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, June 15, 2015

Prayers of the People: Facing the Fearsome, 4th Sunday after Pentecost, Yr B

for Sunday, June 21, 2015, 4th Sunday after Pentecost,Year B, Readings: 1 Samuel 17: (1a, 4-11), 19-23; Ps 9:9-20, 2 Cor 6:1-13, Mark 4:35-41    

...And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span...When the Philistine drew nearer to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine...
[1 Samuel 17:4, 48]

...A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But [Jesus] was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and [the Disciples] woke him up and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?"... [Mark 4: 37-40]

       We didn't get to the actual fight between David and Goliath in this week's reading but who doesn't know this story? While we - in the Judeo-Christian culture - know it from the Hebrew [or Old] Testament, the story is also found in Islam's Qu'ran. Whatever the myriad interpretations and historical/scriptural/universal significance of this underdog-victory tale, the bottom line for me is who wouldn't be scared facing a heavily-armored 6 foot 9 inch giant with only a slingshot and a couple of stones? But David was clear in his mind that he could do what needed to be done because of God's help.
       Contrasting David's confidence, in Mark's Gospel the Disciples are terrified of the storm on the water. But wait, aren't most of them experienced fishermen? That must have been one whale of a storm to frighten them so much and you can almost hear the translation of Jesus's words to them in today's terms as "REALLY, GUYS?"
       So, where am I in all this? Stepping up like David or cowering like the Disciples? Faith-strong or faith-weak? It depends on the day and the fear. Yet, Paul helps me once again as he says: "See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!" [2 Cor 6: 2b]  And, we are to open our hearts because God's presence is constant, eternal, unequivocal. Of course it doesn't mean that no terrible things will ever happen to me or those I love. But keeping my faith in God through Christ and the Holy Spirit conscious and active does mean that I may surprise myself with my own strength, resilience, and capacity to face the fearsome foes and woes in life, especially the ones I create for myself. It also means that I can shine as the brightest of suns when the greatest joy arrives. And, with God in my life, everything in between is perfectly, wonderfully, ordinary.  

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O God, our Refuge and our Strength, in the face of fearsome foes or angry seas, in the smallest and largest moments of everyday life, in joy and in suffering, let us remember to always turn first to You with our faith strong and our hearts wide open.

O Lord of Our Salvation
RESPONSE: Calm our deepest fears; turn our trust toward You

~ O God, our Refuge and our Strength, grant us the courage of Your servant David, that we may speak to the giants of government in our world, our nation, and our community, to urge them to bring justice to the needy and hope to the poor. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord of Our Salvation
Calm our deepest fears; turn our trust toward You

~ O God, our Refuge and our Strength, restore the health and give comfort to those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit and grant patience to those who tend their needs. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

O Lord of Our Salvation
Calm our deepest fears; turn our trust toward You

~ O God, our Refuge and our Strength, lighten the burden for those who grieve as You embrace those who now dwell with You for eternity.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord of Our Salvation
Calm our deepest fears; turn our trust toward You

~ O God, our Refuge and our Strength, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

O Lord of Our Salvation
Calm our deepest fears; turn our trust toward You

~ O God, our Refuge and our Strength, grant wisdom and clarity of purpose for all Deputies, clergy and lay, who begin to gather this day to pray and work over the coming weeks in the General Convention of our Church. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord of Our Salvation
Calm our deepest fears; turn our trust toward You


The Celebrant adds: Almighty and Most Loving God, we often forget that it is always an acceptable time to bring ourselves into Your presence. Help us to accept Your grace as true and humble servants during the wildest of storms and in the most ordinary life moments. We ask through Jesus, our Savior and the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, who with together with You, are One God for all of time eternal. 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.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Prayers of the People: Sprouting Confidence, 3rd Sunday of Pentecost, Yr B

for Sunday, June 14, 2015, Yr B, Readings: 1 Samuel 15:34-16-:13, Ps 20, 2 Cor 5:6-10, (11-13), 14-17, Mark 4:26-34



      ...for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. 
[1 Samuel 15:7b]
      [So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. ( 2 Cor 4:16-18)...For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens (2 Cor 5:1)...]** So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord -- for we walk by faith, not by sight. [2 Cor 5:6-7]
      With what can we compare the kingdom of God...It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." [Mark 4:30-32]

