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, March 30, 2015

Prayers of the People: Easter Day, 2015

For April 5, 2015, Easter Day, Year B, Readings: Acts 10:34-43, Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; Mark 16:1-8

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him....As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here."    [Mark 16: 1, 5-6a]

          Did you listen to or actually read the Gospel for today? Did you happen to notice that this year's snippet seems to be noticeably lacking in the "WOW" factor? The women "fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them..." It's not what we expect to hear in the midst of a grand and glorious liturgy celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus the Christ. But, we already know the story - or, do we? 
          Matthew tells us there was an angel whose "appearance was like lightning and his clothing white as snow." He spoke to the women who then "left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy..." and Jesus met them. In Luke there were "two men in dazzling clothes" who said to the women "why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen." The women told the apostles but those words "seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them."  John's seems low key by comparison. Mary Magdalene arrived first and then ran to "...Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, 'They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we do not know where they have laid him.'" It was some time after Peter and the "other disciple" looked in and saw the tomb empty before Mary had an encounter with "two angels in white" and was shortly after greeted by Jesus. 
          Most of us will have participated in Easter celebrations many times so we know what it is all about. But listening or reading slightly different accounts can give us a fresh perspective. Take some time this Easter and read the Gospel accounts of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Reflect on what surprises you, what questions arise, which one account resonates the most with you and why? Or perhaps you'll mix and match the Gospel writers' accounts to arrive at your own conclusions. Whatever you do, ask yourself, what does it all mean for my life today and tomorrow? What will I do - or stop doing - as a result of reflecting on Christ's Death and Resurrection? It may take until next Easter to decide and then it will be time to decide again. Lent is over; Easter has just begun! 
          He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!  Alleluia!

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Jesus, Anointed Lord of All, the tomb is empty! You are raised from human death and glorified into the eternal life which You now offer to us. You are the Lord for whom we have waited so long. Let us be glad and rejoice in Your gift of salvation!

   Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Response:           Christ is risen indeed!  Alleluia!
                                                                                          
~ Jesus, Anointed Lord of All, You were feared most by those whose political power was merely earth-bound and time-limited. Let us strive to remind those who hold earthly power in our own time, that God shows no partiality and all who do right are acceptable through Your enduring mercy. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

~ Jesus, Anointed Lord of All, lavish Your healing grace and glory on all those who are ill in body, mind, or spirit and on those who give them care.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Christ is risen indeed! Hallelujah!

~ Jesus, Anointed Lord of All, You wipe the tears from our faces with Your Good News that death has been vanquished by Your cross. You have brought those we love, and we ourselves in time, to perpetual life with You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

~ Jesus, Anointed Lord of All, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

~ Jesus, Anointed Lord of All, we give You thanks for those priests of Your Church who are not consumed with their own importance and glory but who lead us to and walk with us to experience the fullness of Your Salvation. We pray especially for: add your own petitions.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!


The Celebrant adds:  Christ our Glorious Redeemer, from the beginning You were the Word that was with God and You brought God to each of us. Help us find our way out of our self-imposed tombs that we may transcend mortal desires and lift our souls to You. We ask through Your saving Grace, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the benevolence of Almighty God, who are One God, now and through eternity.  Amen.
 




Requests for prayers or meditations for this space or private use may be sent to Leeosophy@gmail.com. All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way.


Meditation Moments in Lent: The Lazarus Plot, Monday in Holy Week, March 30, 2105

So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus...The Pharisees then said to one another, "You see, you can do nothing. Look the world has gone after him." [John 12:10-11,19] 

          Just yesterday this Jesus rides into the city on a donkey while across town Roman Governor Pilate leaves his seaside resort to parade into town on his grand horse with all the pomp, circumstance, and glitter of the Imperial Roman Authority. Pilate's presence, and that of his troops, is meant to quell any type of rebellious activity during the festival of Passover. 
          Then there are the Sanhedrin and Pharisees, in the middle between this heretical, itinerant Jew preaching and mesmerizing the crowds, and the threatening reminder of a power only granted to them as long as Rome finds it convenient. And this Jesus raises a dead man back to life from his tomb! The path is clear, kill Jesus and the raised man, Lazarus. Isn't that what those who feel threatened do - kill the opposition in order to keep life pure? Or at least so that we can continue being the authority, even if only by grant of a few holding power over us.
          Of course they were extra brutal in those days. Today we'd keep those people from being able to shop, dine out, or receive services because they walk through life on what we have decided is the wrong path. And if a few get hurt or killed along the way, well, that will show them who is really in charge. It always turns out well when a few decide how the many ought to believe, behave, and be ruled.

