A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.


Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Prayers of the People: Fish Tales, 3rd Sunday after Epiphany '18 Yr B

For Sunday, January 21, 2018, 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, Year B, Readings: Jonah 3:1-5, 10; Psalm 62:6-14, 1 Corinthians 7:29-31, 
Mark 1:14-20

     So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord...And he cried out, "Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth. 
[Jonah 3:3a, 4b-5]  

    For God...alone is my rock and my salvation...my safety and my honor...and my refuge. [Psalm 62:7a, 8b]

    I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short...for the present form of this world is passing away. [1 Corinthians 7:29a, 31b]

   As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea...And Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you fish for people." And immediately they left their nets and followed him. [Mark 1:16-17]

     I love the Book of Jonah! In an early part, he tries to hide from God, running off to a ship in the opposite direction of where God is ordering him to go. Then, thrown overboard by the crew, he gets caught in a whale of an experience! (I just had to go there) After praying to God and being granted his release from the fish, he finally, if grudgingly, goes where he is told to go and tells the people what God wants them to hear. He is so convincing that the people hear, believe, and repent. Later in this story, Jonah - who never wanted to be a prophet -  is actually angry because God changes direction and decides not to destroy the city after the people overthrew their own evil ways because of Jonah's prophecy.  Such a human response: wait, what, you're NOT going to kill them? But I said what you told me to say...  The book leaves us as it finds us with Jonah still unhappy.      
          Paul, who thought that the Second Coming of Jesus was imminent, grimly but accurately reminds even us now that our time in this life is short and we need to pay attention to how we are living.      
         And then there is Jesus who calls the next group of disciples - Simon, Andrew, James, and John - to leave their current lives NOW and follow Him. Can you even imagine walking away from your life as you know it, from family, and responsibilities, and all that you have worked for because someone like Jonah, Paul, or Jesus says you must? What level of trust does that require? I cannot quite grasp it, and yet, there is this nagging from the still small voice inside that I can do better, I can answer the call, I can live a life that calls others to see, respond, and join me in the net cast by God. It does sound a little fishy to an un-faith-filled ear, but then, is there a better way to be caught? Tick-tock...

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O God, our Rock and our Salvation, You call us through Prophets and Teachers, through the Gospels of Jesus, and from within our very souls through the Voice of the Holy Spirit. Open our ears and hearts to recognize that our appointed time has grown short. Let us, in the fleeting breath of our human existence, hear again, trust, repent, and leave our nets to follow You.  

                                                     Lord Almighty                            
RESPONSE:                  Help us hear, believe, and heed Your call

~ O God our Rock and our Salvation, grant us the courage to walk the true path of discipleship and bring to account for restitution, the leaders of this World, this Country, and this Community, for the words and actions that diminish the lives of all Your people instead of enhancing them. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Lord Almighty
                                                       Help us hear, believe, and heed Your call
                                                      
~ O God our Rock and our Salvation, impart and sustain hope for all laid low by illness, homelessness, or despair, and encourage all who provide support. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions

                                                       Lord Almighty
                                                       Help us hear, believe, and heed Your call
             
~ O God our Rock and our Salvation, lighten the hearts of those who grieve as You receive our faithful departed with open arms in everlasting love and light. We pray especially for: add your own petitions 

                                                       Lord Almighty
                                                       Help us hear, believe, and heed Your call

~ O God our Rock and our Salvation, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently…add your own petitions

                                                       Lord Almighty
                                                       Help us hear, believe, and heed Your call
             
~ O God our Rock and our Salvation, we ask Your favor upon all You have chosen to lead us in Your Church. Fill them with the words and actions that will cause us to re-think, re-work, and re-direct our lives toward You. pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Lord Almighty
                                                       Help us hear, believe, and heed Your call
             

The Celebrant adds:  O God, our Safety and our Honor, urge our complacent wills to become the faith-filled and trustworthy lure, that calls others to follow with us, as the fishers of people Jesus asks us to be. Reconcile us to Your heart and steadfast love through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who together with You, live and reign in the bliss of eternal life, now and forever.  Amen.




All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. For more information or comments, contact: Leeosophy@gmail.com


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Meditation Moments: WE MUST KEEP THE DREAM ALIVE! Martin Luther King, Jr Day 2018



"How long? Not long, because no lie can live forever.
How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, 
but it bends toward justice."
~ The Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

Many writers considerably more eloquent than I have written far more useful and perfect words to remember and celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
In this year that brings the 50th Anniversary of his assassination, 
we find ourselves still asking the question: HOW LONG 
with ever more frustration, anxiety, and fearful wonder at the almost incomprehensible conditions in this Country and in our World. 

