Categories
Bidding Prayer liturgy

Bidding Prayer for Thanksgiving Eve

Image of a white pumpkin on a plate with dried sunflowers with “Give Thanks” written in the background.

Note: I’m on vacation this week so this post is not based on the RCL. You are welcome to use this bidding prayer if you wish. If you have virtual services and would like to use my four minute recording of a shorter version of this prayer, with candle lighting, you can find the video on youtube. Download links and attribution are in the video description. You can use it.

Direct video download links are in the video description – click through to YouTube if you want to use my video this in your services, to download and copy the attribution.

Let us pray for all who gather to give thanks and worship God.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Creator God, you long for unity among all your peoples. On this Thanksgiving Eve, fill our hearts with love for all our neighbors and move us to live lives of compassion and generosity. Our fears and anxiety surrounding some of your peoples do not come from you. We are grateful for you love and pray for the courage to live more fully as your body.
God in your mercy,
Hear our prayers.

Let us pray for the church, gathered here and elsewhere. (silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
God who remains steadfast through all time, we celebrate the awesome diversity of your church. In this season of division, help us to be agents of your healing grace. Enable us to let go of all that keeps us from working side-by-side to bring about your realm here on earth. Forgive our tendency to think we are right and all other ways of worshiping you are incorrect. Be with us now; lead us into better days for all your people.
God in your mercy,
Hear our prayers.

Let us pray for all of Creation – this planet and all who live on it
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Eternal and compassionate God, we are a world in trouble. We have not been good stewards of your Creation, nor have we loved our neighbors as ourselves. In the midst of pandemic we have a tendency to protect our own and not be as concerned with others as you would have us be. Strengthen us for the days ahead. Let us bring hope and healing once more – for Earth and for all your children.
God in your mercy,
Hear our prayers.

Let us pray for all those in need of healing.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Holy and amazing God, we know we need healing – as individuals, as your church, as a community, as a country, and as a global community. We hold out to you all the broken places in our lives and in our world, asking that you would bring healing and wholeness. We also lift up all those who have COVID and those whose work puts them at higher risk. Be with those who seek to find a vaccine. Grant us courage and hope enough to get through this season of sickness and despair.
God in your mercy,
Hear our prayers.

Let us pray for all those whose hearts are heavy with grief and loss.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
God of hope and new life, there is too much sadness, loss, and grief in the world. We often feel helpless and don’t know how to be in the company of those who suffer. Teach us your compassion that we may bring comfort to those who mourn, that we may trust your light of hope to guide us all. We pray for your healing presence to accompany those whose burden of grief is too heavy to bear, especially those who have lost a loved one to suicide, murder, or sudden death of another kind. May we be gentle and kind and patient in response to the grief in our lives and in the lives of those around us.
God in your mercy,
Hear our prayers.

Let us offer up gratitude and praise to God for the goodness and blessings we experience.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
God of abundant life, we thank you that even in the midst of pandemic we can experience the wonders and mysteries of your blessings. We thank you for the people and prophets who challenge us, awaken us, and call us closer to you. We are grateful for what do have and what we are able to do on this Thanksgiving. Even as we yearn for better days, we continue to praise you for all that is good, and for your love for us which never ends.
God in your mercy,
Hear our prayers. Amen.

Photo: CC0image by Jacksonville

Categories
Poetry

The Backside of God: somewhere between prayer and poetry

Image of frost on glass with a blue-gray background with orange light nearer the top
The Backside of God

This season rests heavily upon the earth
pressed down on us with waves of sickness
made unforgettable by loss of life, of livelihood, of loved ones, of safe harbor
driven home by super storms swirling with ever-increasing force
and wild fires devouring acre after acre
letting scorched and scarred earth speak for itself
 
In the daylight I watch sets of leaves fall in synchronous circles
joining the growing, glowing throng of their siblings
when night falls as it does I am startled by
scuttling sounds of leaves chased down the empty street by autumn winds
under the weight of the season I am comforted by the scurrying scuttle
the ordinariness of the sounds
 
