed to reflect your New Creation.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: This week focus on the greatness of God.  Each day praise God for a different aspect of His greatness.

Confession: “Without worship you shrink, it is as brutal as that.” (Peter Schaeffer, Equus)  In our confessions we reflect on how we diminish God in our lives.  Today: Ignoring the call to be transformed by the Spirit of God.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: When God’s greatness has its way with our world all creation will be renewed.  This week pray out of this future vision for our world today: that God’s Kingdom may come. Focus: Healed relationships.

Personal prayers:

              Dedication: Holy Spirit come, recreate us that we may be renewed to reflect your New Creation.

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: This week focus on the greatness of God.  Each day praise God for a different aspect of His greatness.

Confession: “Without worship you shrink, it is as brutal as that.” (Peter Schaeffer, Equus)  In our confessions we reflect on how we diminish God in our lives.  Today: Ignoring the gift of worship.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: When God’s greatness has its way with our world all creation will be renewed.  This week pray out of this future vision for our world today: that God’s Kingdom may come.   Focus: Unity, belonging.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: Holy Spirit come, recreate us that we may be renewed to reflect your New Creation.


Weekly Rhythm

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

Additional information about the readings:
(The notes in italics are with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org.)

Acts 4:5-12.  The leaders who had Peter arrested for healing the lame man and proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus demand by what authority he acted. Peter boldly proclaimed it was by the power and name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and that all salvation there is comes through him.

If you were asked what authority you live by, how would you answer?
How does this authority give you power to live?

Psalm 23.

Take Me to the Water (a modern hymn)

Take me to the water
flowing deep and wide;
like a shepherd, lead me
to the riverside.

By the quiet waters,
gladly I lay down
all the things that keep me
from your holy ground.

Jesus, in the darkness
make the pathway clear;
I will fear no evil,
knowing you are near.

On a rocky table
in the wilderness,
set a feast before me-
let my foes find rest.

Show me fields of mercy
as I greet the dawn;
to your house of blessing,
I will follow on.

~ written by Daniel Charles Damon. Words © 2007 Hope Publishing Company.
Posted on Hope Publishing’s Online Hymnody website.

 

1 John 3:16-24. By the authority and power of the Risen Christ, we are led to love not in words only, but also in truth and in action.

How does this passage guide our love response?

John 10:11-18The authority of the Risen Lord, the Good Shepherd over his flock, comes from knowing his sheep by name, caring for them, and laying down his own life to protect them. Jesus also notes his “flock” includes people not in “this fold,” and he extends the same mission and care to them.

Our Shepherding God

O Lord, our Shepherding God,
come close to us now
Come near us in our time of need.

Shepherding God,
we need you in our time of anxiety.
We need you in our time of economic uncertainty.
We need you in a time of a globe-trotting disease.
We need you to bind our wounds,

and pour your healing ointment on our heads .
We need the briars, and brambles, and burrs
pulled out of our fleece and skin.

Shepherding God.
you guide us with your voice,
Help us to listen and follow no matter where your voice leads.
Help us to trust you.

Shepherding God,
protect us from the hired hands
that do not really care for us
and have neglected or abused us in the past.

Shepherding God,
thank you for your son
who lay down his life for those who follow him
and for those who are not in the fold yet..

Lord we pray for those who don’t know the shepherd,
whose life circumstances kept them from knowing the good shepherd.
We pray that by our actions, our behaviour,
and our reaching out into the community,
they may come to know you.

Shepherding God,
renew us, guide us with your love
and renew us with your peace. Amen

 

~ written by Rev. Abi and posted on her Long and Winding Road
blog.http://vicarofwadley.blogspot.ca/