Narrative Lectionary Prayer Resource Year 4 John; Fall 2021

Under Construction

Living Into this God Given World

If you find these resources useful please consider contributing to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing! I have already Successfully funded year 1, and am now working on Year 2!s

Sept 12 Creation by the Word

Living Into this God Given World: Creation

Genesis 1:1-2:4a

John 1:1-5

Sept 19 Binding of Isaac

Living Into this God Given World: Struggling with Trauma

Genesis 21:1-3; 22:1-14

John 1:29

Sept 26: Jacob’s Dream

Living Into this God Given World: Dreams & Blessings

Genesis 27:1-4, 15-23; 28:10-17

John 1:50-51

Trickle Down Grace, A Prayer

Oct 3 God’s Name is Revealed

Exodus 2:23-25; 3:1-15, 4:10-17

John 8:58

Living Into this God Given World: Food

Oct 10 God Provides Manna

Exodus 16:1-18

John 6:51

Living Into this God Given World: Calling

Oct 17 God Calls Samuel

1 Samuel 3:1-21

John 20:21-23

Living Into this God Given World: Judgement

Oct 24 God Calls David

1 Samuel 16: 1-13; Psalm 51:10-14

John 7:24

Oct 31 Solomon’s Temple

1 Kings 5:1-5; 8:1-3

John 2:19-21

Nov 7 God Speaks to Elijah

1 Kings 19:1-18

John 12:27-28


Extended Advent?

Nov 14 Amos: Justice Rolls Down

Amos 1:1-2; 5:14-15, 21-24

John 7:37-38

Nov 21 Isaiah: A Child is Born

Isaiah 9:1-7

John 8:12

Nov 28 Jeremiah’s Letter to the Exiles

Jeremiah 29:1, 4-14

John 14:27

Advent Resources: The Fullness of God/Fulfilled By God

If you find these resources useful please consider contributing to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing!

Elections and Infections and Insurrections Prayer

Lord, it’s been quite a week: Elections and Infections and Insurrections. To say we are tired is an understatement. We are stuck, numb.

The prayers that fall from our lips are entreating. Please God make a way for us. Clearly we are lost, squabbling in the desert.

Please. Let us not freeze in this moment. Help us to do justice, and remind us the the doing will take a while and a lot of work. Help us go love mercy—not cheap forgiveness carelessly given, but the deep mercy given to marginalized communities who need the mercy of equity.

And the mercy given to the oppressors after the truth is told.

And Lord if these lessons are what we need to learn to walk humbly, where we do the needful work of God’s without quid pro quo or expectations of reward.

Let us not freeze up—as we have done in crises time and time before, set our hands and minds and feet to do the work. Encourage and en-courage us to try. To move forward inch by inch. Help us not to be alone in the work but to find others, partners in Christ’s service, who are inching with us we pray.

Remind us that God knows we can only see a dim reflection of ourselves, and that we only see in part and know in part. His knows this, and still tells us to do the work.

Sing us to sleep at night, grant us some Sabbath and sanctuary so we can nourished and empowered for the work we pray.

In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Feel free to use/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy

With credit to Margaret Aymer Ogrt for her poignant call.

Seeds: Elijah at Mount Carmel: Power& Prophecy of Presences 1 Kings 18:17-19; 18:20-39, Mark 9:2-4, Psalm 68

Elijah at Mount Carmel: Power& Prophecy of Presences 1 Kings 18:17-19; 18:20-39Mark 9:2-4, Psalm 68

More Seeds Series Resources here

Call to Worship

Let God rise up

Let, the enemies of God be scattered, but let the righteous be joyful.

As smoke is driven away, wickedness perishes before God. God who created us and called us good.

Let us exult before God, let us be jubilant with Joy.

Call to Worship

Let God rise up. Can you hear the voice of God?

It is in the still, small voice of a prophet, the quiet crackle of the fire, the joyous shrieks of children.

When the world mutters and murmurs, calling on other things for help, let us call on you.

Because you alone are God, Let us worship you today.

