Celebrate supply

 

“Our life is not only travail and labor, it is also refreshment and joy in the goodness of God. We labor, but God nourishes and sustains us. And this is reason for celebrating. … Through daily meals [God] is calling us to rejoice, to keep holiday in the midst of our working day.”

 
Diedrich Bonhoeffer,
from Life Together (New York: Harper & Row, 1954), p. 68
 


From the blog
Theme: Ever sustaining  [prayer sheet]
Food for thought
In all seasons – grow
 

Miraculous supply


 
 

Remember this story from John’s gospel? Most of it takes place behind the scenes, as Jesus quietly saves the day. Still, there are those who get a glimpse of his glory and all those present at the wedding get to taste and enjoy the fruits.

 

1 The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. 3 The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”

4 “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”

5 But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

6 Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, 8 he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions.

9 When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. 10 “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”

11 This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

 


Prayers of the people

inspired by John 2:1-11

Eternal God of the ages, we would bow as empty vessels waiting to be filled but our minds and souls are busy with many things which impede our being filled by you. We become preoccupied with our worries.

  • We worry about our children.
  • We worry about our personal finances.
  • We worry about how well we will perform our duties.
  • We worry about our health.
  • We worry about terror in our world.
  • We worry about war.

Help us to divest ourselves of the cares and troubles which so daily beset us. Empty us of them now that we may be filled.

  • May we be filled with a sense of your presence.
  • May we be filled with the touch of your spirit.
  • May we be filled with new energy.
  • May we be filled with your power.
  • May we be filled with trust and faith.

Empower us as we worship here and then enable us to impact your world for Jesus. Change the stagnant water of our lives to wine and touch us as you touched those people in Cana.

Be with our men and women in harm’s way and all those touched by the tragedy of war. Give them strength for each day as daily they must live with terror.

Give to the leaders of our world the resolve to wage war not on people but on poverty, injustice, hunger, disease, and all manner of human suffering. Give them the vision to shape a new world where self-interest is tempered and corrected by love and compassion and a hunger for justice.

Give to all the world the gift of being filled with new wine and new vision.
Amen

 
~ written by Richard Einerson, and posted on re:worship
 


From the blog
Quiet near a little stream
St Patrick’s Breastplate embodied
In the school of prayer with Anselm
 

Supply and response


 

Before or after a meal

Lord God, Creator of all,
in your wisdom,
you have bound us together so that we must depend on others
for the food we eat,
the resources we use,
the gifts of your creation that bring life, health, and joy.

Creator God, we give thanks.

Holy be the hands that sew our clothes so that we do not have to go naked;
sacred be the hands that build our homes so that we do not have to be cold;
blessed be the hands that work the land so that we do not have to go hungry.

Creator God, we give thanks.

Holy be the feet of all who labor so that we might have rest;
sacred be the feet of all who run swiftly to stand with the oppressed;
blessed be the feet of all whose bodies are too broken or weary to stand.

Creator God, we give thanks.

Holy be the sound of children laughing to take away our sorrow;
sacred be the sound of water falling to take away our thirst;
blessed be the sound of your people singing to heal our troubled hearts.

Creator God, we give thanks.

Holy be the bodies of those who know hunger;
sacred be the bodies of those who are broken;
blessed be the bodies of those who suffer.

In your mercy and grace,
soften our callous hearts and
fill us with gratitude for all the gifts you have given us.
In your love,
break down the walls that separate us
and guide us along your path of peace,
that we might humbly worship you in Spirit and in truth.
Amen.
 

from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and Enuma Okoro, p. 553
 


From the blog
Theme: Part of creation   [prayer sheet]
The Holy Other
Offer your bodies
 

My God will supply


Texel  (Photo: Irene Bom)

 

My God will supply all that you need from his glorious resources in Christ Jesus.

 

 


Thanksgiving Litany

Generous God, for the abundance of your blessings to us
day by day and year by year,
We give you our thanks.

For the simple pleasures of life: for garden harvests,
coffee conversation, and familiar surroundings,
For health and strength to appreciate the wonder of life,
For needs met and desires fulfilled,
We give you our thanks.

For foods distributed to nourish body and spirit,
For homes which supply shelter, which nurture
order and beauty, and offer hospitality,
We give you our thanks.

