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Yearly  Rhythm

Sunday 1 November 2015
The Twenty third Sunday after Pentecost
Year B
Colour: Green

“Sacred life is lived quiet, deep and slow.
Time for stillness and waiting and listening.
Time for introspection and questions and wondering.
Time for just resting in the bliss of Christ’s Presence.”
Terri Marrie Childers

 

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary 26 October – 1 November 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF

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

Ruth 1:1-18 A Moabite widow, Ruth, determines to continue to live with and support the household of her Judean mother-in-law, Naomi, who had lost her husband and both of her sons.

Psalm 146 We praise God as one who is compassionate to widows, orphans and strangers.

Hebrews 9:11-14  Christ’s self-offering delivers us from sin and its power, while the temple’s sacrifices could only deal with ritual impurity.

Mark 12:28-34 A scribe asks Jesus to state the most important instruction in Torah. Jesus replies with love of God above all and love of neighbor as oneself. The scribe agrees, adding that this is more important than anything the sacrificial system can do or requires.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 31:21) Praise be to the Lord, for he showed his wonderful love to me…

Confession: Lord, I have used my tongue as a weapon of destruction.  I have spoken words that break down and do not build up.  I have despised my heart that has not been able to silence my tongue.  Forgive me and fill me with your words and your heart that seeks for the best for all.

The Word:  See readings above or use your own devotional aids.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: This week we pray for our realisation of the fact that we are loved deeply by God. Today we pray for our own lives.

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)

            Transforming verse:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding”

            (Prov 3:5)

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 30:1) I will exalt you, O Lord…

Confession: Lord, I am part of a people. I am part of a community that fall far short of your Kingdom ideals.  Forgive us I pray and enable us to realise that your Kingdom is among us.  Fill us with your justice, righteousness and peace.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for our realisation of the fact that we are loved deeply by God. Today we pray for those we are close to.

Personal Prayers:

            Transforming verse:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding”

            (Prov 3:5)

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 29:2) Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I desire peace but am not prepared to sacrifice and serve in building peace.  Lord, help me to follow where you have led and to give myself that others may live in fullness.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for our realisation of the fact that we are loved deeply by God. Today we pray for someone who is lost and without love.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming verse:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding”

            (Prov 3:5)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 28:7) The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.

Confession: Lord, forgive me when I make your grace a “cheap” commercial product.  Help me to journey below the surface froth and bubble.  Help me to go deeper.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for our realisation of the fact that we are loved deeply by God. Today we pray for the different peoples of our land.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming verse:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding”

            (Prov 3:5)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 27:1) The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?

Confession: Lord, I have neglected the gifts you have given me.  Some have atrophied.  Sometimes a lack of confidence has paralysed me, sometimes I have been caught up in struggle, sometimes I have been lazy.  Lord I pray that I may thank you for your gifts that you have given and that I may use them for your glory.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for our realisation of the fact that we are loved deeply by God. Today we pray for those who are lost in destructive ways: crime, drugs etc.

Personal prayers:

           Transforming verse:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding”

            (Prov 3:5)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 26:8) I love the house where you live, O Lord, the place where your glory dwells.

Confession: Lord, forgive me for my sins of neglect.   Those things which I have not done where You have prompted me into action.  When you speak help me to act.  Help me to develop a habit of listening and responding.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for our realisation of the fact that we are loved deeply by God. Today we pray for those who have never heard of Christ’s love.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming verse:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding”

            (Prov 3:5)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 25:10) All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful.

Confession: Forgive me Lord, when I have been difficult to live with.  Forgive me when I have not carried my share of the load.  Forgive me when I have accepted unjust roles just because they have prospered my own comfort and interests.  Help me to make space for and to care for others.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for our realisation of the fact that we are loved deeply by God. Today we pray for a realisation of this love in our worship services.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming verse:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding”

             (Prov 3:5)

Weekly Rhythm

Joining our stories with the story of God.

Questions and prayers to explore the readings further.
The notes in italics are with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org.

As you read remember the three basic questions:
What does the passage say?
What does the passage mean?
How does it apply to my life?

Ruth 1:1-18  A Moabite widow, Ruth, determines to continue to live with and support the household of her Judean mother-in-law, Naomi, who had lost her husband and both of her sons.

 

Psalm 146  We praise God as one who is compassionate to widows, orphans and strangers.

 Praise the Lord.
Let all who draw breath praise the Lord.
Happy are those whose help is from God—
the One who made heaven and earth,
the One who created the seas and all that is in them.
Happy are those whose hope is in God—
the One who keeps faith forever,
the One who feeds the hungry
and defends the oppressed.
God will reign forever, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!
Let all who draw breath praise the Lord.

