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Living as Disciples Worship Series: WEEK 2

So this second week in our series on “Living as Disciples for the Transformation of the World” we consider the story of Jesus’ visit to the home of Mary and Martha in Bethany. For those of you who read my words regularly what I’m about to write may sound like I am beating a dead horse, but I simply cannot and will not read the story of Mary and Martha as an indictment of Martha and a lauding of Mary.

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    References:

  • Amos 8:1-12
  • Psalm 52 or 82 (UMH 804)
  • Colossians 1:15-28
  • Luke 10:38-42

Living as Disciples Worship Series: WEEK 3

As Christians and as United Methodists, most of us assume that we are expected to pray. The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, listed prayer as one of the spiritual disciplines to which we are to attend to daily. According to a Pew Research report, 55 percent of American Christians say they pray every day. These persons rely on prayer when making personal decisions and consider prayer and essential part of their identity. There are literally millions of books of prayers, books on how to pray, and books about the power of prayer. We assume that since Jesus prayed, that means that we also should pray.

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    References:

  • Hosea 1:2-10
  • Psalm 85 (UMH 806)
  • Colossians 2:6-15 (16-19)
  • Luke 11:1-13

Living as Disciples Worship Series: WEEK 4

“Be on guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” Depending on where you sit on the great divide between wealth and poverty, this statement from our Lord and Savior may strike you as good news, or as condemnation. As a member of a middle class, two-income, American family, I find I must take Jesus’ words as a harsh criticism of my lifestyle. I must confess that like many people in my situation, my life is characterized by my abundance of possessions.

View the Living as Disciples series overview >>

    References:

  • Hosea 11:1-11
  • Psalm 107:1-9, 43 (UMH 830)
  • Colossians 3:1-11
  • Luke 12:13-21

Joy: The Flip Side of Justice Worship Series: WEEK 1

A common theme in our Scripture lessons for the next three weeks is justice. We don’t often think of joy and justice together, yet if we look for joy in these passages, we will find it. Joy is found when we, as the people of God, put our faith into action by pursuing justice and championing the oppressed.

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    References:

  • Isaiah 1: 1, 10-20
  • Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23 (UMH 783)
  • Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
  • Luke 12:32-40

Joy: The Flip Side of Justice Worship Series: WEEK 2

This week’s lessons continue to underscore the theme of justice. The Isaiah passage is known as “The Song of the Vineyard.” The seven verses are more of a parable than the poetry of a song. The prophet tells of a vineyard planted with “choice vines” and yet it yields “wild grapes,” or what the NIV calls “bad fruit.” The vineyard failed to live out the purpose for which it was created. 

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    References:

  • Isaiah 5:1-7
  • Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19 (UMH 801)
  • Hebrews 11:29-12:2
  • Luke 12:49-56

Joy: The Flip Side of Justice Worship Series: WEEK 3

We continue our three-week series on “Joy: The Flip Side of Justice.” Again, as with preaching notes of the previous two weeks, we focus our attention especially on the readings of the older testament, though we allude to all the readings. This week’s reading includes verses from the beginning of the book of Jeremiah as well as Psalm 71.

View the Joy: The Flip Side of Justice series overview >>

    References:

  • Jeremiah 1:4-10
  • Psalm 71:1-6 (UMH 794)
  • Hebrews 12:18-29
  • Luke 13:10-17