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, January 4, 2016

Prayers of the People: Fire on the Water! 1st Sunday after Epiphany, Yr C

For Sunday, January 10, 2016, 1st Sunday after Epiphany, Year C, Readings: Isaiah 43:1-7, Ps 29, Acts 8:14-17, Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

       Thus says the Lord, he who created you...Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. [Isaiah 43:1]

       Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
       The voice of the LORD is a powerful voice; the voice of the LORD is a voice of splendor. 
[Ps 29: 2, 4]

       "...one who is more powerful than I is coming...He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand...to gather the wheat into his granary...and when Jesus had been baptized...a voice came from heaven, 'You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.'" [Luke 3:16b-17a, 21b, 22b]

       Whether by aspersion, immersion, or affusion, Baptism is a sacrament, ceremony, or rite, that hearkens back to the Jewish heritage of Jesus. Ancient and modern Jewish rituals of ablution, or washing, for cleansing and/or purification were established millennia before John poured water over his cousin's head in the Jordan River. The word Baptism is derived from the Greek and Latin words for washing and also dipping or plunging. There are a variety of meanings, protocols, requirements, and reasons for such ablutions. Initiation is one as is spiritual regeneration. Some denominations believe that Baptism is necessary for Salvation, others do not. Not all schools of Judaism practice these rituals and neither do all Christians. But for many Christians, this Gospel moment marks the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus, though after this moment he heads to the desert to prepare further. 
       Even if you haven't been baptized, christened, or dedicated, just wanting it, some believe, is enough and so you are baptized through desire. And while anyone can be a baptizer with water, only Jesus brings the fire of the Holy Spirit to set our faith ablaze. Accepting the role and responsibility of faith ~ now there's the perfect way to make your Dad well pleased!

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O Lord of Strength and Peace, You call us by name and we are Your own. Gather us as wheat into Your granary that we may be feed for Your sheep and led by Your Will as we discover the beauty of holiness in our lives.

Jesus, Messiah
RESPONSE:           Baptize us with the fire of the Holy Spirit

~ O Lord of Strength and Peace, let us feel Your powerful voice within us, as we speak of Your blessings and justice for all people, to those who govern or hold authority in all corners of the Earth, nearby and far away. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Jesus, Messiah
Baptize us with the fire of the Holy Spirit

~ O Lord of Strength and Peace, cradle the hearts of the sick, the poor, and the lonely within Your own, and fortify the spirits of all who give of themselves to help. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

Jesus, Messiah
Baptize us with the fire of the Holy Spirit

~ O Lord of Strength and Peace, carry the sorrowful through the waters of grief, as those You have called Home now live again in the glory and splendor of Your infinite love and grace. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Jesus, Messiah
Baptize us with the fire of the Holy Spirit

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

Jesus, Messiah
Baptize us with the fire of the Holy Spirit

~ O Lord of Strength and Peace, enlighten and excite Your disciples of our own day, who pray with and for us, baptize and confirm us, and instruct and encourage us in our earthly sojourn. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Jesus, Messiah
Baptize us with the fire of the Holy Spirit
                                                                                                        

The Celebrant adds:  O God Who Created Us, immerse our hearts and souls in Your Holy Word, as we strive to be among those with whom You are well pleased. We ask through Jesus, Your Beloved Son, and the Holy Spirit, the fire of our faith, who together live and reign with You as One God, now and through eternity. Amen.




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