           When the reading from 2nd Corinthians for this week began with "So we are always confident...", I was immediately struck with the sense of how, more often than not, I am far from feeling confident in my faith, in my understanding of God, and especially those moments in life when, as Paul says in Romans 7:15: "I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing that I hate." 
            For that reason I had to go back to the end of 2 Cor 4 and the beginning of chapter 5** to find my internal footing, to begin to accept that the opening lines of today's reading from Paul can really apply to me.
           God's conversation with Samuel, when God says, in effect, people look at outward appearance and make judgments while God looks at our hearts, weaves well into Paul's reminder that life in this body is to be away from life with God and, that as we move into thinking of Christ and ourselves beyond the human body, we become a new creation. Jesus carries it further in his likening the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed, a very small seed that grows into a shrub or tree so large that birds can nest in its branches. 
          The parable of the mustard seed appears in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke, and has always resonated with me, especially later on in Luke and Matthew when Jesus says that all we need is faith the size of one of these very tiny seeds and mountains can be moved [Luke 17:6],  So, how small is that? Well some varieties yield seeds the size of the period that ends this sentence. Only that much faith? Ok then, I can do that with a good heart and more confidence.


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Master Sower, Creator of the Seeds of Life, You have given each of us the means to blossom into eternal life from our earthly existence. Grant us the willingness to consciously tend the ground of our beings to be the fertile soil to grow as a new creation in Christ.

O LORD, our God
RESPONSE:   Help us walk by faith, not sight        

~ Master Sower, Creator of the Seeds of Life, look into the hearts of all who govern in this world, whether by legitimate rule or reign of fear, and implant the changes needed to bring about the full and equal flowering of all people. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O LORD, our God
Help us walk by faith, not sight

~ Master Sower, Creator of the Seeds of Life, send healing to all who are weakened by severe illness, depression, or desperation, and energize those who give them care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

O LORD, our God
Help us walk by faith, not sight

~ Master Sower, Creator of the Seeds of Life, calm the burning waves of grief for those who mourn, and give us all a glimpse of the brilliance of eternal life where those we love now thrive. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O LORD, our God
Help us walk by faith, not sight

~ Master Sower, Creator of the Seeds of Life, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

O LORD, our God
Help us walk by faith, not sight

~ Master Sower, Creator of the Seeds of Life, we ask Your special blessings upon those anointed to serve You and us as leaders in Your Church. Grant them the special combination of humility and confidence that will guide us on our spiritual journey to You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O LORD, our God
Help us walk by faith, not sight



The Celebrant adds:  God of Compassion and Strength, we need only look to Creation and each other to be reminded of Your constant Presence among us. Help us to know that, however small and humble our beginnings, with sincere and active faith, we each can reap the fullness of the harvest from the seeds of Your love and grace. We ask through Jesus in whom all Creation is new and the Holy Spirit whose Wisdom enriches the soil of our souls, who together with You, are One God, now and for 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.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Prayers of the People: O Mother Who Art Thou? 2nd Sunday of Pentecost Yr B

for Sunday, June 7, 2015, 2nd Sunday of Pentecost, Year B, Readings: 1 Samuel 8:4-11, (12-15), 16-20, (11:14-15), Ps 138, 2 Cor 4:13-5:1, Mark 3:20-35    

   
   All the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel...and said to him, "You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations"... Samuel prayed to the LORD, and the LORD said to Samuel, "Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them...forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you. Now then, listen to their voice; only-- you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them." [1 Samuel 8:4-5,6b-7,8b-9]

       Then [Jesus] went home, and the crowd came together again, so that Jesus and his disciples could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, "He has gone out of his mind."... A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, "Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you." And he replied, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" And looking at those who sat around him, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother." [Mark 3:20-21,32-35]

       Dysfunctional families. Where would life's ever-unfolding drama be without them. Some children are their parents' treasure while others are their worst nightmare. Some children can do no wrong in their parents' sight, others can do nothing right. Samuel's sons are an embarrassment, a source of grief. While Mary, his mother, and the brothers of Jesus think he's crazy and needs to be physically restrained.
       Just as Samuel might have wished his sons had behaved better, and the elders of Israel wanted a king to "be like other nations," so perhaps Mary and her other sons were upset or embarrassed by Jesus not "being like other" sons. It seems to come down to: how do we define "family?" Jesus looked around and defined family for himself as: "Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother." Who is family for you?
     
LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ God of Greatness, LORD of Glory, grant us the fortitude to abandon the faithless gods of no good purpose that tempt our souls and lead us into forsaking You. Let us find the courage to stand with and in Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, even when those closest to us do not understand.

God Almighty, Highest King of Creation
RESPONSE: Let us seek Your word above all things

~ God of Greatness, LORD of Glory, as some seek to establish their own earthly kingdoms, let us work to extend the knowledge of grace, justice, mercy, and tolerance to all who would govern the peoples of this world, our nation, and our community.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

God Almighty, Highest King of Creation
                                    Let us seek Your word above all things

~ God of Greatness, LORD of Glory, increase the strength within those who are weakened by the pain of illness or despair, and give new energy to all who give them comfort. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…

God Almighty, Highest King of Creation
                                    Let us seek Your word above all things

~ God of Greatness, LORD of Glory, give deep consolation to those whose grief yet knows no bounds and keep us all from losing heart through sorrow. Shine the light of eternal glory for those who live again and always in the Kingdom of Heaven. We pray especially for: Delaware's own Beau Biden and the Biden Family, add your own petitions

God Almighty, Highest King of Creation
                                    Let us seek Your word above all things

~ God of Greatness, LORD of Glory, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

God Almighty, Highest King of Creation
                                    Let us seek Your word above all things

~ God of Greatness, LORD of Glory, enhance the gifts of those chosen to lead us in Your Church, so that through their example, inspiration, and discipleship, our community of faith will grow in spirit and in grace.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions.

God Almighty, Highest King of Creation
                                    Let us seek Your word above all things


The Celebrant adds:  Sovereign of All that is, Seen and Unseen, grant us the courage to discern and follow Your will in the midst of being in earthly kingdoms, even as we strive to not be of them. We look to Your enduring love to become mother, father, sister, and brother to each and everyone around us. We ask through the steadfastness of Jesus and the blessings of the Holy Spirit, who together with You, reign as One God, now and throughout eternity.  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.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Prayers of the People: Knowing God or No-ing God? Trinity Sunday, 1st Sunday after Pentecost Yr B

for Sunday May 31, 2015, Trinity Sunday, Yr B, Readings: Isaiah 6:1-8, Ps 29, Romans 8:12-17, John 3:1-17

        How is a mystery explained? And if explained, it is no longer a mystery. The mystery of the Trinity is nothing if not confounding. One God/Three Persons - separate yet one, equal with different roles that are ultimately the same, belief in one is meant to be belief in all and the One that is the same but different. 
        Franciscan theologian Richard Rohr tells us that "...the Western Church overemphasized the individual "names" Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but not so much the quality of the relationships between them, which is where all the power and meaning lies!" And further, "The real and essential point is how the three "persons" relate to one another--infinite outpouring and infinite receiving..."
      Rohr tells us that "...Niels Bohr, the Danish physicist who was a major contributor to quantum physics and nuclear fission, said the universe is 'not only stranger than we think, but stranger than we can think...' The doctrine of the Trinity is saying the same thing: God is not only stranger than we think, but stranger than we can think...Perhaps much of the weakness of the first 2,000 years of reflection on most of our doctrines and dogmas is that we've tried to understand them with a logical or rational mind instead of through love, prayer, and participation itself..." Perhaps we are called, as one mystic suggested, to be almost a fourth person in the flow of God...[to read the piece in its entirety, click the link: Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation, The Trinity]
      If rational knowing all about God becomes the substance and goal of our faith, aren't we merely reducing God to our level and then dismissively no-ing to all that God is? How more engaging to know that mystery is always unfolding?
      One of my favorite ways to attempt understanding is through a piece of a 6th century creed from Dublin known as Tírechán’s Creed ~ when speaking of God it says:

He has a Son who is co-eternal with himself;
   and similar in all respects to himself;
   and neither is the Son younger than the Father,
   nor is the Father older than the Son;
   and the Holy Spirit breathes in them.
And the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are inseparable.

   Got it now?

