A Prayer and Reflection Based on Luke 10-11

summer in the scriptures luke (1)Prayer based on Luke 10:1-12
The Mission of the Seventy

This is the glory of your saving love
That you don’t just bless us
Heal us
Guard and guide us

That you don’t just forgive us
Redeem us
Save and sanctify us

For you, that is too light a thing

You make a place for us in your saving work
You call us and empower us
Each of us

You make a place for us in your family and a place for us in your plan
that we might experience your power and the wielding of that power
that we might experience the fullness of your grace

The glory of your saving love is
Your hope and your hope made real in the world
Your love and your love in action

Glory to you, Most Blessed Savior!
Glory to you, Lord of Mercy and Light!
Glory to you and to the fulfillment of Your Kingdom
in us and in all!
Amen!

Based on Luke 11:37-53
A wise person once advised me, when you come across scriptures where Jesus is instructing or correcting the Scribes and the Pharisees, stop, listen, and allow the Holy Spirit to examine your own heart. Pastors, small group leaders, and ministry leaders are often more like them than we want to admit. They were the “churched people” of their day. They too took their faith seriously, worshiped deeply, prayed and read the scriptures searching for God, answered a call, and studied hard to prepare themselves for leading God’s people, bore the responsibility and sacrifice of leadership.

Reflection and meditation on these texts keep us humble and soft in God’s hands. We need God’s grace and leading to avoid falling into the same enslaving practices.

In this light, let us reflect on Jesus’ warnings from Luke 11, often referred to as “the woes.”

Verse 42: Woe to you … for you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God
God, reveal in me where have I focused on rules and details above you.
Free me from the need to control and micromanage.
Free me from blocking access to your love and grace and justice.

Verse 43: Woe to you … for you love to have the seat of honor … and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces
God, reveal where my pride, ego, and need for attention have become false idols.
Forgive me and heal me of judgmental attitudes that separate me from you and from others.

Verse 44: Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without realizing it
God, reveal every hidden thing I think and do which hurts others.
Reveal my hypocrisy.
Reveal where my attitudes and actions bringing contamination rather than community.
Lord, bury me with you and raise me to new life.

Verse 46: Woe also to you … for you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not lift a finger to ease them.
God, reveal how my actions and expectations are burdening others unnecessarily.
Forgive me for placing myself above others and beyond accountability.
Humble me and grow in me a love and solidarity with all people.
Turn my faith into compassionate action.

Verse 47: Woe to you! For you … are witnesses and approve of the deeds of your ancestors
God, reveal how I am perpetuating the prejudices and injustices of previous generations.
Heal me and empower me to join you in breaking this cycle.

Verse 52: Woe to you… for you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.
God, reveal how I am making you and your ways confusing and difficult.
Grant me a hunger for your truth and kingdom living.
Help my words to match your words, my ways your ways, so others find you easily.

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For the next few months, I’m reading a chapter from the Gospels each day. This is part of the Summer in the Scriptures reading plan sponsored by the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. Click Here for the reading plan.

You’re most welcome to read along and to join the Facebook discussion group, Summer in the Scriptures. You don’t need to be a Methodist or attend a Methodist church. All are welcome and all means all.

As part of the Facebook group, I’ve been supplying prayers based on the day’s reading. Feel free to post your prayers and observations based on the readings here or there as well.

May the grace of the Gospels, the challenge, and the call, inspire us to great faith and great good works in Jesus’ name. – Lisa <

The Glory of You Saving Love © 2017 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Reflection based on Jesus’ Woe’s © 2014 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Breath Prayers Based on Mark 12

summer in the scriptures- Mark

Breath Prayers based on Mark 12:41-44
The Widow’s Offering

Silently pray the phrase after IN on your breath in. Then silently pray the phrase after OUT on your breath out. Take your time. Breathe deeply. Choose one, a few, or all of them as is most helpful to you. ⁠

IN: All I have
OUT: is a good gift from you

IN: All I have
OUT: is yours

IN: Jesus,
OUT: heal me of consumerism

IN: Jesus,
OUT: heal me of hypocrisy

IN: Jesus, deliver me
OUT: from performing and parading faith

IN: Generous One
OUT: Make me generous

IN: Faithful One
OUT: I trust you to provide

How do breath prayers help you?
Share a breath prayer you’ve written.

_______________

For the next few months, I’m reading a chapter from the Gospels each day. This is part of the Summer in the Scriptures reading plan sponsored by the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. Click Here for the reading plan.

You’re most welcome to read along and to join the Facebook discussion group, Summer in the Scriptures. You don’t need to be a Methodist or attend a Methodist church. All are welcome and all means all.

As part of the Facebook group, I’ve been supplying prayers based on the day’s reading. Feel free to post your prayers and observations based on the readings here or there as well.

May the grace of the Gospels, the challenge, and the call, inspire us to great faith and great good works in Jesus’ name. – Lisa <><

Breath Prayers based on Mark 12 © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Sermon Recording- God’s Grace, Growing and Preserving

grace sermon series logo

Message: God’s Grace, Growing and Preserving
Scripture: Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 10:9-10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-18; Romans 12:1-2
Offered 2/7/16, Bible Sunday, at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

Click Here for the power point presentation which includes steps for drawing The Bridge picture described in the sermon.

