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, July 25, 2016

Prayers of the People: The Stuff That's Left, 11th Sunday after Pentecost Yr C

For Sunday, July 31, 2016, 11th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, Readings: Hosea: 11:1-11, Ps 107:1-9, 43; Colossians 3:1-11, Luke 12:13-21

       I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love.  [Hosea 11:4a]

       Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, and his mercy endures forever...He put their feet on a straight path...For he satisfies the the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Whoever is wise will ponder these things and consider well the mercies of the LORD.  [Psalm 107: 1, 7, 9, 43]

      Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God...Christ is all and in all!  [Colossians 3:1-11]

       But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God. [ Luke 12:20-21]

       As the saying goes, "You can't take it with you" though heaven, and those left behind, know how hard we try. What we do take with us, is the baggage of sin, error, and, mostly, foolish neglect of God. As we build our un-noble barns to store up earthly materials, we are unaware of the ticking clock and unknowing what hour the chime will toll for us. Be sure to take a look around the world and in our own country and see what treasures others cling to and are desperate for - clean water, food, mosquito nets, basic shelter, health care. Google the after effects of hurricanes such as the infamous Katrina or the Asian tsunamis, tornadoes, catastrophic floods, and wild fires and see the loss of possessions measured against the loss of life.
      Check out a local estate sale and see a lifetime of collections, clothing, furniture, and just plain stuff that's left, offered for sale ~ at a bargain ~ to be collected by others and then ultimately left again for sale or other disposal. The U-Haul won't accompany the hearse. (If you've never heard, or it's been awhile, look up George Carlin's comedy piece on "Stuff" on YouTube - get the censored version if the language might offend, but it is a classic riff on shallow values.)
      How are you prepared this very night? And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?  It's less about downsizing than upsizing - start storing up spiritual treasures with God. Be filled with human kindness and bands of love; life is short and no amount of stuff will make it last longer. Whoever is wise will ponder these things...Set your minds on things that are above... 
      
LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ LORD of Enduring Mercy, release us from the human desire for all things unnecessary to a full life in the Spirit. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts and lead us on the straight pathway to You.

                                                 God of Eternal Life
RESPONSE:               Set our minds on Christ

~ LORD of Enduring Mercy, awaken the souls of all who govern by merit or by force in the nations of this world and in our local communities. Grant them the wisdom to ponder well that no amount of wealth or power determines the length of one’s earthly span. Their good and sincere service to benefit all Your children in this life will also benefit themselves in the next. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                God of Eternal Life
                                                Set our minds on Christ                                                                                           
~ LORD of Enduring Mercy, free all whose spirits languish in the face of physical or emotional pain, hunger, or fear, and refresh the energy of those who try to help. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                God of Eternal Life
                                                Set our minds on Christ
           
~ LORD of Enduring Mercy, liberate the hearts that grieve with the joy that all whom we have loved now rise to live again, in the newness and glory of Christ our Lord. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                God of Eternal Life
                                                Set our minds on Christ                                                                                           
~ LORD of Enduring Mercy, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

                                                God of Eternal Life
                                                Set our minds on Christ
           
~ LORD of Enduring Mercy, for all You have called to lead us in Your church with cords of human kindness and bands of love, we give You thanks. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                God of Eternal Life
                                                Set our minds on Christ


The Celebrant adds:  Compassionate Lord, as the longest life on this Earth is but a moment in Your time, keep us from foolishness that we may present ourselves to You, in our designated time, ready and worthy to ascend to heaven’s highest height. We ask through Jesus, our constant Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit, our eternal Advocate, who together with You are One God, now, always, 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, July 18, 2016

Prayers of the People: A.S.K., repeat, A.S.K., repeat... 10th Sunday after Pentecost Yr C

For Sunday, July 24, 2016, 10th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, Readings: Hosea 1:2-10, Psalm 85, Colossians 2:6-15 (16-19), Luke 11:1-13


       ...and in the place where it was said to them, "You are not my people," it shall be said to them, "Children of the living God."
[Hosea 1:10b]

        Mercy and truth have met together...righteousness shall go before him, and peace shall be a pathway for his feet. [Ps 85:10a, 13]

        See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition...and not according to Christ. [ Colossians 2:8]

        I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened....how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?" [Luke 11:9-10, 13b]

