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, December 28, 2015

Prayers of the People: Grounded! 2nd Sunday after Christmas, Yr C

For Sunday, January 3, 2016 , 2nd Sunday after Christmas, Year C, Readings: Jeremiah 31:7-14, Ps 84, Eph 1:3-6, 15-19a; Luke 2:41-52

       Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. [Jeremiah 31:13]

       For the LORD God is both sun and shield; he will give grace and glory; no good thing will the LORD withhold from those who walk with integrity. O LORD of Hosts, happy are they who put their trust in you. [Ps 84:10-12]

       I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ...may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation...so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know...the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance...the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe. [Ephesians 1:17-19a]

       After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers..."Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"...And Jesus increased in wisdom, and in years, and in divine favor. [Luke 2:46a, 49, 52]

       "His mother treasured all these things in her heart." [Luke 2:51b]  So very many times I have heard this story and imagined the scene, especially when my own children arrived at the precocious age of 12. If that had been our experience, those kids of mine would have been so GROUNDED! And, of course it, too, would have been part of the thousand million moments I do treasure in my heart - the wonderful, the delightful, the terrifying, the angry-making...the stuff of parenting. 
       And so we have a glimpse of the Jesus to come as the Hope and Promise of God. We don't really know what this young boy knows about himself or who he is to become. But his intelligence has him eager to learn, to listen and ask questions. The teachers were amazed at his understanding and his answers. He speaks cryptically to his earthly parents about being in his Father's house - does he already know what he means by this or is it a spiritual quest of early adolescence not yet matured?  Whatever this moment was, clearly, Jesus at this young age was already invested in the love and knowledge of God, and, very well grounded. May each of our own lives be well grounded in God so that we, too, may increase in wisdom, and divine and human favor throughout all of our years.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O God, our Sun and our Shield, enlighten the eyes of our hearts to know the hope of life in You; to live in the eternal happiness beyond mortal pleasure.

O Lord of Grace and Glory
RESPONSE:           Bring us to Christ’s wisdom and divine favor

~ O God, our Sun and our Shield, with our strength in You, let us be about the work of Your House to urge the leaders of this Earth, this Country, and this Community, to walk and act with integrity, to prosper and enhance the well-being and respect of all Your children.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord of Grace and Glory
Bring us to Christ’s wisdom and divine favor

~ O God, our Sun and our Shield, ease the distress of all who suffer from serious illness, addiction, or homelessness, and lighten the hearts of all who offer care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

O Lord of Grace and Glory
Bring us to Christ’s wisdom and divine favor

~ O God, our Sun and our Shield, turn our mourning into joy and change our sorrow into gladness, for those we love now light up the canopies of heaven, rejoicing with You in life everlasting. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord of Grace and Glory
Bring us to Christ’s wisdom and divine favor

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

O Lord of Grace and Glory
Bring us to Christ’s wisdom and divine favor

~ O God, our Sun and our Shield, sustain the leaders of Your Church and grant them courage and tenacity of spirit. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord of Grace and Glory
Bring us to Christ’s wisdom and divine favor
                                                                                                        
The Celebrant adds:  Lord God of Hosts, You call us to the optimism of our faith inheritance. Heighten our desire to know and reflect the immeasurable greatness of Your Power and Presence in every facet of life. We ask through Jesus, our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit, our Advocate, who reign together with You 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, December 21, 2015

Prayers of the People: WORD! 1st Sunday after Christmas Yr C

For Sunday, December 27, 2015, 1st Sunday after Christmas, Year C, Readings: Isaiah 61:10-62:3, Ps 147, Galatians, 3:23-25, 4:4-7; John 1:1-18

        In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God...And the Word became flesh and lived among us...From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. 
[John 1:1-2, 14a, 16]

        For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what it sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.  [Isaiah 61:11]

        God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts crying, "Abba, Father!" [Galations 4:6b]

       This Sunday, this year, is a mere two days from Christmas, close enough for some of us to still be in the thrall of music, lights, and presents; not yet throwing us into Monday morning and all the necessities of action in daily life. Time enough to breathe deeply and inhale the air still electric with the promise of the sacred and Holy Infant's birth and the coming of a New Year; holding it, filling our lungs, dispersing it throughout our own life blood. For others, a chance of breathing in the hope and promise of new life for those who are no longer with us, and with whom our mutual love will live forever. John tells us in his Gospel that Jesus is the light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. [John 1:5]  As the Spirit of Jesus lives in our hearts by God's gift, let us radiate that light from within, be the change we want to find in others, live as though we believe in the grace upon grace received from the Incarnation of Jesus, our Christ.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Abba! Lord! You came to us before we came to You, and You are with us always. Help us to live every day in the True Light of the Spirit of Christ that You sent into each of our hearts.