In the wise words of my dear friend, the Rev. Canon Lloyd Casson,
"Let us not just commemorate, let us EMULATE!"

"How Long, Not Long" is the popular name given to the public speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 
on the steps of the State Capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, after the successful completion of the 
Selma to Montgomery March on March 25, 1965. 

 The speech is also sometimes referred to as "Our God Is Marching On!" 

The following is an excerpt from that speech. 
The words, never more relevant than today, are his. 
The emphasis is mine:

"...Our whole campaign in Alabama has been centered around the right to vote. In focusing the attention of the nation and the world today on the flagrant denial of the right to vote, we are exposing the very origin, the root cause, of racial segregation in the Southland. Racial segregation as a way of life did not come about as a natural result of hatred between the races immediately after the Civil War. There were no laws segregating the races then. And as the noted historian, C. Vann Woodward, in his book, The Strange Career of Jim Crow, clearly points out, the segregation of the races was really a political stratagem employed by the emerging Bourbon interests in the South to keep the southern masses divided and southern labor the cheapest in the land. You see, it was a simple thing to keep the poor white masses working for near-starvation wages in the years that followed the Civil War. Why, if the poor white plantation or mill worker became dissatisfied with his low wages, the plantation or mill owner would merely threaten to fire him and hire former Negro slaves and pay him even less. Thus, the southern wage level was kept almost unbearably low.

"Toward the end of the Reconstruction era, something very significant happened. That is what was known as the Populist Movement. The leaders of this movement began awakening the poor white masses and the former Negro slaves to the fact that they were being fleeced by the emerging Bourbon interests. Not only that, but they began uniting the Negro and white masses into a voting bloc that threatened to drive the Bourbon interests from the command posts of political power in the South.


Marchers crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge
in Selma, Alabama in March, 1965
"To meet this threat, the southern aristocracy began immediately to engineer this development of a segregated society. I want you to follow me through here because this is very important to see the roots of racism and the denial of the right to vote. Through their control of mass media, they revised the doctrine of white supremacy. They saturated the thinking of the poor white masses with it, thus clouding their minds to the real issue involved in the Populist Movement. They then directed the placement on the books of the South of laws that made it a crime for Negroes and whites to come together as equals at any level. And that did it. That crippled and eventually destroyed the Populist Movement of the nineteenth century...

"Thus, the threat of the free exercise of the ballot by the Negro and the white masses alike resulted in the establishment of a segregated society. They segregated southern money from the poor whites; they segregated southern mores from the rich whites; they segregated southern churches from Christianity; they segregated southern minds from honest thinking; and they segregated the Negro from everything. That’s what happened when the Negro and white masses of the South threatened to unite and build a great society: a society of justice where none would prey upon the weakness of others; a society of plenty where greed and poverty would be done away; a society of brotherhood where every man would respect the dignity and worth of human personality..."


O Creator God ~ guide us to cross the bridge again, together, for the sake of all God's people, in every hamlet, town, city, county, state, and country in this world. Let us keep the Dream Alive, let us fight hatred with love, let us seek You in all that we do, re-dedicate ourselves to Your purpose, and burn the words of Jesus into our very being as he told us to: Love the Lord God with all our hearts, all our souls, and all our minds, AND love our neighbors as [if they are] ourselves.  AMEN.

























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Monday, January 8, 2018

Prayers of the People: God Knows... 2nd Sunday after Epiphany '18 Yr B

For Sunday, January 14, 2018, 2nd Sunday After Epiphany, Year B, Readings: 1 Samuel 3:1:1-10 (11-20), Psalm 139:1-5, 12-17; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, 
John 1:43-51

      And Samuel said, "Speak for your servant is listening." Then the Lord said to Samuel, "See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle..." As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him...And all Israel...knew that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the Lord. 
[1 Samuel 3:10b-11,19-a-20]

     Lord you have searched me out and known me; you know my sitting down and my rising up; you discern my thoughts from afar...You trace my journeys and my resting- places and are acquainted with all my ways. Indeed there is now a word on my lips, but you O Lord, know it altogether...Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb... [Psalm 139:1-2, 15a]

     But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him...do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ...do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 
[1 Corinthians 6:15a, 17, 19]

