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 6, 2016

Prayers of the People: Goes Around Comes Around, 4th Sunday after Pentecost Yr C

For Sunday, June 12, 2016, 4th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, Readings: 1 Kings 21:1-10 (11-14), 15-21a; Galatians 2:15-21, Luke 7:36-8:3

         [Elijah] answered, "I have found you. Because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the Lord, I will bring disaster on you." [1 Kings 21: 21a]

         Give ear to my words, O Lord...for I make my prayer to you. [Ps 5: 1a, 2b]

        [A]nd it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
[Galatians 2:20]

          But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little. [Luke 7:47b]

        In the readings for this Sunday we move from abject cruelty to absolute compassion. Ahab and Jezebel are the personification of evil-doing and corrupt power. The Prophet Elijah speaks God's words in saying that disaster will be brought to bear on them for their deeds and what happens next in the books of 1st and 2nd Kings are compelling narratives of the stuff that films are made of. And yet let us not, in our ritual re-tellings of ancient stories, absently relegate such tales to the distant past of far away places. We cannot, and must not, deny the harsh and devastating realities that continue in the world of today that are close to home and all over the globe.
        In the Gospel reading we may well wonder, was Jesus set up for controversy by Simon, the Pharisee? Perhaps, yet he was true to himself and his teachings. His words to Simon are stark and difficult reminders to us of how we are to live our lives: But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little. As he further tells the woman who anointed his feet, Your faith has saved you; go in peace [Luke 7:50], so Paul tells us that by our own faith we are saved. I must ask myself: Am I at peace? How do I forgive? Often we must first forgive ourselves and then forget to project our unease with own sin onto others. Another pressing question comes: How are we to live the Gospel? We know and teach our children the "Golden Rule" - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. But this lesson of Jesus speaks to me of what some call the "Platinum Rule" - Do unto others AS THEY WOULD HAVE YOU do unto them. 
       For love to be more, more love must be given. Archbishop Desmond Tutu says, "I don't preach a social gospel; I preach the Gospel, period. The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is concerned for the whole person. When people were hungry, Jesus didn't say, 'Now is that political or social?' He said, 'I feed you.' Because the good news to a hungry person is bread." 

       What goes around comes around.


Leader:  ~ God of Mercy, help us to seek the Christ within ourselves, to keep our faith conscious and quick in forgiveness, always remembering how we ourselves are forgiven by You.

                                                     Holy and Righteous Lord
RESPONSE:             We make our prayers to You

~ God of Mercy, in a world, a country, and a community too often beset by fear, rage, and apathy all fueled by political expedience, grant us the courage to pursue truth in our current leaders as well as in those who would lead, expect justice, and err on the side of clemency and peace. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Holy and Righteous Lord
                                                We make our prayers to You

~ God of Mercy, caress the souls of the many who struggle with incessant pain of body, mind, or spirit, and refresh the energy of all who give care and support. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                Holy and Righteous Lord
                                                We make our prayers to You

~ God of Mercy, whisper in the hearts of the sorrowful so they may know that the light of Your glory is upon all who now live again in everlasting joy and peace. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Holy and Righteous Lord
                                                We make our prayers to You

~ God of Mercy, as we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions aloud or silently, let us also give thanksgiving, praise, and prayers for all new graduates, that their new life journey heartening satisfaction, soul-filling success, and a deepening faith in You. add your own petitions

                                                Holy and Righteous Lord
                                                We make our prayers to You

~ God of Mercy, we give You great thanks for the faith-filled life in this congregation, for all who went before us, all who are here, and all who are yet to come, and for the blessings received from those who bring us Your Word and Sacraments as we move forward together in You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Holy and Righteous Lord
                                                We make our prayers to You

The Celebrant adds:  Most Gracious God, revive and awaken us to the wonders of Your compassion and love, and fill our earthly lives with the sanctuary of Your divine peace. We ask through Jesus, our Christ and Savior, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom and Sustainer, who together with You are One God, infinite and eternal.  Amen.

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