thoughts on scripture

Lament, Conflict and Miracles of life

birds on a fence

Yearly Rhythm

Sunday 28th June
The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
(Ordinary Time)
Year B
Colour: Green

“Life is too urgent to be lived fast, too important to be consumed in a blur of activity, too precious to not take notice of the God moments; the God-love that bursts out in unexpected and unanticipated beauty.” (Ann Voskamp)

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary 22 – 28 June 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AND COMMENTS AS A PDF HERE!

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

2 Samuel 1:1, 17, 17-27.   David leads his troops in a public lament for the deaths of Saul and Jonathan.

Psalm 130.  In response to the cry of national mourning, “Out of the depth I cry to you, O Lord!”

2 Corinthians 8:7-15. Last week, Paul placed the ball in the Corinthians’ court to restore their relationship. This week, Paul reminds the church to make good on its past promise to provide generous support for his collection for the poor in Jerusalem. At stake, says Paul, is not only their integrity, but their participation in the global body of Christ. He expects them to give all that they can so that the standard of living for Christians around the world would be more balanced.

Mark 5:21-43. Two more illustrations of the power of the Word to bring abundance of life where no life seemed possible: the healing of a woman with an issue of blood (and so unable to sustain a pregnancy) and the raising of the daughter of Jairus who had died.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 12:7) O Lord, you will keep us safe and protect us…

Confession: This week we ask God for a vision of life lived at its best.  This vision should inspire us to take hold of God’s gift of life. Each day ask God to help you take hold of this vision of life in a new way. Today’s focus: Joy

The Word: See readings above or use own devotional aid.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse: Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.”

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: May your Kingdom come, may your will be done, in my life today.  Reign King Jesus reign!

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 11:7) For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice…

Confession: This week we ask God for a vision of life lived at its best.  This vision should inspire us to take hold of God’s gift of life. Each day ask God to help you take hold of this vision of life in a new way. Today’s focus:  Freedom from sin.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse: Psalm 91:15 “He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him.” Pray for those in trouble that they may call on the Lord and find deliverance.

Personal Prayers:

            Dedication: May your Kingdom come, may your will be done, in my life today.  Reign King Jesus reign!

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 10:16) The Lord is king forever and ever…

Confession: This week we ask God for a vision of life lived at its best.  This vision should inspire us to take hold of God’s gift of life. Each day ask God to help you take hold of this vision of life in a new way. Today’s focus:  Sharing care and love with others.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse:  Philippians 3:1 “Finally my brothers, rejoice in the Lord!”  Pray that a spirit of joy may fill God’s people.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: May your Kingdom come, may your will be done, in my life today.  Reign King Jesus reign!

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 9:1) I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders.

Confession: This week we ask God for a vision of life lived at its best.  This vision should inspire us to take hold of God’s gift of life. Each day ask God to help you take hold of this vision of life in a new way. Today’s focus: Discovering purpose and calling.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse: Revelation 3:20 “Here I am!  I stand the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him, and he with me.”  Pray that those who do not know Christ may have ears that hear and that they may open the door.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: May your Kingdom come, may your will be done, in my life today.  Reign King Jesus reign!

Friday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 8:1) O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is you name in all the earth!

Confession: This week we ask God for a vision of life lived at its best.  This vision should inspire us to take hold of God’s gift of life. Each day ask God to help you take hold of this vision of life in a new way. Today’s focus: Relationships

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse:  Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Pray that Christians may stand firm in their faith and not be misled by destructive forces that rob us of life.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: May your Kingdom come, may your will be done, in my life today.  Reign King Jesus reign!

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 7:10) My shield is God most high…

Confession: This week we ask God for a vision of life lived at its best.  This vision should inspire us to take hold of God’s gift of life. Each day ask God to help you take hold of this vision of life in a new way. Today’s focus: Order out of chaos.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse:  John 13:34 “A new commandment I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love you another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  Pray that God’s church may be united in its love and witness.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: May your Kingdom come, may your will be done, in my life today.  Reign King Jesus reign!

