Monday, November 23, 2009

GRIEVING WHAT MAY BE LOST – A Prayer for Many Voices

Note: Each paragraph will be read by a different pray-er, hopefully scattered throughout the worship space

OK God, I think we all know that something new has to come.
It has been too long waiting, we need a re-birth of our economy.
And yet we want it to be the same basic model,
an economy we know and find comfortable.
A new basis for how we work may leave some people behind,
it may mean that jobs we once took for granted no longer exist,
it may mean that new skills and new realities need to be learned.
And that frightens and worries us.
That fear and worry may blind us to the new birth that is possible.
God who creates and re-creates,
Open our hearts to the reshaping of our lives.

Ah God, as the years go by there have been so many changes.
Leaving home, getting married, having children, raising children.
With each change something new and wonderful has been added.
But with each change something else has been lost.
What changes lie ahead? What will I have to give up as I get older?
It is always a trade off I guess.
New in, old out. But sometimes I have to admit that I miss the old.
God who creates and re-creates,
Open our hearts to the reshaping of our lives.

The world is going to pieces around us, we echo the age-old lament.
What will the future bring? Will we recognize it?
Will we know how to adapt to it?
Old ways of communicating seem to be disappearing,
old rules about how to act are being ignored.
New ways are coming in, ways we don't understand.
As the new comes in will we lose too much of the old?
What will the cost be?
God who creates and re-creates,
Open our hearts to the reshaping of our lives.

What will the church look like 5 years from now?
Will it still be a part of our community? Will it still be relevant?
Is it relevant now for that matter?
Maybe we need to change how we are the church together.
But what will that changed church look like?
What hymns will we sing? Will the story still be told?
The church needs to be re-born. The church needs to change.
I can see that but it doesn't mean I have to like it!
God who creates and re-creates,
Open our hearts to the reshaping of our lives.

And the people all said amen. Amen.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

For November 29, 2009 -- 1st Sunday of Advent

The day is coming, it is getting nearer.
Soon a baby will be born, soon the world will be changed.
We await the day with hope and joy.
We wait for the child with nervousness and wonder.
Come let us wait for the child together,
Let us worship God who gives life
Let us pray…

God we await the coming of Christ with hope-filled hearts,
the birth of a child, the birth of a new world.
God we await the coming birth with wondering hearts,
wondering what changes that birth will bring to our lives.
God, we look ahead to a changed life with anxiety,
worrying that we will have to give up things that we cherish.
God, as we sing and pray and prepare this Advent season,
remind us that we are not alone as life gets turned upside down. Remind us that the joy of birth is worth the turmoil.
We pray this in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, whose birth is but a few weeks away. Amen.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November 11 Prayer of Invocation

God of many names, another year has come and gone. Once again we gather in this place on the 11th of the 11th. Once again we pause to remember the fallen, young men and women from many different lands who answered the call of their country and never returned.

God of peace, just as the guns fell silent on this day so many years ago, allowing people to hear the sounds of hope and promise again, may our hearts be quieted this hour. And in that silence may we hear the screams of the dead and dying. In that silence may we hear you calling us anew to a world of peace and justice.

God of life, in this time of prayer and song and memory awaken us to your life-giving presence. May that sense of your Spirit within and among us empower us to be people of peace, true peace. Help us remember that true peace comes not from victory on the battlefield but through justice and abundant life for all people of the world. This we pray in the name of Jesus of Nazareth,who was called the Prince of Peace. Amen.