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, June 13, 2016

Prayers of the People: When Swine Flew, 5th Sunday after Pentecost Yr C

For Sunday, June 19, 2016, 5th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, Readings: 1 Kings 19:1-4 (5-7), 8-15a; Ps 42, Galatians 3:23-29, Luke 8:26-39


As the deer longs for the water-brooks,
   so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul is athirst for God, athirst for the living God;
when shall I come to appear before the   
   presence of God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
   while all day long they say to me,
"Where now is your God?" ...
I will say to the God of my strength,
"Why have you forgotten me?
and why do I go heavily while the enemy  
   oppresses me?"
While my bones are being broken,
   my enemies mock me to my face.
All day long they mock me
   and say to me, "Where now is your God?
Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? 
   and why are you so disquieted within me?
Put your trust in God;
   for I will yet give thanks to him,
who is the help of my countenance, and my
    God. [Ps 42: 1-3, 11-15]

       There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise. [Galatians 3:28-29]

        Now there on the hillside a large herd of swine was feeding; and the demons begged Jesus to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. 
[Luke 8:32-33]

      Why is there never a herd of scape-pigs around when you need one? Well, of course the politicians can always find them and it's easy to jump to the closest group of "THEM" to blame for whatever demon(s) have surfaced, especially in the aftermath of an horrific tragedy such as in Orlando. Of course if Jesus were to cast the demons into the swine today, he would be overwhelmed with the backlash from bacon addicts. 
        How fascinating and fortuitous - to me, at least - that the psalm appointed for today gives voice to so much angst, frustration, fear, and anger. The psalmist is in lament, depressed, mocked, and yet for all his despairing he is still speaking to God, in memory of a time when God felt closer. He also speaks in hope as if feeling and knowing, somehow, that the time will come again when he will give God thanks. 
        Paul reminds us that we are all one in Christ, and still and also children of Abraham. Jesus tells the man freed of demons, at the end of this week's Gospel, Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you. Quite a contrast to the psalmist's Why have you [God] forgotten me? How, indeed, do we declare how much God has done for us in the midst of what has been done to so many in our midst? Let us take the time to breathe, clinging to hope and to each other. We are marked as Christ's own in Baptism, either through water or desire. Let us be still and listen for God in the sound of sheer silence [1 Kings 19:12b] of our souls, believing in the power of God to guide us through until we can at last give thanks to him, who is the help of [our] countenance, and [our] God

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Most High God, Creator of All Humankind, teach us, again, to seek the quiet in the midst of the noise of life, that we may listen and hear You speak to our souls in the sound of sheer silence.

                                                    O Lord of Loving-Kindness
RESPONSE:             Help us to put our trust in You 

~ Most High God, Creator of All Humankind, grant us strength to stand before the rulers and regimes on this Earth, in our nation, and in our local region, for the people of Your hand whose tears have been their only food, and whose thirst will be quenched only by justice, mercy, and peace. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord of Loving-Kindness
                                                Help us to put our trust in You                         

~ Most High God, Creator of All Humankind, shelter the hearts and minds and bodies of those tormented by the demons of chronic pain, addictions, or mental illness, and sustain the love and patience of all who give them care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                O Lord of Loving-Kindness
                                                Help us to put our trust in You             

~ Most High God, Creator of All Humankind, ease the burden of bereavement, as the heirs of Your eternal Promise now awaken to the bliss of life ever after in the peace of Christ. We pray especially for: the Dead, the Injured and the Grief-Stricken in Orlando, for the heart- and mind-release of all who are shackled by rage and hate, and for all who turn to acts of evil. We also pray for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord of Loving-Kindness
                                                Help us to put our trust in You 
                       
~ Most High God, Creator of All Humankind, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

                                                O Lord of Loving-Kindness
                                                Help us to put our trust in You 
                       
~ Most High God, Creator of All Humankind, we raise up before You all who have been chosen to lead us in Your church, who baptize us as Christ’s own forever, and declare to us all that You, our God, have done. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord of Loving-Kindness
                                                Help us to put our trust in You 


The Celebrant adds:  Lord God of our Life and our Strength, deliver us from fear, anger, and the desire for vengeance in the face of terrible tragedy. Guide us to the path of Your peace within us, filled with faith and compassion. We ask through Jesus, our teacher of Love in Action, and the Holy Spirit, the Spark that ignites our Souls, who together with You are One God forever and ever.  Amen.





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