Call to Worship

Do not limp with different opinions

If the Lord is your God, then call on God!

Remember the God who answers by fire is indeed God.

Light us up with the fire of the Holy Spirit we pray. 

Call to Confession: When we are out of fuel and drowned in sorrow, this is the time to share the burden with Christ, so that he can remind us of who we serve and give us the energy to do it.

Prayer of Confession:

God who whispers in our heart of hearts, I confess that I cannot hear your voice over the mutters and cries of help. The world is full of the noise of injustice, and I have forgotten to seek your still, small voice. Speak to the embers of justice in my heart, and light me on fire to be a troublemaker for you I pray

Prayer of Confession: Lord, we confess that we are divided, we don’t want to upset anyone so we don’t express our opinions. We find  we limp with two different opinions instead of seeking justice. We are too quiet in the face of injustice. Give us the spark within so that we can be inflamed with justice and goodness. Help us to act for justice for one another we pray. 

Prayer of Dedication/the Day: Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your bidding. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.

Assurance of Pardon: The fire of the Holy Spirit never goes out. It is always inspiring us, energizing us and refueling us through the power of grace. The Holy Spirit tells the truth to our hearts: in Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen.

 

Hymns:

Breathe on Me Breath of God

This Little Light of Mine

For All the Saints

Spirit

Eternal God Who’s Power Upholds

Lo a Rose Ever Blooming (yes more advent-ish)

Elijah

Art found https://biblewalks.com/info/Elijah.html

 

With Kids: This Little Light of Mine, Light candles and talk about fuel and the Holy Spirit (bonus if your are near all Hallow’s Eve/Halloween), Build a pretend Campfire. Play Whisper down the Lane: Talk about how hard communication is and how hard it is to listen for God, Practice Noise vs. Celebration: Talk about how we humans confuse the two, Invisible vs. Visible Church: Discuss the power of a cloud of witnesses vs a noisy here and now crowd, Practice Prayer: Discuss how Prayer is not a magic spell but feeding the fire/connection with God

More Seeds Series Resources here

Being Open to Interpretation, #faith

Faith is opening oneself up to interpretation. Laying your whole being and existence of the line in order to interpret

the who of oneself

the why of existence

the where to now of being

These interpretations are done, usually, using a text, speaking from the Presbyterian perspective that text is the Bible, followed by the Confessions of faith and the Book of Order (our rules/discipline/consistituational documents)

But opening ourselves up to interpretation means being open to the interpretations varying, and interpretations themselves to change, because GOD is not a static being.

Consistent and faithful–God can be counted on.

Generally most people think God does not change, altho this does little for the times in scripture when God changes God’s mind (go figure).

But I say, if God can change God’s mind so can we.

If God is not static, neither should our faith.

If something is not growing, its not alive, we want a lively faith, we need to be growing in our interpretation and our understanding.

I have learned so much, by listening closely to all those people whose faith is especially different than mine. To my one best friend who never was churched but has a strong sense of God and Jesus. To my other best friend who was raised more Pagan than anything else and has a strong sense of the Greek & Roman Mythos of the world.

To my siblings all of whom are millennials, none of whom attend church regularly.

To all the fellow-clergy on twitter & Facebook who are feeling our way through social justice issues and the state of the world.

To my LGBTQUIA community who can interpret scripture in ways that are beyond my ken as a hegemonic individual.

To my brown sibs and and black sibs who are empowered, loving and honest in ways that need to be heard.

Here I am, open to interpretation, and my faith informs that, and the scriptures equally are being interpreted and re-interpreted.

And I read the Bible, and that is Canon, but I read the other texts too, Langston Hughes and Madeline L’engle, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Malala Yousafzai, Elias Chacour, and so much more.

If you are asking a questions of faith, be sure to be open to interpretation, hard as it is.

For you know, that’s the kind of faith that will change you.

#reLentless #truth

c5nwu43uoaagif5

Truth is my weapon of choice. When meeting with adversity and evil. When facing down the human machinations that we call politics, when dealing with the perniciousness of gossip, when hearing a criticism that burns my soul….I choose truth

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Its a chancy weapon, because its a double edged sword, naming who I am in the situation even as it names others. It becomes confession. When you tell the truth you admit to yourself, and all others, that you are but human.

