Pentecost 14

Words of love, being fruitful, clean from the inside

little stream kirstenbosch

Yearly Rhythm

Sunday 30 August 2015
The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
(Ordinary Time)
Year B

“Because our hearts are oriented primarily by desire, by what we love, and because those desires are shaped and molded by the habit-forming practices in which we participate, it is the rituals and practices…that shape our imaginations and how we orient ourselves toward the world.”

-James K. A. Smith, Desiring the Kingdom

To discover why following the Revised Common Lectionary and the seasons of the Church Year click here! And some further reading here.

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary 24 – 30 August 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF HERE!

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

Song of Solomon 2:8-13. A suitor calls on his beloved to prepare for their uniting.

Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9.  A fitting response to the first reading with its celebration of young love and marriage.

James 1:17-27. Be the first fruits of God’s generosity toward others. Stay away from excess and impurity. Actively do the word. Restrain the tongue. Make sure the weak and vulnerable are protected.

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23. Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem confront Jesus about why his disciples do not follow the customary hand washing rituals before eating. Jesus insists that true cleanness is not a matter of external cleansing, but the cleansing of the “inner self.” Uncleanness results not from anything external, but only and always from what is inside.

Monday:

Adoration Focus:  Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: This week our focus is the engaged life.  Confess ways in which you have quit or put your arrow back into the quiver.  Offer your mind to God for a new spirit of Kingdom of God engagement: Be a Kingdom Builder!  How is He calling you to engage?  Link this to the Shared focus below.

The Word: See reading above or use your own devotional aid.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?”  Area of focus: Making the difference.

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 Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: See Monday’s Confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?” Area of focus:  Meeting a need.

Personal Prayers:

            Transforming Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: See Monday’s Confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?”  Area of focus:  Discovering a new avenue of service.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus:  Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: See Monday’s Confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?”  Area of focus: The mission of your church community.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: See Monday’s Confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?”  Area of focus:  An area that is facing threat.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: See Monday’s Confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?” Area of focus: A confusing issue…

Personal prayers:

           Transforming Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Spend some time just sitting at the feet of God each day and worship in the presence of His glory.  Complete these phrases in different ways each day:  Lord you are wonderful because….  Thank you Lord for…..

Confession: See Monday’s Confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Listen to God, how is He calling you to pray? Engage your mind in your prayers. God is asking, “What do you want me to do for (with) you?” Area of focus: Worship.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Bible Verse “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.  (Matthew 7:7)

 

Weekly Rhythm

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

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?

 Song of Solomon 2:8-13. A suitor calls on his beloved to prepare for their uniting.

Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9.  A fitting response to the first reading with its celebration of young love and marriage.

  

James 1:17-27. Be the first fruits of God’s generosity toward others. Stay away from excess and impurity. Actively do the word. Restrain the tongue. Make sure the weak and vulnerable are protected.

Prayer of Intercession (inspired by the book of James)

Father of Lights, from whom comes every perfect gift,
hear our prayers which we offer fervently to you,
and in the name of our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.
We pray for the church,
that we might show forth our faith in action,
regard all with impartiality,
and be quick to listen and slow to anger.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our (my) prayer.

We pray for our nation,
that whenever trials may befall us,
that God may grant us endurance and wisdom.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We pray for the world,
that the lowly may be raised up,
and that mercy may fall on us all.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We pray for the sick, the injured, the vulnerable,
and those undergoing all forms of adversity,
that they might all be raised up; especially ______.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We pray for those celebrating this week, especially ____.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We pray for those who have died (especially ____),
that they would draw near to God, and that God would draw near to them.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Gracious God,
let our prayers be offered to you
with the gentleness that is born from your wisdom from above,
that is pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, and full of mercy. Amen.

~ written by Rick Morley, and posted on his A Garden Path blog.

  

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23. Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem confront Jesus about why his disciples do not follow the customary hand washing rituals before eating. Jesus insists that true cleanness is not a matter of external cleansing, but the cleansing of the “inner self.” Uncleanness results not from anything external, but only and always from what is inside.