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: (Psalm 6:9) The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.

Confession: This week we ask God for a vision of life lived at its best.  This vision should inspire us to take hold of God’s gift of life. Each day ask God to help you take hold of this vision of life in a new way. Today’s focus: Trust and faith.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week: Praying through the scripture.  Each day you will be given one verse to inspire your prayers for this world. Reflect on this verse and pray as God prompts you.  Today’s verse: Psalm 92: 1+2 “It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night…”  Pray that God may increasingly release his church to bring praise to his name.

Personal prayers:

            Dedication: May your Kingdom come, may your will be done, in my life today.  Reign King Jesus reign!

Weekly Rhythm

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

Questions and prayers to explore readings:

(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?

2 Samuel 1:1, 17, 17-27.   David leads his troops in a public lament for the deaths of Saul and Jonathan.

Think of David’s relationship with Saul.  What does this public lament tell us about David in the light of this relationship?  How does David’s action speak into any situation in your life?

Think of David’s relationship with Jonathan? What does this public lament tell us about David in the light of this relationship?  How does David’s action speak into any situation in your life?

Psalm 130.  In response to the cry of national mourning, “Out of the depth I cry to you, O Lord!”

Prayer

(inspired by Psalm 130)

O Lord our God,

we come to you, seeking to rise up from the depths and agony of despair.

Please listen, our Saving God – we need your help and blessing.

Lord, through the tenderness of your mercy towards us

we have learned to worship you – and to revere your Holy Name;

therefore, we place our entire trust and hope in you, our Trustworthy God.

We gather to offer you our thanks, for we know that you offer us

your unfailing love and mercy that is beyond our understanding.

You know our longing for forgiveness, and you offer us your presence –

Which blesses us from God’s overflowing store of mercy, hope, freedom and joy.

Amen.

 

~ written by Joan Stott, and posted on The Timeless Psalms.
If any part of these Prayers and/or Meditations is used in shared worship, please provide the following acknowledgement: © 2011 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year A

 

2 Corinthians 8:7-15. Last week, Paul placed the ball in the Corinthians’ court to restore their relationship. This week, Paul reminds the church to make good on its past promise to provide generous support for his collection for the poor in Jerusalem. At stake, says Paul, is not only their integrity, but their participation in the global body of Christ. He expects them to give all that they can so that the standard of living for Christians around the world would be more balanced.

How is God calling you to live out the generosity of the Gospel?

Prayer

(2 Corinthians 8:7-15)

Go out, among the outcast and the grieving,
and speak the word of life and hope.
Do not fear, but trust in God’s word.
Watch for the Lord with eager expectation,
and be generous with all God has given you.

And may God respond to your every cry with mercy;
May Christ Jesus take you by the hand and lift you to life;
and may the Holy Spirit build you up in faith, in speech,
……..in knowledge, in passion and in love.

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

— Copyright © 2003 Nathan Nettleton http://www.laughingbird.net/

 

Mark 5:21-43. Two more illustrations of the power of the Word to bring abundance of life where no life seemed possible: the healing of a woman with an issue of blood (and so unable to sustain a pregnancy) and the raising of the daughter of Jairus who had died.

How may God be calling you to risk and touch the healing power of Christ?

Call to Confession

God calls us in our lives to take a risk,
to be like the woman in the gospel
who reaches out to Jesus for healing for herself;
or the father who risks the scorn of others
to bring Jesus to his dying daughter.
Let us ponder for a moment the places in our lives
where we may resist turning to God for healing and change.

(silence)

Litany of Confession

When we resist your call to open our hearts to allow
the freshness of your grace to enter:
God have mercy.

When we close our eyes to your new and unexpected possibilities
of healing and reconciliation.
Christ have mercy

When we let fear overwhelm us,
and cling to the security of what we know
instead of risking new steps toward your freedom and justice:
God have mercy.