Holy Jesus, Son of God,
           It sometimes seems difficult to know which path is Yours with so many authorities claiming to have the TRUTH. How is it that there are so many people reading the same words and coming to different conclusions about what You were telling us? The truth will set us free if only we can find it.  Help us, Lord, find the truth You have given us in the Greatest Commandment: The first commandment is this: ...The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. [Mark 12:29-31]  Perhaps if we live and love that way, we won't have to shut out or kill the opposition, we can learn to live together as the neighbors You intended us to be.   amen.
      







Requests for prayers or meditations for this space or private use may be sent to Leeosophy@gmail.com. All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Prayers of the People: Passion and Palm Sunday, 6th Sunday in Lent

For March 29, 2015, The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday, Sixth Sunday in Lent, Year B, Readings: Mark 11:1-11, Is 50: 4-9a, Psalm 31:9-16, Phil 2:5-11, 
Mark 14:1-15, 47


The Sunday of the Passion:
Palm Sunday

          It's that time again. We read about Jesus riding triumphantly into Jerusalem on a donkey, the crowds wave palm branches, throw their cloaks on the ground in front of him and cheer him on with loud "Hosannas".  Then suddenly it all goes wrong, things go beyond ugly and by the end of the week his friends have betrayed and deserted him and Jesus suffers a terrible death by crucifixion. But we all know the story and also that was then and this is now. So how much of it do we really hear, feel, think about? Is it just another way to mark the time and season of the year? Oh, Palm Sunday, that means it's time to buy the peeps, chocolate bunnies, and jelly beans... 
          My 4 year old granddaughter was singing I am following Jesus with great gusto this morning, a song she learned last summer in Vacation Bible School. A happy-clappy little ditty that she loves and her volume measurably increases - as she learned also at age 3 - on the line that he changed my life forever. A question suddenly struck me this morning, after having heard this piece by her a few dozen times, am following Jesus? Has he changed my life forever - or, more to the point, have I let him? When have I deserted him - or if that's too hard for me to acknowledge - when have I ignored him? 
          It isn't just Palm Sunday, it's also the Sunday of the Passion. Have I just suffered through long readings about then or am I willing to look at the world as it is now, how many times such political murders take place each day, and wonder what it is that I could possibly do about it? Anticipating the Gospel events as they arise this week, I'll start over, re-read the lessons, ask God for mercy, trust that God will help me find my way, and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God [Phillipians 2:11]... It is the season for me to look at each day in this Holy Week as a time of reflection, penance, and re-commitment.

 
LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Jesus, Light of the World, how quickly the joy and exuberance of the people on this day was turned hostile and angry by political manipulation, and even Your friends betrayed You. Let us walk with You through this coming Holy Week, remain in Your presence, and never deny that You are our Savior.
       Hosanna to our Messiah!
RESPONSE:          Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!                                                                           

~ Jesus, Light of the World, help us to engage the hearts and minds of the leaders of this world, our country, and our community, that we may eliminate the fear-mongering, posturing, and oppression that leads to a death like Yours. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Hosanna to our Messiah!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

~ Jesus, Light of the World, enfold with Your loving arms, those who are ill, desperate, or hopeless, and those who worry and care for them.  We pray especially for:  add your own petitions

Hosanna to our Messiah!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

~ Jesus, Light of the World, as You came to lead us all into the glory of eternal life, turn our grief into joy and comfort knowing those we mourn are with You now in everlasting peace.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Hosanna to our Messiah!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

~ Jesus, Light of the World, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

Hosanna to our Messiah!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

~ Jesus, Light of the World, as we begin this sacred week, endow our spiritual leaders with extraordinary grace, that through You and them, we may all be drawn together in Your saving embrace. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Hosanna to our Messiah!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

The Celebrant adds:  God of Mercy, as we re-experience the events of this day and of the week to come, help us to see the times in our lives when we, too, have deserted Jesus and given in to the ways of the world instead. Grant us the willingness to confess through our words and actions that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of You, our God. We ask this through Christ, Your Sacrificial Son, and Your Most Holy Spirit, who live and reign with You, One God, now and forever.  Amen.   






Requests for prayers or meditations for this space or private use may be sent to Leeosophy@gmail.com. All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way.