     I don't like to ask for things, for favors, or even help, sometimes to my own detriment. I am getting better mostly because there have been moments where I had no choice, but it goes against the in-bred grain of self-sufficiency. I am fortunate to have family and friends nearby who remind me often that they are as available to me as I am to them, in all times, good and bad, and especially in times of need. Yet, more often than not, I cave to my self-imposed notion of "bothering" them. 
    The parable Jesus tells us in this week's reading makes many of us in western culture a bit squirmy and, perhaps silently, critical of the friend who would knock at midnight and be told to go away only to continue until the door is opened and the request fulfilled. RUDE! is what we would say (or worse). But the code of hospitality and community is so strong in other cultures that despite the inconvenience, one asks and the other aids. Jesus explains and reinforces the expectation of God that we are to continually Ask of, Search for, and Knock on God's eternal door to be given, to find, and to have opened. The idea is simple, who of us would even think of feeding a snake or a scorpion to children who ask for fish and eggs, therefore, how much greater will we receive from the Holy Spirit if we but merely ask. It sounds a lot harder than it is, but less difficult if we do it together. Persistence is the key and Ralph Waldo Emerson tells us, "That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing itself is changed but that our power to do is increased." A.S.K, repeat...

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O LORD of Righteousness and Peace, restore our hearts to the certainty of Your mercy and truth, and protect us from captivity in false teaching and empty deceit.  

                                                  Holy and Living God
RESPONSE:           Deliver us from evil; renew us in hope

~ O LORD of Righteousness and Peace, transform and enlighten the leaders of this Earth, our nation, and our community. Allay our fears and grief for the tragedies in this world, and keep us rooted in the Gospel of Jesus. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Holy and Living God
Deliver us from evil; renew us through hope
                                               
~ O LORD of Righteousness and Peace, soften the pain and anguish of all who suffer in body, mind, or spirit, and grant patience to all who give care and support. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

Holy and Living God
Deliver us from evil; renew us through hope
           
~ O LORD of Righteousness and Peace, calm the sorrow and tears of those who mourn as You grant to all of our faithful departed the glory of everlasting life in You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Holy and Living God
Deliver us from evil; renew us through hope
                       
~ O LORD of Righteousness and Peace, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

Holy and Living God
Deliver us from evil; renew us through hope
           
~ O LORD of Righteousness and Peace, may those ordained and anointed to pastor us in wellness and in ill health, in joy and in sorrow, in preaching and in teaching, be further enriched in wisdom and in grace to Your glory and the salvation of us all. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Holy and Living God
Deliver us from evil; renew us through hope
                                                                                                        

The Celebrant adds:  Gracious God, endow us with the persistence to ask often for Your Presence in our lives, search for help to forgive others as we are forgiven, and knock constantly on the door to Eternal Life. Turn us from the human pathways of trespass and trial into the fullness of Christ our Savior. We ask through Jesus, the Bread of Life, and the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier, who together with You 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.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Prayers of the People: Busy is as Busy Doesn't, 9th Sunday after Pentecost Yr C

For Sunday, July 17, 2016, 9th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, Readings: Amos 8:1-12, Ps 52, Col 1:15-28, Luke 10:38-42

       This is what the Lord GOD showed me ~ a basket of summer fruit...Then the LORD said to me, "The end has come upon my people, Israel..." [Amos 8:1, 2b]

        But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. I will give you thanks for what you have done and declare the goodness of your name in the presence of the godly.  [Psalm 52: 8-9]

        And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death...provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith... [Colossians 1:21-22, 23a]

        But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her. [Luke 10:41-42]

        We're all so very busy despite all sorts and conditions of modern technology  in our western culture that is supposed to encourage and allow more leisure time. Yet even our vacations are busy before, during, and after, to the point of exhaustion; and, in everyday life there is always so much more to be done. At home, at work, at Church - organize, plan, prepare, meet, discuss, re-organize, re-plan. Think: Christmas and Easter - oh the lists, the shopping, the food, the interminable interruptions of the other parts of life such as weddings, births, sickness, and those always inconvenient deaths. And if you have children or teens at home, there are a thousand other things to do. Naturally we know that once everything settles down, we can get on with the business of the God and faith stuff. Well, except that as a volunteer, ministry participant, committee chair, or by just showing up on Sunday, God's business does get done, but where is the living in faith in all of that?        
        Yes, we try to do good work in God's name which is all well and fine as long as we remember to do what we do, and occasionally mention, that it is all in God's name. So, as soon as time permits, I'll remember to trust in the mercy of God and give thanks, and declare the goodness of God's name, and be securely established and steadfast in the faith in the midst of all that the Marthas in my life and I think I should be doing. 
        I saw a sign today that said, "Someday is not on the calendar." Busy may accomplish earth-bound tasks in the life where someday never arrives. But being merely busy doesn't draw us closer to Christ. Let us choose the better part of the God-given life we have, a Mary-er life in faith.


