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, November 16, 2015

Prayers of the People: The Reign of Christ, Season of Creation VII

For Sunday, November 22, 2015, The Reign of Christ, Season of Creation VII, Readings: Mary Oliver*, Ps 33, Colossians 1:15-20, Matthew 25:31-46

 Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you...over and over announcing your place in the family of things. [Mary Oliver]

[Jesus] is the image of the unseen God and the first-born of all creation, for in him were created all things in heaven and on earth: every thing visible and everything invisible...Before anything was created, he existed, and he holds all things in unity. [Col 1:15-17]

Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me. [Matthew 25:40]

          Let us rejoice in the Lord, says the Psalm, for the Lord loves righteousness and justice. And we are given a nearly lyrical description of Christ from the writer of Colossians. And then, the challenging words from Jesus, Himself. We will be sorted when he comes again in his glory and the criteria is particularly difficult given these times of mistrust, fear, and alienation from anyone who isn't like us, who behaves differently, doesn't care about the same things and looks like those who wreak havoc here and elsewhere. But Jesus isn't sparing us with our excuses about economics, political and social allegiances, or "that was then and this is now" accommodations. Jesus clearly says "...for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me"....And he said that inasmuch as we didn't help those in need then "these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." When we don't help the least of us, the goat herd gets larger. Those of us aspiring to, and believing we are, Christian have a lot of difficult work to do, beginning within ourselves.


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Lord of Joy and Justice, in the midst of all the chaos and uncertainty in our earthly existence, calm us with the warmth of Your loving eye upon us, and gladden our hearts that we may always trust and hope in You, our Shield and our Salvation.

Jesus, Son of Man
RESPONSE: Help us love the least-ness in others and ourselves   

~ Lord of Joy and Justice, on behalf of all who are governed by legitimate means, or by force of violence, on our planet, in our country, and in our community, we implore You to infuse wisdom, sanity, and humanity into those who lead. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Jesus, Son of Man
Help us love the least-ness in others and ourselves

~ Lord of Joy and Justice, grant all who suffer in pain of body, mind, or spirit, the grace to hear and be healed by Your call, continually announcing their place in the loving arms of Your universal family. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Jesus, Son of Man
Help us love the least-ness in others and ourselves

~ Lord of Joy and Justice, ease the despair of all who grieve, as You deliver the souls of our faithful and cherished departed from death into eternal glory, We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Jesus, Son of Man
Help us love the least-ness in others and ourselves

~ Lord of Joy and Justice, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, silently or aloud… add your own petitions

Jesus, Son of Man
Help us love the least-ness in others and ourselves

~ Lord of Joy and Justice, empower the spirits of those who lead us in Your Church, through Your Word and Sacraments, with the unity and splendor of Christ’s all-encompassing love. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Jesus, Son of Man
Help us love the least-ness in others and ourselves


The Celebrant adds: God of All Goodness, Steadfast in Love, transfuse us through the glory of Christ, to move our minds and hearts beyond faithful attendance into prayerful witness and righteous action. We ask through Jesus, Firstborn of All Creation, and the Holy Spirit, our Comforter and Counselor, who live and reign with You as One God, now and forever. Amen.


*A reading from Mary Oliver

Wild Geese 

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.


 From Dream Work, Mary Oliver, Publisher: The Atlantic Monthly Press (May 1986) 



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