     Nathanael said to [Philip], "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see..." And [Jesus] said to [Nathanael], "Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." [John 1:46, 51]

      There are many Psalms that resonate within me and Psalm 139, particularly, always has a profound effect on me. There is my Creator, my Divine Parent, who knew me while my limbs were being knitted in the womb and still traces my journeys and my resting-places. Sometimes, admittedly when I’m not at my best (okay, that’s most of the time), my inner child tries to lie lower as if not to be seen by that Parent, especially when those words on my lips are, well, frankly, quite far from God-like. And then Paul reminds us that our bodies are members of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. I’m still working on that. I find living up to such holy standards, in daily life in faith, far easier to intend than to do.
      I show up at church fairly regularly, give to charity, help people and organizations that help people from time to time, I pray ~ and sometimes it isn't just for Divine intervention to get myself out of a jam. God knows what I do with the rest of my time.
      How do I truly answer THE CALL, and, Follow? Would it were easier to be like young Samuel and merely follow the instructions of a trusted elder. Or to be like Philip, readily follow Jesus and then invite the slightly snarky Nathanael to simply "Come and see."
       But we have those instructions from trusted elders! The readings for this week are calling me to again see and discover how I am to live my life. It is never too late to start over or to begin. For example, there is Constantine, the first Roman Emperor to claim conversion and declare Christianity as a state religion, built the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem (on the believed site of Jesus’ Tomb), and Old St Peter's Basilica in Rome, convened the Council of Nicaea in the year 325, from which we still use the Nicene Creed, and yet he would not be baptized until he was on his death bed. St. Augustine, who said in his Confessions [written between 397-400] that in the early days of his conversion he asked God to make him chaste and self-controlled but not yet. SO, when does YET arrive for me? How many times have I waved YET away until I think I’m ready? God knows.
        What will it mean for my life, how will I have to change, what will others think ~ am I ready? God knows. Speak, Lord, for I, your (slightly worried) servant/child, is listening. I'm more (or slightly less) ready to come and see, again. My intentions are good. God knows, and still remains with me. I'll try again...         

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ All-Knowing, All-Seeing God, You have searched us and known us, from before we were in the womb and throughout our earthly lives. Tingle our ears and awaken our hearts to remember that we are not our own but rather members of Christ and temples of the Holy Spirit, and to hear again, listen, and follow Your call to us.

                                                       Steadfast Lord                          
RESPONSE:               Unite us as One in Your Spirit

~ All-Knowing, All-Seeing God, guide our path as we seek truth, honor, and justice in a world filled with alienation among people and nations. Grant each of us, and the leaders of this World, this Country, and our local Communities, the wisdom and selflessness to choose the well-being of us all, over destructive actions tied to temporal and temporary power. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Steadfast Lord
                                                       Unite us as One in Your Spirit
                                                      
~ All-Knowing, All-Seeing God, strengthen the faith of all who suffer from sickness, addiction, and depression, and for all who give them care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions

                                                       Steadfast Lord
                                                       Unite us as One in Your Spirit
             
~ All-Knowing, All-Seeing God, whisper words of hope to the grieving, and let us all celebrate with joy for those now released from the trials of this life, into the unbounded Glory of new life with You. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions

                                                       Steadfast Lord
                                                       Unite us as One in Your Spirit

~ All-Knowing, All-Seeing God, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently…add your own petitions

                                                       Steadfast Lord
                                                       Unite us as One in Your Spirit
             
~ All-Knowing, All-Seeing God, our prayers ascend for all those anointed and elected to lead us in Your church, and guide us on our journey to You. May their insights and faithfulness encourage and embolden us to come again to see, and to live through Your call, in each and every day. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Steadfast Lord
                                                       Unite us as One in Your Spirit
             

The Celebrant adds:  God of Angels and Humanity, renew the right Spirit within us, that as You trace our journeys and our resting places, You find us as open and trustworthy as Samuel, free of deceit and filled with unyielding faith, glorifying You in body, mind, and action. We ask through the Sacrifice of our Redeemer, Christ; and the Sustaining Guidance of the Holy Spirit, who reign with You, together as One God, now and forever. Amen.