Then snow falls out of season, portents of winter yet to come
erasing the memories of rainbows stretching over a muddy river
heightening the distant dogs barking their warnings and welcomings
magnifying the angry neighbors shouting over the opinion of others
lifting up politicians making promises demonizing their opponents, losing sight of democracy
pandemic strengthening its hold, targeting the vulnerable and devalued ones
 
Between autumn and winter, winds blow, storms rage with unfamiliar intensity
God’s absence floods the spaces
between hope and despair,
life and death,
lies and promises,
guilt and liberation,
sickness and healing
 
In the chaos desperation thrives, feeding on anger and hatred, hopelessness and isolation
leaves crunching underfoot give voice to yearning for rest, renewal, a fallow time,
a dormancy that will yield new life in due time
 
In this time between what is and what will be God is present
in the harsh winds and caressing breezes
in the sun, the rain, and the intricacy of each snowflake in season and out
in the frenzy of nut collecting squirrels and the determined dogs seeking to deter themi
in the cat purring on my lap and the geese calling out their journey south
in the rainbows and the rivers
in the space between neighbors where love abides
in the hands that mark ballot ovals
in the healers and hope-bearers
in the prophets and the poets
in the moments of stillness
in the cacophony of nature
in the recognition of Mars shining pink in the night sky
in death and in life
 
Yet, we often fail to notice
mistake stillness for absence
or patient waiting for our attention for a lack of care
 
How often we miss God passing by in every moment!
If we pay attention, we might be lucky enough to catch a hindsight glimpse
of Love
of Glory
of Grace
of Healing
of Hope
of New Life
of Forgiveness
of New beginnings
of kindness
of Justice
of Transformation
 
of an opportunity for us all to live better trusting God’s presence in every moment
honoring God’s desire for us to live in service to all our neighbors
and embody Divine Love when we feel it
and when we don’t
 
If we want to see more than the backside of God
we can take time to read the book of Creation
and look one another in the eyes
 
a moment of Grace is all it takes to discover Christ within us
a moment of stillness is all it takes to discover God around us
a moment of compassion is all it takes to discover the Spirit among us
 
Hindsight is fine
seeking God in the depths, the heights, and the extraordinary in-between
might be better

RCL: Year A Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost October 18, 2020 Exodus 33:12-23 with Psalm 99 or
Isaiah 45:1-7 with Psalm 96:1-9, (10-13)
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Matthew 22:15-22

Photo: CC0image by Bonnie Kolarik

Categories
Poetry

A Confessional Prayer

image of four wild horse running with a rainbow in the background

Holy One, you are like no other god—a lesson you have tried to teach us again and again. Though Abraham expected you to need the sacrifice of Isaac, you did not. You ask us to unbind ourselves from the pain-filled destructive ways of old. You ask us to rid ourselves of our ties to racism and white supremacy, to xenophobia, and to fears that prevent us from seeing you in ourselves and in our neighbors. Forgive us for the ways we cling to outdated understandings and traditions that no longer hold meaning. Forgive us and call us into your presence once more.

Ever-patient God, you hear our cries of “How long, O Lord, how long?” and you wait for us to change our ways. You are present with us in joy and in sorrow, in peace and in war. Yet, we mistake your presence for your blessing. Moreover, we want you to fix what we have broken. Instead, you provide us with all that we need for healing, for peace, for abundant life—not just for ourselves but for all. Have mercy on us when we fail to take responsibility for our sins of destruction, dehumanization, and divisions. Have mercy on us and awaken us to the possibilities of life in your Spirit.

God of life and love, do you ever grow tired of waiting for us to turn to you? How many times must you set us free from ourselves? How many times do you need to put your Love on full display before we see how precious we are, before we recognize you in all peoples? You have demonstrated the saving power of your Love again and again. You tell us that we are free from sin and ask us to serve righteousness. And still we persist in causing harm, often in your name. Call us once more to live as you taught—loving our neighbors as ourselves. Call us and awaken us to the power of Love.

