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, May 4, 2015

Prayers of the People: Love, Act-ually? Sixth Sunday of Easter

for Sunday, May 10, 2015, 6th Sunday of Easter, Yr B, Reading: Acts: 10:44-48, Ps 98, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17

       The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out, even on the Gentiles...Then Peter said, "Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"    [Acts 10:45, 46b-47]

      Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things.
      [The LORD] remembers his mercy and faithfulness to the house of Israel, 
and all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God...
    In righteousness shall he judge the world,
and the peoples with equity. [Ps 98:1, 4, 10]

     Jesus said to his disciples, "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love...This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you...And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last...
[John 15:9, 12, 16b] 

               How intrusive is this message against the backdrop of mistrust, hatred of "the other," and the seemingly endless and rampant violence across the world and even into our very local communities? Them vs Us, You vs Me, This is Mine is the "old song" that never tires of repeating. And the "circumcised believers...were astounded" that the Holy Spirit was given "even to the Gentiles." Peter was clear that the water of baptism cannot be withheld from even those who are different because they "have received the Holy Spirit just as we have..." And Jesus was even more clear: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." Is there any room for negotiation here? Those people are doing terrible things so how can Jesus possibly expect us to love them? Well, whether or not he expects it is irrelevant, he commands it. IF we believe in Jesus, then we must bear the fruit of God's love to all people, in all places, and every one is included. I don't know who has "received the Holy Spirit" and who hasn't. That's not my job. That's for a much higher pay grade. And some days, loving some people is really, really hard. Help!
             So, let's start by trying to love each other and abide in - or frantically cling to - the Holy Vine together [see last week's Fruit of the Vine post]. As we grow in faith as a community, perhaps we can grow in our ability to sing a new song of love to those less lovable to us than ourselves. No easy journey is promised, only complete joy if we act-ually love.


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Jesus, our Loving Christ, remove our doubt; remove our fear; awaken our souls to the complete joy we will know, when we truly believe and abide in You.

 LORD of Mercy and Faithfulness
RESPONSE:  Help us to live in and give out Your love

~ Jesus, our Loving Christ, grant us, born of God through love of You, such strength in faith and consciousness of spirit, that we hold ourselves and all those who govern, to Your standards of righteousness and equity, on behalf of all people everywhere. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    LORD of Mercy and Faithfulness
                                    Help us to live in and give out Your love

~ Jesus, our Loving Christ, embrace all those who are ill in body, heart, or soul, especially, on this day, if they are mothers of children or children of mothers. We pause now as we pray aloud for those in need…

                                    LORD of Mercy and Faithfulness
                                    Help us to live in and give out Your love

~ Jesus, our Loving Christ, console and brighten the hearts of all who feel lost in sorrow, as You rejoice and celebrate the arrival of our loved ones, who now live again for eternity.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    LORD of Mercy and Faithfulness
                                    Help us to live in and give out Your love

~ Jesus, our Loving Christ, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

                                    LORD of Mercy and Faithfulness
                                    Help us to live in and give out Your love

~ Jesus, our Loving Christ, for those who have pledged their lives in service to Your Church, grant renewal of purpose and replenishment of vigor, to teach and lead us in Your word and ways. We pray especially for: add your own petitions
 
                                    LORD of Mercy and Faithfulness
                                    Help us to live in and give out Your love


The Celebrant adds: God of All and Everyone, You call each of us to love one another as Christ loves us, and to be bearers of the fruit of Your love to all the world. Grant us the inner peace and fortitude to freely give our lives to You, from this day forth and forevermore. We ask through the purest Heart of Jesus, and the Truth of the Holy Spirit, who together with You, are One God, now and forever.  Amen.




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