Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Prayer for Patience -- to go with readings for Ascension Day

Source of Life, we stand with the first disciples: watching and listening and wondering.
What do we do next? Is this the time to act?
We hear you tell them, and us, to wait, that you will fill them with the power of the Spirit.
Then it will be the time to act.
Waiting is hard. We see the need to act fast. We want to share Good News.
We don’t think we can afford to wait.
God who acts on your own time, God who calls us to listen for your voice,
help us to listen and to wait.
Open our eyes and ears and hearts so that we can follow where you lead rather than head off in our own
God who WILL move us forward, who WILL lead us into the future,
grant us the strength to act when the time is right, the wisdom to know when the time is right, and the patience to wait until the time is right.
And then when it is time.
May we go out to be faithful witnesses to your love, grace, and hope. Amen.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Prayers at the Foot of the Cross (2024)

God who promises to be with us in life, in death, in life beyond death,
you are with us in our times of triumph: singing and dancing and celebrating,
you are with us in our time of disaster and devastation:
sharing our grief, holding us up, carrying us forward.

This week we join Christians from all over the world in a journey,
we go from triumphant entry and waving palm branches
to a special meal in an upper room
to arrest, trial, conviction, execution.
Disaster has come.
And still you are there, even as Jesus the Christ takes his last breath.

This night as we tell the story we remember the disasters of the world.
Even as we trust in the promise that life and love may yet win,
we remember the seemingly overwhelming power of death and fear,
anger and destruction, to devastate so many lives near and far.

Hear us, Gracious God, as we lift up those whose life may have more disaster than triumph this night:
the people of Gaza, Israel, Palestine –
caught in a seemingly endless cycle of violence, fear, and conflict;
the people of Ukraine – dealing with invasion and war;
he people of Haiti – living in a time of social upheaval;
all those other places in the world where violence is the norm –
even though thy don’t make it onto the headlines anymore;
those in various countries where food is scarce;
those neighbours closer at hand who worry where the rent will come from,
or have to choose between food and utilities;
our 2SLGBTQIA+ neighbours near and far who are attacked, despised, cast out for trying to be true to who You created them to be;
Gracious God we lift up all those who have be pushed to the margins,
all those who feel broken by the world
may all your beloved children feel you meeting them in their time of disaster.

God of Love, the story we have just hear reminds us that love can be hard.
We hear how Jesus, who commands us to love,
challenged the powers of his world who found his understanding of the world to be a threat, knowing that it would likely end in a torturous death on a cross.
We are reminded that the powers of empire and control will strike back against those who are different, those whose vision for life calls for sacrifice and change.
Hear us as we pray for those who are unjustly arrested, persecuted, even killed
simply for trying to change the world...,
simply for trying to live into your vision for a world renewed.

Source of life and love, on this day of disaster, devastation and death,
we pray for the time when triumph, love, and life have the final victory.
We pray for a world that is broken in so many ways,
looking ahead to the promise of being made whole again.
Give us all, we pray, the courage to work through the broken-ness,
to face the devastation head-on,
to challenge those things that work against Your Kingdom,
so that we might be agents of change,
helping to bring wholeness,
carriers of Your love for the world.

We pray in the name of Jesus,
our teacher and guide,
our rock and redeemer,
whose passion for the Kingdom knows no bounds.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Resources for Feb 11, 2024 -- Transfiguration Sunday

Source of Life, as people who seek to follow your Way, we echo the old song:
Open our eyes that we may see, glimpses of truth...
Sometimes we see clearly, sometimes our eyes are veiled,
sometimes we only see the whirlwind, not the gift that lies hidden in its midst
sometimes we only see the clay jar, not the treasure that it holds.
Help us see beyond the obvious, help us see where you are active in our world,
and forgive us for the times we are oblivious, when we choose not to see.
In Grace-filled Love God continues to open our eyes, to help us see, to reveal God’s power and promise. Through God’s Grace we can see beyond the veil. Through God’s love and mercy our blindness is forgiven and removed. And so we continue to sing:
Open our eyes, illumine us, Spirit Divine. Amen