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ God of Fullness and Refuge, help us to be as constant and vigorous as a green olive tree, securely established in living the truth of the Gospel, and not be turned and wilted as quickly as a basket of summer fruit, in the heat of difficult times.

                                                Lord, in Your Mercy
RESPONSE:         Keep us steadfast in our faith

~  God of Fullness and Refuge, strengthen our resolve to reveal Your Word to all dominions, rulers, and powers, in every corner of this world, great and small, that the hearts and minds of all earthly leaders are reconciled to You for the sake of all Your peoples. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Lord, in Your Mercy
                                                Keep us steadfast in our faith
                                               
~  God of Fullness and Refuge, restore the health and hope of those burdened with chronic pain in body, mind, or spirit, and refresh all who bring them comfort and care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                Lord, in Your Mercy
                                                Keep us steadfast in our faith
           
~  God of Fullness and Refuge, we give You thanks and praise for the joy of eternal life in glory now bestowed on those we have loved in this life. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Lord, in Your Mercy
                                                Keep us steadfast in our faith
                       
~ God of Fullness and Refuge, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

                                                Lord, in Your Mercy
                                                Keep us steadfast in our faith
           
~ God of Fullness and Refuge, look with favor upon those who serve You in Your Church and shepherd our souls to follow in the footsteps of Christ together. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Lord, in Your Mercy
                                                Keep us steadfast in our faith
                                                                                                        

The Celebrant adds:  Lord God, of Promise and Presence, free us from the traps of worry, busyness, and distraction we set for ourselves, estranging us from You. Infuse us with the wisdom to choose the better and everlasting part of the life you have given us to live. We ask through Jesus, Firstborn of All Creation, and the Holy Spirit, our Wonderful Counselor, 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.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Prayers of the People: Plumbing the Depths, 8th Sunday after Pentecost Yr C

For Sunday, July 10, 2016, 8th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, Readings: Amos 7:7-17, Ps 82, Colossians 1:1-14, Luke 10:25-37


Thy Republican Neighbor, Thy Democrat Neighbor,
Thy Libertarian Neighbor, Thy Liberal Neighbor,
Thy Conservative Neighbor, Thy Hindu Neighbor, 

Thy Buddhist Neighbor, Thy Annoying Neighbor,
Thy Cranky Neighbor, Thy Gossipy Neighbor,
Thy Neighbor's Terrible Children, Thy Old Neighbor,
Love All Thy Neighbors as Thyself
         This is what the Lord God showed me: the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. And the LORD said to me, "Amos, what do you see?" And I said, "A plumb line." Then the Lord said, "See, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel..." [Amos 7:7-17]

         Rescue the weak and the poor;
deliver them from the power of the wicked. 
[ Ps 82:4]

         May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from [God's] glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience... [Colossians 1:11] 

         "Teacher", he said, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" [Jesus] said to him, "What is written in the law? What do you read there?" [The lawyer] answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all our soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." [Jesus] said, "You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live. [Luke 10:25-28]

        Amos saw God with a plumb line, a cord with a heavy weight at the bottom used to determine if a vertical wall is perpendicular ~ straight and "true" in its construction. It can also determine depth. In this reading, God, not finding a good measure of plumb, decided to do some reconstruction, or perhaps more accurately, some demolition. And the lawyer in this passage from Luke speaks words that are so familiar we could recite them yet don't we still find them difficult to live? This was a shocking parable in its time and if we use a substitute for Samaritan such as Satanist, and something like "contagious" for the man beset by robbers on the road, perhaps we can understand the apprehension of those who passed by without helping [and also the "Law" that forbade touching the "unclean"] and the amazement that he would be helped by so unlikely a person. In the words of a popular tv show, What would you do? Now is a good time to plumb the depths of our own faith, to do some reconstruction (and demolition if necessary), to hear, understand, and accept that to love our neighbors IS to love ourselves and God; and, that everyone whether liked, unliked, feared, mistrusted, dangerous, annoying, etc., IS our neighbor. Paul prayed, as we must, for our strength, endurance, and patience from God. The Samaritan showed mercy ~ above and beyond ~ let us go and do likewise.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Almighty and Abiding God, in such difficult times as these when our fear and mistrust of those unlike ourselves is rising, fill us with knowledge and understanding of Your will, that our love for our neighbors and ourselves will be a true measure of our love for and faith in Christ.