 

Gospel Reflection

(inspired by Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23)

These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far away.  Mark 7:7

Lord,
let our hearts not be
far from you.

Help us reach out to our neighbour,
even when we are busy or tired.
Let us tear down walls
when we’d
rather
let them stand.

Stretch us, please.

Whether we are
visiting a prisoner, offering a smile, feeding the hungry,
be within us so that whatever we do,
we do with your love.

Let the world know we are your disciples
not because our hands are clean,
but because they are soiled
with the mark of your
people.

 

~ written by Anne Osdieck, and posted on Saint Louis University’s The Center for Liturgy web site.

 

 

How many times do I have to forgive someone? The 14th Sunday after Pentecost, Year A

small__4979160955Yearly Rhythm

14 September  2014,  14 th Sunday after Pentecost
Year A,  Colour: Green

“Lent is about preparing people to live as disciples of Jesus. Easter Season is about giving especially the newly baptized or confirmed time to focus deeply on the doctrinal foundations of the faith and on discerning the Spirit’s calling and gifts for ministry, culminating in a celebration and commissioning for these ministries at Pentecost. 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  8 – 14 September 2014

DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE

Readings for Sunday 14 September, with thanks to www.gbod.org

Exodus 14:10-31.  This short selection of verses preserves the narrative of God’s deliverance at the Red Sea, a critical story in God’s salvation revealed in Israel and in Christ, but excises any exultation over the death of the Egyptians.

Psalm 114.

Romans 14:1-12. Respect the diverse spiritual and personal disciplines of others and do not judge them for not being identical to your own. Jesus Christ is Lord of the living and the dead, and God alone is judge of all.

Matthew 18:21-35.  Peter asks what may be our question, especially on this day, “How many times do I have to forgive someone?” Jesus responds with a hyperbole, a story, and a warning.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE READINGS HERE!

Monday:

Adoration Focus: “Jesus, fount of every blessing! Joy of heaven to earth come down!” Each day thank the Lord for a specific blessing and then spend some moments worshipping Christ.  Suggestion: unconditional love.

Confession: So often we only examine our sin, which we need to turn from.  This week we focus on how we are turning to God.  Each day ask God to lift up some way to open your life to receiving God’s gifts of love, life and transformation.  Then put that into practice in your life.  Thought for the day: Stillness

The Word: Use the readings from the Revised Common Lectionary above, or your own Scripture reading plan.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: This week choose seven people that you really need to pray for.  Each day focus on one in particular and lift them up before God.  Also thank God for the work that He is already doing in their 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)

                Dedication: “Lord Jesus, I need you.  Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.  I open the door of my life and receive you as my Saviour and Lord.  Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life.  Take control of the throne of my life.  Make me the kind of person You want me to be.” (Sinners prayer, Four Spiritual Laws.)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: “Jesus, fount of every blessing! Joy of heaven to earth come down!” Each day thank the Lord for a specific blessing and then spend some moments worshipping Christ. Suggestion: companionship on the journey…

Confession: So often we only examine our sin, which we need to turn from.  This week we focus on how we are turning to God.  Each day ask God to lift up some way to open your life to receiving God’s gifts of love, life and transformation.  Then put that into practice in your life.  Thought for the day:  Seeing (open the eyes of my heart Lord…)

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week choose seven people that you really need to pray for.  Each day focus on one in particular and lift them up before God.  Also thank God for the work that He is already doing in their lives.

Personal Prayers:

                Dedication: “Lord Jesus, I need you.  Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.  I open the door of my life and receive you as my Saviour and Lord.  Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life.  Take control of the throne of my life.  Make me the kind of person You want me to be.” (Sinners prayer, Four Spiritual Laws.)