Assurance of Grace

God’s mercies are fresh every morning.
In Christ God offers forgiving grace
and welcome into a community of trust, abundance, and hope.
Let us give thanks for the mercy of God,
and pass the peace of Christ in community among us.

— written by Rev. Susan A. Blain, and posted on the Worship Ways website.
http://uccfiles.com/

 

 

What! Me, talented? (23rd Sunday after Pentecost, Year A)

fleamarketYearly Rhythm

Ordinary Time, the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost
16 November 2014, Year A, Colour: Green

The church sets aside a holy season called Ordinary Time as sacred.  The Ordinary part of the religious tradition of being ordered in our daily lives so that we can always be in the presence of the holy. (Becca Stevens)

 Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary  10 – 16 November 2014

DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE

Readings for the week with thanks to www.gbod.org; preparing for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost.

Judges 4:1-7. After Ehud’s death, the Israelites again began to “do evil.” The narrator tells us this is why they fell into the hands of Jabin, a Canaanite king, The Israelites prayed for God’s help. God used Deborah, a judge, and Barak, a military leader, to free them.

Psalm 123

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11.  The Day of the Lord will come at an unexpected time. Therefore, Paul exhorts us to remain sober, faithful, and hopeful, and to continue to build up and encourage one another.

Matthew 25:14-30. Jesus uses a provocative, even offensive story in his description of the kingdom of heaven while teaching in the temple.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE READINGS HERE

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Each day spend a few minutes in stillness before the greatness of God.

Confession: Lord we sing, “I sing for joy at the work of your hands…”  Help us to examine the work of our hands.  Does this work bring joy to you?  Lord, empower us to express your love and your values in our work.   This week bring your work to God.  Today: In my work do I express love?

The Word: Use the readings above or your own Scripture reading plan.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: This week we pray for all those who lend helping and loving hands.  Today we pray for all doctors, nurses and health workers.

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 I give you my hands in service for this day that lies ahead

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Each day spend a few minutes in stillness before the greatness of God.

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today: In my work do I express care for the least of these?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for all those who lend helping and loving hands.  Today we pray for those who are caring for infants and young children.  May their hands reach out in love and tenderness.

Personal Prayers:

             Dedication: Lord I give you my hands in service for this day that lies ahead

 Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: Each day spend a few minutes in stillness before the greatness of God.

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today, in my work do I express God’s guidance?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for all those who lend helping and loving hands.  Today we pray for all those who care for the elderly.  May they see the elderly through the eyes of God.

Personal prayers:

             Dedication: Lord I give you my hands in service for this day that lies ahead

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Each day spend a few minutes in stillness before the greatness of God.

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today: In my work do I express God’s creativity?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for all those who lend helping and loving hands.   Today we pray for teachers as their hands reach out to write on their black boards and share in the exploration of life.

Personal prayers:

 Dedication: Lord I give you my hands in service for this day that lies ahead

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Each day spend a few minutes in stillness before the greatness of God.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.  Today: Is my work an action of worship?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for all those who lend helping and loving hands.  Today we pray for all those who are in love with each other.  We pray that their hands may express a deep respect and care.  Thank the Lord for his rich and varied love.

Personal prayers:

  Dedication: Lord I give you my hands in service for this day that lies ahead

 Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Each day spend a few minutes in stillness before the greatness of God.

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today: In my work do I express the rhythms of God?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for all those who lend helping and loving hands.  Today we pray for the hands that prepare meals to minister to the hungry.

Personal prayers:

             Dedication: Lord I give you my hands in service for this day that lies ahead

 Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Each day spend a few minutes in stillness before the greatness of God.

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today: Can I rest from my work knowing that all depends on God’s faithfulness and not my efforts?

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for all those who lend helping and loving hands.  Today we thank God for his comforting and empowering hand that reaches into our lives.  Pray for those who have not acknowledged the hand of God that is upon them.  Pray that they may open their hearts to the hand of God.