Jesus, Word of God
RESPONSE:           Center our Hearts and Minds on You

~ Abba! Lord! As we seek righteousness and meaningful change among all leaders on this planet, in this nation, and in our community, cause the changes we seek to spring up in us through our daily thoughts and actions. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Jesus, Word of God
Center our Hearts and Minds on You

~ Abba! Lord! Breathe new hope and healing into those laid low by serious illness, loneliness, or unemployment. Renew the love and energy of all who try to help. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

Jesus, Word of God
Center our Hearts and Minds on You

~ Abba! Lord! Bind up the wounds of grief for those who mourn, and help them and us, to feel the reverberations of Joyful Noise from the exquisite, eternal bliss of Heaven. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Jesus, Word of God
Center our Hearts and Minds on You

~ Abba! Lord! We pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

Jesus, Word of God
Center our Hearts and Minds on You

~ Abba! Lord!  May Your Holy Spark forever blaze through the souls of all who are ordained to journey with us toward everlasting salvation through Christ. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Jesus, Word of God
Center our Hearts and Minds on You
                                                                                                        
The Celebrant adds: Jesus, God’s Ever-Living Glory and Truth, You lived as God’s flesh and blood among us in Your humanity; in Your divinity, You are our grace upon grace. Fill us daily with the joy of Your Salvation that we may be the Light in the darkness for others. We ask through God, our Creator, who together with Christ, in the unity of Holy Spirit, are 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.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Prayers of the People: Nativity! Christmas 2015, Yr C

For Christmas, December 24/25, 2015, Year C, Readings: Christmas Eve Luke 2:1-20 at Creche, Isaiah 9:2-7, Ps 96, Titus 2:11-14, John 1:1-14; 
Christmas Day Isaiah 9:2-7, Ps 96, Titus 2:11-14, Luke 2:1-20


     The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light...For a child has been born for us, a son given to us...and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. [Isaiah 9:2a, 6]

       Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the whole earth. Sing to the Lord and bless his Name; proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day. [Psalm 96:1-2]

       In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see I am bringing you good news of great joy...to you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is the Messiah...and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God... [Luke 2:8-11, 13]

          There is something almost magical, perhaps mystical is a better word, that occurs within me when I hear the words from Luke 2 especially when we get to:  In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night... I become expectant. I become my 6 year-old self hearing the resonant voice of a familiar narrator. I am hope-filled. All is right in the world...for this moment
          Every year someone says, "If only we could stay this way all year." The spell cast by the words and the music, the glitter of ornaments and lights, and the chatter of little ones and bigger ones ripping paper to reap the reward breaks all too soon and our precious Infant has a far and difficult road to travel in only the few months between now and Easter. What part of it will we travel with him as the moment spins into what we call reality? What part of the reality of others in our community and in the world at large - poverty, violence, war, and greed, do we shun, dismiss, ignore or, throw money to, all while decrying the lack of Christ in Christmas?
          Christ is always in CHRISTmas....let's remember to keep Christ in Tuesday, Thursday, February, and August. Let us truly Sing to the Lord and bless his name and proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day to ourselves first! We live out what we believe in. Feel the JOY! The Great Light shines again and always. 
       

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Holy Infant, Lord at thy birth, our joy, at long last, is unbounded by the arrival of our Messiah, come to redeem our sins and mark us as Your own forever. Hallelujah! Christ our Savior is born!