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Meditation Moments in Lent: St. Patrick, March 17


         St. Patrick is known widely as the Patron Saint of Ireland and yet he wasn't Irish. He was a 16 year old Roman Briton in the 5th Century when he was captured by Irish pirates and served as a slave for them for 6 years before his escape back to Briton.  It was during that time he recorded significant spiritual experiences that resulted in conversion to Christianity. 
         He was ordained  in Briton and later in life Patrick returned to Ireland to preach the message of God in the Trinity, convert, and baptize. As a foreigner who refused the patronage of the Kings, he endured much opposition and was without legal protection. He wrote about beatings, being tied up with chains, periodic imprisonment, and threats of execution. 
        Through it all he Christian-ized many of the early Celtic worship practices, including the now revered symbol of the shamrock that, though more likely a myth, he may have used to explain the Trinity. 
        The famous St. Patrick's Breastplate, also known as the Cry of the Deer, is a prayer-poem attributed to him that has been set to music in a variety of ways.  Many of the hymnal versions use only a small portion of the lyrics and it often contains several separate melodies and rhythms within the one hymn. 

         The work with or without music has a cadence of an almost Druidic incantation which the people of his time would have understood.  It isn't often that we see the entire piece and so it is included below, followed by a beautiful YouTube rendering of one musical setting. 
         Despite all the myth, fact, and legend, Patrick has had a profound impact as Ireland's Patron Saint, slightly ahead of Brigid and Columba, and is known throughout the world.


Mo Dhia, (My God),
       Your Servant Patrick taught the native Irish people the One-ness of God in the Three-ness of the Trinity. Let me know that each day as "I arise..." I can pray the words that have come down to us through the ages to feel the strength of the Breastplate, the armor of my Faith, in my body, my mind, and my soul, now and always. amen.   

The Breastplate of St. Patrick

I arise today 
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.


I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,

Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.


I arise today through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.


I arise today through
God's strength to pilot me,
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.


I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul;


Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.


Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me. 


I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.


 Click the link for the Video:   The Deer's Cry




Requests for prayers or meditations for this space or private use may be sent to Leeosophy@gmail.com. All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Prayers of the People: The Ultimate Grain of Truth, Fifth Sunday in Lent

for March 22, 2015, Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B. Readings: Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ps 51: 1-13, Hebrews 5:5-10, John 12:20-33

Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. [John 12:24] 

...I will make a new covenant...I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts...I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more. [Jeremiah 31:31,33b,34b]

         From the beginnings of Christian Liturgy until the 1950s, the 5th Sunday in Lent was known across many liturgical denominations as Passion Sunday and it marked the beginning of a two-week Passiontide. The 6th Sunday was Palm Sunday with the Passion cycle culminating on Easter Day. There are a few traditionalists that still follow that liturgical line but these days in our corner of Episcopal/Anglican Land, the official two weeks of Passiontide is no longer observed and we now look at the 6th Sunday in Lent as the Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday. That said, the readings for today, especially the Epistle and the Gospel, tell us more about what is coming for Jesus, and for those who follow him.
         I already know what will happen over the next two weeks in the life of Jesus, but ~ have I thought lately about what it all means for my life? Having been a Christian for a fair amount of time I might be willing to admit that the emotion, seriousness, and sense of the sacred has diminished somewhat.
         I find myself drawn, this year in particular, into suspending my "knowledge" of the biblical events to come and letting the Scripture and Liturgy carry me as if I was going through it for the very first time. What will I experience? What will I learn? How will following Jesus and knowing that God chooses not to remember my sins change the direction of my life - or, will I let it? This week, Jesus tells his disciples about the grain of wheat that must die in order to bear fruit: And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself. [John 12:32]  Now, that's a grain of truth I can live with.


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ God of Compassion and Infinite Forgiveness, You have written on our hearts, granted us unlimited pardon, and still we look away toward earthly wants. Let us see and hear again, through the faith we have and the faith we want, that the coming death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus, will bring us new promise as we blossom again into the full fruits of eternal life in Christ.

