Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Gratitude Challenge, Day Five

    Life is full of shadow moments and darkness beyond the mere change in time. The clouds that pass across the sun bring a chill to the air and sometimes to the soul. We must be vigilant against shrouding ourselves in drear and foreboding. Let us keep seeking the light while managing the inevitable ebbs and flows of all that life brings. The light is always there, if only in the twinkling of stars. When you see it, you'll feel it; when you feel it, remember to offer even just a brief second of thanksgiving.

    Day Five may be the "end" of this Five-Day Gratitude Challenge, but it is only the beginning of me remembering to find any slight reason every day to be grateful, even in those times when all seems lost.

              First, I'm thoroughly grateful for friends from long ago (can't say "old" friends anymore, in some cases, and speaking for myself as well, we've known each other so long it's redundant!). There are a few precious people, women and men, who have traveled this life with me for a very long time and have been always nearby even if we've lived across the country or across the ocean from one another. You know who you are! 
              Secondly, I'm very grateful for new friends in my life and those who are both new and from the past who I have found or who have found me again (thank you, Facebook!). 
              Thirdly, finally, but neither least nor last, I'm grateful for all in my life who have taught me to love and be loved and also for those who have made me crazy angry or merely upset for I have learned from you and everyone, in some ways better than others. 
               I may spare you my list from this point on, but I will continue to look for and make a list in my heart of what it means to believe in and share gratitude. Thank you, my Friend, for nominating me for this challenge, it has been a gift and it will keep on giving as I consciously engage in this exercise every day. I encourage everyone to take up this challenge and share in the light.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Gratitude Challenge, Day Four



    Day Four already of the 5 Day Gratitude Challenge; 
    seems like only yesterday was Day Three. 







           
           First, to say that I am grateful for the presence of CGL in my life is to make an immeasurably colossal understatement. Despite our short lifetime together, he opened my heart in ways no one ever had or ever could and that gift will never leave me. I have not the skills to articulate how profoundly blessed I am because he crossed the ocean nor how very much I miss him. Far from resting in peace, he has become part of the enormous driving energy of this and every universe. 
           Second, I'm continually grateful for Helen and Sam, Favorite Oldest and Favorite Youngest Stepdaughters, who, in not actually needing a stepmother, have always treated me lovingly and well as have their wonderful partners. 
          And Third, I'm eternally grateful for Clive and Kaye, and Auntie Bettie, and for the legacy of friends in and around St. T's who let me know in their various and sundry ways that there's still a light on for me. Mai Celi Bendithia a Cadw 'ch

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Gratitude Challenge, Day Three

           
            Before I even get to Day Three of the Five Day gratitude challenge, I am SO GRATEFUL for hopeful news that came today. I'll say no more other than to ask for continuing prayers for a good outcome for someone near and dear to me. 
            As to the regular everyday gratitude stuff - First I am grateful for Susan, my much younger Favorite Only Sibling (so much younger people still think she's my daughter for which she is grateful and I'm not always so!) - her love, resilience, and energy as the mother of 9 1/2 yr old triplet boys are a source of wonder, admiration, and appreciation as is her never-failing support of me. 
          Secondly, I'm grateful for 3 amazing spouses of my daughters and sister who love their wives and their children beyond what anyone could choose or hope for those they love. And they even cope with me, too, though probably with something other than gratitude at times; perhaps fortitude is a polite word choice there. 
         Thirdly, I am grateful for my extended family - cousins and their spouses at various blood extensions of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific - who have remained in close if not frequent relationship with me in the way of knowing that if I need them, they'll show up as I would for them. 

     Life, when difficult, is made a little sweeter by consciously looking 
    for those moments where the sun still shines through the clouds.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Gratitude Challenge, Day Two

For the Facebook Challenge I wrote: 
    Day Two of the 5 Day Gratitude Challenge. Today I am grateful for two glamorous divas and a tiny charmer in my life. 







