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, January 30, 2017

Prayers of the People: Season and Shine, 5th Sunday after Epiphany Yr A '17

For Sunday, February 5, 2017, 5th Sunday after Epiphany, Year A, Readings: Is 58:1-9-12, Ps 112:1-10, 1 Cor 2:1-16, Mt 5:13-20

      Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet!...Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free...to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house...Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer... [Isaiah 58:1a, 6-7, 9a]

       Light shines in the darkness for the upright; the righteous are merciful and full of compassion...They have freely given to the poor...they will hold up their heads with honor. The wicked will see it and be angry, they will gnash their teeth and pine away; the desires of the wicked will perish. [Psalm 112:4,9-10]

       I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom but on the power of God. [1 Corinthians 2:2-5]

      Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored. It is no longer good for anything...You are the light of the world...No one lighting a lamp puts it under a bushel basket, but on the lampstand and it gives light to all in the house. [Matthew 5:13a, 14-15]

          The readings appointed for this Sunday are a good primer on how to get real and start to think again about how to live as God wants. Isaiah tells us that just showing up to do a few good acts and a bit of fasting without the right intention isn’t enough, especially if we’re still pointing fingers and judging others. God sees through our waving of hands and cries of “Look at Me” when self-interest is our prime motivator. Paul carries us along by saying that those who are not spiritually inclined don’t care about what is or isn’t of God and are more likely to get caught up in following the "wisdom" that is merely human. But if we truly seek the wisdom and spirit of God we will be given more ways to understand. 
         Last week in his Sermon on the Mount, we discovered who are the disciples - the ones of his time and, us, in our time. This week, Jesus takes us further by giving us a few particulars on the responsibilities of discipleship. He is clear that he has come to fulfill, not abolish, the Law of God - the Commandments - and that we are to follow even the least of these and teach others to do the same. We hear that we are the “salt of the earth” which, in the time of Jesus, is meant to imply great importance. Salt was more than a condiment, it was currency. Soldiers’ wages were paid in salt and salt was used by everyone as we use money today. If currency is devalued, if salt loses its taste, it becomes worthless. Yet good salt flavors our food, and the yeast in bread won't rise without it. An appropriate amount of salt is vital to our physical health in digestive and other body processes. In being so identified as the salt of the earth, we are called to realize our own worth and potential in God's sight and let our good works reflect the Glory of God as a pathway to eternal life. We are to be the light on the lampstand of life, shedding spirit-filled light to everyone in God's House. I'll take some time this week and think about all the intentional “good works” I do and see what is self-less and what – although still good for others – might be more for my own sense of self-importance; and, in what ways can I shine God's light more brightly for those in the darkness of despair. Let us season God's Earth with faith as disciples of Christ and shine with the radiance of the Holy Light within us.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O God, Eternal and Holy, endow our souls with the spiritual discernment and deep desire, to move from self-indulgence, to actions that seek mercy, justice, and well-being for all Your people.

                                                O Lord of Light and Life        
RESPONSE:             Energize our Faith in You

~ O God, Eternal and Holy, impart to all political leaders around the globe, in our country, and in our community, a sincere and sacred intent to act with integrity, character, and faithfulness in each decision and in exercise of power. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord of Light and Life
                                                Energize our Faith in You
                                               
~ O God, Eternal and Holy, hold close the hearts of the sorrowful, whether the loss is new or freshly remembered, and overflow their hearts with the joyful news of all now alive again in Your Everlasting Kingdom. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                O Lord of Light and Life
                                                Energize our Faith in You
           
~ O God, Eternal and Holy, heal and uplift all who are ill or in troubling circumstance, and grant strength to those who give them solace and wait upon their needs. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord of Light and Life
                                                Energize our Faith in You

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

                                                O Lord of Light and Life
                                                Energize our Faith in You
           
~ O God, Eternal and Holy, may those who lead Your Church and minister in the name of Christ, be embraced by the yoke of Your truth, delighted in following Your Commandments, and gifted with the ability to guide us by word and example. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord of Light and Life
                                                Energize our Faith in You
                                                                                                        

The Celebrant adds:  O God of Abundant Love and Wisdom, release our fear and trembling as You guide us toward discerning the mind of Christ, salting the earth with actions that reflect Your Spirit, and being the shining lamps that light the pathway to You. We ask through Jesus Christ, Crucified for us, and the Holy Spirit, Revealer of Your Gifts to us, who together with You are One God, forever and ever. 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.