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 5, 2015

Prayers of the People: Wade in the Water, 1st Sunday after Epiphany

for January 11, 2015, 1st Sunday after Epiphany, Year B, Readings: Genesis: 1-5, Ps 29, Acts 19:1-7, Mark 1:4-11   

   
    In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee 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 1:4-11]

          Baptism, for some a rite of initiation and adoption into the Christian faith, for others a sacrament of the Christian Church, required by some, deemed unimportant by others. Whether by aspersion (sprinkling), affusion (pouring), immersion (total or partial, standing or kneeling, or submersion), as an infant, child, or adult, water is the channel of holiness, although there is admission through Baptism of Desire - if you want it, you have it. But John is clear that only Jesus will baptize us with the Holy Spirit. Yet many of us who have been baptized as infants or, even as older children or adults, take this Blessing for granted.
          There is credible historical evidence, outside of the Gospel descriptions, of the Baptism of Jesus and it is considered the beginning of his Ministry. We are called by Jesus to follow, why not begin at the beginning? 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:  

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


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


         From the waters of Creation, to the waters of Baptism, Christ is our bridge over waters troubled and calm and who comes to set our souls ablaze with the infusion of the Holy Spirit. Whether baptized before now or not, it's time to be refreshed and renewed as we begin our own ministry again. Come on in, the water is fine.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Almighty and Divine Creator, in the Beginning, from the waters of the formless void and darkness, You brought forth light and life. From the waters of Birth and Baptism, Christ came forth as our new Beginning, bringing new life and new light to the darkness in our souls. Let this be a new First Day as we come forth to receive our Baptism in the Spirit and to serve Christ in others and ourselves.

Spirit of the Living God
RESPONSE:  Fall afresh on us as we strive to please You well in every day

~ Almighty and Divine Creator, strengthen us to carry Your voice over the troubled waters of political oppression, injustice, and greed. Let us be heard in the halls of government, through the channels of diplomacy, and in the spheres of corporate influence as we demand peace for all of Your people everywhere. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Spirit of the Living God
Fall afresh on us as we strive to please You well in every day

~ Almighty and Divine Creator, calm the hearts and minds of those unsettled by illness, physical challenge, or despair. Bring rest to them and to those who provide for their needs. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Spirit of the Living God
Fall afresh on us as we strive to please You well in every day

~ Almighty and Divine Creator, help those immersed in grief find solace knowing those who have gone ahead are now risen in the splendor of Your eternal life. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Spirit of the Living God
Fall afresh on us as we strive to please You well in every day

~ Almighty and Divine Creator, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

Spirit of the Living God
Fall afresh on us as we strive to please You well in every day

~ Almighty and Divine Creator, ascribe Your special blessings to those who lead us to wade with them in the waters of faith and hope, as we discover together Your holy will for us. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Spirit of the Living God
Fall afresh on us as we strive to please You well in every day

The Celebrant adds: Holy LORD of Power and Glory, free us from the turbulence of doubt and inaction, and guide us to quench 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 are One God, now and for ever.   Amen.


Alvin Ailey - Wading in the Water
                                  If the video does not display, go to:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H49lzTf6-mE


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