~ posted on the Ministry Matters website

 

Hebrews 9:11-14  Christ’s self-offering delivers us from sin and its power, while the temple’s sacrifices could only deal with ritual impurity.

Prayer Reflection: Who Could Love Us More? (inspired by Hebrews 9:11-15)

“Christ entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood,
thus obtaining eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:12

Once
for all time
Christ sealed the
covenant
with his own blood.

He barged straight into
the sacred place,
with all of us
in tow.

Who could love us more?
Thank you, Lord.
Thank you.

— written by Anne Osdieck. Last paragraph by Karl Rahner.
Posted on The Sunday Website of Saint Louis University.

  

Mark 12:28-34 A scribe asks Jesus to state the most important instruction in Torah. Jesus replies with love of God above all and love of neighbour as oneself. The scribe agrees, adding that this is more important than anything the sacrificial system can do or require

Prayer

Loving God,
we take this time today to come before you,
but as we do, we are aware that all is not right within us.
We neglect your word,
we fail to meditate on your law,
we forget to speak with you,
we make plans without turning to you,
we do things that we know are wrong.
We did not put you first in our lives.
Forgive how we have failed to love you
with all our heart, our soul, our mind, and our strength.

Loving God,
our relationships with each other are not all that they can be or should be.
There is hurt and injury between ourselves and others.
There are walls of anger and hatred between us and our neighbors.
Forgive us for how we deny our part in this
and for how we blame others for the brokenness around us.
Forgive how we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

Gracious God,
we believe that you offer to us and our world a whole and good life.
For all that we have done to deny this life to each other and to ourselves,
we ask your forgiveness and your mercy.

~ from the website of the Tuckahoe Presbyterian Church , Richmond, VA

 

Love, love, love! 20th Sunday after Pentecost, Year A

love love loveYearly Rhythm

26 October  2014, the  20 th Sunday after Pentecost
Year A  Colour: Green

 ‘The Season after Pentecost is about seeking the Spirit’s guidance and supporting one another as we undertake these ministries in Christ’s name.” Source

Daily Rhythm

Bringing worship into the everyday

Devotional Diary
20 – 26 October 2014

DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE

Readings from the Revised Common Lectionary for this week, with thanks to www.gbod.org:

Deuteronomy 34:1-12. Moses was allowed to see — but not enter — the Promised Land. He died in the land of Moab and was buried in an unknown burial place there. The Israelites mourned his death for thirty days.

Psalm Response: Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17 This psalm is the basis of the text, “O God Our Help in Ages Past.”

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8.  Paul continues his “re-introduction.” He recalls the suffering that accompanied his first visit. He also reminds them of the authenticity and gentleness of his proclamation among them.

Matthew 22:34-46.  The Pharisees try to trap Jesus with a question: Which kind of commandment was the greatest? Jesus answers, and concludes his reply with questions for them about the identity of the Messiah. From that day, their questions ceased.

READ MORE ABOUT THE READINGS HERE

Monday:

Adoration Focus: What is inside your heart today?  Reach into your heart and find that note of praise and lift up your song to God.  Today: your first realisation of God’s love.

Confession: The words of the hymn move from: “All of me and none of you” to “More of me and less of you” to “Less of me and more of you” and then to “None of me and all of you” (Theodore Monod.)  This week reflect on these words and see how God is turning your life inside-out. Today: The “All of me and none of” You areas of your life.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus:  This week we pray for your church that it may find its life and renewal through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  He is Lord!  Today: The young…

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: Lord, help me to “stand-up” secure in your care and reach out beyond myself in your name.

 

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: What is inside your heart today?  Reach into your heart and find that note of praise and lift up your song to God. Today: a time when you realised God’s greatness through creation.

Confession: See Monday’s notes. Today: The “More of me and less of You” areas of your life.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week pray for your church, that it may find its life and renewal through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  He is Lord!  Today: the whole congregation of wonderful people…

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: Lord, help me to stand secure in your care and reach out beyond myself in Your Name.

 

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: What is inside your heart today?  Reach into your heart and find that note of praise and lift up your song to God.  Today: a hard time that he carried you through.

Confession: See Monday’s notes. Today: The “Less of me and more of you” areas of your life.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week pray for your church, that it may find its life and renewal through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  He is Lord!  Today: Ministries…

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord, help me to stand secure in your care and reach out beyond myself in Your Name.