Personal prayers:

             Dedication: Lord I give you my hands in service for this day that lies ahead

                                                                         

Weekly Rhythm

Exploring Scripture
Joining our stories with the stories of God’s people

Download the PDF here

The notes in italics are with thanks to www.gbod.org

Judges 4:1-7. After Ehud’s death, the Israelites again began to “do evil.” The narrator tells us this is why they fell into the hands of Jabin, a Canaanite king, The Israelites prayed for God’s help. God used Deborah, a judge, and Barak, a military leader, to free them.

How does God treat us when we “do evil”?
Who are modern-day Deborahs in your life?

Psalm 123

This psalm is probably written during the period when Israel were in Babylonian captivity, a very painful period of their history.  How does this psalm express hope in their situation?

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11.  The Day of the Lord will come at an unexpected time. Therefore, Paul exhorts us to remain sober, faithful, and hopeful, and to continue to build up and encourage one another.

We are not God and we do not control his coming and goings.  The day of the Lord will surprise us!
St. Paul gives the church five bits of advice:
Remember you are all children of light (not darkness.)
Keep awake and alert.
Put on God’s amour.
Keep your destiny in mind.
Encourage one another and build each other up.
See how he gives this advice in this passage and consider how it may apply to you.

Matthew 25:14-30. Jesus uses a provocative, even offensive story in his description of the kingdom of heaven while teaching in the temple.
God’s covenant people were expected to produce a harvest.  What does this parable say about God’s expectations in our lives?  How can we “produce a harvest”?

Here’s a reflection on the gospel text, the parable of the Talents.  It was written by Bruce Prewer.

Gospel Reflection

(Matthew 25:14-30)

How much wealth has the master given to my trust?
Where best can it be put to work at a profit as faith must?

How many gifts are now employed for his gain?

Where best to use each aptitude though it may bring
cost and pain?

How much time have I to spend sharing love?
Before the master comes again with expectation on his face?

—Copyright B.D. Prewer, 2001.  Posted on Bruce Prewer’s Homepage.


Praying the Lectionary Readings

Call to Worship

(based on Psalm 123)

Great and Glorious God, we gather to worship you.
We lift our eyes to you, in reverent awe before your majesty.
Great is the Lord our God, and greatly to be praised!

Generous and Merciful God, we come to worship you.
We lift our eyes to you, giving thanks for your compassion.
Gracious is the Lord our God, and greatly to be praised!

Welcoming and Empowering God, we worship you.
We lift our eyes to you, and we celebrate your faithfulness.
Holy is the Lord our God, and greatly to be praised!
We lift our eyes, seeking to worship and praise our God. Amen.

— Copyright Joan Stott.  If used in shared worship, please provide the following acknowledgement: © 2011 Joan Stott – “The Timeless Psalms” RCL Psalm Year A, used with permission.

 

Blessing

(inspired by Matthew 25: 14-20)

There are blessings meant for you
to hold onto
clutched like a lifeline
carried like a candle for a dark way

tucked into a pocket like a smooth stone
reminding you that you do not
go alone.

This blessing
is not those.

This blessing will find its form
only as you give it away
only as you release it
into the keeping of another

only as you let it
leave you

bearing the shape the imprint
the grace it will take

only for having passed through
your two particular hands.

~ written by Jan L. Richardson, and posted on The Painted Prayerbook.http://paintedprayerbook.com/


Prayer of Dedication

(inspired by Matthew 25: 14-20)

God, whose giving knows no ending,
we offer up the treasure that you have entrusted to us;
we offer up the skills and time that you have graciously given to us;
we offer up ourselves in service and praise.
Receive these gifts by your grace.
Multiply and use them through the power of the Holy Spirit
to accomplish Christ’s work of love in the world. Amen.

~ written by Joanna Harader, and posted on the Spacious Faith blog. http://spaciousfaith.com/


Prayer of Intercession

Our gracious eternal God, the ancient words of Paul echo in our souls this day. We are so much like the people of the Thessalonian Church and its culture.