           First for Erin, Favorite Oldest Granddaughter. Her almost 10 year old eyes sparkle with enthusiasm, curiosity, and fashionista declarations of what's in and not. She fills her text messages to me with a thousand hearts and x's and o's as a challenge for me to do more! 
           Second is Rebecca, Favorite Youngest Granddaughter who, at nearly 4, masquerades most days as Elsa, or Merida, or just Princess Rebecca wearing her best sparkly gowns, and who always wants to talk to Grammy when she's in trouble! Even though Grammy doesn't try and save her she knows I will always listen. 
          And Third, I'm grateful for Patrick, Favorite Only Grandson. Sweet faced and learning all about everything at nearly 6 months - full of beautiful smiles and is always wide-eyed and filled with giggles and squeaks when he hears my voice on Skype! Children bring the best of life alive!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Gratitude Challenge - Day 1






It's been much longer than I had expected it to be since writing in this space.  

   






                   I have another blog http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com and that has kept me quite busy. That began when I was asked by the rector of my Episcopal parish to try writing the formal intercessory prayers used in the Sunday service for the first two Sundays of the season of Advent in 2013. Some of those and other prayers are posted on this blog in that December's and January writings. But when two weeks turned into 4 and it became clear that I was not stopping anytime soon, a friend opened a new blog shell for me to post them as I was reticent to do so on my own. I'm not particularly comfortable with self-promotion. But after serious goading and an open blog shell with something to put in it, I discovered, to my great surprise, that I not only enjoyed doing it, the prayers were being well received and even used by other churches in and out of the country. I also began to post the blog on my Facebook page and then beginning in Lent, I was writing additional meditations every day and have developed a small following. I have taken a bit of a break from the daily writing but continue to write the weekly prayers and a bit of commentary on the readings from that week's liturgy that inspire the prayers and post on the blog.  
                 SO what has that to do with anything related to gratitude? Well, that blog has kept me from doing anything in this space, which really has never had a particular focus. This spot has also been the brainchild of a good friend who has given me much encouragement to get more serious about writing. But given the self-promotion thing and the non-focus thing, I've not done appreciably much here. Perhaps I will figure out a direction for this blog one day but, in the meantime, I'd like to breathe a little air into it and keep it alive, if slightly comatose. To that end I have decided to post what I have written on my Facebook page for the 5 Day Gratitude Challenge.  Essentially, people nominate other people to write 3 things for which they are grateful each day for 5 days  I was nominated by a Facebook Friend and, voluntarily, accepted.  Here is my Day One, I hope you'll check in for the next 4 Days, too:
    Having been nominated by my friend, Linda, I will take up the 5 Day Gratitude Challenge to name 3 reasons each day for 5 days for which I am grateful. For Day One, First, I am grateful for Michael, beloved First-Born, who in his short life, taught me so much about how hearts can be so filled with love and still have room for more. Second, I am grateful for Kerry, who has grown into an accomplished, intelligent woman, whose beauty is reflected in her roles of great mom..., loving wife, well-respected colleague, and Favorite Oldest Daughter. Third, I am grateful for Shannon, Favorite Youngest Daughter, whose love of country determined her very successful career, whose maternal instincts and love for her children surprised her more than the rest of us, and her strength of character and ability to care for family and friends is a model for us all.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Are You There?

I've been so pre-occupied on the other blog that I haven't had time to work here!  I hope that you will check out http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com - it's not as stuffy as it sounds, most of the time! I'll get back here sooner or later but meanwhile, hope to "see" you over "there."

Friday, March 14, 2014

It's been a busy time on the other blog...

...And while I have plans for things to say in this space, I have been busy in this season of Lent writing daily thoughts and meditations on http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com  I hope you'll check in there from time to time.  I'll be back here after Easter - I still have things to say!  Thanks for being "here"!


 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Prayers of the People

               As of the first Sunday in December of 2013, I have been writing and posting the liturgical Prayers of the People (PoTP) being used in several churches.  As this day, as I post, is the US federal commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday, I am including them here as well.  To see other PoTPs I have written, you can scroll back below this post and for those and other less formal, shorter everyday prayers and meditations please go to  http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com  And PLEASE, share with everyone you know!


Holiday for Holy Purpose?