All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. For more information or comments, contact: Leeosophy@gmail.com


Monday, January 1, 2018

Prayers of the People: Wading into The New First Day 1st Sunday after the Epiphany '18 Yr B

For Sunday, January 7, 2018, 1st Sunday after Epiphany, Year B, Readings: Genesis: 1-5, Ps 29, Acts 19:1-7, Mark 1:4-11

        In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light...And there was evening, and there was morning, the first day. [Genesis 1:1-3, 5b]

     Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness...The LORD shall give strength to his people; the LORD shall give his people the blessing of peace. 
[Psalm 29:2, 11]

      Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus." On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them... [Acts 19:4-5, 6a]

      In those days Jesus came from Nazareth...and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." [Mark 1:9-11]

        How fitting it seems to begin the New Year with the reading from Genesis 1 about Creation's First Day, with light overcoming darkness and wind across the waters. Then the Gospel of Mark detailing the baptism of Jesus which is considered the First Day for his official ministry, with the Holy Spirit arriving as a Dove and the Voice of God proclaiming Jesus as God's Son. 
        Given all that the Scripture of Advent gave us of John's instructions to prepare the way, and now John baptizing the one who is more powerful than himselfI find it curious that Baptism has such varied practices across the breadth of Christianity. For some denominations it is an obligating sacrament, for others a rite of initiation and adoption into the Christian faith, some require it to participate in certain rituals of worship, or reception into a specific sect. Baptism is required by some and deemed unimportant by others. Many believe that infant Baptism is necessary whenever possible, many others do not. Some may offer it to older children or teens and adults for admission into a particular congregation whether or not one has been baptized elsewhere. And as many reasons for it, opposed to it, or neutral, there are many ways to achieve it.  With water considered a channel for holiness there is 
aspersion (sprinkling), affusion (pouring), or immersion (total or partial, standing or kneeling, or complete submersion). And for those who find themselves wishing they had been baptized but were not for whatever reason, there is the Baptism of Desire - that is, if you want it, you have it. John, in Mark's Gospel, and Paul, in the reading from Acts, are clear that through Jesus we will also be baptized with the Holy Spirit. 
        We are called by Jesus to follow Him, officially baptized or not, so why not start again at the beginning of this new year and the symbolic beginning of his ministry? A new day begins. The words of an old Negro Spiritual say it best. God will trouble the water - stir it up - so we can see the right place to enter the path:  

Wade in the water
Wade in the water, children,
Wade in the water
God's a-goin' to trouble the water


Look over yonder, what do you see?
God's a-goin' to trouble the water
The Holy Ghost a-coming on me
God's a-goin' to trouble the water


      From the waters of Creation, to the waters of Birth and Baptism, Christ is our bridge over waters troubled and calm and it is He who comes to set our souls ablaze with the infusion of the Holy Spirit. Whether baptized by water, desire, or faith, before now or not, it is time to be refreshed and renewed as we begin our own ministry again. Come on in, this "water" is fine! Let us bathe in the Light of Christ and the Fire of the Holy Spirit! Welcome to the New First Day.


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Almighty Creator, in the Beginning, You brought forth light from the formless void and darkness on the First Day. From the waters of Birth and Baptism, Jesus came forth as our new Beginning, a radiant light to dispel the shadows in our souls. Let this be a new First Day, as we accept Baptism in the power of the Holy Spirit, by answering the call to serve Christ in others and ourselves.

                                                      Spirit of the Living God                                                      
RESPONSE:               Fall afresh on us all

~ Almighty Creator, strengthen us to carry Your voice over the troubled waters of political oppression, injustice, and greed. Give us the words to speak of compassion, and humanity, be heard and cause positive action in the halls of government throughout this Earth, in our Country, and in our Cities and Towns. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Spirit of the Living God
                                                       Fall afresh on us all
                                                      
~ Almighty Creator, calm the hearts and minds of all who are unsettled by illness, physical challenge, or addiction, and bring rest to those who provide for their comfort. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions

                                                       Spirit of the Living God
                                                       Fall afresh on us all
             
~ Almighty Creator, we, too, treasure and celebrate all who have gone ahead and are now risen in the beauty of holiness in Your eternal life. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions

                                                       Spirit of the Living God
                                                       Fall afresh on us all

~ Almighty Creator, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently…add your own petitions

                                                       Spirit of the Living God
                                                       Fall afresh on us all
             
~ Almighty Creator, refresh and grant special blessings to all who lead us in Your church, as we journey together seeking Your holy will. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Spirit of the Living God
                                                       Fall afresh on us all
             

The Celebrant adds:  Holy LORD of Power and Glory, release us from the turbulence of the doubt and fear we allow within us, and guide us to a new dawn of faith and hope, quenching our spiritual thirst in the living waters of Christ’s Baptism. We ask this through Jesus, Your Beloved Son, and the Holy Spirit, our Fount of Wisdom, who together with You reign as One God, now and forever.  Amen.