We want to have glimpses of the future so that we might know that we are secure.
We want to have the security to know that tomorrow will be alright.
We want to have life all buttoned down and figured out so there will be no surprises.
We want you to rid us of all anxiety and worry and fear.
We want to know that when the great call comes for us we will be safe.
We want all darkness and all uncertainty removed from our lives.

Become alive for us again in these quiet moments. We pray that in this teachable moment you would again open to us your powerful and grace-filled presence.

Lead our spirits to find the courage to say, “All will be well because we are yours.”
Lead our spirits to find the ability to live one moment and one day at a time.
Lead our spirits to serenity and a peace which the world cannot give.
Lead our spirits to know that with your power we can cope with whatever surprises life presents to us.
Lead our spirits to know that we are destined “not for wrath” but for your redeeming.
And lead our spirits to know that “whether we wake or sleep,” living or dying, we are yours into the ages of all ages. Amen.

— Richard J Einerson, posted on Richard J. Einerson: Prayers of the People. For more of his prayers, see his book, Prayers of the People.

 

A Living Life

live free blogYearly Rhythm

Fifth Sunday in Lent
Year A, Colour: Purple

6 April 2014

Lent offers us all a very special opportunity to grow in our relationship with God and to deepen our commitment to a way of life, rooted in our baptism.  In our busy world, Lent provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon our patterns, to pray more deeply, experience sorrow for what we’ve done and failed to do, and to be generous to those in need.

 

 

Daily Rhythm

31 March – 6 April
A resource for the Daily Rhythm of Worship using the Revised Common Lectionary readings.

See “Weekly Rhythm” for comment and question to engage with the readings.
Also “Praying the lectionary Readings” for prayers based on the readings.

Download the PDF here

Devotional Diary

31 March – 6 April 2014
Readings for the week (Sunday 6 April 2014, the Fifth Sunday of Lent) (Thanks to gbod.org)

Ezekiel 37:1-14 The valley of the dry bones — and what God can do with even this!

Psalm 130

Romans 8:6-11.Paul contrasts the life of the flesh, which draws from sin and leads to death, with the life of the Spirit, which draws from the Spirit of Christ and leads to righteousness. This is not a dualist rejection of the body, but rather a refusal to be controlled by its impulses. “God who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to our mortal bodies through the Spirit.”

John 11:1-45 Lazarus is dead, long dead, stinking dead. Jesus is resurrection and life, and raises him from the dead.

This week’s theme:  We all need frameworks (boundaries) out of which to live well.  It has been said that freedom is finding the right framework, one that leads to abundant life.  God offers us this framework:  Christ says he has come so that we might live abundantly (John 10:10).  What boundaries will help you live fully and freely?                                               

 

Monday:

Adoration Focus: Galatians 5 1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.

Confession:  Are you aware of any boundaries that you cross that get your life out of sync with God?   Think of the whole context of your life: Use of time, energy, your sexuality, abuse of power, financial resources, relationships, emotions, etc.  Over the next few days identify some of these breaches.   Ask: If I submit to Christ’s life expressed within me through the Holy Spirit what boundaries do I need to put in place?   These boundaries will keep you living Christ’s life and not our own.  This is real freedom.  This week do some hard work in identifying some boundaries that will help you live a better life.  These are like the banks of a river:  they stop flooding and destruction and keep your life flowing and positive.

The Word: See readings above or use own devotional aid.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus:  Think of boundaries that have been crossed in our society that cause destruction and fear.  Pray that God may limit this destruction.  Today’s suggestion:  Crime.

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: Galatians 2:20 “… I no longer live, but Christ lives in me…”

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.

Confession:  See Monday.

The Word: See readings above or use own devotional aid.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Think of boundaries that have been crossed in our society that cause destruction and fear.  Pray that God may limit this destruction.  Today’s suggestion:  Violence.