                                                Holy Creator
RESPONSE:         Grant us wisdom, patience, and strength

~  Almighty and Abiding God, help us to support the upright and honorable people who serve in governments in every nation, state, and locale, who uphold the principles of integrity, compassion, and mercy, on this, Your Earth. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Holy Creator
Grant us wisdom, patience, and strength                                     
~  Almighty and Abiding God, rescue the poor, the weak, and the sick with Your healing mercy, and give comfort and endurance to all who assist them. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

Holy Creator
Grant us wisdom, patience, and strength      

~  Almighty and Abiding God, deliver all who are lost in the darkness of grief into the joy of knowing, that those who have died, now live on in the eternal light of Christ’s heavenly peace. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions

Holy Creator
Grant us wisdom, patience, and strength      
                       
~ Almighty and Abiding God, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

Holy Creator
Grant us wisdom, patience, and strength      
                       
~ Almighty and Abiding God, as we look to our faithful ministers of Your Word and Sacraments as our guides of truth in action, endow them with steadfastness and endurance to urge us along the right pathways and share in the inheritance of the saints. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Holy Creator
Grant us wisdom, patience, and strength      
                                                                                                        
The Celebrant adds:  O God, Source of all Being, help us to plumb the depths of our faith to reset our grounding in You, and seek to share the love and mercy for others that we each have in You. We ask through Jesus, the Incarnation of Love, and the Holy Spirit, the Fount of Wisdom, who together with You, are One God, forever and always.  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 28, 2016

Prayers of the People: Dusty Lambs, 7th Sunday after Pentecost Yr C

For Sunday, July 3, 2016, 7th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, Readings: 2 Kings 5:1-14, Ps 30, Galatians 6:(1-6) 7-16, Luke 10:1-11, 16-20


    But his servants approached and said to him, "Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, 'Wash and be clean'?  So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean. [2 Kings 5:1-14]

      Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow...if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life...let us not grow weary in doing what is right...So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith. [Galatians 6:7, 8b-9a, 10]

        [The Lord] said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few...Go on  your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves...Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this house!' And if anyone...shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not it will return to you...But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you...say, 'Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against  you.' [Luke 10:2a, 3, 5-7, 10-11a]

       The world is a fearsome place. Far away and close to home there is turmoil, anger, mistrust, and violence. Political agenda spirals seemingly out of control in the failing attempt to exert more long-term control over local power and personal wealth and prestige. Misinformation, disinformation, and deliberate manipulation fuel the fires of those who act impulsively with nothing more than looping 10 second soundbites, self-aggrandizing opinion and deliberate lies disguised as broadcast journalism, and clever but deceptive tabloid headlines to inform. Wars, extreme weather, other catastrophes destroy life and property daily. In short, there is nothing new happening in the world. We are but sheep in the fields of history and humanity. Yet despite superficial evidence to the contrary we are no worse off than at any other time since the world began. But there are more of us now and we "know" more with the increasing rapidity of the broken "breaking news." It is all happening in our time, not our parents', grandparents', or the annals of past civilizations which raises the level of anxiety that results in chaotic response, ambivalence, or apathy. We all seek to find some level ground to rest upon, to think, to plan, to understand. And the place of busy resting is in Jesus. 
       Paul tells us we reap what we sow and we are not to grow weary in doing what is right. Of course if everyone believes that what they are doing is "right" how can we decide what really is?  Naaman was reminded by servants that he might have agreed to the healing ritual that Elisha prescribed if the activity had been more difficult. Perhaps we, too, feel that living into our faith must be too difficult for us mere mortals so we escape into checklists of giving money and attending church services as doing our duty, fearful of the wolves who will mock us, or worse, and the commitment required if we live the life we are called to live. But let's try, together, in the Family of Faith, to walk the Gospel path, offer Peace to all and accept what returns. Let us shake the dust of complacency from ourselves, as Christ's lambs, and labor in the fields of God. Not a promise of ease in life to be sure, but a sure Promise of eternal life with joy.   
       

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O Lord our God, arouse and provoke us in heart and in mind to labor in Your fields for the good of all, sow to the Spirit, and reap the plentiful harvest of the Family of Faith.