Steadfast God, we are tangled up in so much that is not good for us. The knots of fear tighten when those who should lead speak only to divide. The ropes of self-righteousness wrap ever-tightly every time we fail to consider what our actions might mean for our neighbors. We say we want to be disentangled, even while reaching for new cords to bind ourselves to some other false prophet or punitive god of our own making. So many people around us are in need of water, of hope, of renewal, of release, of reparation, and we tend to think that your Living Water is meant only for us. Fill us with your grace that we may free ourselves of all that binds us to brokenness. Fill us and empower us to be agents of healing, hope, and Love.

Amen.

If you are in need of sermon help, try here.

RCL – Year A – Fourth Sunday after Pentecost – June 28, 2020
Genesis 22:1-14 with Psalm 13 or
Jeremiah 28:5-9 with Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18
Romans 6:12-23
Matthew 10:40-42

Photo: CC0image by Skeeze

Categories
liturgy Prayer

Prayer Litany for George Floyd

Litany of Prayer for George Floyd originally written for an Interfaith Vigil on 5/28/2020

Based on Psalm 130, Quran Chapter 5, Verses 27-32, Matthew 22:36-40

One:    Out of the depths we cry to you, Holy One. Hear the cries from our lips and from our hearts. As we lament the death of George Floyd, and all the other unarmed black men and women who have died at the hands of police.

All:      Strengthen our commitment to ending lethal white supremacy and the racism it needs to thrive.

One:    Lord of the worlds, you have told us that to murder one soul is like murdering the whole of humanity. Likewise to save one is to save all of humanity. If we have been silent when police have killed our unarmed black siblings, we share the weight of their deaths. Show us the way to forgiveness.

All:      Strengthen our commitment to ending lethal white supremacy and the racism it needs to thrive.

One:    Almighty One, we have heard your call to love our neighbors as ourselves. Anything that divides us one from another and allows us to dehumanize and devalue any of your children does not come from you; hate and fear always come from our human hearts. Reveal in us the truth of your love.

All:      Strengthen our commitment to ending lethal white supremacy and the racism it needs to thrive.

One:    We call on you, Giver of Mercy, when peaceful protests are invaded by violence and destruction, when calls for justice are buried under rubble created by those who no longer care for the good of all. Teach us your mercy as hope in you guides us to a new morning.

All:      Strengthen our commitment to ending lethal white supremacy and the racism it needs to thrive.

One:    Healer of the World, may we heed your call to change the evil of white supremacy and racism with our hands, our tongues, and our hearts. Awaken us to act with lovingkindness and mercy even as we seek justice for George Floyd and too many others. Guide us in the way of peace.

All:      Strengthen our commitment to ending lethal white supremacy and the racism it needs to thrive.

One:    Faithful God, you continually call us to care for the vulnerable among us, to live with mercy and love. As our tears flow and our anger rises, remind us that we are to love as you love. Unite us in this grief, draw us nearer to one another, and move us to action. Let us hold these moments of unity close to our hearts that we may dismantle systems of injustice and build new systems based on mercy, justice, and love for all people.

All:      Strengthen our commitment to ending lethal white supremacy and the racism it needs to thrive. Unite us in love for you and for all your people as we commit to creating a world where justice becomes a reality for all.

In all your names, we pray. Amen.

These are not words that go with the the Pentecost texts, and yet they must. If you are looking for sermon help, try here where these thoughts came before George Floyd’s murder and the events continuing to unfold in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

RCL – Year A – Pentecost – May 31, 2020
Acts 2:1-21 or Numbers 11:24-30
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 or Acts 2:1-21
John 20:19-23 or John 7:34-39

Photo: CC0image by Jackson David

Categories
Prayer

A Pastor’s Prayer in the midst of Pandemic

Shepherding God, my desire is to follow you to those green pastures and still waters. I want to rest in you. Yet, rest is rare in these days of crisis, and stillness if fraught with exhaustion. Caring for your people, and finding the right path through this deep valley weighs heavily on my spirit. I often forget that you are with me and that it is your ways that I seek. Awaken me once again to your presence that I may live in your pastures even now.