Romans 3:23 (Yellow)
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Romans 6:23 (Black)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 5:8 (Red)
God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (Blue)
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast.

Romans 10:9-10 (Green)
If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.

2 Corinthians 5:17-18 (Orange)
So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation

Romans 12:1-2 (Orange)
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God — what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Time to Revive Product Collage

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I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Leon and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9am or 10:30am, or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.

© 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact the Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

Sermon Recording: Covered or Covered Up, Marriage Equality and a Call to Stay United (Psalm 32)

You can survive on your ownMessage: Covered or Cover-Up
Scripture: Psalm 32
Offered 6/28/15 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL following a historic week in the life of our nation: the racially motivated murders in Charleston, the removal of the Confederate flag from many public places, and the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality.

In the midst of great change and as followers of Christ, let us continue the discussions opened by these events. The church must be the safe place for honesty, questioning, seeking, listening, and caring.

Let us not hold our tongues. Let us not hold our breath. Let us hold hands in a spirit of unity based on our shared need of Jesus. We can sit in the same pew with different beliefs on social issues. Good and Godly people can disagree about how to interpret the scriptures. That doesn’t make one the villain and one the victim. – Lisa <><

Click Here to go to Humans of New York, the collection of photos and quotes mentioned in the message.

You can survive on your own
You can grow strong on your own
You can prevail on your own
But you cannot become human on your own
~ Frederick Buechner, The Sacred Journey

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I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Leon and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9am or 10:30am, or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.

© 2015 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact the Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

Good and Evil

If you know the name of this work or its creator, please let me know so I may give proper credit.

If you know the name of this work or its creator, please let me know so I may give proper credit.

Matthew 12:35 NRSV
The good person brings good things out of a good treasure,
and the evil person brings evil things out of an evil treasure

3 John 1:11 NRSV
Beloved, do not imitate what is evil but imitate what is good.
Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.

Recognizing “the world, the flesh, and the devil” as the classic three sources of evil (and also the source of the “spiral of violence”) —

  1. the world’s agreed-upon systems of self-congratulation and self-protection;
  2. our individual sin, which is then inevitable;
  3. the demonic legitimization of oppressive and destructive power by governments and institutions—

can be a primary tool to help you discern what is truly good and what is often evil. Without discernment, many of us end up calling good evil and evil good, just as Isaiah predicted (5:20) and the murder of Jesus revealed. – Richard Rohr

Romans 7:21 NRS
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand.

Ecclesiastes 12:14 NRSV
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every secret thing, whether good or evil.

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

The shadow self is not of itself evil; it just allows you to do evil without calling it evil. That is why Jesus criticizes hypocrisy more than anything else (eleven times in Matthew’s Gospel). Something that is shocking to many religious people is that Jesus is never upset with sinners; he’s only upset with people who think they are not sinners!
Richard Rohr, Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality

It would be easy for us to think that all of those involved in dehumanizing Jesus were horrible people. If it were only the Roman soldiers, we might say, “Well, the Roman soldiers did terrible things like that.” Or if it were just the thieves on either side of Jesus, we could say, “After all, they were criminals. That’s what you would expect.” But the people who led the charge in dehumanizing and humiliating Jesus were considered the most pious people on the face of the planet in that day. – Adam Hamilton, Final Words

We don’t praise God for evil, we praise God in the midst of evil. Those are critically different responses. And we must avoid the former lest, in our hurry to comfort, we minimize evil and suggest that God is somehow culpable in the very sin he works so actively against.
– Marc Cortez, Three Mistakes We Make When Talking About the Sovereignty of God

In my humdrum life, the daily battle hasn’t been good versus evil. It’s hardly so epic. Most days, my real battle is doing good versus doing nothing.
– Deirdre Sullivan, Always Go to the Funeral

Extended quote by Steve Harper from A ‘Greater Good’
Our reactions to evil only make sense because somehow, somewhere, and by someone a “greater good” has been placed in us. In moments of tragedy and suffering, our souls express this “greater good” in a variety of ways…

…in anger that says, “This is wrong and should never have happened.”
…in grief that says, “Someone/something precious has been taken away.”
…in compassion that says, “I care that you are hurting.”
…in stewardship that says, “I will share with you what I have in hopes it will help.”
…in community that says, “We will not allow you to bear this alone.”
…in collective will that says, “We must find ways to insure this does not happen again.”
…in prayer that says, “Lord, have mercy! Christ, have mercy!”
…in hope that says, “We will come back from this.”
…in worship that says, “God is with us.”

None of this, and more, would ever emerge unless somehow, somewhere, and by someone “a greater good” was put into the deepest part of us, waiting there like a well from which we can draw when evil acts like it has the final word.

Psalm 34:14 NRSV
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

Romans 12:9 NRSV
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;

Romans 12:21 NRSV
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Victorious One,
Every day
Every moment
I face the primal struggle between good and evil
You have overcome
Reveal that truth in me and through me
Every day
Every moment
Amen
– Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

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