                                                Lord with Your Favor
RESPONSE:           We will do what is right

~  O Lord our God, spare the lambs of Your pasture from the wolves of unbridled self-interest lurking in governments now, and in those to come, throughout this world, in our own nation, and our local communities. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Lord with Your Favor
                                    We will do what is right
                                               
~  O Lord our God, lift the spirits of those who have fallen through chronic sickness, poverty, and depression, and lighten the load for all who give support. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                Lord with Your Favor
                                    We will do what is right
           
~  O Lord our God, shelter all who are in the depths of grief, and infuse a spark of joy that grows into rejoicing, to know the ones we have sent to You are a new creation of life, love, and peace for all eternity.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Lord with Your Favor
                                    We will do what is right           

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

                                                Lord with Your Favor
                                    We will do what is right
                       
~ O Lord our God, grant infectious energy and contagious inspiration to those You have appointed to lead us on the path to everlasting life. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Lord with Your Favor
                                    We will do what is right
                                                                                                        

The Celebrant adds:  God of Benevolence and Strength, impel our desire to shake off the dust of our own complacency, immerse ourselves in the healing elements of prayer, and turn our lives to Your service in the spirit of gentleness. We ask through Jesus, our Teacher, and the Holy Spirit, our Sustainer, who together with You are One God, infinite and 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.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Prayers of the People: Divine Interruptions, 6th Sunday after Pentecost Yr C

For Sunday, June 26, 2016, 6th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, Readings: 2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14; Ps 77: 1-2, 11-20; Gal 5:1, 13-25; Luke 9:51-62

   
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1906-1945
German, Lutheran Pastor
Author of "The Cost of Discipleship" and other books
Murdered by the Nazis shortly before their surrender
     
Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, "Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you." Elisha said, "Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit." He responded, "You have asked a hard thing..." 
[2 Kings 2:8-10a]

          [T]he whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. [Galatians 5:15]

        To another  [Jesus] said: "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." But Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." [Luke 9:59-60]

          What is the cost of the freedom "you were called to" [Galatians 5:13] by Christ? What is the going rate for discipleship? In terms of earthly self-indulgence, or inconvenience, the cost may be very high indeed. But how do we measure short-term pleasures or the criticism and misunderstandings by others against eternal life and salvation? Of course we're quick to cry and pray when all is going wrong, yet often we're considerably slower in thanksgiving for all things - small and big - that go well. But sometimes there is that little nagging, goading, prodding something that calls you to take a second look at a person in need, give extra change to someone in the grocery line, or (with a heavy sigh), go out of your way to help someone. Divine interruption? Perhaps; maybe an unconscious moment of discipleship, loving your neighbor as yourself. The Gifts of the Spirit are available as easily as the works of the flesh. The price is simple and tax free, merely a commitment to be the hands of Christ on earth. In asking for the help to find our own path of least resistance, we'll find that the waters will part. Step across and don't look back. Christ is made our sure foundation, all we need to do is Follow.


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Living God, we seek You in the time of trouble, and cry aloud for You to hear us. Interrupt our daily plans, thoughts, and actions to remind us to seek You also in the ordinary and mundane, in joy and satisfaction as well as in sorrow, fear, or frustration. Bestow an extra measure of Your Spirit upon us and keep us from measuring the cost of discipleship in anything other than the promise of everlasting salvation.

                                                 Holy and Giving Lord
RESPONSE:         Help us to walk in Your Ways

~ Living God, fill us with the wisdom and the courage to care, stand, and speak on behalf of those who have no voice, no justice, and no hope before the governments and dictatorships in this world, this nation, and this community. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Holy and Giving Lord
Help us to walk in Your Ways                                       

~  Living God, relieve the anguish of those in constant pain or the grip of depression and bolster the energies of those who provide care and support. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

Holy and Giving Lord
Help us to walk in Your Ways                                                   

~  Living God, attend all hearts who are in the depths of mourning as You lift the souls of those, beloved on earth, to the light of new life in Your everlasting Presence. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Holy and Giving Lord
Help us to walk in Your Ways                                       
                       
~ Living God, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

Holy and Giving Lord
Help us to walk in Your Ways                                                               

~ Living God, enhance and enlighten the faith of all who are called as today’s prophets in Your church, that they may continue to encourage and guide our pilgrimage in this life. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Holy and Giving Lord
Help us to walk in Your Ways                                       
                                                                                                        