          In this country we have converted many federally recognized commemorative dates into "Monday holidays" on which schools, federal, and state offices are closed. For example, we used to celebrate Abraham Lincoln's birthday on February 12th and George Washington's birthday on February 22nd. Memorial Day (originally Decoration Day to remember the dead of the Civil War by decorating their graves) was May 30th. Now they and others all fall on a Monday close to the original date - with the exception that Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays were combined for a single day known now as "Presidents' Day."

        When a holiday/date was selected, and Congressionally approved, to honor Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr., his birthday of January 15 was so designated. It, too, has become a "Monday holiday" however, there has been a considerable amount of effort by his family, those who literally walked with him, and newer generations to make this more than a "day-off" from work and school but rather that it be a "Day On" of community service in Dr. King's name. But for many it's still a day off to play. The purpose is especially lost among those who despise his memory and what that must require of us as equal human beings.

         It is critical that we carry Dr. King's message forward to uphold people of all colors, creeds, national origin, sexual orientation, and for any reason that any one is targeted for oppression, brutality, bullying, and discrimination. We are all equal in the Eyes and Heart of God. And, as Dr. King said, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."  What service will you do in holy purpose for God's People?



For the Second Sunday after Epiphany and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 Let us, God's People, Pray:

Readings:  Is 49:1-7, 1 Cor 1:1-9, John 1:29-42, Ps 40:1-12, MLK “I Have A Dream”

Leader:  ~ O God of Compassion and Righteousness, You called us before we were born and named us in the womb. We have spent our strength for nothing and vanity.  We now must turn toward You and answer. Our cause is with the LORD,
       
Response: Our reward is with our God


~ O God of Compassion and Righteousness, You gave us a new song and often we sing it out of tune and use our own words.  Help us to learn Your words, love doing Your Will, and keep Your Law in our hearts. Our cause is with the LORD,

              Our reward is with our God


~ O God of Compassion and Righteousness, You have given us all the gifts we need to proclaim Christ’s glory to the world.  Your Servant Martin used his gifts to show the way to freedom for all of Your people - those who are still terribly oppressed and brutalized in our own day and even those who mistakenly believe that freedom is achieved through power and greed.  Help us to compel our governments to demand equality for all, to put an end to the evil acts of those who inflict intolerance, oppression, and terror to Your People.  Let us be Your light to the nations. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions.  Our cause is with the LORD,


              Our reward is with our God


~ O God of Compassion and Righteousness, let Your Holy Spirit descend upon and give hope to all who are sick, troubled, and weary of life, and also upon those who care for and about them.  We pray especially for:  add your own petitions.  Our cause is with the LORD,


              Our reward is with our God


~ O God of Compassion and Righteousness, lift those who are desolate from the loss of loved ones.  Fill their hearts with peace and comfort as they feel the Lamb of God in their midst and know those they love have indeed found the Messiah.  We pray especially for:  add your own petitions. Our cause is with the LORD,


              Our reward is with our God


~ O God of Compassion and Righteousness, inspire the leaders of Your Church to know, feel, and share the dream of Martin Luther King.   Exhort them to bring Christ among us, to walk with us to restore the dignity of every human being, and to seek and serve Christ in all.  Let us all work together to see to it that   “…the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together…” inside and outside of our temples of worship.    We pray especially for:  add your own petitions.  Our cause is with the LORD,


              Our reward is with our God



The Celebrant adds:  Almighty God, we see and hear again the example of Your Servant, Martin Luther King, Jr, in his powerful vision and compelling certainty that together we can all live in freedom from fear, oppression, intolerance and hatred.  You have called us to carry this vision, to stop our own thoughts and acts that disrespect and bring harm, and to make certain that Your People will know the peace and freedom of Your Salvation.  We ask Your grace to do Your Will through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, who with the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, today and always.  Amen.   

An Excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I have a Dream speech
from August 28, 1963, Washington, D.C.





I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."


I have a dream today.


I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.


This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."


And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!


Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!


Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!


But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!


Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!


Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.


And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"




Full text:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/17/i-have-a-dream-speech-text_n_809993.html





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. Requestors will remain anonymous.

Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year's Resolution?