Glory to God in the Highest
RESPONSE:           And Peace to God’s People on Earth          

~ Holy Infant, Lord at thy birth, infuse our souls with Your pure light that we may stand before the earthly powers of our world and our nation and our community, to radiate Your peace, love, and mercy for all. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Glory to God in the Highest
And Peace to God’s People on Earth

~ Holy Infant, Lord at thy birth, in the midst of our joy we ask You to bring healing and comfort to all who are suffering in body, mind, or spirit, and comfort for those who give them support.  We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

Glory to God in the Highest
And Peace to God’s People on Earth

~ Holy Infant, Lord at thy birth, especially now, encircle all grieving hearts with the comfort that brightens the darkness, while the vaults of heaven explode in jubilance and glory as our loved ones enter the gates of eternity. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Glory to God in the Highest
And Peace to God’s People on Earth

~ Holy Infant, Lord at thy birth, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

Glory to God in the Highest
And Peace to God’s People on Earth

~ Holy Infant, Lord at thy birth, for our own Shepherds in this sacred field we give great thanks as they keep watch and guide us toward Your ultimate pasture of redemption. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Glory to God in the Highest
And Peace to God’s People on Earth
                                                                                                        

The Celebrant adds: O Lord of Hosts, God’s Word Made Flesh, as our Wonderful Counselor, so activate our wills, so engage our very beings, that we will live intentionally into Your saving grace each and every day of our lives. On bended knees, and with worshipful hearts, we ask this of You as our Prince of Peace, and of the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier, who together with the Almighty High King of Heaven and Earth, reign in glory as One God, now until the end of forever. Hallelujah! Christ our Savior is Born! 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, December 14, 2015

Prayers of the People: Unexpected Expectation, 4th Sunday of Advent, Yr C

For Sunday, December 20, 2015, 4th Sunday of Advent, Year C, Readings: Micah 5:2-5a, Canticle 15 (Lk 1:46-55), Hebrews 10:5-10, Luke 1:39-45

       But you, O Bethlehem... from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. [Micah 5:2]

       My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord...for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant...He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly. [Luke 1:46a, 48, 51-52, Song of Mary]

       When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb...And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord." [Luke 1:41-42, 45]

      The familiar scene is set, the familiar and beautiful words are spoken. Are we listening or are we pondering all that needs to be done over the next few days? 
      Some of the words of Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, are spoken millions of times a day all over the world as part of the prayer known as the Hail Mary (Ave Maria in Latin). Although we are hearing them now at the final Sunday of Advent, the remaining few days before the birth of Jesus, the Episcopal Church actually celebrates this meeting on May 31st as the feast of The Visitation of Mary. Fewer of us are paying attention in May! 
      Here is a chance to pause in the midst of all the busy-ness. A moment to listen to the beauty of this exchange between these two kinswomen and consider who they were and who they have become to us. The elder Elizabeth, was a barren woman for so many years until suddenly she is with child, a very important child. In her time she was likely ostracized or at the very least considered a failure for her infertility. The much younger and virginal Mary, recently told by an Angel that she is bearing the Son of God, of all things, is also bearing the shame and uncertainty of her betrothed because of her condition (even though we know he'll have an angelic visitation of his own [Matthew 1:18-25]). They come together and speak to us, to awaken us from the haze of frantic preparations for a celebration that is far more earth-bound than spiritual. In their greetings to each other we discover the unexpectedness of this moment of expectation, the message of embracing the twists and turns of life, and recognizing that God is present at all times ~ when we feel elated and when we feel shamed or anxious or uncertain. We are not alone in the darkest of times or in the happiest. Blessed is s/he who believes that Jesus is the fulfillment of God's Promise. Jesus comes to be the face of God. Let us not race ahead to the end of this moment but remain in the stillness, savoring the expectation of Christ's birth, and finding an unexpected freshness in the joy of anticipation. 

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Holy God, Ancient of Days, scatter our pride, elevate our desires, arouse our hunger for the One who is coming, and feed us all with Your good things.

                                                  Lord of Strength and Mercy
RESPONSE:           Speak to our souls and purify our hearts 

~ Holy God, Ancient of Days, grant us the strength of Your arm as we lift up the mighty in this World, in our Nation, and in our Community, and stand for peace, justice, and joy for all of the children of Abraham. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Lord of Strength and Mercy
Speak to our souls and purify our hearts

~ Holy God, Ancient of Days, come to the help of all who are laid low by chronic illness, poverty or emotional anguish, and bring comfort to all who love them. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

Lord of Strength and Mercy
Speak to our souls and purify our hearts

~ Holy God, Ancient of Days, lighten the hearts of those weighed down by sorrow, as those we love are now with You in the eternal majesty of Your heavenly kingdom. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Lord of Strength and Mercy
Speak to our souls and purify our hearts