 Create in us clean hearts, O God
RESPONSE:    Give us the joy of Your saving help                                                                            
~ God of Compassion and Infinite Forgiveness, let us be steadfast in requiring of ourselves and the leaders of this world, our nation, and our community, that we all be upright in judgment, truthful and justified in action and speech, and seekers of the right spirit through wisdom. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Create in us clean hearts, O God
Give us the joy of Your saving help

~ God of Compassion and Infinite Forgiveness, untrouble the spirits of those afflicted by illness, turmoil, or doubt, and help them trust that You have heard their prayers and supplications. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions

Create in us clean hearts, O God
Give us the joy of Your saving help

~ God of Compassion and Infinite Forgiveness, calm the hearts of the mourners as those they shed tears for in this life are now lifted up and through Your holy gates to Heavenly and eternal glory. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Create in us clean hearts, O God
Give us the joy of Your saving help

~ God of Compassion and Infinite Forgiveness, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

Create in us clean hearts, O God
Give us the joy of Your saving help

~ God of Compassion and Infinite Forgiveness, we commend to You all those who faithfully endeavor to minister the Word of God and the sacraments of the New Covenant, that the reconciling love of Christ may be known and received. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Create in us clean hearts, O God
Give us the joy of Your saving help


The Celebrant adds:  LORD of all that is seen and unseen, as we prepare for the trials ahead, help us each seek to be a fruitful grain to flower and feed the souls of ourselves and others through the glory of Christ. We ask through Jesus our great High Priest, and the Holy Spirit our Sanctifier, who together with You, live, love, and reign as One God, now and forever.  Amen.         



Requests for prayers or meditations for this space or private use may be sent to Leeosophy@gmail.com. All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Prayers of the People: Snakes on the Plain, Fourth Sunday in Lent

for March 15, 2015, Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B, Readings: Numbers 21:4-9, Ps 107:1-3, 17-22; Ephesians 2:1-10, John 3:14-21

           The people spoke against God and against Moses...Then the LORD sent poisonous serpents...they bit the people...many Israelites died...The people...said, "We have sinned...pray to the LORD to take away the serpents..." The LORD said to Moses, "Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live..." [Numbers 21:5a,6-7a,8]

          For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God - not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us..." [Ephesians 2:8-10a]

[Jesus said to Nicodemus] And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. [John 3:14-15]

      Even God gets tired of grumbling apparently. After all the grand displays of glory - pillars of cloud and fire, parting of seas, manna (what, no salt and pepper?), the people had no confidence in God's deliverance. Then God sends poisonous snakes and, suddenly chastened, the people begged Moses to pray and intervene for them. God delivers - not an end to the dangers, but relief. Moses, on God's orders, made a bronze snake to hang on a pole. All the Israelites had to do is look up at the snake on the pole and they lived. God is not predictable, but God is faithful. By God's grace we are saved.
          We ALL have God's grace. We don't have to work for it - no one does. Have you ever thought or said that old expression: there but for the grace of God go I ? It is well-intended. "There's that poor guy who just got run over in the same intersection I just crossed" - but what you are saying (and maybe unconsciously believe) is: I  have more grace than that guy." But wait, of course you don't really mean that at all. It's just an habitual expression used to reduce our own fear and comfort ourselves against the dangers of life as in: Whew! Dodged that! Our lives are filled with danger, there are all sorts and conditions of "snakes" that trap us. God doesn't promise our earthly life will be easy or safe. We just need to remember that John 3:16 isn't just for football games, it is for us in every day: For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. As the Israelites were directed to look up to the pole, Jesus tells Nicodemus that the Son of Man is also to be lifted up. All we need to do is to look to Christ in faith for our salvation, and realize the grace of God flows through us. And, maybe, stop grumbling quite so much.
       

T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.



LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O God of Enduring Mercy, as we sometimes grumble in the wilderness of our own making, let us look up out of our earthly frustrations to see the true light and gift of Your eternal life through Christ.
 
LORD God of Goodness
        RESPONSE:      You deliver us by grace through our faith                                                

~ O God of Enduring Mercy, as we observe and participate with the course of those in worldly power on our planet, in our country, and our local community, help us to advocate for all who are lost in the darkness of human trespass. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

LORD God of Goodness
You deliver us by grace through our faith

~ O God of Enduring Mercy, shelter the hearts of those suffering through illness, addiction, or homelessness, and give rest to those who worry and care for them.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

LORD God of Goodness
You deliver us by grace through our faith

~ O God of Enduring Mercy, clothe the grieving in the peace of knowing that our loved ones live in eternal resurrection with You.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

LORD God of Goodness
You deliver us by grace through our faith

~ O God of Enduring Mercy, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

LORD God of Goodness
You deliver us by grace through our faith

~ O God of Enduring Mercy, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, Moses turned to You, and Nicodemus turned to Jesus for understanding and help in leading Your people to You. Guide the souls, the minds, and the hearts of those who bring Your word to us that we may, together, turn our lives to You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

LORD God of Goodness
You deliver us by grace through our faith


The Celebrant adds: God of Resurrection and Salvation, strengthen our faith to acknowledge and accept Your free gift of Grace, so that we may live as You created us ~ not to perish but to have eternal life. We ask through our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit who live and reign with You as One God, now and forever.  Amen.






