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.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Prayers of the People: The Race is ON! Run, Walk, Ride... 13th Sunday after Pentecost Yr C

For Sunday, August 14, 2016, 13th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, Readings: Isaiah 5:1-7, Ps 80:1-2, 8-18; Hebrews 11:29-12:2; Luke 12:49-56

        Turn now, O God of hosts, look down from heaven; behold and tend this vine; preserve what your right hand has planted...Restore us, O Lord God of hosts,; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved. [Ps 80:14, 18]

          Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith... [Hebrews 12:1-2a]

           Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three...You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? [Luke 12:51-52, 56]

        Have you been to a large family dinner or gathering recently? Think Christmas, Easter, a baptism or funeral reception, or a backyard barbecue in a highly-charged election year. Division? Oh yeah, there's lots of that! Of course, depending on the moment, we can manage to be smiling and civil, even loving, but sometimes there's a slow burn, a little seething, a bitten lip when [fill-in-the-blank] says, does, or merely shows up. It's so easy to point fingers and talk behind hands and let the anger and rage build to boiling over because we have the right truth on our side and he, she or they, of course, do not.  And yet, each of us is called to discover ourselves - what beliefs and values are authentically my own based on my experience, observation, even research; and, what I have blindly accepted as truth based on what I've been told by those I trust and admire without question, especially when it is an opinion or line of thought that I want to hear and believe.
       Jesus tells us that when the clouds gather and the sky darkens we expect rain, and when the temperature and wind increases we easily predict a heat wave, yet we cannot seem to interpret the present time. I don't always want to look at the human-made tragedy and despair in the world and here at home. Rather than think about the uncomfortable, I much prefer the illusion that I'm in control of my life and that there is plenty of time left in it to lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely.  Clearly the time is NOW to re-discover, re-interpret, and live through my faith, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of all that I believe. Life is a race to the finish, and finish it will at a time unknown and unexpected. So rather than a "rat race," let me run with perseverance the race that is set before us, the life God has given me to live, in faithfulness, surrounded and supported by the Communion of Saints and Christ at work in the world.  Let me Run, Walk, or Ride as the living embodiment of the Gospel of Christ. This Race is ON!
        
LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Holy God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, preserve what Your right hand has planted, and encourage us, despite our earthly divisions, grievances, and disunity, to know Your Presence at work among us all. Help us to persevere in the way of Christ set before us.

                                                  Restore us, Lord God
RESPONSE:               Make us instruments of Peace

~ Holy God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, with the courage and wisdom of the celestial Cloud of Witnesses around us, let our voices and presence speak and be heard by the leaders of our Earth, our Country, and our Community, to lay aside the sins that cling so closely to destructive and unholy words and actions. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Restore us, Lord God
                                    Make us instruments of Peace
                                               
~ Holy God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, sustain the endurance and will to overcome for all who suffer physically, emotionally, or spiritually, and fortify all who offer supportive care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions 

                                                Restore us, Lord God
                                    Make us instruments of Peace
           
~ Holy God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, accompany the mournful through the trial of loss, as the choirs of Heaven raise great jubilant hymns for those we love now arrived in the majesty and splendor of Your Kingdom.   We pray especially for: add your own petitions 

                                                Restore us, Lord God
                                    Make us instruments of Peace

~ Holy God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

                                                Restore us, Lord God
                                    Make us instruments of Peace
           
~ Holy God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, grant us fortitude, prudence, and persistence to go the distance, sifting through the noise and distortions of forces competing for the banner of Truth. Help us discover authenticity in those we choose to guide us to interpret Your Word and understand the responsibility for living the Gospel of Christ. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Restore us, Lord God
                                    Make us instruments of Peace
                                                                                                        
The Celebrant adds: O God Omnipotent, may the fires of discord, violence, and hate that rage across this planet be as cleansing as the waters of Baptism, to reveal the glory of Salvation beneath the dross of human excess, and the eternal beauty of the Gospel message. We ask through Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of Faith, and the Holy Spirit, the Fire of Wisdom, who together with You are One God, in the blaze of Mercy, Justice, and Everlasting Peace, forever and ever. Amen.









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