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

Lord of Strength and Mercy
Speak to our souls and purify our hearts

~ Holy God, Ancient of Days, bestow extra grace upon those who are anointed to bring us Your words and promise, as they guide us all to discover and act upon Your will in our lives. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Lord of Strength and Mercy
Speak to our souls and purify our hearts
                                                                                                        

The Celebrant adds: Almighty and Abiding God, sanctify and look with favor upon us as we make ready to receive the One who comes, that the fruit of our lives may magnify and proclaim Your infinite greatness. We ask through Jesus, our Joyful Expectation, and the Holy Spirit, Your Sacred Breath, who together with You, live and 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, December 7, 2015

Prayers of the People: Time for Rose Colored Glasses? 3rd Sunday of Advent, Yr C

For Sunday, December 13, 2015, 3rd Sunday of Advent, Year C,  Readings: Zephaniah 3:14-20, Canticle 19 (Is 12:2-6), Phil 4:4-7, Luke 3:7-18
Surely it is God who saves me;
I will trust in him and not be afraid.
For the Lord is my stronghold and 
    my sure defense,
and he will be my Savior...
Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things.
[Canticle 9/Isaiah 12:2, 5]

The Lord is near. Do not worry...in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [Philippians 4:6]

John told the crowds...bear fruits worthy of repentance...I baptize you with water; but 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...but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire. [Luke 3:7a, 8a, 16b, 17]

          Do not worry about anything, says the writer of Philippians. Oh sure...not so easy in a world gone mad, fearful, and angry. Yet in the midst of this otherwise penitential Advent season, we come to the Sunday of Rejoicing. The rose candle, the symbol of joy, will be lighted as a sign of our call to be joyous in the nearness of God, in the coming of Christ; the excitement that in Christ we will be baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire to spark our faith into action. Oh, there's still room and need for us to consider our sins in the midst of this rosy moment - that winnowing fork John speaks of should give us pause. How am I living into the faith I claim? Will my lip-service of murmuring familiar words on Sunday morning keep me out of the pile of chaff? It may be time for a refreshing of my mind and heart, to turn my focus back to God. All the readings for today exhort us to rejoice, exult, and sing - even John the Baptizer, in the midst of some serious warnings, proclaimed the good news to the people. This may not be your first Advent, but it's the first time in this moment of your life to begin again. And, as the people of Christ, let us repent, worship, praise, and pray together, as an orchard that bears only good fruit. If ever there was a time for rose-colored glasses to see the joy in darkness, this is the time. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice! [Philipians 4:4]

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O Lord our Stronghold, stir up our faith and bring us from indifference to action. Then will our souls rejoice, as our trust in You frees us from fear and worry.

                                                  O God, our Sure Defense
RESPONSE:           Turn our hearts and minds to You

~ O Lord our Stronghold, give us the voice to inspire those who design and impose the political pathways on this world, this nation, and this community. Infuse us with such joy that we may turn the tide of hatred and war into the calm waters of Your peace and goodwill for all. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O God, our Sure Defense
                                                Turn our hearts and minds to You

~ O Lord our Stronghold, restore the health and spirit of those who endure the pain and fear of serious illness, addiction, or despair, and strengthen the hearts of all who love and care for them. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

O God, our Sure Defense
                                                Turn our hearts and minds to You

~ O Lord our Stronghold, temper the heartache of those who are bereaved with the comfort of knowing that You have gathered those we love into the blissful splendor of eternity. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O God, our Sure Defense
                                                Turn our hearts and minds to You

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

O God, our Sure Defense
                                                Turn our hearts and minds to You

~ O Lord our Stronghold, enhance the character of Christ in those ordained in Your name that we may follow by example and live each day with You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O God, our Sure Defense
                                                Turn our hearts and minds to You
                                                                                                        
The Celebrant adds:  Most Gracious God, always in our midst, through Your gentleness, grant us patience in our waiting, hope in our seeking, and Your peace that passes all understanding throughout all our lives. We ask through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior, and the Holy Spirit, the Fire of our faith, who with You reign as One God, in glory, 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, November 30, 2015

