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, September 5, 2016

Prayers of the People: Hope Really Floats, 17th Sunday after Pentecost, Yr C

For Sunday, September 11, 2016, 17th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, Readings: Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28; Ps 14, 1 Timothy 1:12-17, Luke 15:1-10 


See how they tremble with fear because God is in the company of the righteous...the Lord restores the fortunes of his people... 
[Ps 14:5b, 7b]

...even though I was formerly a blasphemer...I received mercy, so that in  me...Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him...To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory, forever and ever... [1Timothy:13a, 16b-17]

And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and sayng, "This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them."..."Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." [Luke 15:10]

       September 11. A dark date now firmly embedded forever in the history of the United States. The calendar conjures up horrific images buried not so very deeply within any of us who watched and grieved and raged and, just, simply, inexpressibly hurt in the midst of shock and disbelief. The sins of that day? Let.me.count.the.ways. - but wait, fellow Pharisees and Scribes, as we go grumbling along, "This fellow" whom we call Jesus, "welcomes sinners and eats with them." Surely not THOSE sinners because we're all quite certain what happened to them, right? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, if that's how you feel, because Jesus would welcome them as he welcomes you and me. And, even more difficult to accept is that it isn't a job for any of us to determine whose sins are greater or where another's soul resides for eternity. My job is to acknowledge that I, a sinner, can still see the light through the darkness of my own sin. I can reach out for that saving grace that is always within me if I but want to know it. How much harder shall I look for that grace - as much as for a lost piece of property? Even if I am unable to relinquish all of my anger, my grief, my fear, of all that happened then, after, and now, or my tendency to sin in the past, the present, and the future, God in Christ never, ever leaves, but all too often, I do. The word repent literally means to turn toward
       In this time of global and local rancor, violence, and hatred, I would do well to turn toward Jesus. Therein lies all hope. The only person I can change is me and a good time for that is like, you know, NOW. Will having hope change the world ~ not likely, but it will improve my attitude which may improve my interactions with a few people. Will hope fix, heal, or restore anything that's broken, wounded, or lost ~ who knows - it can't make things worse. Hope, however fragile in a moment, can keep us buoyant through the tidal waves of emotion, fear, and guilt that pound upon our personal shores. Hope and determination find that lost sheep, discover that dropped coin, and cause angels to rejoice. Hope is the light of Christ that beckons and welcomes, even me, a sinner, and grants me a measure of inner peace and an immeasurable amount of spiritual nutrition. Peace is certainly something the world close by and at large needs in great measure. So, let it begin with me feeling hopeful. Hope, it really does float.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Holy Lord, King of the Ages, immortal One, the only God, most wise. You are invisible merely to our human sight yet constantly present within us. Restore our willingness to hear and accept Your call to seek our life’s fortune in You.

                                                    God of Patience, Mercy, and Grace
RESPONSE:             Strengthen us in All Goodness

~ Holy Lord, King of the Ages, draw the leaders of this world, this country, and this community into the company of the righteous to fulfill Your purpose for all the sheep of Your flock. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                God of Patience, Mercy, and Grace
                                                Strengthen us in All Goodness

~ Holy Lord, King of the Ages, surround the hearts of those anguished by illness, uncertainty of treatment, and anxiety for loved ones, and give ease and healing to all. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                God of Patience, Mercy, and Grace
                                                Strengthen us in All Goodness
           
~ Holy Lord, King of the Ages, may the steadfastness of Your love comfort those who struggle in the bereavement that is new, and the grief re-awakened by a date on the calendar. Let our hearts feel and hear the joyful noise of all who abide in Your eternal bliss until our own time to join the feast. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                God of Patience, Mercy, and Grace
                                                Strengthen us in All Goodness

~ Holy Lord, King of the Ages, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

                                                God of Patience, Mercy, and Grace
                                                Strengthen us in All Goodness
           
~ Holy Lord, King of the Ages, magnify the faith of all our surrogate shepherds, who choose to shoulder the burden of being an example of and bringing Christ to our daily lives. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                God of Patience, Mercy, and Grace
                                                Strengthen us in All Goodness
                                                                                                        

The Celebrant adds:  O God of Sinners and Saints, You are most gracious and relentless in pursuing us through the wilderness of our own making. Grant us the courage and the fortitude to persevere through the darkest hours, and the brightest, turning always to You in every aspect of life. We ask through Jesus, our Strength and our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit, the Wisdom of our Souls, who together with You are One God, forever and ever. Amen.





















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