 

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: What is inside your heart today?  Reach into your heart and find that note of praise and lift up your song to God. Today: A time when He gave you a fresh beginning…

Confession: See Monday’s notes. Today: The “None of me and all of you” areas of your life”.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week pray for your church, that it may find its life and renewal through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  He is Lord!  Today: Worship…

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord, help me to “stand-up” secure in your care and reach out beyond myself in Your Name.

 

Friday:

Adoration Focus: What is inside your heart today?  Reach into your heart and find that note of praise and lift up your song to God.  Today: The fact that God is love!

Confession: See Monday’s notes.  Today: allowing God to shift you towards laying down your life…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week pray for your church, that it may find its life and renewal through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  He is Lord!  Today: Its mission (God’s mission!)…

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord, help me to “stand-up” secure in your care and reach out beyond myself in Your Name.

 

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: What is inside your heart today?  Reach into your heart and find that note of praise and lift up your song to God.  Today:  A time when your heart was full of joy…

Confession: See Monday’s notes. Today: Asking that God be raised up in your life…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week pray for your church, that it may find its life and renewal through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  He is Lord!  Today: The spirit of joy…celebration…praise

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord, help me to “stand-up” secure in your care and reach out beyond myself in Your Name.

 

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: What is inside your heart today?  Reach into your heart and find that note of praise and lift up your song to God.  Today: Reason to lift up God’s holy name in praise…

Confession: See Monday’s notes. Today: Losing your false self, and finding you true self as you worship and lift up God.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week pray for your church, that it may find its life and renewal through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  He is Lord!  Today:  Living within the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: Lord, help me to “stand-up” secure in your care and reach out beyond myself in Your Name.

 

                                               Weekly Rhythm

Exploring Scripture
Joining our stories to the story of God’s people

DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE

Revised Common Lectionary readings and notes in italics with thanks to www.gbod.org:

Deuteronomy 34:1-12.

Moses was allowed to see — but not enter — the Promised Land. He died in the land of Moab and was buried in an unknown burial place there. The Israelites mourned his death for thirty days.

Prayer Reflection:  To Be What We Have Seen

(based on Deuteronomy 34: 1-12)

Sometimes…

…when we’re paying attention…
…or when we least expect it…
…when we’re looking…
…or when we’re most unassuming…
…you show us something that we have longed to see.

We may be vigilant seekers,
reading into the boring and routine or becoming excitable at the exciting;
wanting to capture with precision and delicacy
a moment that we discern is just for us.

We may play the fool,
backing into a divine embrace;
stumbling upon a transcendent promise;
no less moved by what we have witnessed.
Regardless of circumstances, it remains that we’ve seen it,
and it cannot be unseen.
You have made it seen.
You have shown it to us.
You are the one who led us—willing or reluctant climbers—
up the mountain.
You are the one who says to us,
“I have let you see it with your eyes,
“this beloved landscape of mine,
“this long-sought destination,
“this craved place of blessing and promise.”
Now that we have seen it, what would you have us do?
Now that we have caught a slight glimpse
or been given a lingering vision,
we wonder how to get to the place you’ve shown us.
It is too marvelous a place to live without,
too rich a source of life not to be shared,
too wonderful a reality to be forgotten.

You lead us back down the mountain—willing or reluctant rappellers—
because there is more to see,
and in one of your more clever twists,
we have become the guides,
the ones to show rather than be shown,
the ones to help make it seen.

How best shall we move on from what you have shown?
Simply: forward, to be what we have seen
for others longing to see it.

~ written by Jeff, and posted on Philosophy Over Coffee

To think about:
How are we called to be what we have seen?
Has this got anything to do with loving others as we love ourselves?

Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17  

Our God, Our Help in Ages Past is a hymn by Isaac Watts and paraphrases Psalm 90. It originally consisted of nine stanzas. In present usage, however, the hymn is usually limited to stanzas one, two, three, five, seven and nine. In 1738, John Wesley in his hymnal, Psalms and Hymns, changed the first line of the text from “Our God” to “O God.” Both Watts’ wording and Wesley’s rewording remain in current use. (Source)

Read the hymn alongside the psalm and see how they relate to one another and how they speak into your life:

Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

Under the shadow of Thy throne
Still may we dwell secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.

Thy Word commands our flesh to dust,
Return, ye sons of men:
All nations rose from earth at first,
And turn to earth again.

A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

The busy tribes of flesh and blood,
With all their lives and cares,
Are carried downwards by the flood,
And lost in following years.