Prayers of the People: Time Out, 2nd Sunday of Advent, Yr C

For Sunday, December 6, 2015, 2nd Sunday of Advent, Year C, Readings: Malachi 3:1-4, Canticle 16 (Lk 1:68-79), Philippians 1:3-11, Luke 3:1-6 


          See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple...he is like a refiner's fire...   [Malachi 3:1a, 2b]

          In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death... [Canticle 16/Luke 1:78-79a]

          [A]s it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight...'" [Luke 3:4]

         I know that Advent is supposed to be a time of waiting; a time of preparation for the Christ Child's birth. Yet who has enough time? The clock is ticking, the dates on the calendar fly away, there's so much to do, to get, to buy, to wrap, to cook, to clean, to list, to finish........so where exactly am I supposed to fit in some time to just wait?

          The One Thousand Four Hundred and Forty (1,440) minutes in a day flash away in a blur in the midst of all necessary (and addictive) activities. Yet if I sit still, with no electronic or other entertainment (e.g., real paper book), a minute can feel like an hour.
          A thought arises ~ how many of us have used "time out" periods for misbehaving children to give them a moment to reflect on a troublesome deed and re-enter real time with a new attitude? Hmm, there's a concept brewing here! Let's think of Advent as a time out from the ordinary hurry and worry. How many times a day do you wait for something to happen? A line at the copier, the elevator, the grocery store, in traffic, the doctor's office, etc.? Instead of caving to frustration and irritation, I can use it to take long, slow, deep breaths and reflect on my deeds of the day, the week, or whatever time frame I choose; the moments that were good, bad, or really not pretty. How often have I looked for God in those moments? How might a little time out with God result in my own attitude adjustment? One minute now, 5 later, in the shower, just after turning out the light...just before opening my eyes in the morning, on the way to work...I can make those times God-moments and the more of those I have, the less stress I have with the waiting. The waiting times are for refining my soul, for preparing the way. Jesus IS coming - don't look busy, look hopeful, look thankful, look as if you're waiting for him.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer* said, "We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.” Get ready! Time out starts NOW.


*Dietrich Bonhoeffer, theologian, Lutheran pastor, dissident anti-Nazi.  His book The Cost of Discipleship is considered a modern classic.  Polish by birth, he studied at the University of Tubingen and received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees and his Doctor of Theology at the University of Berlin. He completed a second doctorate - all before the age of 25. He did post graduate study at Union Theological Seminary in New York and was introduced to and was profoundly inspired by the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.  His teachings and writings continue to inspire generations after his death.  With great angst but complete abhorrence of the Nazi dictatorship and violence, he was involved with the German Military Intelligence Office's plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.  He was arrested by the Gestapo in 1943 and executed on April 9, 1945, 23 days before the German surrender. He never justified or excused his action but accepted that he was taking guilt upon himself as he wrote "when a man takes guilt upon himself in responsibility, he imputes his guilt to himself and no one else. He answers for it...Before other men he is justified by dire necessity; before himself he is acquitted by his conscience, but before God he hopes only for grace." Much more can be said about this inspiring and admirable man and all by just using his own words.





LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ God of Abraham, Isaiah, and the Baptizer, slow our anticipation of the joy to come and awaken us to this moment-in-time that we may reflect, repent, and refine our souls to prepare the way for our salvation.

  Lord of Compassion
RESPONSE: Hear our faithful prayer       

~ God of Abraham, Isaiah, and the Baptizer, for all who cry out from the wilderness of hunger, homelessness, and war, strengthen us to entreat all political leaders everywhere to deliver them from the shadow of death into the brightness of safe new life. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Lord of Compassion
Hear our faithful prayer

~ God of Abraham, Isaiah, and the Baptizer, shine Your healing light and love on those who dwell in the darkness of chronic illness, emotional trial, or spiritual isolation, and sustain the energy of all who give them care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

Lord of Compassion
Hear our faithful prayer

~ God of Abraham, Isaiah, and the Baptizer, smooth the way of those traveling the rough way of grief as You embrace our loved ones now living in the fullness of Your grace and glory. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Lord of Compassion
Hear our faithful prayer

~ God of Abraham, Isaiah, and the Baptizer, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

Lord of Compassion
Hear our faithful prayer

~ God of Abraham, Isaiah, and the Baptizer, hold in Your heart all who come to us as Your messengers of the Covenant, who guide us in our worship, and share our journey to eternal life. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Lord of Compassion
Hear our faithful prayer
                                                                                                        

