Lectionary Readings

Advent Sunday, Year C (2015 – 2016)

Adventskranz 1. Advent

Yearly Rhythm

Sunday 29 November 2015
Advent Sunday
Year C
Colour: Purple or Blue

Advent invites us into the holy practice of waiting and attending the birth that is coming. This is a time for pausing, savouring and soaking in awe and wonder.

Christine Valters Paintner
www.AbbeyoftheArts.com

image source

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary 23 – 29 November 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AS A PDF HERE

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

 (These readings lead us into the season of Advent: Expecting the Lord who comes to us!)

Jeremiah 33:14-16.  “The days are coming when I will fulfill the promise,” the prophet tells the people of Judah in exile in Babylon. The promise is for a leader, a “righteous branch” from the house of David, to bring justice and righteousness to the land then lying in ruins. This promised leader would later be known in Judaism as “Messiah,” and the reign he would establish, “the messianic age.”

Psalm 25:1-10  Reflecting on this psalm, pray and hear in the voice of those in exile who have waited and still wait. In your waiting, confess with them the need for God to sustain you daily, to cleanse you from sin, and lead you in paths of righteousness here and now.

1 Thessalonians 3:9-13. Today’s reading flows as a kind of a blessing in response to the Psalm. In Jesus, the love and righteousness longed for have been provided. In the community called church, such love and righteousness may not only abound but continue to make us perfect in holiness until the final coming of Christ.

 Luke 21:25-36. The signs of the end Jesus announces look different from what the folks who first heard Jeremiah’s prophecy may have expected. In the immediately preceding verses, Jerusalem is destroyed, not “established forever.” It is worldwide suffering accompanied by unstoppable cataclysm, not the progressive development of a golden age of “peace on earth, goodwill to men,” that marks the promised redemption. Don’t be lulled, Jesus warns! Stay awake and alert to suffering; that’s where you’ll see God’s reign coming in power, beginning now.

This week we focus on living with Christ as our King:

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Christ our King reigns over all things,

Confession: Christ our King we now examine how we allow your reign to be expressed in our lives; both our personal lives and also our lives shared together as a body of Christ with you as our head.  In this we seek to follow your example:

Your reign sought not your own will but the Fathers will. Can we say with Christ: Not my will but yours?

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

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus:  Pray for specific areas where God’s reign needs to be expressed more clearly.  His reign brings love, peace, righteousness, justice, provision, faith, light…   Pray the fruits of God’s reign into a new situation each day.  Allow God’s Spirit to guide you as to what you need to pray for.

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: You first in our lives: Reign King Jesus reign!

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Christ our King created all things.

Confession: Christ our King we now examine how we allow your reign to be expressed in our lives; both our personal lives and also our lives shared together as a body of Christ with you as our head.  In this we seek to follow your example: Your reign found purpose and mission in being sent.  Can we say with you: As the Father has sent me?

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for specific areas where God’s reign needs to be expressed more clearly.  His reign brings love, peace, righteousness, justice, provision, faith, light…   Pray the fruits of God’s reign into a new situation each day.  Allow God’s Spirit to guide you as to what you need to pray for.

Personal Prayers:

            Dedication: You first in our lives: Reign King Jesus reign!

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: Christ our King holds all things together.

Confession: Christ our King we now examine how we allow your reign to be expressed in our lives; both our personal lives and also our lives shared together as a body of Christ with you as our head.  In this we seek to follow your example: Your reign seeks salvation and wholeness for all.  Can we say with you: I come not to condemn but to seek God’s salvation?

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for specific areas where God’s reign needs to be expressed more clearly.  His reign brings love, peace, righteousness, justice, provision, faith, light…   Pray the fruits of God’s reign into a new situation each day.  Allow God’s Spirit to guide you as to what you need to pray for.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: You first in our lives: Reign King Jesus reign!

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: In Christ our King all things (including us) find their completion and place.

Confession: Christ our King we now examine how we allow your reign to be expressed in our lives; both our personal lives and also our lives shared together as a body of Christ with you as our head.  In this we seek to follow your example: Your reign expresses sacrificial love: a love that pours out itself for others. Can we say with you:  I came not to be served but to serve and give my life…

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for specific areas where God’s reign needs to be expressed more clearly.  His reign brings love, peace, righteousness, justice, provision, faith, light…   Pray the fruits of God’s reign into a new situation each day.  Allow God’s Spirit to guide you as to what you need to pray for.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: You first in our lives: Reign King Jesus reign!

Friday:

Adoration Focus: As we bow before Christ our King we find that He is perfectly trustworthy.

Confession: Christ our King we now examine how we allow your reign to be expressed in our lives; both our personal lives and also our lives shared together as a body of Christ with you as our head.  In this we seek to follow your example: Your reign has declared; everything for the Father’s glory!  Can we say with you: I live to bring glory to the Father?

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for specific areas where God’s reign needs to be expressed more clearly.  His reign brings love, peace, righteousness, justice, provision, faith, light…   Pray the fruits of God’s reign into a new situation each day.  Allow God’s Spirit to guide you as to what you need to pray for.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: You first in our lives: Reign King Jesus reign!