Time, like an ever rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

Like flowery fields the nations stand
Pleased with the morning light;
The flowers beneath the mower’s hand
Lie withering ere ‘tis night.

Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while life shall last,
And our eternal home.

To think about:
What is it that may satisfy us?  (See verse 14.)

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8. 

Paul continues his “re-introduction.” He recalls the suffering that accompanied his first visit. He also reminds them of the authenticity and gentleness of his proclamation among them.

To think about:
Paul speaks of his life as poured out for others.
How does he do this in this passage?
How are you called to be poured out for others?  (Loving others as you love yourself)

Matthew 22:34-46. 

The Pharisees try to trap Jesus with a question: Which kind of commandment was the greatest? Jesus answers, and concludes his reply with questions for them about the identity of the Messiah. From that day, their questions ceased.

“Jesus is not the first person to sum up the Jewish law in a condensed capsule. (See Psalm 15:2-5; Isaiah 33:15; Amos 5:4; Micah 6:8)  Such summarizing was also a favorite device of the rabbis. The laws were not new with Jesus.  But the substance of what it means to love God and who the neighbor is that one is to love – these bear his unmistakable mark.” (Basic Bible Commentary)

To think about:
How does Jesus live out the greatest commandments in his life?
We can only love God when we realize His love for us.  How does Christ life speak of God’s love of you?
How do the greatest commandments guide you in your response of love?

 

Praying the Lectionary Readings

 

Call to Worship

(inspired by Genesis 22: 1-14; Micah 6:8; Deuteronomy 6:5)

What does God command of us?
To love God with all our heart,
and all our soul,
and all our mind,
and all our strength,
and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

God does not call us to ease or to comfort.
But to presence, and abundance,
and grace in our struggle.
Let us worship the God who believes in us,
and trusts in us, and abides with us.
Let us worship the God who will ask much of us,
but will be beside us every step of the way. (Shortened)

~ written by Eliza Buchakjian-Tweedy, Pastor at First Church Congregational, Rochester, NH.  She blogs here.

 

Opening Litany

(inspired by Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:28, Luke 10:25)

Once upon a time
a wise man offered a challenge;
“What is the greatest commandment?”
The calendars on our desks share a vision of greatness;
bills to pay, phone calls to return, appointments to keep.
Love the Lord your God.

The cameras of our memories share what commands us;
children to bathe and partners to help
parents calling and grandchildren hopeful.
Love the Lord your God
with all your heart, and with all your soul,
and with all your mind.

Still the Spirit lures us to new priorities;
open spaces to experience wonder,
strangers becoming friends,
devotion to that which transcends.
Love the Lord your God
with all your heart, and with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
Love your neighbor as yourself.

~ written by Katherine Hawker (2002) and posted on Liturgies Outside.

 

Prayer of Intercession

(inspired by Deuteronomy 6:1-9, Mark 12:28-34)

Our prayer today is for all who are victims of cruel laws and petty laws,
those who’re subjected to prejudice
denied opportunities, excluded, pushed to margins.
The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

Our prayer today is for all those who’re betrayed,
who don’t know loyalty, who fear to trust, or to love,
and who don’t realise that they’re already loved by you.
-The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

Our prayer today is for the landless and homeless,
the refugee and evicted,
those who find themselves in foreign places and strange places.
The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

Our prayer today is for the overworked and the underpaid,
for those in dangerous work and those in compassionate work,
for those who long to work but are denied the opportunity
The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

Our prayer today is for the Church, for all the branches of the vine
including this one we gather as part of, today:
body of Christ, people of Christ,
for whom the Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

Our prayer today is for the creation gifts,
this earth in all its mighty wonder, yet tender fragility,
the gifts of life and resources to treasure.
The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

(Our prayer today is for the gifts we give
that we will give generously and thankfully
and that we’ll use these gifts with wisdom and love.
The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.)

Our prayer today is for those who lie close to our hearts
Those whom we worry about, those whom we miss,
those who carry disproportionate burdens at this time …

(local intercessions)

The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

~ written by Rev. Iain Macdonald.  Posted on the Church of Scotland’s Starters for Sunday website.

 

 Commission & Benediction

(inspired by Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Matthew 12:28-34)

Hear this: the Lord our God is the one and only Lord.
Therefore go out into the world
and love the Lord your God
with all your heart, soul, mind and strength,
and love others as you love yourself.

And may God give you justice and freedom;
May Christ Jesus set you free for love;
and may the Holy Spirit go where you go
……..and protect you on your way.

We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
In the name of Christ. Amen.

~ Copyright © 2000 Nathan Nettleton, LaughingBird.net