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, January 8, 2018

Prayers of the People: God Knows... 2nd Sunday after Epiphany '18 Yr B

For Sunday, January 14, 2018, 2nd Sunday After Epiphany, Year B, Readings: 1 Samuel 3:1:1-10 (11-20), Psalm 139:1-5, 12-17; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, 
John 1:43-51

      And Samuel said, "Speak for your servant is listening." Then the Lord said to Samuel, "See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle..." As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him...And all Israel...knew that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the Lord. 
[1 Samuel 3:10b-11,19-a-20]

     Lord you have searched me out and known me; you know my sitting down and my rising up; you discern my thoughts from afar...You trace my journeys and my resting- places and are acquainted with all my ways. Indeed there is now a word on my lips, but you O Lord, know it altogether...Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb... [Psalm 139:1-2, 15a]

     But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him...do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ...do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 
[1 Corinthians 6:15a, 17, 19]

     Nathanael said to [Philip], "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see..." And [Jesus] said to [Nathanael], "Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." [John 1:46, 51]

      There are many Psalms that resonate within me and Psalm 139, particularly, always has a profound effect on me. There is my Creator, my Divine Parent, who knew me while my limbs were being knitted in the womb and still traces my journeys and my resting-places. Sometimes, admittedly when I’m not at my best (okay, that’s most of the time), my inner child tries to lie lower as if not to be seen by that Parent, especially when those words on my lips are, well, frankly, quite far from God-like. And then Paul reminds us that our bodies are members of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. I’m still working on that. I find living up to such holy standards, in daily life in faith, far easier to intend than to do.
      I show up at church fairly regularly, give to charity, help people and organizations that help people from time to time, I pray ~ and sometimes it isn't just for Divine intervention to get myself out of a jam. God knows what I do with the rest of my time.
      How do I truly answer THE CALL, and, Follow? Would it were easier to be like young Samuel and merely follow the instructions of a trusted elder. Or to be like Philip, readily follow Jesus and then invite the slightly snarky Nathanael to simply "Come and see."
       But we have those instructions from trusted elders! The readings for this week are calling me to again see and discover how I am to live my life. It is never too late to start over or to begin. For example, there is Constantine, the first Roman Emperor to claim conversion and declare Christianity as a state religion, built the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem (on the believed site of Jesus’ Tomb), and Old St Peter's Basilica in Rome, convened the Council of Nicaea in the year 325, from which we still use the Nicene Creed, and yet he would not be baptized until he was on his death bed. St. Augustine, who said in his Confessions [written between 397-400] that in the early days of his conversion he asked God to make him chaste and self-controlled but not yet. SO, when does YET arrive for me? How many times have I waved YET away until I think I’m ready? God knows.
        What will it mean for my life, how will I have to change, what will others think ~ am I ready? God knows. Speak, Lord, for I, your (slightly worried) servant/child, is listening. I'm more (or slightly less) ready to come and see, again. My intentions are good. God knows, and still remains with me. I'll try again...         


Leader:  ~ All-Knowing, All-Seeing God, You have searched us and known us, from before we were in the womb and throughout our earthly lives. Tingle our ears and awaken our hearts to remember that we are not our own but rather members of Christ and temples of the Holy Spirit, and to hear again, listen, and follow Your call to us.

                                                       Steadfast Lord                          
RESPONSE:               Unite us as One in Your Spirit

~ All-Knowing, All-Seeing God, guide our path as we seek truth, honor, and justice in a world filled with alienation among people and nations. Grant each of us, and the leaders of this World, this Country, and our local Communities, the wisdom and selflessness to choose the well-being of us all, over destructive actions tied to temporal and temporary power. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Steadfast Lord
                                                       Unite us as One in Your Spirit
~ All-Knowing, All-Seeing God, strengthen the faith of all who suffer from sickness, addiction, and depression, and for all who give them care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions

                                                       Steadfast Lord
                                                       Unite us as One in Your Spirit
~ All-Knowing, All-Seeing God, whisper words of hope to the grieving, and let us all celebrate with joy for those now released from the trials of this life, into the unbounded Glory of new life with You. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions

                                                       Steadfast Lord
                                                       Unite us as One in Your Spirit

~ All-Knowing, All-Seeing God, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently…add your own petitions

                                                       Steadfast Lord
                                                       Unite us as One in Your Spirit
~ All-Knowing, All-Seeing God, our prayers ascend for all those anointed and elected to lead us in Your church, and guide us on our journey to You. May their insights and faithfulness encourage and embolden us to come again to see, and to live through Your call, in each and every day. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Steadfast Lord
                                                       Unite us as One in Your Spirit

The Celebrant adds:  God of Angels and Humanity, renew the right Spirit within us, that as You trace our journeys and our resting places, You find us as open and trustworthy as Samuel, free of deceit and filled with unyielding faith, glorifying You in body, mind, and action. We ask through the Sacrifice of our Redeemer, Christ; and the Sustaining Guidance of the Holy Spirit, who reign with You, together as One God, now and forever. Amen.

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