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, August 1, 2016

Prayers of the People: The Unexpected Hour, 12th Sunday after Pentecost Yr C

For Sunday, August 7, 2016, 12th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, Readings: Isaiah 1:1, 10-20; Ps 50: 1-8, 23-24; Hebs 11:1-3, 8-16; Lk 12:32-40

...seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. [Isaiah 1:17]

...for I am God, your God...Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me; but to those who keep in my way will I show the salvation of God. [Ps 50:7b, 24]

      Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen...For he looked forward to the city that has foundations; whose architect and builder is God...they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. [Hebrews 11: 1,10, 16a]

       Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven...For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also...Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit...You must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour. [Luke 12: 33b-35, 40]

       Again this week we are reminded that earthly life is very short, yet there is much to do to be ready for the return of the Son of Man. While it seems on the one hand that we are always being called to give up every thing, on the other, this is more about arranging our lives around what is truly important, placing less emphasis on the material and much more on the spiritual, the unfailing treasure in heaven. There is no difficulty in understanding and recognizing the truth of the statement that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Paul reminds us of the strength of the faith of Abraham ~ even when he didn't live long enough to receive all that was promised, or, perhaps it was his soul that was gifted and served by God through his faithfulness. 
       This faith work seems especially hard in these days and times with so many delicious and even frustrating distractions that keep us from centering ourselves on our soul's vocation: Full-Time Faithful Followers of Christ. 
       One key is simplicity in reducing the accumulation of unnecessary things, activities, and diversions. Another is to begin and end each day in prayer and find moments throughout the day to offer thanks in between asking for help. Another is genuine, unplugged (electronically and otherwise ) Sabbath time. Let us keep ourselves in God's way. Yes, yes, I know, I'm working on it, I'll get to it as soon as I finish writing this, cleaning that, paying the bills, checking on-line bargains, texting and driving (which may actually bring one quickly to that unexpected hour and encounter with Jesus or cause it for another)... Part-time Christianity isn't what God has in mind. Our Heavenly Broker is all about Vocation Vocation Vocation - using our life's work as preparation for the unexpected hour when we will be called to the City of God. Be dressed for action. Don't let the time to be ready slip by unnoticed.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O God, our God, let us continually honor You with our thanksgivings and always keep in Your Way to be worthy of Your eternal Salvation. Guide us to seek our heart's unfailing treasure in You.

                                                O Lord Most High
RESPONSE:             Guide us home to Your Heavenly Country

~ O God, our God, fill us with conviction in faith to stand among all who lead in this world, this nation, and our community, and seek the assurance of things hoped for our neighbors and ourselves - justice, the rescue of the oppressed, and the defense of those made helpless through war, poverty, and greed. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord Most High
                                                Guide us to Your Heavenly Country
                                               
~ O God, our God, gather into Your Heart those most vulnerable in sickness and despair, and bring them comfort in the form of loving helpers. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions 

                                                O Lord Most High
                                                Guide us to Your Heavenly Country
                                                           
~ O God, our God, we are blessed in our sorrow by the joyful reunion of those alive again in our glorious Homeland with You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord Most High
                                                Guide us to Your Heavenly Country

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

                                                O Lord Most High
                                                Guide us to Your Heavenly Country
           
~ O God, our God, delight again the souls of those You have called to gather Your flock, that together we may radiate the impending bliss of divine and unfailing treasure. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord Most High
                                                Guide us to Your Heavenly Country
                                                                                                        

The Celebrant adds:  Almighty Creator, you are Architect and Builder of all that is, seen and unseen. Keep us ever mindful of our short sojourn on this temporal planet, and urge us to be prepared for the unexpected hour when the Son of Man returns. We ask in the name of Christ Jesus, the Living Word, and the Holy Spirit, the Revealer of Truth, who together with You are one God, infinitely, eternally, forever.  Amen.




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