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 30, 2015

Prayers of the People: Time Out, 2nd Sunday of Advent, Yr C

For Sunday, December 6, 2015, 2nd Sunday of Advent, Year C, Readings: Malachi 3:1-4, Canticle 16 (Lk 1:68-79), Philippians 1:3-11, Luke 3:1-6 


          See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple...he is like a refiner's fire...   [Malachi 3:1a, 2b]

          In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death... [Canticle 16/Luke 1:78-79a]

          [A]s it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight...'" [Luke 3:4]

         I know that Advent is supposed to be a time of waiting; a time of preparation for the Christ Child's birth. Yet who has enough time? The clock is ticking, the dates on the calendar fly away, there's so much to do, to get, to buy, to wrap, to cook, to clean, to list, to finish........so where exactly am I supposed to fit in some time to just wait?

          The One Thousand Four Hundred and Forty (1,440) minutes in a day flash away in a blur in the midst of all necessary (and addictive) activities. Yet if I sit still, with no electronic or other entertainment (e.g., real paper book), a minute can feel like an hour.
          A thought arises ~ how many of us have used "time out" periods for misbehaving children to give them a moment to reflect on a troublesome deed and re-enter real time with a new attitude? Hmm, there's a concept brewing here! Let's think of Advent as a time out from the ordinary hurry and worry. How many times a day do you wait for something to happen? A line at the copier, the elevator, the grocery store, in traffic, the doctor's office, etc.? Instead of caving to frustration and irritation, I can use it to take long, slow, deep breaths and reflect on my deeds of the day, the week, or whatever time frame I choose; the moments that were good, bad, or really not pretty. How often have I looked for God in those moments? How might a little time out with God result in my own attitude adjustment? One minute now, 5 later, in the shower, just after turning out the light...just before opening my eyes in the morning, on the way to work...I can make those times God-moments and the more of those I have, the less stress I have with the waiting. The waiting times are for refining my soul, for preparing the way. Jesus IS coming - don't look busy, look hopeful, look thankful, look as if you're waiting for him.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer* said, "We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.” Get ready! Time out starts NOW.


*Dietrich Bonhoeffer, theologian, Lutheran pastor, dissident anti-Nazi.  His book The Cost of Discipleship is considered a modern classic.  Polish by birth, he studied at the University of Tubingen and received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees and his Doctor of Theology at the University of Berlin. He completed a second doctorate - all before the age of 25. He did post graduate study at Union Theological Seminary in New York and was introduced to and was profoundly inspired by the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.  His teachings and writings continue to inspire generations after his death.  With great angst but complete abhorrence of the Nazi dictatorship and violence, he was involved with the German Military Intelligence Office's plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.  He was arrested by the Gestapo in 1943 and executed on April 9, 1945, 23 days before the German surrender. He never justified or excused his action but accepted that he was taking guilt upon himself as he wrote "when a man takes guilt upon himself in responsibility, he imputes his guilt to himself and no one else. He answers for it...Before other men he is justified by dire necessity; before himself he is acquitted by his conscience, but before God he hopes only for grace." Much more can be said about this inspiring and admirable man and all by just using his own words.





LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ God of Abraham, Isaiah, and the Baptizer, slow our anticipation of the joy to come and awaken us to this moment-in-time that we may reflect, repent, and refine our souls to prepare the way for our salvation.

  Lord of Compassion
RESPONSE: Hear our faithful prayer       

~ God of Abraham, Isaiah, and the Baptizer, for all who cry out from the wilderness of hunger, homelessness, and war, strengthen us to entreat all political leaders everywhere to deliver them from the shadow of death into the brightness of safe new life. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Lord of Compassion
Hear our faithful prayer

~ God of Abraham, Isaiah, and the Baptizer, shine Your healing light and love on those who dwell in the darkness of chronic illness, emotional trial, or spiritual isolation, and sustain the energy of all who give them care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

Lord of Compassion
Hear our faithful prayer

~ God of Abraham, Isaiah, and the Baptizer, smooth the way of those traveling the rough way of grief as You embrace our loved ones now living in the fullness of Your grace and glory. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Lord of Compassion
Hear our faithful prayer

~ God of Abraham, Isaiah, and the Baptizer, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

Lord of Compassion
Hear our faithful prayer

~ God of Abraham, Isaiah, and the Baptizer, hold in Your heart all who come to us as Your messengers of the Covenant, who guide us in our worship, and share our journey to eternal life. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Lord of Compassion
Hear our faithful prayer
                                                                                                        