The Celebrant adds: O God our Fortress and our Strength, as You constantly part the waters of the sea of our resistance, rouse us from complacency and self-indulgence, to cross over to wholly accept and live by the Fruit of the Spirit, looking only forward to the fullness of Your Kingdom.  We ask through Jesus, our Redeemer Christ, and the Holy Spirit, our Revealer of Truth, who together with You 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.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Meditation Moments: The Great Litany adapted for Orlando





              There are already and soon will be more millions of words to be read, listened to, absorbed, rejected, or accepted about the tragic and sorrow-filled events in Orlando that will revisit and, as it should, reawaken the pain and fearfulness from the events of Sandy Hook, Charleston, Boston, Virginia Tech, etc., etc., etc., in the 35 mass murders in this country since 2006. Each time the numbers seem to grow exponentially. I have no useful words that I can add and yet I was asked to provide a short litany and closing collect for this moment that will help us gather our prayers communally in a service at my home parish. Here is what I prepared, adapting the format, style, and some of the language from The Great Litany in our Book of Common Prayer [page 148]. This Litany is generally used at the beginning of Lent. You can find the full original text of it at http://www.bcponline.org/  What follows is my adaptation in hopes that it gives our hearts some of the words our minds cannot find.


        Peace be with you and especially with those suffering such unimaginable loss...

 For Orlando and too many other times and people:


O God, Creator of heaven and earth,
Have mercy upon us.

O God, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy upon us.

O God, Sanctifier of the faithful,
Have mercy upon us.

O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, one God,
Have mercy upon us.

From all hardness of heart, and contempt of your Word and commandment by thought, word, or deed,
Good Lord, deliver us.

From all terror, oppression, violence, and murder, and from dying suddenly and unprepared,
Good Lord, deliver us.

That it may please you to bring into the way of truth all such as have grievously erred, are deceived, and whose hearts and minds are shackled by maniacal rage and evil intent,
We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please you so to rule the hearts of all in authority, that they may do justice, and love mercy, and walk and speak in the ways of truth,
We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please you to make wars, those far away and those close to home, to cease in all the world; to give to all nations and communities unity, peace, and concord; and to bestow freedom upon all peoples,
We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please you to preserve all who are in danger by reason of their sexual orientation, color of their skin, ethnicity, religion, gender, or any other difference from ourselves,
We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please you to preserve, and provide for, young children and orphans, the widowed, and all whose homes are broken or torn by the strife and pain of blind hatred, racism, sexism, and all other -isms.
We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please you to give us true repentance; to forgive us all our sins, negligences, and ignorances; and to endue us with the grace of your Holy Spirit to amend our lives according to your holy Word,
We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please you to forgive our enemies, persecutors, and terrorists, and to turn their hearts, and our own, to forgiveness, compassion, and love,
We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please you to grant to all the faithful departed eternal life and peace, especially:

—Edward Sotomayor Jr.
—Stanley Almodovar III
—Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo
—Juan Ramon Guerroro
—Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera
— Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz
— Luis S. Vielma
— Kimberly Morris
—Eddie Jamoldroy Justice
—Darryl Roman Burt II
—Deonka Deidra Drayton
—Alejandro Barrios Martinez
—Anthony Luis Laureanodisla
—Jean Carlos Mendez Perez
—Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez
- Amanda Alvear
- Martin Benitez Torres
- Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon
- Mercedez Marisol Flores
- Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado
- Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez
- Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez
- Oscar A Aracena-Montero
- Enrique L. Rios, Jr.
- Miguel Angel Honorato
- Javier Jorge-Reyes
- Joel Rayon Paniagua
- Jason Benjamin Josaphat
- Cory James Connell
- Juan P. Rivera Velazquez
- Luis Daniel Conde
- Shane Evan Tomlinson
- Juan Chevez-Martinez
- Jerald Arthur Wright
- Leroy Valentin Fernandez
- Tevin Eugene Crosby

And for all whose names are not yet known to us. Grant a miracle of comfort and peace to those who love them,
We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.

O Christ, hear us.
O Christ, hear us.

O God, our Refuge and our Strength, in the face of fearsome foes, seething intolerance, and the tempests of tragedy, in suffering and in joy, let us remember to always turn first to you with our faith strong and our hearts wide open. We ask with heavy hearts through your Son Jesus, our Savior and the Holy Spirit our Comforter, who together with You are One Holy and Eternal God from before the beginning until beyond the end. Amen.


Adapted from the BCP Great Litany by Christina Brennan Lee



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.