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.

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.


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.

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