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: “Jesus, fount of every blessing! Joy of heaven to earth come down!” Each day thank the Lord for a specific blessing and then spend some moments worshipping Christ. Suggestion: Moments of joy…

Confession: So often we only examine our sin, which we need to turn from.  This week we focus on how we are turning to God.  Each day ask God to lift up some way to open your life to receiving God’s gifts of love, life and transformation.  Then put that into practice in your life. Thought for the day:  Trust and obey (Hearing correctly)

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week choose seven people that you really need to pray for.  Each day focus on one in particular and lift them up before God.  Also thank God for the work that He is already doing in their lives.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: “Lord Jesus, I need you.  Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.  I open the door of my life and receive you as my Saviour and Lord.  Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life.  Take control of the throne of my life.  Make me the kind of person You want me to be.” (Sinners prayer, Four Spiritual Laws.)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: “Jesus, fount of every blessing! Joy of heaven to earth come down!” Each day thank the Lord for a specific blessing and then spend some moments worshipping Christ. Suggestion: Living word, God’s words of love…

Confession: So often we only examine our sin, which we need to turn from.  This week we focus on how we are turning to God.  Each day ask God to lift up some way to open your life to receiving God’s gifts of love, life and transformation.  Then put that into practice in your life. Thought for the day: Receiving with enthusiasm…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week choose seven people that you really need to pray for.  Each day focus on one in particular and lift them up before God.  Also thank God for the work that He is already doing in their lives.

Personal prayers:

                Dedication: “Lord Jesus, I need you.  Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.  I open the door of my life and receive you as my Saviour and Lord.  Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life.  Take control of the throne of my life.  Make me the kind of person You want me to be.” (Sinners prayer, Four Spiritual Laws.)

 Friday:

Adoration Focus: “Jesus, fount of every blessing! Joy of heaven to earth come down!” Each day thank the Lord for a specific blessing and then spend some moments worshipping Christ. Suggestion: The cross…

Confession: So often we only examine our sin, which we need to turn from.  This week we focus on how we are turning to God.  Each day ask God to lift up some way to open your life to receiving God’s gifts of love, life and transformation.  Then put that into practice in your life.Thought for the day:  Running the race with determination…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week choose seven people that you really need to pray for.  Each day focus on one in particular and lift them up before God.  Also thank God for the work that He is already doing in their lives.

Personal prayers:

                Dedication: “Lord Jesus, I need you.  Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.  I open the door of my life and receive you as my Saviour and Lord.  Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life.  Take control of the throne of my life.  Make me the kind of person You want me to be.” (Sinners prayer, Four Spiritual Laws.)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: “Jesus, fount of every blessing! Joy of heaven to earth come down!” Each day thank the Lord for a specific blessing and then spend some moments worshipping Christ. Suggestion: Resurrection…

Confession: So often we only examine our sin, which we need to turn from.  This week we focus on how we are turning to God.  Each day ask God to lift up some way to open your life to receiving God’s gifts of love, life and transformation.  Then put that into practice in your life.  Thought for the day:  being prepared to play second fiddle…the heart of a servant…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week choose seven people that you really need to pray for.  Each day focus on one in particular and lift them up before God.  Also thank God for the work that He is already doing in their lives.

Personal prayers:

                Dedication: “Lord Jesus, I need you.  Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.  I open the door of my life and receive you as my Saviour and Lord.  Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life.  Take control of the throne of my life.  Make me the kind of person You want me to be.” (Sinners prayer, Four Spiritual Laws.)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: “Jesus, fount of every blessing! Joy of heaven to earth come down!” Each day thank the Lord for a specific blessing and then spend some moments worshipping Christ. Suggestion: Eternal hope!

Confession: So often we only examine our sin, which we need to turn from.  This week we focus on how we are turning to God.  Each day ask God to lift up some way to open your life to receiving God’s gifts of love, life and transformation.  Then put that into practice in your life. Thought for the day:  risking in worship (declaring God’s worth)

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week choose seven people that you really need to pray for.  Each day focus on one in particular and lift them up before God.  Also thank God for the work that He is already doing in their lives.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: “Lord Jesus, I need you.  Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.  I open the door of my life and receive you as my Saviour and Lord.  Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life.  Take control of the throne of my life.  Make me the kind of person You want me to be.” (Sinners prayer, Four Spiritual Laws.)