All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. For more information or comments, contact: Leeosophy@gmail.com

Monday, December 25, 2017

Prayers of the People: The Right WORD Now and Always, First Sunday after Christmas '17 Yr B

For Sunday, December 31, 2017, 1st Sunday After Christmas, Year B, Readings: Isaiah 61:10-62:3, Psalm 147, Galatians 3:23-25; 4-4-7; 
John 1:1-18

      For the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up...For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest... [Isaiah 61:11a; 62:1a]

      He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds...The LORD lifts up the lowly, but casts the wicked to the ground. [Psalm 147:3, 6]

     But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law...So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God. [Galatians 4:4, 7]

     In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God...What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it...The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. [John 1:1-2, 3b-5, 17]

               The Gospel of John has marked differences from the other three Gospels which are known as the Synoptic Gospels because of their similarities to each other. John's emphasis might be thought of as more "theological" and contains material not in the other three and, in some cases, seemingly contradicting them. But the beauty of the mysterious opening, for me, is something to linger with and ponder. Jesus, the Word, was with God, and the Word was God...The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. 
        The Word comes from the Greek, logos, and is usually defined - in theological terms - as Jesus. Once we understand who the Word is, then the Prologue [John 1:1] may be more easily comprehended in verse 14: the Word became flesh and lived among us. Jesus is the face of God, was with God from the beginning, and was sent to be among us to make God and God's will known. 
         In the 4th century, St. Athanasius said of Jesus, He became what we are that he might make us what he is. Paul tells us in Galatians that Jesus is faith revealed by God. Those who followed Jesus in his time and who influenced others who came after, have all tried to instruct us in ways to be more like him, our Christ, the Messiah. This Child, just born, is God's promise, God's Word, with flesh, blood, and a beating heart, like us, and that I can grasp and almost understand. Yet the mystery of God endures, for if we do think we fully understand God, Jesus, and the Spirit - the Triune God, the Holy Trinity - then our god is too small. 
         As the Church year unfolds we will soon be led through the woes of Lent and Holy Week until the glorious Resurrection. In the meantime, let us savor this moment of great Birth, and through all of the days to come let us also know that our Redeemer lives. If we relinquish ourselves to steadfast faith, however difficult at times, and allow ourselves to be open, Jesus is the light in our hearts that darkness cannot overcome. Jesus is the right WORD, now and always.

          
LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O God of All That Is, Seen and Unseen, into this fullness of time You have sent our Messiah, woman-borne, to redeem us as Your own children. Let us rejoice with our whole beings, as heirs of Your eternal Kingdom, justified by faith, and proclaiming Christ’s grace and truth.
                                                      
                                                       Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier God
RESPONSE:               May our lives reflect Your Light and Glory

~ O God of All That Is, Seen and Unseen, with the Spirit of the Son that You have sent into our hearts let us not keep silent. Grant us courage to speak without ceasing to lawful governments and to vengeful despots until righteousness, peace, and mercy prevail across our Earth, across our Country, and across our Communities, great and small. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier God
                                                       May our lives reflect Your Light and Glory
                                                      
~ O God of All That Is, Seen and Unseen, refresh the bodies, hearts, and souls and give hope to all who suffer serious illness, despair, or fear, and to all who give love and support. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions

                                                       Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier God
                                                       May our lives reflect Your Light and Glory
             
~ O God of All That Is, Seen and Unseen, dispel the darkness of grief as we remember and celebrate all who have gone ahead and now live again, complete in the radiant joy of Your eternal life. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions

                                                       Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier God
                                                       May our lives reflect Your Light and Glory

~ O God of All That Is, Seen and Unseen, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently…add your own petitions

                                                       Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier God
                                                       May our lives reflect Your Light and Glory
             
~ O God of All That Is, Seen and Unseen, we give You gracious thanksgiving for those entrusted to bring us Your Word and Sacraments. Fill us all with unwavering faith that we may walk together as constant witnesses of Christ Jesus, our Saving Lord. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier God
                                                       May our lives reflect Your Light and Glory
             

The Celebrant adds:  Holy Triune God: Lord, Word, & Spirit, we are created by You to be Your fertile soil in this world. Let us each, by word and example, sow seeds of forgiveness, hope, and salvation, by grace upon grace, now and in the life to come. We ask through Jesus, Your Word Made Flesh; the Holy Spirit, Your Sacred Breath; and our Almighty Creator, who, together, reign as One God, now and forever.  Amen.




