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 7, 2017

Prayers of the People: That Sinking Feeling, 10th Sunday after Pentecost '17 Yr A

For Sunday, August 13, 2017, 10th Sunday after Pentecost, Year A, Readings: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28; Psalm 105:1-6, 16-42, 45b; 
Romans 10:5-15, Matthew 14:22-33

       Now Israel [Jacob] loved Joseph best of all his sons, for he was a child of his old age; and he had made him an ornamented tunic...his brothers...hated him. [Genesis 37: 3, 4b - Jewish Study Bible]

      Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name, make known his deeds among the peoples...let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. [Psalm 105: 1, 3b]

      For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. [Romans 10:12]

     But when the disciples saw [Jesus] walking on the sea, they were terrified...But...Jesus...said, "...it is I, do not be afraid." Peter [said]..."command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." [Peter] became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught [Peter], saying to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" When they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  [Matthew 14:26a, 28-, 30b, 31-32]

      Jacob made his son, Joseph, a "an ornamented tunic," or, "a richly embroidered robe," or, a "long robe with sleeves" depending on the translation you read. The differences in description are because the Hebrew itself is not clear. But the story is known far and wide, by believers and non-believers alike, as Joseph and his coat of many colors, the coat being a symbol of a father's great love for his son and the jealousy wrought by extreme sibling rivalry. God is with Joseph throughout his entire ordeal and despite his brothers' treachery, Joseph survived many hardships and was able to repay his brothers in surprising ways as we'll soon see. 
      The constancy of God is a continuing theme in the Jacob saga and throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, no matter the whims and wastes of those God loves. The Psalmist reminds us to call upon his name and to search for the Lord and his strength.
      Paul tells us that God in Jesus is Lord of all, of everyone, whether Jew or Greek or whatever the color of your coat - this was a shocking idea in those times, a notion that God doesn't dismiss or exclude those people who aren't one of us was quite radical - no wonder Paul ended up in prison! Imagine if we felt that way today - oh, wait, that happens as much today as ever. It leads to the kind of betrayal Joseph's brothers visited upon him, it encourages violence, irrational hatred, and divides neighborhoods and nations. Yet Paul is adamant that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved [Romans 10:13].  Furthermore, we are the ones who are to proclaim Christ to all.  
     Just as God is Lord of ALL, regardless of human categorization of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, status in life, etc., Jesus calls - requires - us all to be out of the boat to get our feet wet in the realities of life's unpredictable times, tides, and weather. Nothing easy about it - just ask Peter. But praying for the trust to believe in our hearts, to speak our faith out loud in words and actions and bring Christ to others, will help us find the strength we need to pull ourselves and each other up from that sinking feeling of fear and doubt. Jesus bids us Come, and together we will know and share the calmer seas of the Good News. 

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Infinite Merciful God, You are the Constant who will guide us through the calm and chaos in the seas of our earthly life if we but believe in our hearts, and call upon Your Holy Name. Amplify our faith, remove our doubts and fear. Grant us the willingness and determination to answer’s Christ simple call, “Come.”

                                                Jesus, our Lord
RESPONSE:             Our Strength and our Refuge

~ Infinite Merciful God, empower us to employ the Gospel message with the leaders of our World, our Country, and our Community, in seeking the great expansion of peace, health, and well-being for all of Your people everywhere. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Jesus, our Lord
                                                Our Strength and our Refuge   
                                               
~ Infinite Merciful God, soothe the hearts and minds of all who struggle with chronic illness, pain, or anxiety, and renew the stamina for those who give them care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                Jesus, our Lord
                                                Our Strength and our Refuge   
                                                           
~ Infinite Merciful God, we offer our prayers of thanksgiving and praise for the new life of our loved ones who have now reached the glorious and eternal shores of heaven. We pray especially for: add your own petitions 

                                                Jesus, our Lord
                                                Our Strength and our Refuge   

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

                                                Jesus, our Lord
                                                Our Strength and our Refuge   
           
~ Infinite Merciful God, we ask Your special blessing for those among us who choose and are chosen to live their lives in service to You, bringing us Your Word and Wisdom. Grant them spiritual vitality and an even keel as they sail through all the waters ahead, known and unknown. We pray especially for: add your own petitions                                                          
                                                Jesus, our Lord
                                                Our Strength and our Refuge  


The Celebrant adds: Almighty and Everliving God, You created us all in Your image, in coats of many colors, and bid us always to turn to You in each hour of life. Let us eagerly answer Your call with courage and conviction, in tempest and tranquility, in this life and the next. We ask this through Jesus, our Teacher, and the Holy Spirit, our Shield, who together with You, live as our One God forever and ever. 





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