The Celebrant adds:  Almighty and Merciful God, grant us the wisdom in these busy days to first put our life in You above all worldly pursuits, that if suddenly called, we will not be found unprepared to account for our time of human living. We ask through Jesus the Christ, our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier, 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.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Meditation Moments: Angst-Giving and Norman Rockwell

 
      Those of us in the American "Baby Boomer" generation and older can probably remember the lovely and nostalgic Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving cover for the Saturday Evening Post magazine. It is a classic depiction of a happy and very white family sitting down to a family feast designed to inspire Thanksgiving for all of God's graces and the highest form of family love and togetherness. And I can honestly say that it represents Thanksgiving gatherings of my childhood - well, that is, it represents a lovely moment-in-time and those lovely moments usually lasted as long as it takes to look at the painting.

      Seriously, did anyone really have a whole day like that?  In my family, in whichever configuration of the year that included grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, there was a huge amount of required "traditional" food (turkey, bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, creamed pearl onions, green beans (just plain, the casserole dish came later), jellied cranberry sauce (why do they call it a sauce?), fresh baked rolls with butter, and pumpkin pie.  Dinner was always late (sometimes very late) getting to the table as there was always so much to prepare, people arrived early or late, the kids' table impeded movement, and we were hungry and boisterous.  

      The combining aromas of roasted fowl, cinnamon and brown sugar, pumpkin and gravy were as an aphrodisiac of sorts. FINALLY we said our prayer of Thanksgiving - Grace - and oohed and ahhhed as the huge browned bird was processed in and placed on the table to be carved.  Passing of bowls from one direction, the chinking sound of serving spoons and cutlery on china, ice and water pouring into crystal (or lesser glass depending on one's age and table status) were the background music as everyone settled in and began to devour - politely more or less - the banquet set before us.  And then...something triggered a response from one of us kids or a tolerated relative would make a comment that more than triggered a response from another more entitled relative that would then provoke a louder discussion.....and the ensuing "discussion" continued while the food was consumed, the pie and coffee or milk served, clean up begun, coats put on and cars driven away.  Then there was the endless dissection of the event by the "adults" until Christmas, when we all began again.  I do remember one near fist fight at my grandmother's dinner table...and we laugh about it, now.

      And then there are the precious origins of this feast of "Thanksgiving" for the hosts of those who had traveled far to settle in this wild land.  I know that my First Nation friends bear in their bones the memories of all the later "-ations" they and peoples of color who followed suffered at the hands of those who themselves were said to have been escaping persecution: Intimid-ation, discrimin-ation, annihil-ation, recrimin-ation, subjug-ation, degrad-ation.  

      In this age, overloading on football and 'way too much food are the prevailing hallmarks of this holiday.  Followed immediately or simultaneously by retailoholism by shopping online and in those chain stores who will be open today.  Our culture exacerbates the expectation of over-eating, over-drinking, and over-spending. Seasonal decorations that begin creeping in before Labor Day and TV ads determine our needs and greeds.  When juxtaposed against the reality of so many homeless, hungry, un- and under-employed as well as those who are grieving, depressed, alone, and/or seriously ill, Norman Rockwell's idyllic scene becomes a caricature of the time that never was.  BUT WAIT....there is still hope in that lovely image...

     Whatever your life circumstance, this mark on the calendar offers a chance to remember a moment-in-time that gives you pleasure, soothes your soul, makes you laugh, warms your heart.  Find a moment to give thanks in whatever way lightens your burden - through prayer, a phone call or text, an email, a donation to the ringing Santas at the grocery store.  

     For myself, I am grateful that I feel wanted by those I love and for having more than I need even if not all that I want. 

     I am thankful for the friends who are like family and even more so for family who are my friends.

    MOST OF ALL, I am thankful for the gift of happy memories, even of Thanksgivings-gone-wrong, and most especially for those who have been with me in the most difficult moments of life. I can set aside the grief of the past for today.

    Everyone has a story with a beginning, a middle, an end.  We have good days and bad, ordinary and outstanding. Today is just a day, but it is in what we make of it that will tell the tale in days to come.  

   Thank you, Norman Rockwell, your painting is food for thought.








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