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, February 16, 2015

Prayers of the People: From Water to Wilderness, First Sunday in Lent

for February 22, 2015, First Sunday in Lent,Year B, Readings: Gen 9:8-17, Ps 25:1-9, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Mark 1:9-15

God said to Noah and to his sons with him, "As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you...and every animal of the earth with you...and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh."  [Genesis 9:9-11, 15b]

...in the days of Noah...in which a few, that is, eight persons
were saved through water. And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you... [1 Peter 3:20b-21a]

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan...And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan... 
[Mark 1:9,12-13a]

        In this week's readings we travel from the receding waters of The Flood, to the baptismal waters of the Jordan, and on into the wilderness. 
        God makes a covenant (a promise) with Noah and his sons, and, the rainbow will be given as a sign by God and for God to remember the terms God has established. Who knew God needed a post-it reminder, just like the rest of us?
         1st Peter tells us that our baptism is an appeal to God for a good conscience - in effect, we promise, through baptism, to be faithful.  Jesus is driven into the wilderness by the Spirit after his baptism, and Lent, of course, mirrors the 40 days of his experience.
         The wilderness in our day can be anywhere that we feel lost and alone or isolated by others, but that may be different from the type of experience Jesus had. Lent is a designated opportunity to engage with Jesus by intentionally entering a sort of spiritual wilderness to repent (which actually means to turn toward God), to examine our faith and to find ways to be more dedicated to God wherever we are in our life circumstances. It is a time to recognize and acknowledge all those earthly temptations, those temporal enticements, and everyday idols that distract us from our good intentions and draw us away from committing ourselves to a life more centered in Christ. We need not take this journey alone, we can walk the path together through individual and communal prayer, meditation, and reflection. There are innumerable resources in bookstores, online, in churches, libraries, etc., and many people are looking for a companion on the way. Instead of just giving up chocolate, wine, or smoking, let's take on this wilderness journey together. Let us wait on each other as angels waited on Jesus, in our own space, in our own time, yet together in Christ.  Have an idea of how to, or, need an idea? Email me [see below] and let us, God's people, pray...


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ All-Loving, Forgiving God, Your eternal covenant embraces all humankind, this Earth, and all living creatures. Help us to elude distracting temptations and turn our lives to You in faith and trust.

                                 O God of our Salvation
        RESPONSE:   Lead us in Your truth and teach us Your way

~ All-Loving, Forgiving God, as Christ suffered for the righteous and the unrighteous alike at the hands of the unjust, let us be His voice on behalf of all Your daughters and sons, and for our Earthly home. Let us encourage and support the leaders of this world, this country, and this community who diligently work for justice, mercy, and peace. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O God of our Salvation
Lead us in Your truth and teach us Your way

~ All-Loving, Forgiving God, lift the hearts of all who are drowning in the pain of illness, isolation, and desperation, and sustain the energy of those who give them care. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O God of our Salvation
Lead us in Your truth and teach us Your way

~ All-Loving, Forgiving God, help us to set aside our grief for those who have died to mortal flesh and give praise and thanksgiving that they are risen in glory and returned to life eternal in You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O God of our Salvation
Lead us in Your truth and teach us Your way

~ All-Loving, Forgiving God, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

O God of our Salvation
Lead us in Your truth and teach us Your way

~ All-Loving, Forgiving God, whisper Your wisdom to the hearts of those who constantly seek Your Spirit within themselves, and so by Your word, draw us into community and communion in Your Church. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O God of our Salvation
Lead us in Your truth and teach us Your way


The Celebrant adds:  Holy and Living God, let us take this time of Lent to walk with Jesus as in a time of spiritual wilderness to examine our faith, our commitment, and to strengthen ourselves against the enticements of all that is not of You. We ask this through Christ, Your beloved Son, and the Holy Spirit, the restorer of Wisdom, who together with You, reign as One God, forever and ever, over all that is Creation.  Amen.





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