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 7, 2019

Prayers of the People: With Fire and Burning! ~ 1st Sunday after Epiphany '19 Yr C

For Sunday, January 13, 2019, 1st  Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C, Readings: Isaiah 43:1-7, Psalm 29, Acts 8:14-17, Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

         Thus says the Lord, he who created you...Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. [Isaiah 43:1]

         Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness…The voice of the LORD is a powerful voice; the voice of the LORD is a voice of splendor. [Ps 29: 2, 4]

      [Peter and John] went down and prayed for them…laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. [Acts 8:15a, 17]

       "...one who is more powerful than I is coming...He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand...to gather the wheat into his granary...and when Jesus had been baptized...a voice came from heaven, 'You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.'" [Luke 3:16b-17a, 21b, 22b]

       The word Baptism is derived from the Greek and Latin words for washing, dipping, or plunging. There are a variety of meanings, protocols, requirements, and reasons for such rituals, for example, initiation into a community of faith or spiritual regeneration. Whether by aspersion (sprinkling with water), immersion (plunging into water), or affusion (pouring water on), Baptism is a sacrament, ceremony, a rite, that hearkens back to the Jewish heritage of Jesus. Ancient and modern Jewish rituals of ablution (washing) for cleansing and/or purification were established millennia before John poured water over his cousin's head in the Jordan River. Some denominations believe that Baptism is necessary for Salvation, others do not. Not all schools of Judaism practice these rituals and neither do all Christians. But for many Christians, this Gospel moment marks the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus, though after this he immediately went to the desert to prepare further.
       Even if you haven't been baptized, christened, or dedicated, just wanting to be is enough, some believe, and so you become baptized through desire. And while anyone of us can be a baptizer with water, only Jesus brings the fire of the Holy Spirit to set our faith ablaze. Willingly and gladly accepting the role and responsibility of faith ~ now there's the perfect way to make your Dad well pleased!

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Creator God~Beloved Messiah~Holy Spirit, You call us each by name and we are Your own. Gather us as wheat into Your granary and burn off the chaff within us that turns us from You. Baptize us in the fire of faith that we may discover the beauty of holiness in each day of our earthly lives.

                                                    Lord of Glory
RESPONSE:                 Bless us with Your strength and peace

~ Creator God~Beloved Messiah~Holy Spirit, fill us with the splendor of Your powerful voice to proclaim Your boundless love, eternal presence, redemption and honor for all faithful people, to all who govern or hold authority in every corner of the Earth, nearby and far away. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Lord of Glory
                                                       Bless us with your strength and peace

~ Creator God~Beloved Messiah~Holy Spirit, cradle the hearts of the sick, the poor, and the lonely, and fortify the spirits of all who give of themselves to help. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                       Lord of Glory
                                                       Bless us with your strength and peace

~ Creator God~Beloved Messiah~Holy Spirit, carry the sorrowful through the waters of grief, as those You have called Home now live again, forever joyful, in Your infinite love and grace. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Lord of Glory
                                                       Bless us with your strength and peace

~  Creator God~Beloved Messiah~Holy Spirit, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently…add your own petitions

                                                       Lord of Glory
                                                       Bless us with your strength and peace
             
~ Creator God~Beloved Messiah~Holy Spirit, enlighten and excite Your anointed disciples of our own day, who pray with and for us, baptize and confirm us, and instruct, encourage, and travel with us through our earthly sojourn. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Lord of Glory
                                                       Bless us with your strength and peace
             
The Celebrant adds:  Eternal and Almighty King, enflame us with the joy of freedom from fear and with confidence in Your enduring presence. Grant us the courage to give the glory due Your name by our every thought, word, and deed, striving to be among those with whom You are well pleased. We ask through Jesus, Your Beloved Son, and the Holy Spirit, the fire of our faith, who together live and reign with You as One God, now and forever. Amen.






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