Thursday, November 29, 2012

For December 9, 2012 -- Advent 2C

Stop and listen! The day is getting closer!
Soon the angel song will ring out again with the birth of a child.
And while we wait we prepare.
Trimming the tree and decking the halls.
As part of our preparation we gather here together
reminding ourselves of the reason for the season, opening our hearts to be filled with hope, peace, joy, and love, asking ourselves how God will change the world this year. 
Creating and Refining God, in this time of worship,
push us to look closely at ourselves and our lives, help us remember to ask where we could come closer to being who you would have us be. 
And when our worship is ended,
send us back into the world ready to sing carols and share the good news that Emmanuel is coming!
 We pray in the name of the child whose birth we await, who later taught his friends to pray together saying...

God of Grace, you blow the breath of life into our lungs, you have formed us in your image.
And yet we acknowledge that sometimes we are not who you would have us be.
You challenge us to embrace the refining fire of your love, to meet you on the threshing floor of life, to be washed as with fuller's soap.
But in our heart of hearts we would rather keep those things that would be removed in such an encounter.
Through your Grace, life-giving God, accept us as we are,
Unrefined, unwashed, the chaff mixed in with the grain.
And help us to move into a new way of being
...time of silence...
Listen! For this is Good News! God's Grace is wider than our wildest imaginings. God's Grace embraces us as we are and where we are and draws us out to be the people we were created to be.
Thanks be to God! Amen.

Can you be a voice crying in the wilderness? Can you proclaim that God is active in the world?
The time is near, of the crowning of the year.
We sing with angels, setting the roadways and the buildings humming
As people who are being changed, we go into a world that is being changed.
Ready to share the Good News that the long expected Jesus is coming, that we are being freed from whatever binds us.
Glory be to God! Who walks with us, sings with us, and struggles with us,
each and every day. Amen

Monday, November 26, 2012

For December 2, 2012 -- Advent 1C

God you call us to watch for the new thing that you are doing
but sometimes we are more comfortable with the tried and true.
You share words of promise, reminding us all that “It gets better”
but we are afraid that it might get worse, afraid of what we might lose.
You call us to live as people of hope,
but we let our fears take control, and so we are unsure how to move forward. Through your unmeasurably wide grace,
help us to move past our fears and guide us to the Promised Land.
...time of silence...
There's a wideness in God's grace and mercy. God knows our fears and our worries. And yet God is ready to overcome our fears with hope and love. Through God's grace we move forward into the wonders of birth.
Thanks be to God! Amen.

If you choose, you can be instruments of hope in the world.
We so choose, so we go to spread the hope and promise of a coming child.
If you choose, you can counter the voices of anxiety and despair in the world.
We so choose, so we sing songs of hope because the world can be changed
If you choose, you can fight against the fear that freezes the heart of many.
We so choose, so we will tell of the love that conquers fear, the love of a child in a manger.
The choice is ours to make, how we live into the possibilities of Christmas,
the beauty is that we do not live out the choice by our own strength.
Go with God, who feeds our hopes and quiets our fears
Always and everywhere. Amen.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

For Reign Of Christ Sunday

We have sung, we have prayed, we have worshiped together.
Now we go back out into the world.
We came together to build relationships,
relationships with each other, and our relationship with Jesus.
We go out as people who are strengthened by our connections
Ready to love and to serve. Ready to carry God's love to the world.
As you journey through the ups and the downs of the coming week,
let us remember that God, who has invited us into relationship, is always with us.
Go with God, as the people of God.
So be it! Amen

Monday, November 12, 2012

For November 18, 2012 -- Proper 28B 25th After Pentecost

On a First Day God said “Let There Be Light!”
and time began.
On a First Day God raised Jesus of Nazareth from death
and the world was changed.
On this First Day we gather together for worship
and we wonder what new beginnings lie in store.
O Day of God draw nigh!
Our hearts yearn for the coming of the promised Reign of Peace and Justice.
In this time of worship,
reawaken the hope in our hearts, refocus our vision on the new earth that is to come.
And when our worship is ended,
send us back out to live as if the Reign of God is real in our lives and in our hearts.
This we pray in the name of the One whose name we bear, Christ, who taught his friends to pray saying...