Restoring and renewing God, you know my heart even before I do. You know the fears I will not give voice to, and you know the dreams I hardly dare to acknowledge. May the whispers of your spirit bring a new assurance and restore peace to my soul. With every budding flower and every soaring hawk, I am reminded that you are at work restoring Creation. Yours is always a promise of new life. Grant me the courage to trust that promise.

Ever-present God, it isn’t evil that fear, exactly. It is the anger, the despair that drives some people to aggression or selfishness. I fear the ignorance propagated by inadequate public leadership. I fear the desperation that grows in so many of my neighbors. I fear the frailty of this body of mine. Enter into these fears, God of life, and renew a right spirit within me.

Comforting God, you are present even now amid COVID-19. While faith will not protect me or anyone else from this virus, your Love can guide humanity if we let it. We can show up for our neighbors who have lost loved ones, employment, hope. We can share resources and not hoard them for ourselves. We can find hope for this world, for humanity, for a future unlike our past. If we rely on your Love, it becomes possible to address the brokenness highlighted by this crisis. Guide us all onto the path that will end all fear of the “other” and heal divisions we have created.

Merciful and healing God, I am at a loss for words when it comes to the suffering of so many. It is hard to believe that healing will come. It is hard to believe that the whole world won’t sink into despair that is impossible to rise out of. Yet, you promise all who seek you will find goodness and mercy. May this be true for those who are grieving… for those who struggle with symptoms of mental illness… for those who have no hope… for those who believe the lies of the politicians… for the politicians themselves… Guide us all to the cup that overflows.

God of life and Love, you have opened the gate of possibility for us all. We can give in to fear or we can choose Love. Forgive me for the moments when Love seems impossible and wholeness seems elusive. You are the gate to new life, to abundant life. Abundance of joy and Love and forgiveness and mercy and so much more are possible even in this time. Fill me with gratitude for all that I have and enable me to pass through your gate to live a life of generosity and grace.

In gratitude and hope, I pray. Be with all who struggle to live in hope and Love. Be with all who risk their lives for the sake of others. Be with all who are surrounded by death. May every human being experience the wonders of your Love and the life of abundance you freely offer. Awaken the hearts and minds of every dreamer and visionary to speed the day of hope and healing for all people. In the meantime, teach me anew what it means to trust in you – in your presence, in your Love, in your grace, in your mercy, in your forgiveness that I may share your abundance with all whom I meet. In the name of the One who came to teach us how to Love one another, Amen.

If you are in need of sermon help, try here.

RCL – Year A – Fourth Sunday of Easter – May 3, 2020
Acts 2:42-47
Psalm 23
1 Peter 2:19-25
John 10:1-10

Photo: CC0image by 9883074

Categories
liturgy Poetry Prayer

A Confessional Prayer

Ever-patient God, 
Jeremiah's ancient words stir within me
You let truth tumble from his lips
down through the ages
to land on my restless spirit
sour grapes are frequently easier to ingest
than the word You would inscribe on my heart
this troubling truth awakens desire in me
yet do I reach for society's sour fruit
or the sweetness of Your words and ways?

Maker of mercy and miracles,
the psalmist sings of Your help and Your hope
while I continue to reach for grapes
knowing my lips will pucker and I will remain hungry
my reluctance to accept the sweet abundance You offer
makes me wonder if I am wrestling with You
or with my own misguided need to be strong and fr
please hold me fast until I hear you calling my name
one more time, breaking the spell woven
by society's deceitful lies
masquerading as nourishing,desirable fruit
though they serve only to sour all
may I have the courage to endure Your grip
and the wisdom to receive Your word (again)


Fierce and gentle God,
how often I have turned from Your ways
let go of Your promises
as if Your word means nothing
as fragile and fleeting as ash in the wind
Your love is endures through all things, all times, all places
when pain is overwhelming, You abide
when I am lost and wandering, You remain
when I insist on eating those deceitful grapes
You wait with honey in hand
for that moment of repentant return
how is it that any of us are worthy of Your love
Your mercy
Your forgiveness
Your eternal patience?