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Holy, Holy, Holy - Lord, Savior, Sanctifier, as Jesus did with Nicodemus, undo our certainty and need to know all there is about You. Grant us openness of mind, sincerity of heart, and willingness to come to You as unknowing, to allow the wind of the Spirit, the redemption of Christ, and our birth from Above, to move through us in Your many and miraculous ways.

 Mighty God in Three Persons
RESPONSE:  We worship You in the beauty of holiness

~ Holy, Holy, Holy - Lord, Savior, Sanctifier, in a world filled with the smoke of confusion, let us answer “Here we are; send us” to speak Your voice with clean lips, to bear witness for truth and justice for all Your people, in the halls of government everywhere. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Mighty God in Three Persons
We worship You in the beauty of holiness

~ Holy, Holy, Holy - Lord, Savior, Sanctifier, help those bowed low by illness, addiction, or loneliness to know the embrace of Your strength, and give comfort to all who give them care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

Mighty God in Three Persons
We worship You in the beauty of holiness

~ Holy, Holy, Holy - Lord, Savior, Sanctifier, lift the hearts of those deep in the woe of grief and help us each to remember the Christ-promise of eternal life given to all who believe. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Mighty God in Three Persons
We worship You in the beauty of holiness

~ Holy, Holy, Holy - Lord, Savior, Sanctifier, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

Mighty God in Three Persons
We worship You in the beauty of holiness

~ Holy, Holy, Holy - Lord, Savior, Sanctifier, for our earthly Guides who help us find our way to faith in the things of heaven, we give great thanks. Lift them on their own journeys that, together, we will rise to Your eternal glory. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Mighty God in Three Persons
We worship You in the beauty of holiness


The Celebrant adds: Abba, Redeemer, Advocate, let us live each day as the heirs of Your eternal Kingdom in deep faith free from mere superficial belief. Help us to seek the constant newness of Christ revealed, and to experience the great love that brought about the salvation of this world. We ask through each and all of the Three Eternal Persons in the sacred mystery of the Holy Trinity, who are One God, and reigns 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.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Prayers of the People: PENTECOST! Then, There AND Here, Now

for Sunday, May 24, 2015, Pentecost Yr B, Readings: Acts 2:1-21, Ps 104:25-35, 37; Romans 8:22-27, John 15: 26-27; 16:4b-15


Fifty Days after Easter, 
Ten Days after the Ascension 
comes Pentecost, 
 the feast of Holy Spirit:  

        When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place.  And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house...Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.  [Acts 2:1-4]

  On the Jewish calendar, this ancient feast is Shavuot and follows 50 days after Passover. It celebrates the giving of the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai. It's possibly another reason the disciples were gathered together in addition to waiting for the sign promised by the resurrected Jesus 10 days before in his last in-person teachings. Given that, in the previous month and a half, they had experienced the arrest and violent execution of Jesus, his resurrection, then his ascension, and their own grief and fear at these inexplicable turn of events, here they are gathered together again without quite knowing what was next or when. It may well have been comforting to be together in the familiar structure of this ancient feast. And then suddenly a sound like a violent wind and tongues of fire resting on them gave them more than good reason to be bewildered, astonished, and amazed!
              Today it may be easy for us to be blasé, to know the story too well, to be immune to the thrill and amazement. Yet today is an excellent time to heed the words of Paul when he reminds us that we do not know how to pray as we ought but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. [Romans 8:26b] Peter reminds us in the words of the prophet Joel, that when Christ returns, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. [Acts 2:21]
              Today is the day to stop knowing the story. Today is the day to START feeling the Spirit – be amazed and astonished and bewildered!  We have the Spirit within us, and God’s grace, and the love and Salvation of Christ for the wanting of it! Let us rejoice and be glad and joy-filled, and alive in it! After all, what else is faith for? 



LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Great and Glorious LORD our God, bewilder our sense of the ordinary, and help us also to be amazed and astonished on this day. Let us experience again, the wonder and joy of a living and active faith, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Spirit of Highest Truth and Hope
RESPONSE: Fall afresh on us

~ Great and Glorious LORD our God, with the Holy Spirit upon us, let us be emboldened to stand before the leaders of this world, our nation, and our community, with the substance and grace to encourage the renewal of this earth and its people. We pray especially for: add your own petitions.