And I am all too human, horrible at remembering the names of my 40 some congregants who I have known for 6 plus years (and I am young), bad at details, fumbling at asking for help when I need it. I am small and frail. Spending a season admitting that I was, am and will be Ash is hard.

But even as I admit who I am, I also admit who God is.

“You are my God” “To you I cry all day long”

“Be gracious to me” and “Gladden the soul of your servant” for all that I lack, God has, and all that I wish for, God knows and all that I need, God is.

Other gods, do not dirty their hands with humanity. They may bargain or scheme with humans, using them or playing with them. But they do not broker humanity choosing to enflesh themselves through their only son.

I will bow down before the Lord my God, and glorify her Holy name, for God alone does wondrous things, stepping beside us in the daily, dirty, beautiful thing called life.

Only God does it all through truth, revealing to us who we truly are

Revealing to us who God truly is

Because you Lord, “have helped me and comforted me”

Praise Be to God

http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=355488475

#Days #relentless #slatespeak #Lent

c5nwu43uoaagif5What is the length of a day? Some days pound on me, relentless, some days never let me go.

http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Deuteronomy+30

The length of days–heaven and earth are called to witness–will count. When we choose life our time counts even moreso.

Before I had children I would strive to be on time for everything. My parents were not the on time sort, and apparently I used to complain that I was the last child to be picked up from things.

Today I not only have to be late to things, but I have to miss commitments. Things I never would have done before children. But life is more complicated now I have a church, a husband, 3 children-one of whom is autistic-and myself.

WAIT! that meeting was today too? I had it in a different time stream in my mind and didn’t realize it was the same day.

Time no longer runs in straight lines for me, its seems to squiggle and intersect in weird ways. Its like running parallel world at the same time.

Thus obligations and time and everything flows differently.

We count our days, but God is the true reckoner, and God’s way of counting is not in pure math or numbers. Its in experiences and hope, its in the life-giving moments.If I have three children, then God has all children. If time flows different with different children for me, then time takes on meaning beyond seconds and minutes and days. Time has become an out of body experience. But time has also become more meaningful than trying to do all the things or trying to count up my life by counting. Because nobody has time for that. Time has to count with the goodness and fullness of days.

Because, God is timeless, its hard to conceptualize A Being beyond time…

A Being who just Is, for whom Was and Will Be are intrinsic.

 

god-in-time

Time counts differently for God

Time counts differently for God’s people.

Hold Fast to God, but how do I do that? My concept of holding on is to calculate the time I spend in prayer or measure the good deeds that are done. I’m too human, I can only love by keeping track. As evidenced in this 30sec clip  http://thirtysecondsorless.net/author/kstenta/

God loves me, without needing to keep track.

How do I let go of the relentlessness of time? How do I enter the time of Lent?

 

 

 

#God is at #Starbucks

In my life, I am too busy…

I have always been a Martha, I don’t even want to be Mary.

But in the midst of the children screaming, the messiness of the house and the juggling of the schedules, God is there.

Just like Goodnight Moon, where each and every object is remembered and names, God keeps track of us, and loves us.

God is there in the mounds of paperwork, the long to do list and the phone that is ringing–in every worry that is a part of the church.

I know God is in these things, in the sunny walks to buy milk, where everything goes smoothly, in the car rides where everyone is yelling at each other for no reason. God is there.

But although God is there, the time I get to spend with God, is often not at worship where I’m trying to remember everyone in my prayers, or at home where we say our Amens or at the office where its a game of finish the most things. The moment I get to to spend with God is in the coffee shop–at the Barnes and Noble or the Starbucks, its when I go grocery shopping late at night, its when I get time to exercise.

And so I treasure the time I get to spend with God, taking comfort that God is always spending time with me.

#mothersday Litany (which means list #prayer)

For all Kinds of Mothering People

I’ve heard the original words this plays off of are by Amy Young.

