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 5, 2016

Prayers of the People: Rosy Respite, Third Sunday of Advent Yr A

For Sunday, December 11, 2016, 3rd Sunday of Advent, Year A, Readings: Isaiah 35:1-10, Ps 146:4-9, Luke 1:46b-55, James 5:7-10, 
Matthew 11:2-11

      The wilderness and dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice...like the crocus it will blossom abundantly...He will come and save you...A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way...the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return...and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. [Isaiah 35: 1-2a, 4b, 8a, 9b, 10a,b]

      My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant...he has remembered his promise of mercy... [Luke 1:46-48, 54b]

      Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. Strengthen your hearts for the coming of the Lord is near. [James 5:7a, 8b]

      Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: "What did you go out to the wilderness to see? A prophet?...Yes, I tell you...This is the one about whom it is written, 'See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you'...among those born of women no one has risen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." [Matthew 11:7a, 9, 11]

       We light the 3rd candle in the Advent Wreath as our anticipation and expectation of the birth of Jesus accelerates. But, there's a notable change. This week, instead of a penitential purple candle or a blue candle of hope, some Traditions use a rose colored (or pink) candle and perhaps even vestments and hangings. Why change color in the middle of the season? Advent, from its inception, was traditionally a penitential season, as is Lent, with somber readings and admonishments to fast and pray to be ready and worthy for Christ's coming. With the Revised Common Lectionary and newer scholarship, there has been more of an emphasis in remembering the Joy that is to come – which isn’t to say we should not also be prayerful or penitent as we wait!  
        Within the aspect of a strictly penitential season, all the candles, hangings, and vestments were Lenten purple, and the rose color was a symbol of a respite in the seriousness. There is, apparently, no truth to the rumor that Mary was secretly hoping for a girl. So let us, in the midst of the solemn and sedate, stop, breathe, and experience JOY for the coming Nativity. 
        Historically, the Latin name for this Sunday is Gaudete (gow-day-tay), Latin for “REJOICE!”.  It comes from an Introit (opening) of the Liturgy. We hear the Joy, the Rejoicing, the Hope and the excitement in the readings. We’ll be ransomed from sorrow and sadness, lifted up, beloved, and blessed. We still have to be patient, there’s still some time before THE DAY, but we can smile as we wait – our future in Christ is Rosy, indeed!


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O God of Jacob, Mary, and the Baptizer, strengthen our hearts and awareness of Your Presence in the comfortable times, and grant us prayerful patience through the desert moments in our lives, as we await the abundant blossoming of the Joy of Christ within us.

                                                   O Lord our God                                                
RESPONSE:         Set us upon Your Holy Way

~ O God of Jacob, Mary, and the Baptizer, guide the spirits of all who now, and soon will, hold political office in this world, our nation, and our community. May they embrace empathy and equity in governing, especially for the marginalized and oppressed peoples in our own streets and across Your whole Earth. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord our God
                                                Set us upon Your Holy Way
               
~ O God of Jacob, Mary, and the Baptizer, bestow Your healing mercies upon all who are chronically ill, depressed, or in fearful life circumstance, and perseverance on those who love and give them care. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord our God
                                                Set us upon Your Holy Way

~ O God of Jacob, Mary, and the Baptizer, refresh the hearts of all who mourn that their sorrow and sighs will flee away, as Heaven alights in joyful celebration for the arrival of all we hold so dear. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord our God
                                                Set us upon Your Holy Way

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

                                                O Lord our God
                                                Set us upon Your Holy Way
               
~ O God of Jacob, Mary, and the Baptizer, be generous in blessing those who lead us in Your Church as they guide us toward the eternal Light of Christ. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord our God
                                                Set us upon Your Holy Way
                                                                                                                                           

The Celebrant adds:  God of Majesty and Glory, look with favor and prepare us for the Coming of our Savior, who ransoms us through Your boundless mercy. Fill us with rejoicing that our own souls may also magnify and proclaim the greatness of Your love. We ask through Jesus, the Redeemer Christ, and the Holy Spirit of Truth, who together with You are One God, from the beginning, in the now, and forever shall be. Amen.






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