Giver of life and love,
Forgive me for choosing simple, self-serving actions
over the complexity of Your ways
of loving neighbor and self
of serving You and creation
Forgive me when I pester You with trivial concerns
and the sourness of my prayers distances me
from the sweetness of Your love
Forgive me when I fail to turn to you with gratitude
with full recognition for all that is good in my life
Forgive me each time I don't see You
in a neighbor's need
Forgive me for thinking I am on my own in the wilderness
as if You aren't there
along with that immeasurable cloud of witnesses

Gracious God,
write Your word on my heart anew
even knowing that we will wrestle again (and again)
and my pestering prayers
won't always be filled with true need
my deepest desire is to live in Your abundance
build Your kingdom
travel Your holy ways
and embody Your love
always
I am yours

Amen.

RCL – Year C – Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost – October 13, 2019
Jeremiah 31:27-34 with Psalm 119:97-104 or
Genesis 32:22-31 with Psalm 121 and
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 and
Luke 18:1-8

Photo: CC0image by Elias Sch

Categories
liturgy Prayer Uncategorized

A Plumb Line Prayer

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Amazing and merciful God, how easy it is for us to forget that we are your delight. You we rejoice when we follow your holy ways and envision a future of goodness and grace for all your people. We blame you for divisions and strife. We justify our wars by saying that you are on our side. We rationalize the abuse of our enemies by telling ourselves that they are not your people, that their sinfulness exceeds your tolerance. In truth, you have told us that we are to love our neighbors indiscriminately. Moreover, we are to love those with the greatest need more fiercely and more immediately. Shower us with your mercy, O God, until we live by the plumb line you have repeatedly dropped in our midst.

Patient and steadfast God, you continuously call us to live in peace, leaving none behind. We hear your call. We know that your love endures forever. What you ask of us is not beyond our reach; it is not higher than the heavens or on the outer edges of the sea. For all of Creation to live in justice is not an impossibility you hold up to tease us with what we cannot have. If we trust you, it is possible for us to turn aside from our human ways. It is possible for us to love with your love. Enter our lives anew, Holy One, silence our fears and smother our distrust that we may live in harmony with all.

God of wonder and mystery, you love us still. You love us when we are filled with fear. You love us when we are filled with hate. You love us when we are filled with judgment. You love us when we think we are better than our neighbors. You love us when we think are neighbors are better than us. You love us when we blame others for creating the chaos that flows through the world. You love us when we abdicate responsibility for engaging in justice work. You love us through all our foolishness. However, you delight in us when we act with love and seek to bring your realm into the here and now. Flood every corner of our being with the strength of your Spirit that we may have the courage to love with your love, always.

God of near and far places, how foolish we are when we think you are limited to one people, one language, one religion, one way of life. All people are stamped with your image. Every language has many names for you and words of praise for all that you are. At core, each religious tradition seeks to teach your holy ways and encourage us to follow them. You are the giver of all life. If we claim to follow in Christ’s way there is no room for hatred of peoples from other countries, those who speak other languages, those who call you by different names, and those whose culture is not our own. If we belong to Christ, then racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and all the other labels that thrive on our fear have no place in us. Heal our brokenness. May we live as one body with many parts.

Living, loving God, we are grateful for your patient love. Over and over again you call us by name, claim us as your beloved, and fill us with your Spirit. Hear our gratitude for your presence among us, your arms that hold us, your vision that sees our wholeness. May we trust in your love, your grace, your forgiveness as we seek to embody Christ more fully. May the praises we sing and the words of gratitude we whisper transform our fear into hope, our hatred into joy, our judgment into grace, and our ambivalence and apathy into action. We are your people. Your Spirit lives and moves in us. Let us trust in you enough to recognize you in ourselves and in all whom we meet.