The Celebrant adds:  Almighty and Merciful God, grant us the wisdom in these busy days to first put our life in You above all worldly pursuits, that if suddenly called, we will not be found unprepared to account for our time of human living. We ask through Jesus the Christ, our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier, who together with You are One God, forever and ever. 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.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Meditation Moments: Angst-Giving and Norman Rockwell

 
      Those of us in the American "Baby Boomer" generation and older can probably remember the lovely and nostalgic Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving cover for the Saturday Evening Post magazine. It is a classic depiction of a happy and very white family sitting down to a family feast designed to inspire Thanksgiving for all of God's graces and the highest form of family love and togetherness. And I can honestly say that it represents Thanksgiving gatherings of my childhood - well, that is, it represents a lovely moment-in-time and those lovely moments usually lasted as long as it takes to look at the painting.

      Seriously, did anyone really have a whole day like that?  In my family, in whichever configuration of the year that included grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, there was a huge amount of required "traditional" food (turkey, bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, creamed pearl onions, green beans (just plain, the casserole dish came later), jellied cranberry sauce (why do they call it a sauce?), fresh baked rolls with butter, and pumpkin pie.  Dinner was always late (sometimes very late) getting to the table as there was always so much to prepare, people arrived early or late, the kids' table impeded movement, and we were hungry and boisterous.  

      The combining aromas of roasted fowl, cinnamon and brown sugar, pumpkin and gravy were as an aphrodisiac of sorts. FINALLY we said our prayer of Thanksgiving - Grace - and oohed and ahhhed as the huge browned bird was processed in and placed on the table to be carved.  Passing of bowls from one direction, the chinking sound of serving spoons and cutlery on china, ice and water pouring into crystal (or lesser glass depending on one's age and table status) were the background music as everyone settled in and began to devour - politely more or less - the banquet set before us.  And then...something triggered a response from one of us kids or a tolerated relative would make a comment that more than triggered a response from another more entitled relative that would then provoke a louder discussion.....and the ensuing "discussion" continued while the food was consumed, the pie and coffee or milk served, clean up begun, coats put on and cars driven away.  Then there was the endless dissection of the event by the "adults" until Christmas, when we all began again.  I do remember one near fist fight at my grandmother's dinner table...and we laugh about it, now.

      And then there are the precious origins of this feast of "Thanksgiving" for the hosts of those who had traveled far to settle in this wild land.  I know that my First Nation friends bear in their bones the memories of all the later "-ations" they and peoples of color who followed suffered at the hands of those who themselves were said to have been escaping persecution: Intimid-ation, discrimin-ation, annihil-ation, recrimin-ation, subjug-ation, degrad-ation.  

      In this age, overloading on football and 'way too much food are the prevailing hallmarks of this holiday.  Followed immediately or simultaneously by retailoholism by shopping online and in those chain stores who will be open today.  Our culture exacerbates the expectation of over-eating, over-drinking, and over-spending. Seasonal decorations that begin creeping in before Labor Day and TV ads determine our needs and greeds.  When juxtaposed against the reality of so many homeless, hungry, un- and under-employed as well as those who are grieving, depressed, alone, and/or seriously ill, Norman Rockwell's idyllic scene becomes a caricature of the time that never was.  BUT WAIT....there is still hope in that lovely image...

     Whatever your life circumstance, this mark on the calendar offers a chance to remember a moment-in-time that gives you pleasure, soothes your soul, makes you laugh, warms your heart.  Find a moment to give thanks in whatever way lightens your burden - through prayer, a phone call or text, an email, a donation to the ringing Santas at the grocery store.  

     For myself, I am grateful that I feel wanted by those I love and for having more than I need even if not all that I want. 

     I am thankful for the friends who are like family and even more so for family who are my friends.

    MOST OF ALL, I am thankful for the gift of happy memories, even of Thanksgivings-gone-wrong, and most especially for those who have been with me in the most difficult moments of life. I can set aside the grief of the past for today.

    Everyone has a story with a beginning, a middle, an end.  We have good days and bad, ordinary and outstanding. Today is just a day, but it is in what we make of it that will tell the tale in days to come.  

   Thank you, Norman Rockwell, your painting is food for thought.