With hearts that forgive as freely as you have forgiven,
With enthusiasm of spirit for the gift of life,
With music which declares your everlasting goodness,
With prayers for mutual understanding and peace,
We worship you with joy.

With creative pursuits which contribute our God-given talents,
With words which honor you as Creator, Redeemer, and Holy Spirit,
With time volunteered and dedicated to service in church and community,
With years committed to extending the love of Jesus Christ,
We worship you with joy.

With gifts of money which reach farther than we can manage ourselves,
With deeds done in service of neighbor and stranger,
With holy days set apart to celebrate your goodness and grace,
With family and friends distant and nearby,
We worship you, God, with grateful hearts and joyful spirit.

Alleluia. Amen.

 
~ written by Rev. Kathy Jo Blaske, posted on www.faithward.org


From the blog
All good gifts
Abide
Sister moon
 

Asking and answers


 

 

‘Prayer is asking, and prayer is sitting. Prayer is the breath. Prayer is not an answer, always, because not all questions can be answered.’

from Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community
by Pádraig Ó Tuama, p. xi
 


A prayer

    I know
that when the stress has grown too strong,
    you will be there.

    I know
that when the waiting seems so long,
    you hear my prayer.

    I know
that through the crash of falling worlds
    you’re holding me.

    I know
that life and death are yours
    eternally.

 
by Mother Janet Stuart (1857-1914),
from The Book of a Thousand Prayers by Angela Ashwin, #241
 


From the blog
Jesus, pray for us
Bend down low
The Gift #2 : For the asking
 

From prayer and conversation to answers


Het Vredeskerkje (The Little Peace Church) in Bergen aan Zee, NL

 

For those looking for answers on how to be salt and light in the world, here are some wise words from Paul:

 

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

 

 


Prayer

O God, our Master in heaven,
make us fair and just in our dealings with others;
keep us persistent in prayer for them,
alert to their needs,
and constantly thankful;
open doors for us to proclaim the message about the secret of Christ;
help us to speak as we should, to make it clear.
Keep us wise in the way we act towards those who do not believe,
help us always to make good use of every opportunity we have;
let our conversation be attractive and inspiring,
and teach us how to give the right answer to everyone,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 
~ written by Michael Perry, and posted on www.jubilate.co.uk


From the blog
Environmentally water-wise
Small talk
To Emmaus and back
 

In the school of prayer with Eugene Peterson

 

Here are some extracts on the topic of prayer by Eugene Peterson from his book, Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer.

 
 

I

What is essential in prayer is not that we learn to express ourselves, but that we learn to answer God. The psalms show us how to answer. (p. 6)

II

The practice of Christians in praying the Psalms is straightforward: simply pray through the Psalms, psalm by psalm, regularly. … That’s it: open our Bibles to the book of Psalms and prayer them – sequentially, regularly, faithfully across a lifetime. This is how most Christians for most of the Christian centuries have matured in prayer. Nothing fancy. Just do it. The praying itself is deliberate and leisurely, letting (as St. Benedict directed) the motions of the heart come into harmony with the movements of the lips. (p. 7)

III

All the psalms are prayers in community: people assembled, attentive before God, participating in a common posture, movement and speech, offering themselves and each other to their Lord. Prayer is not a private exercise, but a family convocation. … the believing community at worship, at regular times and in assigned places, is the base of prayer. All the psalms were prayed in such communities. … The primary use of prayer in not for expressing ourselves, but in becoming ourselves, and we cannot do that alone. (p. 18-19)

IV

Human beings are in trouble most of the time. Those who don’t know they are in trouble are in the worst trouble. Prayer is the language of the people who are in trouble and know it, and who believe or hope that God can get them out. (p. 36)

V

We do better to simply enter the sequence of psalms as they are given to us in the Psalms, go from one to the next, one day to the next, one week to the next, taking what comes, learning to enter into what comes, whatever, practicing a sense of the presence of God, deepening that awareness into colloquy* with God. (p. 108)

 
*  colloquy: dialogue, conversation, heart-to-heart


So I answered

Psalm 40:1-8, The Message (translated by Eugene Peterson)

I waited and waited and waited for God.
    At last he looked; finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
    pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
    to make sure I wouldn’t slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,
    a praise-song to our God.
More and more people are seeing this:
    they enter the mystery,
    abandoning themselves to God.

