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 13, 2015

Prayers of the People: House Hunting? 8th Sunday after Pentecost

for Sunday, July 19, 2015, Pentecost 8, Year B, Readings: 2 Samuel 7:1-14a, Ps 89:20-37, Eph 2:11-22, Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 

          ...[T]he word of the LORD came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the LORD: Are you the one to build me a house to live in?... [T]he LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house. [2 Samuel 7:4b-5,11b]  [emphasis added]

          ...[In] Christ Jesus...is our peace...he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall...thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body...you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined...you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.
[Eph 2:13a-14,16a,19-21a,22]

            In the weeks since the murders at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, more than half a dozen African-American houses of worship were burned, countless debates and confrontations over the Confederate flag, the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of gay marriage while various and sundry states and counties threaten non-compliance. A sticky provision of the Affordable Care Act was also deemed constitutional and the Court has, as well, sustained the legality of certain drugs used for the execution of prison inmates. That's certainly not all that has happened but it is all just in this country since mid-June. There are natural disasters, wars, terror attacks, ethnic cleansings, religious persecutions, debt crises, famine, etc., etc., every day in this world. People losing houses in devastating ways, or at least, their footing they once thought was sure. And for every "us" there is a "them” and how can we trust “them” if they’re not “us”? 
           How do we take it all in; how do we fix it; how do we reconcile? We have to start at home. No easy answers here, but lots of ideas about reconciliation are available in churches, other faith communities, in non-profit and other organizations. Gather some of your "us" and hear some thoughts and then work on gathering some of your "them"...it's not easy to break down dividing walls, to calm the hostility between us. When all feels lost, let's pray together, us and them.  Jesus is always a good beginning place, the foundation of our spiritual household. Let "us" find our way, with at least some of "them", to truly follow Him, and some peace will come, so that, at least in one small pocket of this difficult world, we can make that house a home, a dwelling place for God.            
           As the hymn says:  
Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ the head and cornerstone,
chosen of the Lord, and precious,
binding all the Church in one;
holy Zion's help for ever,
and her confidence alone.
[Hymn 518, The Hymnal 1982]


Leader:  ~ God of Promise and Peace, as we work to break down the walls that divide us and reconcile ourselves as one body, You sent us Christ, as our Shepherd, to be the new cornerstone in the foundation of Your eternal household.

LORD of Compassion and Healing
RESPONSE: You are the rock of our salvation

~ God of Promise and Peace, Help us find the words to move the hearts and souls of those who hold authority in our city, in our country, and in all of the governments of this world, to eliminate hostility, hopelessness, fear, and famine. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

LORD of Compassion and Healing
                                    You are the rock of our salvation

~ God of Promise and Peace, surround and relieve the suffering of those in chronic pain, lost in the grip of depression, or trapped in addiction, or homelessness. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions

LORD of Compassion and Healing
                                    You are the rock of our salvation

~ God of Promise and Peace, embrace the hearts of the grieving as we commend those we love to You, as citizens with the saints, to live again in everlasting joy. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

LORD of Compassion and Healing
                                    You are the rock of our salvation

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

LORD of Compassion and Healing
                                    You are the rock of our salvation

~ God of Promise and Peace, guide all who are anointed in Your service as they shepherd us along life’s uncertain roads, and journey with us to life eternal in You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

The Celebrant adds: Holy and Living God, grant us the faithfulness to live as Your spiritual dwelling in this life, and rest in the knowledge that we will abide fully in You in the next. We ask through the mercy of Christ Jesus, the cornerstone of our souls, and the Holy Spirit, the sacred breath of peace, who together with You reign as One God, now, forever, and always.  Amen.     

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