        Is there a point to making a New Year's Resolution?  I like to think so - a new beginning, an opportunity to try again, a reason to look forward.  For me it's better than celebrating a birthday!  Here's another thought:

http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com/2013/12/prayer-for-new-years-resolution.html

       What do YOU think?



Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Prayers of the People ~ Christmas

             



      The Prayers of the People for Christmas are posted on the blog People's Prayers, the link is below.  I hope you will visit and join us is these prayers.  May you feel the Blessings and Joy of this Glorious Birth and find a New Life in yourself!



http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com/2013/12/prayers-of-and-for-all-people-christmas.html





Sunday, December 22, 2013

Prayer for Grieving at Christmas


For All Who Worry, Mourn, or Feel Lost at Christmas
Dedicated especially to the Giving Our Grief a Voice group
Delaware women who have lost loved ones to homicide


 


Silent Morn, Holy Morn
Sometimes I wonder
Why I was born.
I wake in the darkness and
can't see the light.
All I want is the end of the night.
Take this grief from me, Lord
Please take this grief from me, Lord.

 
Silent Noon, Holy Noon
All songs I sing,
are out of tune.
I’ve been looking for right words to pray
Nothing I’ve found yet, has shown me the way.
Help me find my voice, Lord
Please, help me find my voice.

 
Silent Day, Holy Day,
All's not calm, on my way.
In my life,
so much does not seem,
to be close to what I once dreamed.
Help me trust in Your Peace, Lord.
Please, help me trust in Your Peace.

 
Silent Night, Holy Night
Finally calm, finally bright
With Your love so vast and yet mild
Now I can rest as I’m also Your child
I found some peace in this night, Lord,
Heaven-sent Peace in this night.

 

Feel Free to share with attribution
© 2013 Christina Brennan Lee
 

This and other prayers by request and inspiration are posted
at People's Prayers  http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com 
Please visit often and feel free to share.













 
 
 
 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Advent 4 ~ Signs A-Wastin'

                 
 For the last three weeks I have posted the Prayers of the People  (PoTP) for the Season of Advent along with brief commentaries about the message of this Season and each week.  These Intercessory Prayers are being used in several Churches as part of the Sunday Service and are posted on several Facebook pages.  I hope that you will find them useful for personal prayer or small group meditation or in your congregation.  See more information at the end of this post.

                                                             

         We're STILL Waiting?  YES!  But, are we looking?  Do we know what to look for? A momentous occasion feels imminent but how will we know?  We are told the signs are all there, all we have to do is ask God for them.  But the ever-Kingly Ahaz says "Oh-No-I-don't-want-to-test-God" with the false humility of a leader who is really saying, "I can't be bothered."  Isaiah's frustration is palpable when he says, in effect, "OH PLEASE!  The Lord Himself is telling you that there's a young woman with child from the House of David, and you'll be out of here before he's old enough to know good from evil."  And Joseph has a lot of strange dreams but he believes in signs and so acts upon what he's told.  Our Messiah is coming, soon, to a stable near you! Are you ready? PAY ATTENTION to the signs.   There's an old bumper sticker that says, "Jesus is Coming, Look Busy." I think it should say, "Jesus IS Coming, LOOK!"
 

THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE – Advent 4
Readings:  Isaiah 7:10-16; Ps 80:1-7, 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25
 
Leader: ~ Emmanuel, Emmanuel, Your Holy Name means “God is with us.” Your Holy Birth is only hours away.  Let us breathe into the present moment, savor the anticipation, and look for the embrace of the only true GIFT of the season, YOU. 
 
Response: DEAR GOD of NOW, let us find a stillpoint to wait in and let go of the frantic activity that distracts us from You.
 
 
~ Emmanuel, Emmanuel, we are called, as Mary, to be a vessel that carries You into the world and yet we resist the changes we need to make in our lives.  Give us the courage to open ourselves to Your Glory and allow You to shine through us for all to see and understand.
 
 
DEAR GOD of NOW, in these remaining moments before we celebrate Your birth, let us feel the fullness of Your Presence in our bodies, minds, and souls.
 