Blessed are you who give yourselves over to God,
    turn your backs on the world’s “sure thing,”
    ignore what the world worships;
The world’s a huge stockpile
    of God-wonders and God-thoughts.
Nothing and no one
    compares to you!
I start talking about you, telling what I know,
    and quickly run out of words.
Neither numbers nor words
    account for you.

Doing something for you, bringing something to you—
    that’s not what you’re after.
Being religious, acting pious—
    that’s not what you’re asking for.
You’ve opened my ears
    so I can listen.

So I answered, “I’m coming.
    I read in your letter what you wrote about me,
And I’m coming to the party
    you’re throwing for me.”
That’s when God’s Word entered my life,
    became part of my very being.
 


From the blog
In the school of prayer with Anselm
In the school of prayer with Michael Mayne
In the school of prayer with Ignatius of Loyola
 

Answer the call

A prayer

inspired by Genesis 12:1-7
 

Lord, help us answer your call as readily as our father Abram, that we might extend your blessing throughout our community. Remind us that the places where we find you become altars in our world.  Amen.

 
from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and Enuma Okoro, p. 91
 


From the blog
Continually ever-present
Walking the labyrinth
Sabbath rest
 

Open ending


 
 

This final post for 2023 has an intriguing title, something to chew on, and features a prayer of reflection by Tim Watson for the end of a day … or year …

 


Reflection at the end of a day

 
In the silence
we hold before God the day now passing into history
and we give thanks

silence

Lord, for this day
we give you thanks.
Lord, for the moments when we encountered grace and beauty
we give you thanks.
Lord, for conversations that have made an impact on our lives
we give you thanks.
Lord, for the times when we have seen you at work
we give you thanks.
 
In the silence we hold before God the hurts of the past day

silence

Lord, we remember the times
when we have not shown love
through our thoughts, words and actions.
We seek forgiveness.
Lord, we remember the times
when we have been hurt by the words and actions of others.
Help us to forgive.
Lord, we remember the times
when we have been distracted from seeking after you.
Lord, make yourself known to us,
help us to see you
in the midst of the noise and clamour of this world

 
In the silence we hold before God tomorrow
and the opportunities it bears

silence

Lord, we pray that your Holy Spirit would guide us
into the ways of righteousness
that you would give us strength for the journey.
Lord, you know the shape of our lives at this time,
you know the delights we enjoy and the pressures we endure.
Guide us and give us wisdom to know your will,
strengthen our resolve to discern your call.

Lord, make yourself known to us in the daily pattern of our lives.
Help us to see the fruit borne out of small actions.
Lord, help us to live faithfully amidst uncertainty.
Fortify us to be followers in your Way.
Lord, help us to not live as autonomous units,
but as fellow travellers on a journey.
Lord, build up the community of which we are part,
and shape it around the cross of your Son Jesus Christ.
Lord, as we sleep tonight,
may we rest in the knowledge of your relentless love.
When we wake tomorrow,
may we be prepared for all that lies ahead.

 

~ written by Tim Watson, posted on Lighting Beacons Liturgy.


From the blog
Pause for breath …
3 Prayers for endings and beginnings
People of the way
 

Open gates

 
David Adam writes,
 
“Every now and again ‘our eyes are opened’ and we see beyond the narrowness of our day-to-day vision. This was expressed by Jacob when he awoke out of sleep, a sleep he felt he had been in all his life up to that point: ‘Jacob awoke out of sleep and said, “How aweful is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”‘ (Genesis 28:16-17). Jacob had not been looking for his experience, it had suddenly opened before him. I believe that such experiences are offered to all of us at one time or another in our lives. But we in our turn have to be open enough to receive them. … If we face the unfamiliar it may open all sorts of gates for us.”
 
from The Open Gate: Celtic Prayers for Growing Spiritually
by David Adam, p.2
 


Prayer

O Lord,
    Open our eyes to your Presence
    Open our minds to your grace
    Open our lips to your praises
    Open our hearts to your love
    Open our lives to your healing
    And be found among us.

 
by David Adam,
from The Book of a Thousand Prayers by Angela Ashwin, #15
 


From the blog
Turn to the light
Holy moment beneath the stars
Slow learners and bright ideas