Personal Prayers:

               Dedication: Galatians 2:20 “… I no longer live, but Christ lives in me…”

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus:   Galatians 39 …those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

Confession: See Monday.

The Word: See readings above or use own devotional aid.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Think of boundaries that have been crossed in our society that cause destruction and fear.  Pray that God may limit this destruction.  Today’s suggestion:   Care of (abuse of) creation.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: Galatians 2:20 “… I no longer live, but Christ lives in me…”

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: Galatians 3  13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law…so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Confession: See Monday.

The Word: See readings above or use own devotional aid.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Think of boundaries that have been crossed in our society that cause destruction and fear.  Pray that God may limit this destruction.  Today’s suggestion:  Warfare  (pray for specific situations that you are aware of.)

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: Galatians 2:20 “… I no longer live, but Christ lives in me…”

Friday:

Adoration Focus: Galatians 3 26You are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus,

Confession: See Monday.

The Word: See readings above or use own devotional aid.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Think of boundaries that have been crossed in our society that cause destruction and fear.  Pray that God may limit this destruction.  Today’s suggestion:  Abuse of people especially children.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: Galatians 2:20 “… I no longer live, but Christ lives in me…”

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: Galatians 3 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Confession: See Monday.

The Word: See readings above or use own devotional aid.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Think of boundaries that have been crossed in our society that cause destruction and fear.  Pray that God may limit this destruction.  Today’s suggestion:  Pressures of living, stress and overload.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: Galatians 2:20 “… I no longer live, but Christ lives in me…”

 Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Galatians 4:6 God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,[a] Father.”

Confession: See Monday.

The Word: See readings above or use own devotional aid.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Think of boundaries that have been crossed in our society that cause destruction and fear.  Pray that God may limit this destruction.  Today’s suggestion:  Ignoring God’s rhythms of life.

Personal prayers:

               Dedication: Galatians 2:20 “… I no longer live, but Christ lives in me…”

Weekly Rhythm

Sunday 30 March 2014

    Commentary and Questions on the Lectionary Readings.

Download the PDF here

Ezekiel 37:1-14  The valley of the dry bones — and what God can do with even this!
This passage finds its context in the Exile of the Southern Kingdom of Israel in Babylonia.  Can the fallen past be restored in some way?  Can they “live” again in the death that they have died?  These are questions you may have asked about your own life and world.   What life-giving “connections” had the Israelites lost?   What life-giving “connections” have you lost? What connections need to be restored and how will this bring you new life?
As you read this passage note that 37:11-14 offers an explanation of its meaning.

Psalm 130  The psalmist waits (vs 5,6) :  What does this waiting reflect about God’s nature and our attitude (see vs 7,8)?

Romans 8:6-11
Paul contrasts the life of the flesh, which draws from sin and leads to death, with the life of the Spirit, which draws from the Spirit of Christ and leads to righteousness. This is not a dualist rejection of the body, but rather a refusal to be controlled by its impulses. “God who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to our mortal bodies through the Spirit.”

John 11:1-45
Lazarus is dead, long dead, stinking dead. Jesus is resurrection and life, and raises him from the dead.

Verses 1-3: How does the introduction to this story express friendship and intimacy?

Verse 4: Could this verse be applied to other situations of suffering and illness?   Even to our world?  Is the end glory?

Verse 6: How does this verse relate to Psalm 130 (above)?  Waiting for God’s moment.

How does the story bring glory to God and the Son?

How does the story encourage you in your life?

Praying the Lectionary Readings

Sunday 6 April 2014

 May our hearts be a Christ-like fragrance
rising up to God.
May we spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere
like a sweet perfume.

Let it lavish the hungry with abundance,
And touch the grieving with compassion.
Let it bless the oppressed with justice,
And release the bondage of the prisoners.
Let it anoint the sick with healing,
And bring joy to those who doubt.
So that the fragrance of Christ wafts throughout the world,
Bringing refreshment, renewal and new life.

Christine Sine