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, November 23, 2015

Prayers of the People: Son Signs, 1st Sunday of Advent, Yr C

For Sunday, November 29th, 2015, 1st Sunday of Advent* Yr C, Readings: Jeremiah 33:14-16, Ps 25: 1-9, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13, Luke 21-25-36

       In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. [Jeremiah 33:15]

      Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. [1 Thessalonians 3:11]

       There will be signs in the sun, the moon and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations...Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in a cloud' with power and great glory.
[Luke 21:25a, 27]

           Advent begins again. A time of expectant waiting and preparation for the Nativity of Jesus that will lead to the eventual Second Coming of Christ, our Messiah, for our redemption from sin with the gift of life everlasting. It is the beginning of the Church Year in western Christian observance though not in eastern Christianity where other traditions of Advent are kept. It is a time for us to begin, again, to unburden our hearts from the weight of worldly worries and take on, again, a pattern of prayer and sincere Christian action, to fill our lives with the expectation of eternal life. Too often we are caught up in the tinsel and trappings, the busy and bustling, as if THAT DAY, the one in which we are each called on account, will never really happen. And yet, it will, really and truly. How many days a week am I living as if THAT DAY will pass me by? Time for me to begin, again, and to "Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man. [Luke 21:36]  Time to watch for those Son signs...again.


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O Lord of Steadfast Love, lift up our souls, our hearts, and our minds from the lowest valley of earthly worries to the highest vault of heaven. Grant us the patience and trust to stay alert, unafraid, and ready for our salvation.

Jesus, Our Strength and Our Redeemer
RESPONSE:  Open our lives to Your Presence and Coming

~ O Lord of Steadfast Love, help us to speak clearly to all who lead the nations of this world, our own country, and our own community, to decry all actions creating our earthly distress, to be active in and supportive of all efforts towards peace and reconciliation. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                         Jesus, Our Strength and Our Redeemer
                                       Open our lives to Your Presence and Coming

~ O Lord of Steadfast Love, be merciful to all who are burdened by chronic health issues, emotional pain, or desperate life circumstance, and re-invigorate all who give of themselves to help. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

                                         Jesus, Our Strength and Our Redeemer
                                       Open our lives to Your Presence and Coming

~ O Lord of Steadfast Love, ease the hearts of those who mourn with the knowing that those who shared this life for a time, are now sharing in the glory everlasting life with You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                         Jesus, Our Strength and Our Redeemer
                                       Open our lives to Your Presence and Coming

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

                                         Jesus, Our Strength and Our Redeemer
                                       Open our lives to Your Presence and Coming

~ O Lord of Steadfast Love, sustain the faith and spirits of those who work to keep our faith strong, as we journey together on this temporal path toward You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                         Jesus, Our Strength and Our Redeemer
                                       Open our lives to Your Presence and Coming

The Celebrant adds: God of Righteousness and Truth, as we enter this season of expectant waiting and preparation, direct us to see beyond mere human distractions, and to be eager for our redemption through the birth and Second Coming of the Son of Man. We ask through Jesus, our Christ, and the Holy Spirit, seat of Wisdom, who together with You are One God, now and forever. Amen.


*click here for more on the Season of Advent

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, November 16, 2015

Prayers of the People: Christ, King in the World, Last Sunday after Pentecost

For Sunday, November 22, 2015, Last Sunday after Pentecost, Year B, Readings: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14, Ps 93, Revelation 1:4b-8, John 18:33-37

      I saw one like a human being coming with the clouds of heaven. And he came to the Ancient One and was presented before him. To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, languages should serve him.  
[Daniel 7:13-14a]

      Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come..."I am the Alpha and the Omega"... [Revelation 1:4b,8]

      Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to  my voice. [John 18:37b]

          God, the Almighty who is and was and is to come, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, timeless, and Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, firstborn of the dead, ruler of the kings of the earth - even in a modern translation the concepts seem ancient, archaic, perhaps even irrelevant in the scheme of daily western life. Yet those of us who believe that we aspire to be Christian should take heed. It is in this daily life that we may easily lose track of our allegiances and settle in more with earthly powers than the divine Kingship of Christ. Though Jesus says his kingdom is not from here, here is where we encounter him. Jesus tells Pilate that everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice. What comes next is not in our appointed reading. In verse 38: Pilate asked him, "What is truth?" And therein lies our ongoing assignment - What is truth? Christ the King, in the world, to show us the way to the real Kingdom - if we really want to go. 


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Holy God, always Ancient, always New, in the midst of all the chaos and uncertainty in our earthly existence, calm us with the warmth of Christ’s love, shelter us in His Kingdom of Glory and Faith.

