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, April 20, 2020

Prayers of the People: The Road Worth Taking ~ 3rd Sunday of Easter '20 Yr A

For Sunday, April 26, 2020, Readings: Acts 2:14a, 36-41, Psalm 116:1-3, 10-17; 1 Peter 1:17-23, Luke 24:13-35

     Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit..." [Acts 2:38]

          I love the LORD, because he has heard the voice of my supplication, because he has inclined his ear to me whenever I called upon him...Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his servants...O LORD I am your servant...I will offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call upon the Name of the LORD. [Psalm 116: 1, 13, 14a, 15]

        Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth...You have been born anew...of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God. [1 Peter 1:22a, 23]

      Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem and talking with each other about all these things that had happened....When he was at table with them he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight...Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread. [Luke 24:13-14, 30-31, 35]

     "If only..." is a frequent refrain for all of us who wish we had done things differently, or this pandemic had not happened, or the weather was ___ [fill in the blank]. Mostly, though, I think most of us have yearned, with some desperation at times, for that if only I could see, talk to, or touch them one more time moment, especially now in these days of separation and anxiety. As for the death of one loved deeply, I can say from my own acute experiences that yes, much time does soften the punch and shock of loss, and it is then the memories become ever more important with the hope and desire to believe that they are still present with us. It is with that understanding that we enter this segment of Luke’s Gospel about two little-known disciples of Jesus.
We read about two regular guys walking down the road talking about the strange events of the prior few days. This other guy shows up and seems unaware of these events and their importance. They, surprised he didn’t know, explain it and then invite him home to dinner. Suddenly the stranger is hosting the meal and even more suddenly, as he blesses and breaks the bread, he vanishes. In an instant their eyes were opened as never before and when they realized who He was, they rushed to tell the others what they experienced.     
       The Disciples had that one-more moment - never enough, to be sure - and they certainly made the most of it as here we are over two thousand years later still hearing their experiences with Jesus, still hearing the words He spoke. And then, we move into our “today” mode. This account of Jesus, as so many others, fades quickly and becomes too distant, other-worldly, merely familiar, and then gone from memory, until it comes around again in the cycle of readings in Eastertide.
        This day and time is perfect to hear the story of the Road to Emmaus again, in our hearts, through our own memory of loss. Feel their confusion, their shock, their sadness. And then, hear and remember the words Jesus tells them, and us.
         It may be some time before we again receive the sacred Bread at the celebration of the Eucharist, yet especially during these days of quarantine, any time you tear a piece of bread that is blessed at a meal, whether you are alone or with another, remember and know Christ in the breaking of the bread. More than a memory, Christ IS LIVING within us. As we travel the road of this life, wherever it takes us, when we call upon His name we know we are in His love. When we are His love in our actions, purified by obedience to His Truth, this Road will lead us Home.


Leader:  ~ Living Christ, guide us out of the blindness of the “normal” and routine to discover the everyday newness of Creation around us. Open our hearts to Your Constant Presence, open our eyes to see Your Way to Eternal Life, and open our souls to accept and live into Your gift of Salvation.

Jesus, Lord and Messiah
RESPONSE:                    We call upon Your Name

~ Living Christ, grant us the determination, the voice, and the words to redirect the energy of those in Global, National, and Local political power, to actions that benefit all humanity and the planet above unreasonable profit. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Jesus, Lord and Messiah
                                                       We call upon Your Name

~ Living Christ, incline Your ear to us all and especially those who are lost in serious illness, emotional upheaval, and hopelessness, and all who give them care and healing. We now pray for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                       Jesus, Lord and Messiah
                                                       We call upon Your Name
~ Living Christ, we give You thanksgiving for all the faithful who have departed this life, as precious in Your sight and raised into the splendor of Your eternal courts. We pray especially for…add your own petitions

                                                       Jesus, Lord and Messiah
                                                       We call upon Your Name

~ Living Christ, we pause in this moment to offer You our personal heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials…add your own petitions

                                                       Jesus, Lord and Messiah
                                                       We call upon Your Name
~ Living Christ, pour Your special grace and vitality upon those anointed to lead us in Your Church as they enrich our souls, so to hold fast in faith, during this time of trial. We pray especially for: Michael, our Presiding Bishop; Kevin our Bishop; David, our Rector; Lloyd, our Rector Emeritus; Emily and Peter, our Associate Priests.

                                                       Jesus, Lord and Messiah
                                                       We call upon Your Name
The Celebrant adds: Risen Lord Jesus, our constant Companion on the Road, You ransomed us from the futile ways of sin, and we are born anew through Your Resurrection. Reinvigorate our dedication to purify ourselves by obedience to Your Truth, to live in and act through genuine love for others and ourselves, and to set our faith and hope on God. We ask through You, the Living Enduring Word; and the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of our Souls; who together with our Impartial Creator, reign as One God, always, forever, eternally. Amen. 

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