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 30, 2018

Prayers of the People: Fresh Bread ~ 11th Sunday after Pentecost '18 Yr B

For Sunday, August 5, 2018, 11th Sunday after Pentecost, Year B, Readings: 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a, Psalm 51:1-13, Ephesians 4: 1-16, 
John 6:24-35

      Then David's anger was greatly kindled against the man. He said to Nathan, "As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity"...Nathan said to David, "You are the man!
[2 Samuel 12:5-7a]

      Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving kindness…Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me…Give me the joy of your saving help again and sustain me with your bountiful spirit.
[Psalm 51:1a, 11, 13]

       I [Paul]...beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called...But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ's gift...The gifts [God] gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ...  [Ephesians 4:1a, 7, 11-12]

     Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you....Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."  [John 6:27, 35]

      David, oh David, God and everyone around you saw how you intentionally sent a man to his death so you could have his wife as your own. God told Nathan to tell you only a few of the ways you are to be punished for your terrible transgressions. There will be many more tragedies visited upon your house because of your greed and actions of abusive power. 
      How easy it is to read this ancient drama/morality tale and feel smugly comfortable that this a fascinating episode in a longer narrative. And David's momentous life from first we know it until the end is the stuff of legend, novels, and films. But David reacts to Nathan's story as I might ~ and have done ~ when confronted with an anecdote or a behavior of someone else that causes a sudden and righteously angry reaction within me. Then, just as suddenly, moments of my own sin roar into my consciousness and require immediate, honest self-reflection, and sincere penitence. 
      Create in me a clean heart, O God [Ps 51:10] is a prayer that comes swiftly to my regretful mind and heart in those times. (Some translations use pure in place of clean.) Yet the saving grace and hope ~ for me and all of us ~ is knowing that although God punished David, God never abandoned him, always loved him, and was with David as he finally saw his sin with woeful clarity. And so it is for each of us today.
      Paul begs us to lead a life worthy of the calling and it is Jesus who brings earthly appetites into focus for us now, in our own time, in our own lives. I remind myself again that the Bible is more than stories of "then" it is also "now." All that happened then is happening now, the dreadful things, the lovely things, the boring things, and the long lists of things ~ look at headlines any day of the week. Jesus has given us the directive of what to take with us and what to leave behind on our Journey to Eternal Life. By him we are fed and led. Through him we are redeemed; we are forgiven. All we need to do is believe it and then live into our belief by our words and actions, by following Jesus. Christ, our Savior, will never abandon us. Jesus is our manna from Heaven, our Bread of Life. His are truly nourishing words, and always, always Fresh.


Leader:  ~ Holy God, Loving and Kind, give us the joy of Your saving help again. Awaken us to humility, gentleness, and patience, to bear one another in love and build up the Body of Christ.

                                                    Jesus, Bread of Life                                                               
RESPONSE:                 Our Food for Life’s Journey

~ Holy God, Loving and Kind, grant us the conviction to speak the truth in love to all who hold authority in this Community, in this Nation, and on this Earth. May our words arouse benevolence and compassion and stem the tide of greed, racism, and division. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Jesus, Bread of Life
                                                       Our Food for Life’s Journey

~ Holy God, Loving and Kind, release from suffering all who live in the throes of chronic illness, depression, or addiction, and give strength to those who love them. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions

                                                       Jesus, Bread of Life
                                                       Our Food for Life’s Journey

~ Holy God, Loving and Kind, release us from earth-bound grief to know that the joy of Heaven is unceasing for all who have received new life in Your bountiful Spirit. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Jesus, Bread of Life
                                                       Our Food for Life’s Journey

~ Holy God, Loving and Kind, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently…add your own petitions

                                                       Jesus, Bread of Life
                                                       Our Food for Life’s Journey
~ Holy God, Loving and Kind, refresh and energize all who are blessed with gifts as evangelists, teachers, and pastors. Guide them as they strive to equip us to find our own gifts for the the work of ministry, and grow in Christ through the bond of peace. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Jesus, Bread of Life
                                                       Our Food for Life’s Journey

The Celebrant adds:  Eternal LORD, cleanse our hearts and renew Your right spirit within us, that we may be willing and worthy to lead the lives to which You have called us. Kindle our desire to turn to You each day, to nourish our souls for the work of heaven, that gives life to the world and endures for eternity. We ask through Jesus, our Divine Sustenance, and the Holy Spirit, our Bountiful Counselor, who together with You are One God, for all infinite, imperishable time. Amen.

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. For more information or comments, contact: Leeosophy@gmail.com

No comments:

Post a Comment