Amen.

RCL – Year C – Fifth Sunday after Pentecost – July 14, 2019
Amos 7:7-17 with Psalm 82 or
Deuteronomy 30:9-14 with Psalm 25:1-10
Colossians 1:1-14
Luke 10:25-37

Photo: CC0 image by lumix

Categories
Bidding Prayer liturgy Prayer

Bidding Prayer for Advent Love

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With hopes that we, like Mary, may find favor with God, let us join together in praying for all who share the sacred journey to Bethlehem.
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
God who leads through example, be with all who seek the Christ-child who waits for us. Remind us that road is long and wide enough for all who endeavor to see you. As we prepare to offer our gifts to the newborn king, open our hearts. Open our hearts to make room for the extravagance of your love for us and for the whole of creation. May the love we celebrate this day, flow through us into the world.
Restore us, O God;
Let your face shine that we might be saved.

As we move through these last Advent days, let us pray for those who are in need of shelter, sanctuary, or safety.
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
Holy One whose light proclaims the way of love for the whole of Creation, guide us to the day when hatred, fear, and oppression have no place in our lives. Mary and Joseph found safe harbor in a stable and Christ was born into these humble surroundings. You tell us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. May our love for our neighbors be demonstrated in our actions – building homes, welcoming refugees, and protecting children who dream of a life of safety and possibilities.
Restore us, O God;
Let your face shine that we might be saved.

As we remember the joyful meeting between Mary and Elizabeth, let us pray for all who gather in worship this day, near and far.
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
God who broke into the world to draw us closer to you, unite us in our love for you. While we rush from one holiday activity to another, pass judgement on the celebrations of others, and forget the beauty and wonder of your love, remind us. Remind us that you are more Mystery than we can possibly know. All our traditions may lead us to you, but they separate us from one another. Let us see the gifts others bring and may our hearts leap with joy in recognizing you in everyone we meet.
Restore us, O God;
Let your face shine that we might be saved.

Remembering the promises of old, promises of the One who would bring peace. Let us pray for all who work to bring peace into the world
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
God of steadfast love, you love us even when we forget to love you, our neighbors, ourselves, or creation. We have heard your call to love and we find it so much harder than it ought to be. We justify our wars, our violent ways, our fear of change, our racism, and all the ways we perpetuate systems built on oppression. You wait for us to remember your holy ways of love and justice. As we enter Bethelem this year, shine your love into our broken fearful places, those in ourselves and our churches, and those in our country and our world. Call us once again into wholeness, peace and love. And may we have the courage to respond.
Restore us, O God;
Let your face shine that we might be saved.

Anticipating, once again, the gift of the Christ-child, let us give thanks for all the blessings we have been given.
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
God who loves without limits or conditions, we praise you for true gift of your love for us. A Child born so long ago leads us in your holy ways. In our gratitude, may we have the courage to embody your love with joy and faithfulness so that Child may never be forgotten. Hear our prayers of gratitude and praise for all the ways in which you fill our lives with hope, peace, joy, and love.
Restore us, O God;
Let your face shine that we might be saved. Amen.

RCL Year C – Fourth Sunday of Advent – December 23, 2018
Micah 5:2-5a
Luke 1:46b-55 or Psalm 80:1-7
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-45 [46-55]word

Photo: CC0 image by Gerd Altmann

Categories
liturgy Poetry Prayer Uncategorized

Confession: Repentance and Witness

beach.jpg
 in the shadow of the cross
 in the echoes of the empty tomb
 in the busyness of everyday
 in the restlessness of the night
      to what does my life bear witness?