~ Emmanuel, Emmanuel, we beg for Your Grace and Peace to infuse the sensibilities of those who govern in this world.  The homeless, hungry, frightened, lonely, and brutalized need the Compassion, Empathy, and Mercy that are the hallmarks of this season of Your birth.  Push the rest of us to be determined, intentional, and proactive in our pursuit of Justice, Tolerance, and Humanity for every person on this Earth.  Help us to be the Reflection of Your Love in every thought and action of our lives.
 
Dear GOD of NOW, help us to remember that we are as responsible for the well-being of Your people as every individual in every government position.  Keep us aware and involved.
 
~ Emmanuel, Emmanuel, may the impending joy of Your birth bring healing mercies to those who are ill and for those who give them care.  Free all who suffer from pain, sadness, loneliness, and fear and release us all from single-mindedness and self-pity.  Restore and renew our faith and hope in You.     (add your own specific petitions)
 
Dear GOD of NOW, it is said that if You are with us, who can be against us? Help us remember You walking with us through all sorts and conditions of woman and man.
 
~ Emmanuel, Emmanuel, please dry our tears as we mourn our loss of those whose souls now live in Your eternity.  Help us feel the warmth of Your tender care in our grief and the promise of our own new birth in You. (add your own specific petitions)
 
GOD of us all, we wait in prayerful patience as You walk with us in our sorrow toward the time when suffering and grief are no more.
 
~ Emmanuel, Emmanuel, we rely on those who lead us in Your Church to show us the pathway to You.  Endow and imbue them with Your Spirit that they may feel the depth of You in themselves and impart the mystery of Your breadth to us.  (add your parish/congregation/Diocese, Province, etc. name here) 
 
Prepare us, Dear GOD of NOW, to revel and live into the Joy of the Birth so close at hand.
 
~ Emmanuel, Emmanuel, our souls deeply know the astonishing You. Please help us connect our hearts and minds with our soul knowledge and live each day as a new creation in Christ.
 
Prepare us, Dear GOD of NOW, to revel and live into the Joy of the Birth so close at hand.
 
The Celebrant adds:  Dear God of Now, in these hours before our Holy Child is born, we are called again by You to willingly and knowingly belong to Christ Jesus our Lord. Give us the fortitude to hear the call, to follow Him, and share the Good News as easily as we breathe.  Amen.
 
These Prayers and those for the four weeks of Advent are available for personal or congregational use as long as they are not sold or charged for in anyway. I ask only for attribution and a copy of how they are used. All other content and photos on this blog are proprietaryPlease contact me at leeosophy@gmail.com for further information.
 
Beginning with Christmas Eve, 2013, Prayers of the People and other prayers will be posted on
"People's Prayers" at http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com  Please visit often!

 
 


Friday, December 13, 2013

Advent 3 ~ All is Rosy!


The Third Week of Advent
The Rose Candle is Lighted
 


 For the last two weeks I have posted the Prayers of the People  (PoTP) for the Season of Advent along with brief commentaries about the message of this Season and each week.  These Intercessory Prayers are being used in several Churches as part of the Sunday Service and are posted on several Facebook pages.  I hope that you will find them useful for personal prayer or small group meditation or in your congregation.  See more information at the end of this post

       We’re still waiting for the birth of the Christ Child as we light the 3rd candle in the Advent Wreath. But, there's a notable change.  Some Traditions use a Rose colored (or pink) candle and perhaps even vestments and hangings this week.  Why change color in the middle?  Well, Advent, from its inception, has traditionally been a penitential season like Lent, with somber readings and admonishments to fast and pray for worthiness to await the coming of Jesus.  With the Revised Common Lectionary and newer scholarship, there has been more of an emphasis in the Joy that is to come – which isn’t to say we should not be prayerful or penitent as we wait!  With the penitential aspect, all the colors were Lenten purple and the rose color was a symbol of a rest break – let’s stop, breathe, and feel JOY at the coming Nativity. 
 
       Now, as was noted in an earlier blog post, many churches use blue to represent Hope instead of the penitential purple and the Rose candle is still a symbol of Joy.  Historically, the Latin name for this Sunday is Gaudete (gow-day-tay), Latin for “REJOICE!”.  It comes from an Introit (opening) of the Liturgy.  We hear the Joy, the Rejoicing, the Hope and the excitement in the readings.  We’ll be ransomed from sorrow and sadness, lifted up, beloved, and blessed.  We still have to be patient, there’s still some time before THE DAY, but we can smile as we wait – our future in Christ is Rosy, indeed!

THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE – Advent 3

Readings:  Isaiah 35:1-10, Ps 146:5-10, Luke 1:46b-55, James 5:7-10, Matthew 11:2-11

~ O God of Jacob, Mary, and the Baptizer, we turn to You in hope as we seek Your Holy Way. Help us to be strong and without fear as we wait for the desert moments in our lives to blossom and the dry land of our hearts to be glad.

GOD of us all, we wait in prayerful patience for You to ransom us with Your Goodness and Mercy.

~ O God of Jacob, Mary, and the Baptizer, we turn to You in hope as we now realize that the Voice crying in the wilderness is our own.  Open our ears to hear your Good News and our eyes to see each other with Your sight.

GOD of us all, we wait in prayerful patience for You to look with favor on our sense of lowliness.

~ O God of Jacob, Mary, and the Baptizer, we turn to You in hope that those holding power over us in government, employment, and other areas of our lives, wield empathy, compassion, moderation, and equity.  We pray especially for  the marginalized and oppressed peoples in our own streets and on Your whole Earth to know justice, mercy, and relief from suffering. Help us all to delight in Your love, our God, and to stay faithful as we wait expectantly for our Savior. 

GOD of us all, we wait in prayerful patience for You to show us Your way of Justice and Peace.

~ O God of Jacob, Mary, and the Baptizer, we turn to You in hope as we remember in prayer all those who are sick in body, mind, or spirit.  We ask special grace for them and for those who care for them that pain and anxiety are calmed through the abundance of Your healing and comfort. (add your own petitions silently or aloud)

GOD of us all, we wait in prayerful patience for awareness of Your healing mercies.

~ O God of Jacob, Mary, and the Baptizer, we turn to You in hope as our lonely hearts mourn the loss of those we love.  Help us to know and feel Your Peace that passes all understanding so that our memories are sweet and comforting in our laughter as well as our tears. (add your own petitions silently or aloud)

GOD of us all, we wait in prayerful patience as You walk with us in our sadness toward the time when suffering and grief are no more.

~ O God of Jacob, Mary, and the Baptizer, we turn to You in hope as we ask for special blessings upon those who lead Your Church in lean times and times of plenty especially here in (add your parish/congregation/Diocese, Province, etc. name here).  Help us all to remember and renew our faith in You and the One who is coming as we pledge to share the Light of Christ in our Sanctuaries, in our homes, and on the streets.  How we live in You is what we give to Your world.

Prepare us, O God of us all, for the One who is coming.

~ O God of Jacob, Mary, and the Baptizer, let us feel the strength of Your Grace so that our souls may also magnify Your love and our spirits will rejoice as we await the Precious Coming of Jesus the Christ.

Prepare us, O God of us all, for the One who is coming.

 
The Celebrant adds:  O God of Grace and Peace, You call us again to renewal and conversion and to rightly prepare ourselves for the Way of Truth, Harmony, and Love that will abide in and shine through us with the coming of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.


These Prayers and those for the four weeks of Advent are available for personal or congregational use as long as they are not sold or charged for in anyway. I ask only for attribution and a copy of how they are used. All other content and photos on this blog are proprietaryPlease contact me at leeosophy@gmail.com for further information.



 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Advent 2 - Who's Your Daddy?



Advent 2
The Second Candle is Lighted
     Last week I posted the Prayers of the People  (PoTP) for the first week of Advent along with a brief introduction to the concept of the Season of Advent.  These Intercessory Prayers are being used in several Churches as part of the Sunday Service and are posted on several Facebook pages.  I hope that you will find them useful for personal prayer or small group meditation or in your congregation.  See the information at the end of this post.
 