 

Saturday:

Adoration Focus:  Christ our King is the suffering servant: He lays down his life for all the world.

Confession: Christ our King we now examine how we allow your reign to be expressed in our lives; both our personal lives and also our lives shared together as a body of Christ with you as our head.  In this we seek to follow your example: You are the originator of all that we are.  May all that we think and do find its beginning in your prompting.

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for specific areas where God’s reign needs to be expressed more clearly.  His reign brings love, peace, righteousness, justice, provision, faith, light…   Pray the fruits of God’s reign into a new situation each day.  Allow God’s Spirit to guide you as to what you need to pray for.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: You first in our lives: Reign King Jesus reign!

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Let us worship Christ the King!

Confession: Christ our King we now examine how we allow your reign to be expressed in our lives; both our personal lives and also our lives shared together as a body of Christ with you as our head.  In this we seek to follow your example:  May all our actions and words express your heart.  And in our moment of rest may we know that you are the completion of all things.

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for specific areas where God’s reign needs to be expressed more clearly.  His reign brings love, peace, righteousness, justice, provision, faith, light…   Pray the fruits of God’s reign into a new situation each day.  Allow God’s Spirit to guide you as to what you need to pray for.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: You first in our lives: Reign King Jesus reign!

Weekly Rhythm

As you read and pray remember these three basic questions to make the Scriptures relevant to your life:
What does the passage say?
What does the passage mean?
How does it apply to my life?

You may want to choose one passage of scripture to focus on. Write your thoughts or prayers in your journal; learn some parts of the passage by heart or create something that has meaning for you using any skills you might have (art, music, cooking, gardening etc.)

Christ the King, Year B, 2015

Christ the King stained glass

Yearly Rhythm

Sunday 22 November 2015
Christ the King
Year B
Colour: White or Gold

This is the last Sunday in the Christian Year. We are celebrating the Reign of Christ the King – reminding ourselves that Christ is our King, the ultimate authority in all things. As citizens of His kingdom we are guided by grace, love and justice in all that we do.

These thoughts are particularly pertinent as we #PrayForHumanity this week following the violence in Burundi, Paris, Syria, Lebanon and all the other places where intolerance and prejudice cause death, oppression and displacement.

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary 16 – 22 November 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AS A PDF HERE

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

2 Samuel 23:1-7David’s final song: “One who rules over the people justly… is like the light of the morning, the rising sun of a cloudless morning glistening off the dew.”

Psalm 132:1-5, 11-12A plea to God to remember David’s devotion in wishing to build a temple for God and God’s promise to sustain David’s line if his descendants kept God’s covenant.

Revelation 1:4b-8. The opening salutation to John’s vision: “Grace to you from the one who was, and is and is to come, and from the seven spirits … and from Jesus Christ, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.”

John 18:33-37. Jesus answers the charge that some call him “King of the Jews”: “My kingdom is not from this world.”

This week: Our adoration focus is based on a prayer edited by Neil Dixon in “Companion to the Lectionary.”  The prayers of intercession are based on a prayer in “The Methodist Service Book.”

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, source of power and love, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession: This week we focus on defences, barriers, and excuses; things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today: Fears

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

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Hear us, Lord God, as we pray for your one holy Church: make us all one, so that the world may believe.

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:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, source of forgiveness and hope, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession: This week we focus on defences, barriers, excuses, things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today: Hidden hurts.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: We pray that every member of the Church may truly and humbly serve you: grant that your name may be glorified by all people.

Personal prayers

            Transforming Verse:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, shown to us in Jesus your Son, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession: This week we focus on defences, barriers, excuses; things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today: Not wanting to let go…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Guide and strengthen all ministers of your gospel: make them faithful in your service.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, constantly present in our lives by your Spirit, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession: This week we focus on defences, barriers, excuses; things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today:  Things we value more than God…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Inspire and lead all who govern and hold authority in the nations of the world: establish justice and peace among all people.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, ceaselessly working in human history, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession

The Word: This week we focus on defences, barriers, excuses; things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today:  Timing: not at the moment Lord…

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Have compassion on all who suffer from any sickness, grief or trouble: deliver them from their distress.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, head of your Church, guide of your people, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession: This week we focus on defences, barriers, excuses; things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today: What about others? Surely not me!

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Give us courage to do your will in all that we undertake: reveal the life of Christ within us.

Personal prayers:

             Transforming Verse:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Ever-living God, lover of our souls, all praise and glory belongs to you.

Confession: This week we focus on defences, barriers, excuses; things we hold on to that keep us from full life in Christ.  Today:  I’m not that bad…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus:  We praise you for all your saints who have entered your eternal glory: bring us all to share in your heavenly kingdom.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse:   “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Weekly Rhythm

Joining our stories with the story of God

As you read and pray remember these three basic questions to make the Scriptures relevant to your life:
What does the passage say?
What does the passage mean?
How does it apply to my life?