      some days I forget
            for part of the day (or the whole of it)
      some days I forget
            that my life is a living testimony to the One
      some days I forget
            that for some, mine is the face of Christ
            that my words are Christ’s words
            that my hands are Christ’s hands
            that my love is Christ’s love
            for some who know I call myself Christian
                  some days I get it all wrong

                  the lure of vain words and the power of lies
                  can settle in and whisper their own deceitful truth
                  and lead me away from all that I am created to be
                  letting me blend into a crowd of other lost souls
                  easily enticed with illusions and shallow promises

           then there are the moments when I remember
                 I remember that I am God’s beloved
                 I am part of the Body of Christ
                 I embody Love
                 I bring the Realm of God into the here and now
          when I remember
                 I am God’s own heart
          and I breathe deeply filling myself with the Breath of Life

          repentance opens my eyes to see where I have not
                followed Christ
                or loved my neighbor
                    or loved myself
                or been a careful steward of Creation
          again and again

          with each breath I take, forgiveness frees me
               to take a step in a new direction
               to reach out to one who seems other
               to find rest in my weariness
               to see how Creation comes alive again
          in this season of new life
 
in the shadow of the cross
     I lift my eyes to Hope
in the echoes of the empty tomb
     I hear the promise of life renewed
in the busyness of everyday
     I serve in gratitude
in the restlessness of the night
     I remember I am God’s beloved
          and my life is a witness to the glories of Resurection

Thanks be to God.
     Amen.

RCl – Year B – Third Sunday of Easter – April 15, 2018
Acts 3: 12-19
Psalm 4
1 John 3:1-7
Luke 24: 36b-48

Photos CC-BY-NC image by Rachael Keefe

Categories
Bidding Prayer

Bidding Prayer for Christmas Eve

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On this holy night when we remember Jesus’ birth, let us pray for all the children of the earth, and those who parent them.
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
God who claims us all as beloved children, as we remember the birth of Jesus, we pray for all the children of the world – those near to us and those far away. We pray for parents who do their best to raise their children without the resources they need. We pray for those who have no children of their own and still reach out to children in need of love. Grant us the imagination and the courage to create a world in which all children have food, shelter, and care. Let us make room at the manger for all who come seeking Love.
God who is Love,
Hear our prayers.

As we remember Mary and Joseph, and their long journey to Bethlehem, let us pray for all those who are far from home, for those in need of a home, and those who are lost.
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
God who so loves the world, may the light we celebrate tonight, enlighten us always. May we see you in the face of the stranger, the refugee, the immigrant, the homeless, and the lost. As we think of the crowded in of Bethlehem and those words of “no room,” stir within us. Gift us with your vision of a world in which there is room for all, and no one is turned away. May our journey to this night, have meaning beyond this moment.
God who is Love,
Hear our prayers.

As we remember the angels who spread your Good News of peace on earth for all, let us pray for all those who worship tonight.
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
God who yearns for peace on earth, we lift our voices with countless others in praise to you this night. We celebrate the ways in which you continue to break into the world and reveal your holy ways to us. Shape us into the church that is needed today so that we may truly embody you. May everyone who calls on your name, speak words of peace and work for justice until the day when all live in Love.
God who is Love,
Hear our prayers.

As we remember the shepherds who responded to the angel’s call, let us pray for all people who respond to your call by working to bring the light of justice the world.
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
God of grace and mercy, we see brokenness and suffering all around us. As we celebrate your amazing love, may we see with your eyes and work with your hands. It is not enough for us to witness suffering and oppression. What would the story be like if something prevented others from noticing the birth in the stable so long ago? We have done so much in this world that interferes with your love for the whole of humanity. So for those who have the courage to cry out for justice, we give you thanks, and ask that you would guide our feet to your holy way.
God who is Love,
Hear our prayers.

As we remember the magi who journeyed far to bring gifts to the new born king, let us give thanks for gifts we have been given, even as we seek to share them with others.
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
God who loves us beyond our ability to imagine, we give you thanks for the gifts you have given to us – those we know and those that are yet unknown. While we are tempted to think that these blessings are for us alone, we know that we are meant to share your abundance. As we remember this familiar story of your birth and all who came to the manger, may we be transformed by power of your light – your hope, peace, joy, and love – that we might go home by another road, a road that is widened by generosity and welcome of all whom we meet.
God who is Love,
Hear our prayers.

Photo: CC0 image by falco