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, March 16, 2015

Prayers of the People: The Ultimate Grain of Truth, Fifth Sunday in Lent

for March 22, 2015, Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B. Readings: Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ps 51: 1-13, Hebrews 5:5-10, John 12:20-33

Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. [John 12:24] 

...I will make a new covenant...I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts...I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more. [Jeremiah 31:31,33b,34b]

         From the beginnings of Christian Liturgy until the 1950s, the 5th Sunday in Lent was known across many liturgical denominations as Passion Sunday and it marked the beginning of a two-week Passiontide. The 6th Sunday was Palm Sunday with the Passion cycle culminating on Easter Day. There are a few traditionalists that still follow that liturgical line but these days in our corner of Episcopal/Anglican Land, the official two weeks of Passiontide is no longer observed and we now look at the 6th Sunday in Lent as the Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday. That said, the readings for today, especially the Epistle and the Gospel, tell us more about what is coming for Jesus, and for those who follow him.
         I already know what will happen over the next two weeks in the life of Jesus, but ~ have I thought lately about what it all means for my life? Having been a Christian for a fair amount of time I might be willing to admit that the emotion, seriousness, and sense of the sacred has diminished somewhat.
         I find myself drawn, this year in particular, into suspending my "knowledge" of the biblical events to come and letting the Scripture and Liturgy carry me as if I was going through it for the very first time. What will I experience? What will I learn? How will following Jesus and knowing that God chooses not to remember my sins change the direction of my life - or, will I let it? This week, Jesus tells his disciples about the grain of wheat that must die in order to bear fruit: And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself. [John 12:32]  Now, that's a grain of truth I can live with.


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ God of Compassion and Infinite Forgiveness, You have written on our hearts, granted us unlimited pardon, and still we look away toward earthly wants. Let us see and hear again, through the faith we have and the faith we want, that the coming death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus, will bring us new promise as we blossom again into the full fruits of eternal life in Christ.

 Create in us clean hearts, O God
RESPONSE:    Give us the joy of Your saving help                                                                            
~ God of Compassion and Infinite Forgiveness, let us be steadfast in requiring of ourselves and the leaders of this world, our nation, and our community, that we all be upright in judgment, truthful and justified in action and speech, and seekers of the right spirit through wisdom. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Create in us clean hearts, O God
Give us the joy of Your saving help

~ God of Compassion and Infinite Forgiveness, untrouble the spirits of those afflicted by illness, turmoil, or doubt, and help them trust that You have heard their prayers and supplications. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions

Create in us clean hearts, O God
Give us the joy of Your saving help

~ God of Compassion and Infinite Forgiveness, calm the hearts of the mourners as those they shed tears for in this life are now lifted up and through Your holy gates to Heavenly and eternal glory. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Create in us clean hearts, O God
Give us the joy of Your saving help

~ God of Compassion and Infinite Forgiveness, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

Create in us clean hearts, O God
Give us the joy of Your saving help

~ God of Compassion and Infinite Forgiveness, we commend to You all those who faithfully endeavor to minister the Word of God and the sacraments of the New Covenant, that the reconciling love of Christ may be known and received. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Create in us clean hearts, O God
Give us the joy of Your saving help


The Celebrant adds:  LORD of all that is seen and unseen, as we prepare for the trials ahead, help us each seek to be a fruitful grain to flower and feed the souls of ourselves and others through the glory of Christ. We ask through Jesus our great High Priest, and the Holy Spirit our Sanctifier, who together with You, live, love, and reign as One God, now and forever.  Amen.         



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