Mothers come in many different forms, and today we celebrate them all!
We confess ourselves as the children of God: each of us is a son or a daughter.
Bless those who are mothering in strange ways and times, for we know that God is with them.
 We remember Elizabeth who had a child in old age, we remember Mary who had a child as a teenager
For all those mothering people who are not here, for whatever reason and help us to take some time today to give thanks for their lives, and to grieve their absence.
We remember Esther who grew to be a mother of faith, without having a mother of her own.  
We give thanks to all those who have acted in love, mothering those who need it in their lives: the single fathers, the aunts, the grandmothers, those not tied to us by blood all of whom provide the care we need.
We remember the Pharaoh’s daughter, who took in Moses in his time of need and became mother to him.
For all those parents who have lost a child, we pray and honor their parenthood
We remember Naomi who grieved the death of both of her sons.
For those who feel their family is not normal, who feel motherless or childless, we pray forgiveness for forgetting or ignoring those for whom mother is a complicated word, for whatever reason.
We remember Sarah who was taunted by her own mother and sisters for her infertility.
For those for whom the church is their family, and see God as the mother they need, we give thanks.
We remember Ruth who committed herself to her mother-in-law’s family, fortune and faith.
We give thanks for all the mothering people who practice waiting, waiting for a phone call or a visit, who are far away from the children of their heart for whatever reason.
We remember other unnamed mothers, like the mother who had to wait for the prodigal son.
Help us to celebrate the full meaning of mother today.
Lord let us celebrate all motherhood in all its forms, today and everyday in honor of you God: who birthed all creation into being. Amen.

Reclaiming #mysticism, #prophets & #christianity in Grounded

You probably haven’t noticed this, but prophets are often outside the fold of the norm in scripture.

Whether its Elisha, Elijah or Jesus himself it is difficult for those who stand outside of religion and claim a relationship with God to fit.

This is, no doubt, because humans long for “normatives” we long for a checklist by which to live our lives, some way to say this is the right (and only) way to be in relationship with God and each other.

Of course if we were created to be that way we wouldn’t be the multi-faceted, every learning, gender-fluid beings we are. Our spirituality and sexuality would not exist in complex relationship to each other, and our experience of the world would be all the same.

Its amazing that Christianity has plateaued into a “normative” state for so long.

In Diana Butler Bass’s book she reclaims the ordinary-earth, water, fire and air. She claims them as ways to experience God in mystical and tactile & experiential ways.

Because these days, when people of all ages have been burned by institutions (whether they be courts or government, schools or churches, scouts or libraries) and are highly suspicious of institutional wisdom.

Experience, instead, informs.

Diana Butler Bass talks about our experiences in the following ways…”Adam and Eve are made from hums, placed in Go’ds garden, and directed to care for the soil from which they came….” Land “is the source, the material basis, of the food supply (no dirt, no food, no us); or it may be viewed through the eyes of spiritual awareness, as part of a divine ecosystem….disregarding the ground is sinful and evil” p. 43

Humans are made of dirt ”

And Diana Butler Bass puts poetic narrative to her experience, allowing life to be mystical and mysterious in its particularity and beautiful & beloved in its multiplicity and shared interactions.

She dignifies the spiritual awareness that so many has, with a well reasoned personal narrative, grounded in scripture touching on the ideas of God as home, neighborhood as a state of being and the hospitality of creating a commons to dwell in.

“Spirituality is about personal experience–the deep erealization that dirt is good, water is holy, the sky holds wonder; that we are part of a great web of life, our home is in God, and our moral life is entwined with that of our neighbor.”

None of that tells us a checklist to be healthy, wealthy and wise, “it is about tracing the threads of the interconnected universe.” 238

Diana Butler Bass explores the spiritual revolution as it is unfolding today. I highly recommend reading with an open mind, to understand God, and just how accessible Xi is.

Personally as a pastor, I love to learn about how people understand God to be in their lives, and to me church is/should be the place where we share our differences to enrich our own faith. I hope that mystics are heard especially when they are not understood and help us to change into whatever church is being born today….