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.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Prayers of the People: Nourishing Words,10th Sunday after Pentecost

for Sunday, August 2, 2015, 10th Sunday after Pentecost,  Year B, Readings: 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a, Ps 51:1-13, Eph 4:1-16, John 6:24-35

           Then David's anger was greatly kindled against the man. He said to Nathan, "As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity"...Nathan said to David, "You are the man!  [2 Samuel 12:5-7a]

           I [Paul],...beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called...But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ's gift...The gifts [God] gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ...  [Ephesians 4:1a, 7, 11-12]

           Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you....Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."  [John 6:27, 35]

           David, oh David, God saw. You were mightily punished many times over ~ we've only just seen the beginning. But God never left you, always loved you, and you finally saw your sin with woeful clarity.
           It's wonderfully easy to read this ancient drama/morality tale and feel smugly comfortable that this isn't about me. But David reacts to Nathan's story as I might - and have done - when confronted with a story about or a behavior of someone else that causes a sudden and righteously angry reaction in me that equally suddenly recognizes moments of my own sin upon which I must sincerely reflect. Create in me a clean heart, O God [Ps 51:10] is a prayer that comes to my regretful mind in those times. (Other translations use pure in place of clean.)
           Paul begs us to lead a life worthy of the calling and it is Jesus who brings earthly appetites into focus for us now, in our own time, in our own lives. I remind myself again that the Bible is more than "then" it is also "now." All that happened then is happening now, the dreadful things, the lovely things, the boring things, and the long lists of things ~ look at headlines any day of the week. Jesus has given us the directive of what to take with us and what to leave behind on our Journey to Eternal Life. By him we are fed and led. Through him we are redeemed. All we need to do is believe it and then live into our belief by all that we do, by following Jesus. Jesus is our manna from Heaven, our Bread of Life. Truly nourishing words.
          

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O God of Loving-Kindness, You know the truth deep inside of us, from our best to our worst actions, and all that lies thoughtlessly in between. Create clean hearts in us again and renew Your right spirit within us, that we may lead the worthy lives to which we are called.

 Jesus, Bread of Life
RESPONSE: Feed us with the joy of Your saving help again

~ O God of Loving-Kindness, grant us the courage to speak the truth in love to all who hold authority in this community, in this nation, and on this earth, and help our words stem the tide of greed and violence. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    Jesus, Bread of Life
                                    Feed us with the joy of Your saving help again

~ O God of Loving-Kindness, deliver all who live in the throes of chronic illness, depression, or addiction, and comfort those who love them. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions
                                    Jesus, Bread of Life
                                    Feed us with the joy of Your saving help again

~ O God of Loving-Kindness, bind the wounds of those who grieve, as You rejoice with all who now live again in Your bountiful Spirit forever. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    Jesus, Bread of Life
                                    Feed us with the joy of Your saving help again

~ O God of Loving-Kindness, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…add your own petitions

                                    Jesus, Bread of Life
                                    Feed us with the joy of Your saving help again

~ O God of Loving-Kindness, empower those who have gifts as apostles, spiritual teachers, and pastors, who equip us to do the work of ministry, and build up the Body of Christ. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    Jesus, Bread of Life
                                    Feed us with the joy of Your saving help again


The Celebrant adds: Eternal LORD, kindle in us the desire to turn to You each day, and to give ourselves to the work of heaven that endures beyond our mere human existence. We ask through Jesus, our Divine Sustenance, and the Holy Spirit, our Heavenly Counselor, who together with You are One God, for all infinite, imperishable time. Amen.





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