Alas for those who lie on beds of ivory, and lounge on their couches…but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph…they shall now be the first to go into exile and the revelry of the lounger shall pass away. [Amos 6:4a, 6b, 7]
The Lord loves the righteous…cares for the stranger…sustains the orphan and widow but frustrates the way of the wicked. [Psalm 146: 8]
But those who want to be rich, fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires…the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil...some have wandered away from the faith...But as for you...fight the good fight of the faith...command them...to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up...the treasure of a good foundation for the future...take hold of the life that really is life. [1 Timothy 6:9a, 10a, 17a, 18~19]
But Abraham said, "Child remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony...between you and us a great chasm has been fixed…" [Luke 16:25, 26a]
We hear so much familiar phrasing in these readings, we may be surprised to remember or to discover their origins. For example, just in 1st Timothy we are given:
~the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil
~Fight the good fight...
~King of kings and Lord of lords
*A nod and thank you to A.K.A. Adam, Tutor in New
Testament, Oxford University, England for his term "lottery economy."
Leader: ~ O Lord our God, You give life to all living things ~ seen and unseen. Deliver us from the traps of harmful and senseless desires in this temporal life and guide us to fight the good fight of the faith in Christ Jesus.
~ O Lord our God, command the hearts of all with political power across this Earth to govern with justice, mercy, and peace, sustaining the needful and frustrating the ways of the wicked. We pray especially for: add your own petitions
~ O Lord our God, grant hope to the hopeless, love to the loveless, and lighten the burden of pain and anguish for all who suffer in any way. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions
~ O Lord our God, shelter and ease the hearts that grieve, as our loved ones, carried to Abraham by the angels, now take hold of the life that truly is life, in Your loving and eternal comfort. We pray especially for… add your own petitions
~ O Lord our God, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently… add your own petitions
~ O Lord our God, may all ordained as the prophets in our time exemplify to us Your purpose in this world, and find continuing strength in the grace of Your ever-constant Presence. We pray especially for: add your own petitions
The Celebrant adds: Living God of Promise, heighten our awareness of the chasm before us at this life’s end that we persevere in good works, generosity, and sharing. Help us to store up our treasure of a good foundation in the true and eternal life after life, to which we are each called. We ask through Jesus, our Sovereign King of Kings; and the Holy Spirit, the Sacred Breath in our souls; who together with You are One God, now and forever and ever. Amen.