Jesus, God’s Word Made Human
RESPONSE: Help us hear your voice and live in your truth

~ Holy God, always Ancient, always New, 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, God's Word Made Human
                                    Help us hear your voice and live in your truth

~ Holy God, always Ancient, always New, grant all who suffer in pain of body, mind, or spirit, the healing grace of  Your Holy Son, our Strength and our Redeemer, the Alpha and Omega. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions

                                    Jesus, God's Word Made Human
                                    Help us hear your voice and live in your truth

~ Holy God, always Ancient, always New, ease the despair of all who grieve, as the souls of our faithful and cherished departed arise from earthly death, lifted into the eternal splendor of new life in heaven. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    Jesus, God's Word Made Human
                                    Help us hear your voice and live in your truth

~ Holy God, always Ancient, always New, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…add your own petitions

                                    Jesus, God's Word Made Human
                                    Help us hear your voice and live in your truth

~ Holy God, always Ancient, always New, empower the spirits of those who lead us in Your Church, through Your Word and Sacraments, with the peace and unity of Christ’s all-encompassing love. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    Jesus, God's Word Made Human
                                    Help us hear your voice and live in your truth
                                                                                                        

The Celebrant adds: Almighty Creator, 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 our Christ, the King and Faithful Witness, and the Holy Spirit, our Comforter and Counselor, 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.

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) 



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, November 9, 2015

Prayers of the People: No Stewards of Whine, 25th Sunday after Pentecost

for Sunday, November 15, 2005, 25th Sunday after Pentecost, Yr B, Readings: Daniel 12:1-3, Ps 16, Hebrews 10:11-14, (15-18) 19-25, Mark 13:1-8

   
      Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. [Daniel 12:3]

     Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you... You are my portion and my cup... I have set the LORD always before me... [Ps 16:1a, 5a,8a]

     Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together...but encouraging one another... [Hebrews:10:24-25]


     The Christian life isn't meant to be a solitary journey. Even Jesus had his companions along the way. We, too, are to be companions in, with, and through Christ, sometimes following, sometimes leading, and often together in a supportive, spiritually renewing community. It is through such a community of prayer, worship, and relationship, that we stay connected and encourage one another for the work as stewards or caretakers of God's Creation. 
     While us church types tend to hear only the cha-ching sound of a cash register whenever the word stewardship is mentioned, being a good steward entails more than just giving up our money. The famous time, talent, and treasure trio gets flung around quite a bit in the Stewardship discussions. We each are called to give significantly of ourselves, inside the Church within the community and to support its actual physical foundation, and also in the greater World beyond the doors. We are to build up the Body of Christ through care and action, to provoke one another to love and good deeds. 
     In terms of treasure, John Wesley said it best: "Not, how much money will I give to God, but how much of God's money will I keep for myself." And that equation works equally well with the other two elements. Our talents may seem limited to ourselves but each of us has a way with a recipe, a broom, or organization. Our available time may seem to be scarce to us yet who of us has no time for what we really want to do? In short, we all have all three pieces of this trinity of offerings. All we need to do is give it willingly, happily, and, constantly for the Glory of God.  Stewardship is a way of life and we'll have that whinelessly.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Forgiving and Protecting God, You call us in every time and place to encourage one another with generous hearts, true and wise, in the full assurance of our faith, awakened to the brightness of the everlasting life to come.

                                    O Lord our Portion and our Cup
RESPONSE: Help us to provoke each other to loving and giving


~ Forgiving and Protecting God, give us voice to show the governments of our World, our Nation, and our Community, that they must work together to end violence, poverty, and injustice for the common good of all humanity.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord our Portion and our Cup
Help us to provoke each other to loving and giving

~ Forgiving and Protecting God, grant refuge and healing to all who suffer from chronic illness, fear, or alienation. Give strength and energy to those who care for the daily needs of others. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions

O Lord our Portion and our Cup
Help us to provoke each other to loving and giving

~ Forgiving and Protecting God, lift the veil of tears from the sorrowful, as the glorious gates of Your Kingdom swing wide to receive all who are beloved in our hearts. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord our Portion and our Cup
Help us to provoke each other to loving and giving

~ Forgiving and Protecting God, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…add your own petitions

O Lord our Portion and our Cup
Help us to provoke each other to loving and giving

~ Forgiving and Protecting God, hold all who guide and lead us in Your name in the fullness of the joy of Your presence, as together we seek to fulfill Your purpose for our lives. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord our Portion and our Cup
Help us to provoke each other to loving and giving
                                                                                                        

The Celebrant adds:  O God of Earthly and Eternal Life, show us the righteous path of life as we strive to set You always before us, so that our human time is spent as grateful, loving stewards for all of Your Creation. We ask through Christ Jesus, our Salvation, and the Holy Spirit, our Sustainer, who together with You are 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.

