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.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Prayers of the People: Sprouting Confidence, 3rd Sunday of Pentecost, Yr B

for Sunday, June 14, 2015, Yr B, Readings: 1 Samuel 15:34-16-:13, Ps 20, 2 Cor 5:6-10, (11-13), 14-17, Mark 4:26-34



      ...for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. 
[1 Samuel 15:7b]
      [So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. ( 2 Cor 4:16-18)...For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens (2 Cor 5:1)...]** So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord -- for we walk by faith, not by sight. [2 Cor 5:6-7]
      With what can we compare the kingdom of God...It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." [Mark 4:30-32]

           When the reading from 2nd Corinthians for this week began with "So we are always confident...", I was immediately struck with the sense of how, more often than not, I am far from feeling confident in my faith, in my understanding of God, and especially those moments in life when, as Paul says in Romans 7:15: "I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing that I hate." 
            For that reason I had to go back to the end of 2 Cor 4 and the beginning of chapter 5** to find my internal footing, to begin to accept that the opening lines of today's reading from Paul can really apply to me.
           God's conversation with Samuel, when God says, in effect, people look at outward appearance and make judgments while God looks at our hearts, weaves well into Paul's reminder that life in this body is to be away from life with God and, that as we move into thinking of Christ and ourselves beyond the human body, we become a new creation. Jesus carries it further in his likening the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed, a very small seed that grows into a shrub or tree so large that birds can nest in its branches. 
          The parable of the mustard seed appears in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke, and has always resonated with me, especially later on in Luke and Matthew when Jesus says that all we need is faith the size of one of these very tiny seeds and mountains can be moved [Luke 17:6],  So, how small is that? Well some varieties yield seeds the size of the period that ends this sentence. Only that much faith? Ok then, I can do that with a good heart and more confidence.


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Master Sower, Creator of the Seeds of Life, You have given each of us the means to blossom into eternal life from our earthly existence. Grant us the willingness to consciously tend the ground of our beings to be the fertile soil to grow as a new creation in Christ.

O LORD, our God
RESPONSE:   Help us walk by faith, not sight        

~ Master Sower, Creator of the Seeds of Life, look into the hearts of all who govern in this world, whether by legitimate rule or reign of fear, and implant the changes needed to bring about the full and equal flowering of all people. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O LORD, our God
Help us walk by faith, not sight

~ Master Sower, Creator of the Seeds of Life, send healing to all who are weakened by severe illness, depression, or desperation, and energize those who give them care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

O LORD, our God
Help us walk by faith, not sight

~ Master Sower, Creator of the Seeds of Life, calm the burning waves of grief for those who mourn, and give us all a glimpse of the brilliance of eternal life where those we love now thrive. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O LORD, our God
Help us walk by faith, not sight

~ Master Sower, Creator of the Seeds of Life, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

O LORD, our God
Help us walk by faith, not sight

~ Master Sower, Creator of the Seeds of Life, we ask Your special blessings upon those anointed to serve You and us as leaders in Your Church. Grant them the special combination of humility and confidence that will guide us on our spiritual journey to You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O LORD, our God
Help us walk by faith, not sight



The Celebrant adds:  God of Compassion and Strength, we need only look to Creation and each other to be reminded of Your constant Presence among us. Help us to know that, however small and humble our beginnings, with sincere and active faith, we each can reap the fullness of the harvest from the seeds of Your love and grace. We ask through Jesus in whom all Creation is new and the Holy Spirit whose Wisdom enriches the soil of our souls, who together with You, are One God, now and for ever.  Amen.




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