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, November 5, 2018

Prayers of the People: When Too Much is Not Enough ~ 25th Sunday after Pentecost '18 Yr B

For Sunday, November 11, 2018, 5th Sunday in the Season of Creation, Readings: Reading Bridges Not Walls*, Psalm 127, Seven Days**
Mark 12:38-44

      I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you. [Ruth 3:1b]

     Children are a heritage from the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is a gift. [Psalm 127:4]

     Christ…will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those eagerly waiting for him. [Hebrews 9:28]

     Jesus said, "Beware of the scribes who like to...be greeted with respect in the marketplaces ...They devour widows' houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation... Truly I tell you, this poor widow...has put in more than...all of them contributing out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had... [Mark 12:38-40, 43-44]

     The Gospel appointed for this week is the usual focus – the impoverished widow who gives her last two coins to the local treasury. The contrast is made between her giving her very last penny and those who give large sums out of their wealth with plenty to spare. The wealthy, of course, ran no risk of hunger or homelessness as this piece implies about the unnamed widow. Whatever became of her – was she cared for by neighbors, did she truly lose everything in a last moment of supreme generosity? We don’t know. But, perhaps trusting it would be for good, she gave all she had.
     This small slice of Mark’s Gospel comes on the heels of Jesus warning about those who cannot be trusted, those who seek only honor for themselves and devour widow’s houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. Jesus is quick to say in effect, that God knows what we carry in our hearts and minds and the mere appearance of faithfulness will not help in the end.
      In the letter to the Hebrews, the writer is clear the Christ will come again – not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. We learn later in this letter that Jesus is faithful to those who live in faith and trust.
     As part of the collection of writings for this week, the first sets the stage for the others as often happens. Ruth was a widow with no children to carry on her and her husband’s lineage. But because of Ruth’s faithfulness to her loving mother-in-law, Naomi, Naomi saw to it that Ruth found a new husband, conceived a child, and through her love Naomi becomes baby nurse and surrogate grandmother. Ruth trusted Naomi and was rewarded in many ways. Her child became the grandfather of King David, the lineage of Jesus.
    The Psalm tells us plainly that Children are a heritage from the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is a gift. While not all women are gifted with children, all of us are the children of parents present or not, good or bad, and always of the God, always present, who created us. We each are a gift of God called to live in faithfulness and to care for one another. It is not we who determine our lineage, who will become great, who will not, but God. It is not up to us to decide which child, young or old, is worthy, as God lives within us all. We are to seek, expect, and honor the spark of God in everyone.
   This day, November 11, 2018, is the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice that formally ended WWI, the momentary peace in the world that has never lasted long because we deny God’s lineage in ourselves and others. Abundance of wealth and privilege is not an antidote to the poverty of self-importance. When we fail to embrace the fullness of the Gospel message in how we live our lives, we may discover too late that too much is not enough.


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O Lord our God, children are our heritage from You, the fruit of gifted wombs, where hope blossoms in every birth and Your light shines through every tiny face. Guide us to live in ways that honor the You who lives deeply within all the children You have given us, each other, and especially ourselves as the children of You that we are.

                                                    Holy and Faithful God
RESPONSE:                 We put our trust in You

~ O Lord our God, keep our hearts fearless to carry the words and actions of peace and equity to the halls of government in our World, our Nation, and our Community, to establish for all time that the rights and privileges of some are the rights and privileges of all. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Holy and Faithful God
                                                       We put our trust in You

~ O Lord our God, lay Your healing hand upon those weary of the pain, anguish, or fears of this life, and hold fast to those who offer caring help. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions

                                                       Holy and Faithful God
                                                       We put our trust in You

~ O Lord our God, may our grief be calmed as we send our loved ones Home to the eternal splendor and glory of new life in Christ. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Holy and Faithful God
                                                       We put our trust in You

O Lord our God, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently… We ask Your special blessings upon all the men and women Veterans who have served their Country in the Armed Forces in war and in peace, and particularly those who have never returned and those who have permanent injuryadd your own petitions

                                                       Holy and Faithful God
                                                       We put our trust in You
             
~ O Lord our God, ease the path of all who are anointed to call us to Your Word and Sacraments and to inspire us to serve in this world together in Christ’s holy name, eagerly awaiting his return. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Holy and Faithful God
                                                       We put our trust in You
             

The Celebrant adds: Creator Lord, Spirit of Hope, 100 years ago today, all of Your people breathed a collective sigh of peace and promise for the future, as the misery of World War I was signed, sealed, and finished. But restive humans, never satisfied, keep destroying one another through wars on battlefields and wars of racial, religious, and economic divisiveness and violence. Release us from the poverty of self-importance and complacence to joyfully accept the abundance of unashamedly and openly embracing Christ’s Gospel of peace, truth, and justice with all, for all, and everywhere. We ask through Jesus, our Divine Example, and through the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom Guide, who together with You are One, Infinite, Eternal God, now and forever.  Amen.   






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