Creator of Life, Giver of Hope, we live in anticipation, praying “Thy Kingdom come”
and yet we are anxious about the changes that Kingdom will bring.
We live in hope for the possibilities of your Kingdom,
and yet we would rather it come without us having to give up, without us having to change.
For those times we slide, those times we actively work against the in-breaking of your Kingdom
offer us the grace to make different choices, help us to learn through trial and error how best to be your people.
...time of silent prayer...
Hear the words of hope revealed to John of Patmos:
“See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes... “See, I am making all things new.”... I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.
Through the grace of God we continue to move forward, learning and growing. Thanks be to God! Amen

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Nov 11 Memorial Prayer/Prayers of the People for 2012

God of peace and love, on this 11th day of the 11th month we once again gather to remember. We remember that in Jesus of Nazareth you have called us to be people of peace saying, “Blessed are the peacemakers” and reminding us that we are to love our neighbour and our enemy as we love ourselves.
But we also acknowledge that there are times when we as a global community fail to live out those words, times when young men and women hear the call to don the uniforms of their country and serve under their flag.
Today we give thanks for all who have chosen to serve their country. We give thanks for their bravery, their commitment, and their love.
But we know that when armies meet on the field there are always some who don’t come home.
And so we pause in the memory of those who went and did not return to mothers and wives and children left behind.

We remember battles at Ypres, and Passchendale, and Vimy Ridge in the war we were told would end all wars, battles where the blood of enemies mingled in the mud and water of France and Belgium.
And we remember those who fell in the war that came a scarce generation later. And again young men died in places like Hong Kong, and Ortona, and Dieppe, and Juno Beach, and in the Netherlands.
We remember all who fell and were buried far from home, or who sank to a watery grave in the cold Atlantic.

Then as the years past the roles changed and we sent our best to help keep the peace in places like Cyprus, and the Golan Heights, and Cambodia. And still some died and were buried.
And then, in this century we sent that our young back to the battlefield, only to have dozens of them return in a coffin carried solemnly to a waiting aircraft.

God, whose hope for the world is peace, on this day we not only remember the fallen of Canada who lie buried under a military tombstone. We remember also the fallen of Germany, and Japan, and France, and Australia. Or Italians, and native Afghanis, and English. This day we honour all who die as a result of humanity’s common failing to live in the peace you have hoped for all these millennia.

God, we pray too for those who returned from battle forever changed by what they had seen. For those who bore, and still bear, wounds of body and soul.

And now, God of love, as we have remembered and honoured, we prepare to go back into our everyday lives. May the remembering we have done here today reawaken and strengthen our commitment to work for peace, true peace. Help us to remember that peace will never truly come from a gun barrel but from the depths of our hearts. Help us remember our calling to be peacemakers at home and abroad, in the big things and in the small. And may we never forget the cost that has already been paid.

Creator, Life-Giver, Source of Hope, on this day of remembering we pause to share words of thanks. Thanks for all those who have gone before us in this world to create those things that make our life easier and better, thanks for all those things that we too often take for granted, thanks for food on our tables, roofs over our heads and money in our pockets – even while we know that others struggle for the same blessings, thanks for family and friends with whom we share our lives. We also pause in the midst of our remembering to hold in our hearts, minds and souls those who struggle this day. May they know that they are not alone. May Your promised word of peace touch the disquiet and disorder in their lives.

God of peace that surpasses all understanding, we pray our remembrances and our hopes in the name of Christ, the Prince of Peace, who taught his friends to pray by saying together:
Our Father, who art in heaven…

Monday, November 5, 2012

For November 11, Remembrance Day.

On this day of memory we gather to sing and to pray,
we remember the past and look to the future.
On this day when the guns once fell silent,
We come before you God, seeking Your peace.
On this day of hope in the face of terror,
We come before you God, praying with all our hearts:
God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come.
Help us to find the path that leads to the Peaceable kingdom. Open our eyes and the eyes of the nations to find a different path through the disagreements of life in this world.
In this time of story, song, and prayer,
may we be re-committed to being people of Peace, true peace. May we catch a vision of how the world could live together.
And so we echo the old prayers,
Make us channels of your peace. Let there be Peace on Earth and let it begin with us! Amen