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 19, 2015

Prayers of the People: Gone Fishin', 3rd Sunday after Epiphany

for Sunday, January 25, 2015, 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, Year B Readings: Jonah 3:1-5, 10; Ps 62:6-12, 1 Corinthians 7:29-31, Mark 1:14-20




Jonah began to go into the city...and he cried out, "Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!....And the people of Nineveh believed God...God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them... [Jonah 3:4, 10b]

I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short... [1 Corinthians 7:29]

And Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you fish for people." [Mark 1:17]

          Poor Jonah, after giving in to God's call after a whale of an experience, finally goes where he is told to go and tells the people what God wants them to hear. But in a later piece, Jonah - who never wanted to be a prophet, tried to hide and go off in the opposite direction - is disheartened because God changed direction after the people, and even the animals, of Nineveh actually beat God to it and did overthrow their own evil ways 
because they believed Jonah's prophecy.         
          Paul, who thought that the Second Coming of Jesus was imminent, grimly but accurately reminds us 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?

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Eternal God, Source of Steadfast Love and Redemption, as we are called through Your prophets, teachers, and Jesus to overthrow our old ways and turn our lives toward You, we are promised our deliverance, our honor, our life eternal with You. Help us hear, believe, and heed Your word.

Gracious LORD, our Fortress and our Refuge             
RESPONSE:  Our Rock who calls us to follow and trust

~ Eternal God, Source of Steadfast Love and Redemption, the appointed time has grown short for those who are suffering from war, disease, poverty, and political machinations. Grant us the courage to walk the path of discipleship and call to account the leaders of this world, our country, and our community for the actions that diminish the lives of God’s people instead of enhancing them. We pray especially for: Barack, our President; Jack, our Governor; Tom, our County Executive; and Dennis, our mayor.

Gracious LORD, our Fortress and our Refuge
Our Rock who calls us to follow and trust

~ Eternal God, Source of Steadfast Love and Redemption, sustain the hope of those laid low by illness, homelessness, or despair, and encourage those who give them respite. We pray especially for:

Gracious LORD, our Fortress and our Refuge
Our Rock who calls us to follow and trust

~ Eternal God, Source of Steadfast Love and Redemption, lighten the hearts of those who grieve as You greet those we love who have left us with open arms and everlasting love and light. We pray especially for:

Gracious LORD, our Fortress and our Refuge
Our Rock who calls us to follow and trust

~ Eternal God, Source of Steadfast Love and Redemption, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

Gracious LORD, our Fortress and our Refuge
Our Rock who calls us to follow and trust

~ Eternal God, Source of Steadfast Love and Redemption, You have chosen all of us, yet for those who have been chosen by You, and by us, to lead us in Your church, we ask that You favor them with the words, actions, and example of life that will cause us to re-think, re-work, and re-direct our life priorities toward You. We pray especially for: Katharine, our Presiding Bishop; Wayne, our own Bishop; David, our rector; Lloyd, our Rector Emeritus; Peter and Emily, our Associate Priests.

Gracious LORD, our Fortress and our Refuge
Our Rock who calls us to follow and trust 

The Celebrant adds: Merciful, Holy, Divine God, You call us to go where we do not want to go, to do what we do not want to do, to be who we do not want to be. Grant us the courage to accept the hook of Your salvation and to become the lure that others will follow, to be the fishers of people that 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.








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