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, June 22, 2015

Prayers of the People: Suddenly, Crossing Over, 5th Sunday after Pentecost

for Sunday, June 28, 2015, 5th Sunday after Pentecost, Yr B, Readings: 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27; Ps 130, 2 Corinthians 8:7-15, Mark 5:21-43

        Paul said to the Church at Corinth, "...I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others...For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has-- not according to what one does not have..." [2 Cor 8:8b, 12]

        When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea...Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe." [Mark 5: 21, 36b]

              The echoes of the Charleston murders are still reverberating, as well they should for a long time to come, coloring the perspective of the readings for this Sunday. We have all crossed over, once again, as we seek to re-establish our footing in the midst of a tragic event - some of us move into new consciousness, some of us retreat into the old. This week even as David returns home a victor in war, he crosses over into the woeful lament and mournful loss of Saul and Jonathan. Saul who became an enemy that David still loved nonetheless, and Jonathan, a friend in life closer to his heart than anyone else. David exclaims, "How the mighty have fallen!" and we suddenly realize - the "mighty" all fall just as do the rest of us mere ordinary mortals.
       Paul asks the Corinthians to cross over from the prior year's merely considering financial support for the poor in Jerusalem, to actually finishing the plan and giving.
       Mark gives us Jesus and the Disciples crossing literally from one side of the sea to the other. They're in the same boat that was nearly sunk by a storm that frightened the Disciples until Jesus demanded and received a sudden calm on the water. On this shore, he is met by a frightened father in fear of his daughter's serious illness so Jesus agrees to go to see the child. On the way, a frightened woman afflicted with hemorrhages for 12 years reached for and touched his cloak and was suddenly healed. And then Jesus goes on to the home of Jairus and is told that the child has died - but of course, we know how this story ends. 
      So two more crossings occur - a woman suffering for 12 years crosses back into full health and a girl of 12 years seemingly dead crosses back into life. Perhaps those witnessing also crossed over into an even greater level of faith in Jesus as Jesus tells the woman, "Your faith has made you well." And it was the faith of Jairus that Jesus responded to in the raising of his daughter. 
      So, what has all this to do with my faith? Am I ready to cross over into consciously living my faith rather than merely desiring it? It's a little frightening sometimes. So the Psalmist reminds me often, and especially this week, to be active in prayer:

Out of the depths have I called to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice; 
let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.
[Ps 130: 1]

      It is in the reaching for Jesus that we are led to faith in action, and prayer brings God's support every step of the way. With our constancy in prayer, we will be more able to live out our faith with far less fear of what is and of what is to come.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O Lord of Hope and Healing, as we more easily turn to You in the tragedies of life, help us to remember that Your presence is constant, even in the most ordinary of moments. Let us be constant and mindful in our prayers so that they will be unceasing and true in purpose.

O God of Mercy and Redemption
RESPONSE: Grant us strength to stand in faith without fear

~ O Lord of Hope and Healing, please bestow a strong sense of conscience, ethics, and virtue to all in authority in government, military, and law enforcement in this world, our country, and this community. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O God of Mercy and Redemption
                                    Grant us strength to stand in faith without fear

~ O Lord of Hope and Healing, relieve the suffering of those with chronic pain in body, mind, or spirit, and give respite to those who tend their needs. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…
add your own petitions
O God of Mercy and Redemption
                                    Grant us strength to stand in faith without fear

~ O Lord of Hope and Healing, soothe the hearts of those stricken by grief and grant that we all share in the peace of knowing, that those we love, live again in the bliss of Your eternal kingdom. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O God of Mercy and Redemption
                                    Grant us strength to stand in faith without fear

~ O Lord of Hope and Healing, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

O God of Mercy and Redemption
                                    Grant us strength to stand in faith without fear

~ O Lord of Hope and Healing, grant wisdom and clarity of purpose for all Deputies, clergy and lay, who now pray and work in the General Convention of our Church. We pray especially for: Katharine, our Presiding Bishop; the nominees for and especially the individual who will be elected as our next Presiding Bishop; add your own petitions.

O God of Mercy and Redemption
                                    Grant us strength to stand in faith without fear


The Celebrant adds:  O LORD, Giver of Life, as the woman reached to Jesus, and the child awakened at his call, let our eyes be open and our spirits made whole. Help us reach towards You with fearless faith, eagerness of heart, and purity of intent. We ask through Jesus, our Redeemer and the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier, who together with You reign as One God, now and forever. Amen.


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