                                                                          

Weekly Rhythm

Thinking more about the lectionary readings – linking our stories with the stories of God’s people.

DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE

With thanks to www.gbod.org for readings and initial comment.

Exodus 14:10-31.  This short selection of verses preserves the narrative of God’s deliverance at the Red Sea, a critical story in God’s salvation revealed in Israel and in Christ, but excises any exultation over the death of the Egyptians.

In this passage what does it mean to say that God is on your side?

How is the Lord’s name exulted?

What is the response of the Israelites?

How is the Lord “on our side” today?

How do you see the Lord’s name as exulted?

What is your response?

 

Psalm 114. This psalm is written form the perspective of the end of the journey described in Exodus.   They have arrived in Canaan.  They remember the wonderful actions of God.  All the earth will worship Him.

What wonderful actions of God move you to worship?

 

Romans 14:1-12.   How does this passage call us to deal with people who see things differently to us?  Go through the passage verse by verse noting how this issue is addressed.

 

Matthew 18:21-35.  Peter asks what may be our question, especially on this day, “How many times do I have to forgive someone?” Jesus responds with a hyperbole, a story, and a warning.  God forgives, if not where would we stand?

What would happen if he were to hold a grudge just now and again?

What does this say about us?

It has been said that forgiveness is more for our own benefit than for those who have offended us.  How might this be true?  How do you know God’s forgiveness in your life?

How does this make you feel about others?

 

 Praying the Lectionary Readings

Call to Worship
(based on Psalm 114)

When Israel was delivered from Egypt
unbelievable things happened—
the sea fled, and the River Jordan turned back.
The mountains seem to skip like rams,
and the hills to frolic like little lambs.

What awesome power caused river and sea to change their course—
mountains and hills to jump and skip?
The whole earth was surely trembling in the presence of God .

Praise God who sets people free in unexpected ways
and sustains them through unexpected acts of grace.

— Moira Laidlaw, Liturgies Online.

Prayer of Praise and Adoration

(based on Psalm 99, Exodus 14:19-31, 33:12-23)
Awesome and majestic God,
your creative power, your glory and holiness
were experienced by your people of old
as clouds and fire guiding them to freedom.
They believed that no one could see your face and live.
How blessed therefore are we,
for you have revealed your face to us in Jesus—
the human face of your love.
You also equip us for our journey through life and beyond,
by breathing new and everlasting life into our very beings,
through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
These people of old believed that it was your presence with them
which made them a chosen and special people.
We praise and adore you, O God, for making our lives so special,
by choosing to share your life with us in and through Jesus.
May this time of worship and the service of our lives
reveal our thanksgiving and our wonder that you should so care for us.
This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— written by Moira Laidlaw, and posted on her Liturgies Online website.

Visit her site for many other lectionary-based resources for worship.

 

Prayer of Confession

(based on Matthew 18: 21-35)

What if God paid us back in full for all the wrong we have done?

(pause)

O Lord we seek your mercy…
yet we ourselves look for payback when we are wronged.

We think it “only fair” and “what is right” when we retaliate
  and use harsh words
    and withdraw from relationship.
The forgiveness you offer on our account
  is larger than we can comprehend,
    still we withhold forgiveness
      and carry the grudge over petty items.
We are eager to do your judging.
And the worst: we conspire our inner thoughts
  to secure your forgiveness
    while avoiding honest repentance.
Forgive us Lord for the sins we know in our hearts.
Save us Lord from the sins we hide.

(pause for reflection and self-examination)

The Lord is full of compassion and mercy,
slow to anger and has not dealt with us according to our sins.
Instead, God has chosen the sacrifice of God’s own son on our account.
It is because Jesus Christ pays the last full measure
that our sins are forgiven.
This gift of forgiveness makes us able,
with the power of Holy Spirit,
to choose to forgive, renew
and live again in right relationship with each other and with our God.
In the name of Father, and the Son,
and the Holy Spirit.
Amen. 

—written by Bill Wessner and posted on Confession RCL blog.

 

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