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, December 12, 2016

Prayers of the People: Going and Coming, 4th Sunday of Advent '16 Yr A

For Sunday, December 18, 2016, 4th Sunday of Advent, Year A, Readings: Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25

       Therefore the Lord himself will  give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. [Isaiah 7:14]

       Restore us, O Lord God of Hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved. [Psalm 80:7]

       ...an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to call him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." 
[Matthew 1:20b-22]

      The Season of Advent is nearly over again. As the waiting time is going, the activity level in many households frenetically escalates in anticipation of the Coming. For young children, the anticipation of the coming is about Santa/Father Christmas, presents, colorful lights, sparkling decorations, and sugary delights. For many of us adults, the preparatory time is about the planning, the shopping, the baking, the cooking, and the celebration with friends and family. 
       Quite a few years ago, a gentleman playwright, as an Artist in Residence, wrote a Christmas musical play for the parochial elementary school my daughters attended - sort of Our Town [the classic small town America play by Thornton Wilder] meets the True Meaning of Christmas - and all of the several hundred students were in the play, with a few having key roles, of course. I regret to say that I cannot recall the exact name of the play, or the playwright's name, but the message remains clear to me. For the moment we'll call the play Emily's Birthday [Emily being the name of the central character in Our Town. If you don't know that play you can get a very quick summary by clicking here: "Our Town" summary ]. A very short description of the premise is that Emily's Birthday is a huge annual event. Emily, who has died, arrives, not quite realizing that she has died, to participate in the celebration of the anniversary of her birth. She finds a grand occasion in the entire town, with glittering decorations, large scale family meals, and many gifts being exchanged, all because it's Emily's Birthday! As we see her in her own family home with each family member happily greeting each other and everyone with "Happy Emily's Birthday," Emily realizes that no one is thinking of her at all, there is no gift for her, nor is there a place at the table for her. While I'm convinced that this message was directed more to us adults, the kids - without any blatant or obvious statement in the script - GOT IT: What is this Birth Day celebration really all about? It's time for all of us to "get it" again. 
       With but a few days left, let our going concern be more about the Coming. Emmanu-el, whose name means "God (El) is with us," who is our Christ ("anointed one/Messiah") Jesus, will shine His light upon us and we shall be saved. Let us revel in the Hope, the Peace, the Joy, and the Love that these four Sundays of Advent represent. And then let us truly celebrate by preparing ourselves for and remembering the significance, especially in these times, of the Birth of Jesus, the only true GIFT, God's Love Incarnate for our salvation. CHRISTmas is Coming!
  
LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Emmanuel, Emmanuel, God with us, in these few days before our Holy Child is born, prepare us to be as Mary, a sacred vessel that carries You into our world, the conscious reflection of Your Exquisite Love in every thought and action of our lives.
                                               
                                                  O God of Hosts 
RESPONSE:         Restore our delight in Your Love

~ Emmanuel, Emmanuel, infuse those who govern in this world, in our nation, and in our community, with the compassion, tolerance, and mercy that are the hallmarks of Your birth and life. Encourage us to pursue justice and truth for every person on this Earth. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O God of Hosts
                                                Restore our delight in Your Love
                                                               
~ Emmanuel, Emmanuel, free all who suffer from pain, loneliness, and fear, and renew the vitality of those who attend to their needs. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions

                                                O God of Hosts
                                                Restore our delight in Your Love
               
~ Emmanuel, Emmanuel, walk with those weighed down by sorrow until the time and place when suffering and grief are no more, and the joy of eternity embraces us all. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions

                                                O God of Hosts
                                                Restore our delight in Your Love

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

                                                O God of Hosts
                                                Restore our delight in Your Love
               
~ Emmanuel, Emmanuel, we lift up to You, all who lead us in Your Church, that they may always feel the depth of You in themselves and impart to us the mystery of Your breadth in our lives. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O God of Hosts
                                                Restore our delight in Your Love
                                                                                                                                           

The Celebrant adds:  Dear God of Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Always, help us to set aside the frantic activity that distracts us, and quietly breathe into the present moment. Let us savor the anticipation with prayerful, expectant patience as we await our Messiah, the only true Gift of any season. We ask through Jesus, the Sacred Incarnation of Love, and the Holy Spirit, the Divine Repository of our Faith, who together with You are One God, Holy, Mighty, and Eternal. Amen.





Requests for prayers or meditations for this space or private use may be sent to Leeosophy@gmail.com. All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way.