Spirit of Highest Truth and Hope
Fall afresh on us

~ Great and Glorious LORD our God, lighten the burden of pain for those who are weakened in body, spirit, and soul. Let their hearts be filled with the peace of knowing that You hear their every prayer. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…

Spirit of Highest Truth and Hope
Fall afresh on us

~ Great and Glorious LORD our God, grant peace to all who have hope in the unseen, even in the midst of grief. Help us all to wait in faithful patience to join our loved ones who now live again in the glory of Your highest heaven. We pray especially for: add your own petitions.

Spirit of Highest Truth and Hope
Fall afresh on us

~ Great and Glorious LORD our God, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

Spirit of Highest Truth and Hope
Fall afresh on us

~ Great and Glorious LORD our God, as the Spirit descends upon us, quicken the hearts and minds of all who lead us in Your Church, so that they may energize and excite our life in faith within the Church, and through all of every-day life. We pray especially for: add your own petitions.

Spirit of Highest Truth and Hope
Fall afresh on us

The Celebrant adds: Holy and Living God, You above all, desire our redemption and salvation, and yet all of Creation groans as if in labor. To us this day You send the Spirit to intercede, to make us strong where we are weak, to fill us with the fire of faith, and to know that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Our joyful and unending prayers ascend to Jesus our Christ and the Holy Spirit our Advocate, who together with You, live as One God, now and forever. Amen.


       Also known as the Birthday of the Church, Pentecost marks the official beginning of the ministry of the Apostles beyond their local area and into the whole world. The descent of the Holy Spirit in the form of tongues of fire imbued them, and each of us by extension, with extra-ordinary gifts to bring the message of Christ to everyone.
This day is known as Whitsun/Whitsunday in Ireland and the UK, a descendant of a Gaelic celebration of medieval or perhaps even more ancient times.
 




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.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Prayers of the People: Looking Up to Heaven, Seventh Sunday of Easter

for Sunday May 17, 2015, Easter 7,Year B, Readings: Acts 1:15-17, Ps 1, 1 John 5:9-13, John 17:6-19    


          Looking up to heaven, Jesus prayed, "I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world...When I was with them, I protected them in your name...I ask you to protect them from the evil one...Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world."  
[John 17:6,12a,15b,17-18]

          In the lesson from Acts, Peter tells the crowd of believers that the time has come to find the replacement for Judas and it is determined to be between two worthy candidates. After they pray and ask God to choose, lots are cast and the lot fell on Matthias
          Then in the Gospel, we move slightly backwards in time. This reading is in the middle of what is known as the Farewell Discourse of Jesus that takes place just after the Last Supper. In this moment, Jesus is praying on our behalf, updating God on the progress of the mission so far even to say, While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. [John 17:12 ]  The one lost, of course, refers to Judas. And in this prayer, for us, Jesus asks God to protect us not just for our own sake but for the sake of the whole world. In that way, God's love will live in us and be given out to the world through us through the work of Christ's mission we have been given to do. The disciples were, and we are, sent into the world sheltered in love, by love, and for the love of God through Jesus. As he looks up to heaven, Jesus asks God to make his own joy complete in us and to sanctify - or hallow - us in the truth of God's Word.  What is your prayer to God? What part of Christ's mission will you take on today?


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Holy Christ of Earth and Heaven, as the lot fell on Matthias, so it falls to us, to actively take our place in Your ministry and discipleship by accepting this gift with faithfulness and love.   

 O LORD, Our Strength and Our Peace
RESPONSE:  Sanctify our faith; empower our hearts

~ Holy Christ of Earth and Heaven, as believers in You, let us stand together to foster justice, mercy, and freedom for all of God’s people; and give our witness to those who govern on Earth, in this Nation, and in this City. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O LORD, Our Strength and Our Peace
Sanctify our faith; empower our hearts

~ Holy Christ of Earth and Heaven, lift up the spirits of those who suffer through illness, depression, or life circumstance, and fortify those who give them care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions

O LORD, Our Strength and Our Peace
Sanctify our faith; empower our hearts

~ Holy Christ of Earth and Heaven, calm the tears of the grieving that they may know our loved ones have now come to eternal life with You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O LORD, Our Strength and Our Peace
Sanctify our faith; empower our hearts

~ Holy Christ of Earth and Heaven, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