We came together, we sang, we prayed, we looked for God’s presence.
Now we go out to serve, to pray, to look for God’s activity.
As you live and serve, may you let God’s love flow through you into the world at large.
As we live and love, may our eyes be opened to see God in friend and neighbour.
So go now with open eyes and open hearts. Go trusting that God,
      who has created and is creating;
      who is revealed in Jesus, the Word-Made-Flesh;
      who works in each of us through the Holy Spirit
Is with you each step of life’s journey.
Thanks be to God. Amen

Friday, January 26, 2024

Sermon Opening for January 28, 2024

 With a sermon title of To do or not to do I really thought I should do at least the beginning of the sermon in blank verse as an homage to Hamlet's soliloquy:

 To Do or not to do, that is the question:
whether ‘tis nobler to declare our freedom
to do what we know is permissible
or choose to follow stronger rules and limits
and by that choice build up a church, share love.
control ourselves, live out our call to be
belov’d children of God, living fully.
In this we find the pow’r supplied by limits.
We know the truth that just because a thing
may be allowed does not make it all good.
In Christ we find freedom, In Christ we find
a higher call, in Christ we know that we must
take care to build a new community.
We build through love we build through neighborly care
Some days we claim we have great wisdom
we know the truths that set us free to live
we miss the truths of how to live in Christ.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Opening Prayer to go with Isaiah 40:28-31

God who does not faint or grow weary, Source of life and renewal and wholeness,
we come together today, some of us full of energy and some of us full of weariness.
As we sing, pray, listen, and eat together today,
renew our strength, help us rise as on wings of eagles, energize us to be who you formed us to be.
And when we leave this time of worship,
may we carry the promise of healing and renewal to a world that is often tired and wounded.
We pray in the name of Jesus, who brings healing and renewal to our lives.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Christmas Prayer 2023

 God of Light and Darkness,
you are present in both the shadows and the brightness.
On this Christmas night may we hear your voice both
in the laughter and singing and
in the still silence.

Source of Hope,
in a world where many live with despair,
a world where so many struggle to get by,
remind us of the Hope for a world renewed and reborn.
As we hear again the story of a baby in a manger,
strengthen our souls with hope for what the future will bring
May all those who have lost hope hear your voice bringing Good News.

Builder of Peace,
sometimes it seems that peace and justice are just words,
not a reality.
Tonight, as we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace,
reawaken in us a commitment to be people of peace,
to join you in the creation of a new world.
Share with us a vision of a time when all live together peacefully,
and all have what they need for abundant life.

Wellspring of Joy,
grant us the joy that goes deep into our souls,
joy that is more than happiness,
joy that comes from the knowledge that You are with us
whatever life might bring us.
In the dips and low times of our lives,
when laughter and song are distant memories,
may we feel your presence to comfort and support us,
leading us back to the singing.
This Christmas season we pray with all those who find joy difficult.
May they all feel your comfort and support.

Giver of Love,
tonight love shines from a feed trough,
tonight love takes flesh as a new-born baby.
We need love to live, to thrive, to be who you created us to be.
Sadly, some of us forget that we are loved,
some of us try to meet other people’s standards so that they will love us,
God who is Love, remind us that we are all a part of the world that you love.
In Jesus you call us to love each other as you love us.
As we sing with angels and wonder with shepherds,
move us to act with love for all we meet – all year long,
may those who feel alone and unloved tonight
feel themselves wrapped in a love that will never let them go.

Proclaimer of Good News,
the angel’s words echo through the centuries.
In this world where bad news gets the front page,
where we hear about all that goes wrong,
help us to not be disheartened.
Give us ears to hear and eyes to see
the places where you are at work in the world.
Help us to hear the great Good News of a Saviour.
Fill us with Hope, Peace Joy and Love
and move us to share the Good News with the world around us.
We pray in the name of the baby who comes to change the world,
Jesus, the one we call Christ the Lord.
Glory in the highest.
Hallelujah! Amen.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Opening Prayer for Christmas Eve 2023

God we hear a rumour of good news for all of us.
We come to see if it is true.
As we sing the old songs and listen to the old story,
awaken in our hearts the joy of Christmas
give us hope for the year that lies ahead
move us to share the promise of peace with all we meet
fill our souls with love that overflows, spilling out into the world.
God who meets us in the places where we are, God who shares our lives, on this Christmas night,
remind us of the Good News of great joy. Help us wonder with shepherds, sing with angels, and bask in the glory of the new-born baby. Amen