     It is time to light the second candle on the Advent wreath and think about those who have gone before as we wait expectantly for the coming One.  This second week is an excellent time to increase our attention and intention to preparing ourselves in a different way for the birth of the Messiah.  Begin again by really listening to the readings and think about the voices the words represent, even though that’s not always easy.  For example, Isaiah starts the week off with “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”  What does that mean?  The stump of Jesse?  Well, the family tree of Jesus is an interesting one.  Many of us know that King David is part of His lineage.  Jesse was the grandson of Ruth (of “whither thou goest, I will go” fame) and her husband, Boaz.  We first hear of Jesse in the First Book of Samuel as a farmer with eight sons, the youngest of which is David who becomes King of the Israelites. It is through Jesse’s family tree that this root, this Branch will flower into Jesus.  And Jesus is indeed the reason for the season; the reason for our Christ-mas - our act of worship of the One we call Messiah, the Anointed Son of God.  

     The secular spectacle that Christmas has become has many caught up in increasingly frantic activities of decorating, shopping, gift-wrapping, and rounds of parties all without a sense of impending Joy.  (Personally, a display of fuschia, turquoise, and orange LED lights draped badly over shrubbery doesn’t speak to me of either Advent or Christmas, and spare me the huge blow-up Snoopy, Santa, or Grinch balloons with circulating “snow”! An even stranger sight in the daylight as they all lie unplugged on the ground as a stark image of Christmas gone flat.)   It is into this environment that the Psalmist calls His name blessed and asks that His glory fill the whole earth.  The Apostle Paul wants us to abound in hope and the Gospel of Matthew brings us the very direct and not shy voice of John the Baptist. 

     New Testament scholar, theologian, and author Marcus Borg tells us that Advent “…is a season of anticipation, yearning and longing for a different kind of life and a different kind of world.”  What kind of life, what kind of world are you longing for?  Where do you put God in your family tree?


THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE – Advent 2

Readings:  Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12

LEADER:  ~ O Timeless God of Wonder, it is a new year in Your Church, a chance to begin yet again.  Help us to heed the words of Your messengers as we prepare ourselves for another flowering of the Branch of Jesse’s Root.

RESPONSE:  LORD of all, grant us hope, patience, and joyful expectation.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, the Child that is coming will lead the wolf with the lamb, the calf with the lion, the cow with the bear. Let us be as children and, as we follow Him along Your path of righteousness, let us walk hand–in-hand –  and welcome as He will welcome us, those who are like us and especially those who are not like us.

LORD of all, grant us hope, tolerance, and joyful expectation.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, we pray especially for those who govern on Your Earth.  Grant them wisdom and understanding, good counsel and knowledge so that we all may live in harmony and peace through the power of the Holy Spirit.

LORD of all, grant us hope, peace, and joyful expectation.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, we send you our prayers for those who are ill and for those who help them, so that fear and pain may be relieved and replaced with healing in spirit, mind, and body. (add your own petitions silently or aloud)

LORD of all, grant us hope, healing, and joyful expectation.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, teach us to give the gift of listening and comfort without platitudes to those who are in mourning; and to remember in prayer those who have gone ahead to prepare the way for us. (add your own petitions silently or aloud)

LORD of all, grant us hope, comfort, and joyful expectation.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, give us the courage to recognize and repent of our sins against You, against each other, and against ourselves.  Let us truly love ourselves as we are to love one another.

Prepare us, LORD, for the coming of Your Kingdom.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, help us to prepare the way for Your Child by moving us to prepare Holy Space in our lives, sweeping our hearts and souls of the debris of hatred, despair, judgment, greed, and destruction.

Prepare us, LORD, for the coming of Your Glory.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, enfold and guide those who lead Your Church as they walk us forward into ever-changing tides and times.  Help us, Your People and Leader(s) of (add your parish/congregation/diocese/province name here), walk together through the thinning fog towards the coming Light.

Prepare us, LORD, for the coming of Your Glory.

The Celebrant adds:  O God of Grace and Peace, You call us again to repentance and conversion so that we may rightly prepare ourselves for the Way of Truth, Harmony, and Love that will abide in us through the coming of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

 

 These Prayers and those for the four weeks of Advent are available for personal or congregational use as long as they are not sold or charged for in anyway. I ask only for attribution and a copy of how they are used. All other content and photos on this blog are proprietaryPlease contact me at leeosophy@gmail.com for further information.