O LORD, Our Strength and Our Peace
Sanctify our faith; empower our hearts

~ Holy Christ of Earth and Heaven, we offer gracious thanksgiving for all who make You known to us through Your word and sacraments. Grant them the spiritual tools to inspire us all to carry You into our everyday lives. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O LORD, Our Strength and Our Peace
Sanctify our faith; empower our hearts


The Celebrant adds: God of Glory and Righteousness who knows our hearts and minds, please guide us to find delight in Your word, protection from evil, and the eternal happiness of walking in Your ways. We ask through Your Son our Savior, Jesus Christ and the comfort of the Holy Spirit, who together with You, reign as One God, now and forever.  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.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Prayers of the People: Love, Act-ually? Sixth Sunday of Easter

for Sunday, May 10, 2015, 6th Sunday of Easter, Yr B, Reading: Acts: 10:44-48, Ps 98, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17

       The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out, even on the Gentiles...Then Peter said, "Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"    [Acts 10:45, 46b-47]

      Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things.
      [The LORD] remembers his mercy and faithfulness to the house of Israel, 
and all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God...
    In righteousness shall he judge the world,
and the peoples with equity. [Ps 98:1, 4, 10]

     Jesus said to his disciples, "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love...This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you...And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last...
[John 15:9, 12, 16b] 

               How intrusive is this message against the backdrop of mistrust, hatred of "the other," and the seemingly endless and rampant violence across the world and even into our very local communities? Them vs Us, You vs Me, This is Mine is the "old song" that never tires of repeating. And the "circumcised believers...were astounded" that the Holy Spirit was given "even to the Gentiles." Peter was clear that the water of baptism cannot be withheld from even those who are different because they "have received the Holy Spirit just as we have..." And Jesus was even more clear: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." Is there any room for negotiation here? Those people are doing terrible things so how can Jesus possibly expect us to love them? Well, whether or not he expects it is irrelevant, he commands it. IF we believe in Jesus, then we must bear the fruit of God's love to all people, in all places, and every one is included. I don't know who has "received the Holy Spirit" and who hasn't. That's not my job. That's for a much higher pay grade. And some days, loving some people is really, really hard. Help!
             So, let's start by trying to love each other and abide in - or frantically cling to - the Holy Vine together [see last week's Fruit of the Vine post]. As we grow in faith as a community, perhaps we can grow in our ability to sing a new song of love to those less lovable to us than ourselves. No easy journey is promised, only complete joy if we act-ually love.


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Jesus, our Loving Christ, remove our doubt; remove our fear; awaken our souls to the complete joy we will know, when we truly believe and abide in You.

 LORD of Mercy and Faithfulness
RESPONSE:  Help us to live in and give out Your love

~ Jesus, our Loving Christ, grant us, born of God through love of You, such strength in faith and consciousness of spirit, that we hold ourselves and all those who govern, to Your standards of righteousness and equity, on behalf of all people everywhere. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    LORD of Mercy and Faithfulness
                                    Help us to live in and give out Your love

~ Jesus, our Loving Christ, embrace all those who are ill in body, heart, or soul, especially, on this day, if they are mothers of children or children of mothers. We pause now as we pray aloud for those in need…

                                    LORD of Mercy and Faithfulness
                                    Help us to live in and give out Your love

~ Jesus, our Loving Christ, console and brighten the hearts of all who feel lost in sorrow, as You rejoice and celebrate the arrival of our loved ones, who now live again for eternity.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    LORD of Mercy and Faithfulness
                                    Help us to live in and give out Your love

~ Jesus, our Loving Christ, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

                                    LORD of Mercy and Faithfulness
                                    Help us to live in and give out Your love

~ Jesus, our Loving Christ, for those who have pledged their lives in service to Your Church, grant renewal of purpose and replenishment of vigor, to teach and lead us in Your word and ways. We pray especially for: add your own petitions
 
                                    LORD of Mercy and Faithfulness
                                    Help us to live in and give out Your love


The Celebrant adds: God of All and Everyone, You call each of us to love one another as Christ loves us, and to be bearers of the fruit of Your love to all the world. Grant us the inner peace and fortitude to freely give our lives to You, from this day forth and forevermore. We ask through the purest Heart of Jesus, and the Truth of the Holy Spirit, who together with You, are One God, now and forever.  Amen.




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