Prayers of the People: Our Role as Stewards, Season of Creation VI

for Sunday, November 15, 2015, Season of Creation VI, Readings: Verna Dozier*, Ps 116:10-17, James 1:17-18, 21-27, Luke 27-38

      Ministry is serving the world God loves.  The people of God are sent to love the world -- the people of the world -- not the kingdoms of the world... One of the bitterest choices the people of God have made is to try to figure out a way to have both, the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom of God. [Verna Dozier*]

     But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror...and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. [James 1:22-24]

We know what is expected of us. Any of us who attends church understands what is meant by Stewardship, inside the church setting in support of the worship, physical plant, and congregation, as well as outside the walls, in all manner of ways. All of us, each of us in our many ways are to give of our selves, significantly, from what God has given us. As John Wesley said, "Not, how much money will I give to God, but how much of God's money will I keep for myself." And that equation works equally well with the other two elements of the stewardship trio: time and talent. 
The Rev. Eric Law, in his book Holy Currencies: 6 Blessings for Sustainable Missional Ministries, shows us a different way to think about the flow of currencies in our lives. Within the usual offerings of time, talent, and treasure, is contained a breadth and depth of re-imagining and discovering our personal gifts for ministry that takes us well beyond the scope of a seasonal directive (or harangue, in some cases). In looking at Time and Place, Gracious Leadership, Relationship, Truth, Wellness, and, of course, inevitably, Money, we can see the interweaving of all of these blessings within ourselves and each other. Stewardship - Missional Ministry - is not merely a specific program for a specific time of year, but rather it is a way of life. Of course, as children of God, we are free to choose how to be - or not to be - a true steward, or caretaker, of God's kingdom and all who are in it. And as we well know, we cannot serve the kingdom of God AND the kingdom of the world. So let us be doers of God's word - or, not. There is no try.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Loving, Patient God, You call us in every time and place, to enter into a generous and caring relationship with You, and all the people of this world. Revitalize our sense of ministry that we may each be an island of refuge, by word and deed even through our own distress, a supportive resting place for each other and all Your creatures.

  O Lord of Refuge and Salvation
RESPONSE:   Help us to hear and act upon Your Word

~ Loving, Patient God, as we were born by the word of truth, give us voice to witness to more positive ways the governments of our World, our Nation, and our Community, can relate to one another, and can earn and spend money to serve the common good of all humanity. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord of Refuge and Salvation
Help us to hear and act upon Your Word

~ Loving, Patient God, grant wellness and healing to all who suffer from chronic illness, fear, or alienation. Give strength and energy to those who care for the daily needs of others. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord of Refuge and Salvation
Help us to hear and act upon Your Word

~ Loving, Patient God, lift the veil of tears from the sorrowful as the glorious gates of Your Kingdom swing wide to receive all who are beloved in our hearts.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord of Refuge and Salvation
Help us to hear and act upon Your Word

~ Loving, Patient God, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, silently or aloud…

O Lord of Refuge and Salvation
Help us to hear and act upon Your Word

~ Loving, Patient God, we give You thanks for all who have shown us gracious leadership and guidance as we seek to fulfill Your purpose for our lives. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord of Refuge and Salvation
Help us to hear and act upon Your Word

The Celebrant adds: O God of Earthly and Eternal Life, as we look into our own mirrors, encourage us to see ourselves as an active reflection of Your dream that our human time is spent as grateful, loving stewards for all of Your Creation. We ask through Christ Jesus, our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit, our Sustainer, who together with You are One God, now and forever. Amen.



*A reading from Verna Dozier’s The Dream of God

Ministry is serving the world God loves.  The people of God are sent to love the world--the people of the world--not the kingdoms of the world, not the way of life that exalts one person over another, greed over giving, power over vulnerability, the kingdoms of this world over against the kingdom of God.  Jesus made the choice for the kingdom, the choice that led him to the cross.  One of the bitterest choices the people of God have made is to try to figure out a way to have both, the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom of God.  We...feast at the tables of the empire six days a week and then bow down to rituals the seventh day as a kind of death insurance, in case there really is a sweet by-and-by.  The people of God are called to a possibility other than the kingdoms of the world.  They must be ambassadors…in every part of life.  They witness to another way that governments can relate to one another; that money can be earned and spent; that doctors and care-givers and engineers and lawyers and teachers can serve their constituencies; that word smiths and musicians and artists and philosophers can give us new visions of the human condition.  All of them need the support system of the institutional church.  There must be those resting places where the story is treasured and passed on in liturgy and education. There must be those islands of refuge where the wounded find healing; the confused, light; the fearful, courage; the lonely, community; the alienated, acceptance; the strong, gratitude.  We have all failed the Dream of God. The terribly patient God still waits.

Dozier, Verna, The Dream of God-A Call to Return, Cowley Publications, Cambridge, 1991


** for more information on the origin and application of the Season of Creation see: http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com/2015/10/prayers-of-people-in-beginning1st.html





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