Requests for prayers or meditations for this space or private use may be sent to Leeosophy@gmail.com. All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Prayers of the People: Idol Thoughts/Sabbath Moment, 3rd Sunday in Lent

for March 8, 2015,Third Sunday in Lent, Year B, Readings: Ex 20:1-7, Ps 19, 1 Cor 1:18-25, John 2:13-22

I am the LORD your God...you shall have no other gods before me. [Exodus 20:2a,3]
You shall not make for yourself an idol*, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. [Exodus 20:4]
Remember the Sabbath* Day and keep it holy...a sabbath to the LORD your God... [Exodus 20:8,10a]


            I don't have much time for this, life is so busy - I need to write an email, update my Facebook status, text my sister, and get those last three stars on Angry Birds before that Housewives show comes on. Tomorrow is the hair appointment with pedicure, manicure, and facial before the department store, Costco, and the liquor store then dinner at that new restaurant. Thankfully I'm retired - I do not know how I got everything done when I was working full-time and raising my family. So, I've decided to take this moment as a sort of Sabbath moment to think about these readings as quickly as I can for my Lent thing.  OF COURSE God is above all other gods. And idols, I don't pray to or worship idols, only ancient peoples did that. The Sabbath thing - I remember when everything was shut down tight on Sundays, thank heavens that for the sake of convenience and commerce - people need jobs you know - that we can shop for everything these days 24/7 - that reminds me I need to log onto Amazon for those shoes and I'm thinking about a new tablet...Oh and the rest of the Commandments, right, well I don't bear false witness or covet, or those other terrible things, well maybe a little covet now and then. But Jesus with a whip - wow - turning the tables in more ways than one!
           But wait, then "he was speaking of the temple of his body." [John 2:21] 
Ah, I think I need to sit with that for a moment as a sudden memory of my grandmother has taken me over. She is telling me that my body is a temple of God and I should treat it with holiness. When was the last time I ever thought of that?  Maybe I need to take more than a moment for this Sabbath to the LORD my God...
 
LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Holy God, Supreme in Wisdom and Love, in the covenant given to us through Moses, we have received Your Divine Principles for the direction of our daily lives. Fill us with the desire to set our love for You above all else in life and to follow Your commandments with every thought and action.
  
O LORD, our God
        RESPONSE:      You are our Strength and Our Redeemer             

~ Holy God, Supreme in Wisdom and Love, as we may struggle to obey Your commandments to benefit ourselves, help us to lessen the struggle for the well being of all of Your people. Give us courage to actively engage with political leaders to temper human law with justice and mercy. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O LORD, our God
You are our Strength and our Redeemer

~ Holy God, Supreme in Wisdom and Love, revive the souls of those lost in the illness of body or despair of mind and give comfort to all who provide others with care.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O LORD, our God
You are our Strength and our Redeemer

~ Holy God, Supreme in Wisdom and Love, infuse the grieving with Your warmth and healing as the doors of Heaven open wide to receive those we love who have now gone ahead.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions
 
O LORD, our God
You are our Strength and our Redeemer

~ Holy God, Supreme in Wisdom and Love, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

O LORD, our God
You are our Strength and our Redeemer

~ Holy God, Supreme in Wisdom and Love, inspire the words and meditations of those who lead us in Your Church, that we may be drawn, through them, to willingly and joyfully follow the path You have set for us. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O LORD, our God
You are our Strength and our Redeemer


The Celebrant adds: Holy and Mighty God Above All, You created each of us as a living temple acceptable in Your sight, to live in and for the love of You, our neighbors, and ourselves. Guide us to always seek rest in You and help us to escape the lure of idols in the distractions of earthly life. We ask through the wisdom of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit who together with You, reign as One God, forever and ever.  Amen.

*What are the idols in your life that keep you from a holy Sabbath to the LORD your God?
* What does Sabbath mean to you?


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