Some other questions you might like to work through this week as you contemplate Christ the King:

  1. How do you experience the reign of Jesus bringing light and beauty and love and an inviting and enduring softness to the world where you are?
  2. How do you experience those who rule unjustly bringing thorns, and with them pain, hurt and destruction?
  3. What does a “beautiful” and “inviting” and loving politics of justice look like where you are?
  4. What people or organizations already seem to embody such a beautiful, inviting politics of justice?
  5. How does the prayer life of your congregation—corporately and individually– reflect the work of the priesthood Christ our King has made us to be? How might better ways forward be modeled in worship today?
  6. Above all, and foundational to all, how do what you say and do in worship AND daily life model the core truth about God’s kingdom and Jesus as its King—“thy nature and thy name is Love” (Charles Wesley, “Come, O Thou Traveler Unknown,” verse 4).

(Taken from here.)

God of Eternity, we stand with the courage of those who insisted, even in perilous times,
that not even the most powerful rulers of this earth hold our eternal destiny in their hands.
We are secure in Christ, whose reign is just, whose power is endless, and whose love is unfathomable.
God of Eternity, we join the chorus of saints who continue to declare that Christ is our King.
Amen.

[Source]

[image source]

Ruth, beyond sacrifice, the widow’s mite

butterfly lavender

Yearly Rhythm

Sunday 8th November 2015
The Twenty fourth Sunday after Pentecost
(Ordinary Time)
Year B
Colour: Green

“The search for God is a very intimate enterprise. It is at the core of every longing in the human heart.”
Joan Chittester

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary 2 – 8 November 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AS A PDF HERE.

The Revised Common Lectionary readings for this week with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org

Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17 Naomi guides Ruth through the customs of Hebrew culture to enable her legitimately to find a husband, home, and children. In this way, Ruth becomes the great grandmother of Israel’s future king, David.
Psalm Response: Psalm 127.  Verses 1-2 focus on the emptiness of life without trust in God’s presence and provision. Verses 3-5 speak of the blessing of having children. The theme that binds these two together is the term “house” in verse 1, taken figuratively in the second part to refer to a “household.”
Hebrews 9:24-28.  Unlike the Aaronic priest who enters annually into the Holy of Holies with the blood of a bull and a goat to make ritual atonement, through the incarnation and his life of intercession and obedience even unto death, Jesus Christ entered into heaven itself, offering himself once for all to remove sin, not merely “cover” it (the word usually translated “atonement” in Hebrew means “cover”). At the judgment, Christ will acquit those who have eagerly waited for him.
Mark 12:38-44.  The story of the “widow’s mite” comes immediately after warnings by Jesus about the “home-devouring” practices of the scribes who were expected to use the temple treasury funds to support widows and orphans but used it to support their own lavish lifestyles instead. That is why the widow has only a penny to give, but also why she gives it all — that perhaps others might still be helped, even if meagerly, by what she can offer. Her situation is also a sign of the corruption of this present age and the need for the arrival of the age to come.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on a miracle that will lead you into praising God.  Today: Sun shine, light of the world.

Confession: What barriers are preventing you from serving God in this world? Each day bring your life to God asking to be set free so that you can respond to his call on your life.  Today’s focus: being set free from blaming others.

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

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Visualise God’s loving reign in our world today and pray that his will may be done in some specific way to express His Kingdom.  Today’s focus: Children.

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:  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on a miracle that will lead you into praising God. Today: New growth, discovery.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.  Today’s focus: being set free from prejudice.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Visualise God’s loving reign in our world today and pray that his will may be done in some specific way to express His Kingdom. Today’s focus: Students.

Personal Prayers:

            Transforming Verse:  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on a miracle that will lead you into praising God.  Today: Love, God’s heart.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.  Today’s focus: being set free from anger.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Visualise God’s loving reign in our world today and pray that his will may be done in some specific way to express His Kingdom. Today’s focus: Families.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse:  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on a miracle that will lead you into praising God. Today: Forgiveness, clean slate

Confession: See Monday’s confession.  Today’s focus: being set free from guilt.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Visualise God’s loving reign in our world today and pray that his will may be done in some specific way to express His Kingdom. Today’s focus: The struggling.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse:  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on a miracle that will lead you into praising God. Today: Worship, connecting with holiness.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.  Today’s focus: being set free from bitterness and unforgiveness.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Visualise God’s loving reign in our world today and pray that his will may be done in some specific way to express His Kingdom. Today’s focus: Communities.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse:  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)    

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on a miracle that will lead you into praising God. Today: Our bodies, worshipping God with all we have.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.  Today’s focus: being set free from being overwhelmed and paralysed.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Visualise God’s loving reign in our world today and pray that his will may be done in some specific way to express His Kingdom. Today’s focus: Organisations.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse:  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Each day focus on a miracle that will lead you into praising God. Today: Peace in the midst of confusion.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.  Today’s focus: being set free from hurt.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Visualise God’s loving reign in our world today and pray that his will may be done in some specific way to express His Kingdom. Today’s focus: Churches.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse:  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)

Weekly Rhythm

Joining our stories with the story of God.

As you read and pray remember these three basic questions to make the Scriptures relevant to your life:
What does the passage say?
What does the passage mean?
How does it apply to my life?

Discipleship Ministries offers insights into the scripture passages here. (Click on the ‘preaching’ tab.)

Sacredise has resources for worship and study of the lectionary readings here.