All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. For more information or comments, contact: Leeosophy@gmail.com


Monday, December 18, 2017

Prayers of the People: Time for THE Person of the Year, Every Year, Always, Christmas Eve & Christmas Day '17 Yr B

For Sunday, December 24, 2017, Christmas Eve, Year B, Readings: Luke 2:1-14 (15-20), Isaiah 9:2-7, Titus 2:11-14, John 1:1-14
For Monday, December 25, 2017, Christmas Day, Year B, Readings: Isaiah 52:7-10, Psalm 98, Hebrews 1:1-12, John 1:1-14


         The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness - on them light has shined. [Isaiah 9:2]

      And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying "Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace among those whom he favors!" [Luke 2:13-14]

      He is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. [Hebrews 1:3a]

      The grace of God appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions... [Titus 2:11-12a]

      The True light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world...And the Word was made flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth[John 1:9, 14]


For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit, he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
[from The Nicene Creed, US Book of Common Prayer, p. 358] 

         It's time ~ join the Excitement, the Joy, the Wonder, the Thrill, again. Jesus Christ is born today! It's time ~ re-awaken the Spirit within, remember the Reason it begins, a new start, a fresh opportunity. It's time ~ NOW, to push into the unknown, painfully, frighteningly, but with great excitement to have the experience of our own birth as a New Creation in Christ.
      We each carry the fertile seed, the Divine Spark within us ~ Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jew, Atheist, Agnostic, Oblivious, Naughty, or Nice. We each choose how the Spark drives us - we tend, nurture, anticipate or ignore, abuse, or perhaps deny that innermost part of ourselves. But now, what was is gone. As with infants, we move into new light, new sound, uncertainty, anxiety, and every day is a new beginning. Even if we have tried before, distraction, disinterest, life circumstances may have stopped our momentum. Yet we, too, are called as part of the Good Tidings of Great Joy that is Christ the Lord! We are the Reason he was born to us. Let the Joy and Peace of now begin with me and let me, with you, carry Christ forward into this Day, into our lives, into all the Earth.
      It's time! Hallelujah!

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O Holy Jesus, God’s True Light, You come at last, full of grace and truth. Let our joy be unbounded for the arrival of our Glorious Child, One in Being with God and the Holy Spirit, who redeems and claims us for the work of Heaven on Earth.

                                                  Glory to God in the Highest Heaven!                                    
RESPONSE:                       Peace on Earth to All

~ O Holy Jesus, God’s True Light, remain within us and give us strength, as we give voice to Your truth in all places of political, elected, and authoritarian power throughout this World, this Nation, and this Community. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                   Glory to God in the Highest Heaven
                                                   Peace on Earth to All
                                                      
~ O Holy Jesus, God’s True Light, we ask You, who were homeless as you entered this world, to enfold all who are homeless, hungry, sick, and downhearted, that they may feel Your loving embrace on this Day of Days. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions 

                                                   Glory to God in the Highest Heaven
                                                   Peace on Earth to All
             
~ O Holy Jesus, God’s True Light, lift up our hearts in the joy and the hope of the Love that never ends, as we remember and celebrate all who have left the woes of this earthly plain to live forever, deep in the heart of God. We pray especially for: add your own petitions 

                                                   Glory to God in the Highest Heaven
                                                   Peace on Earth to All

~ O Holy Jesus, God’s True Light, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently…add your own petitions

                                                   Glory to God in the Highest Heaven
                                                   Peace on Earth to All
             
~ O Holy Jesus, God’s True Light, excite the hearts of all who lead us in Your church with the blaze of heaven that fires each of us with the imagination and inspiration to embark anew on a Spirit-filled life. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                   Glory to God in the Highest Heaven
                                                   Peace on Earth to All

The Celebrant adds: Most High Lord Jesus, the Word, the Imprint, the Incarnate Grace of God sent to live among us, we sing to You a new song of rejoicing. Let each breath we take draw You into ourselves, that we may give out Your glory and praise in all that we are, and all that we do. Guide us, guard us, goad us to live Your divine will. We ask through You, Prince of Peace, and through the Holy Spirit, who together with Almighty God, from the beginning, live and reign as One, now and forever. Amen.


















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