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
 

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
 

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
 

Open to wonder


View of the Depot from the Chabot Museum, Rotterdam

 

Open my eyes that I may see
  wonderful things in your law.

 

 


Prayer

Father, we praise you for the gift of words:
the words we hear and read,
the words we speak and write.
As we handle and use the Holy Scriptures,
make us more sensitive to what they say,
more appreciative of the life and truth in these pages,
and of the love and courage of those who wrote them;
and open our ears to your voice,
and our lives to yourself,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 
Source unknown,
from The Book of a Thousand Prayers by Angela Ashwin, #170
 


From the blog
Word study: Shema
Treasure for our times
Circle me, Lord
 

Stand firm

 

A timely exhortation from James as we enter another Advent season.

 

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

 


A Psalm of Celebration

loosely inspired by Psalm 118

Though we have known hardship and pain,
though life has not always turned out as we had hoped,
we will stand here and say:
God’s steadfast love endures for ever!

Though life becomes more complex,
the deepest questions remain unanswered,
and the mystery of faith deepens, we will say:
God’s steadfast love endures for ever!

And though the pain of the world
often seems more than we can bear or address,
we will stand firm in our faith and say:
God’s steadfast love endures for ever!
 

~ written by Ann Siddall, posted on re:worship

This prayer also appears in an earlier blog post:
Theme: Rejoice in the Lord always  [prayer sheet]


From the blog
imagine … no war …
In the school of prayer with St Francis of Assisi
Mightier than the crashing waves
 

Unless the Lord stands watch


 
 

Unless the Lord builds the house,
      the builders labour in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
      the guards stand watch in vain.


The Mercy of Justice

Where are things heading, God of wisdom?
Unless you are a God of justice and judgement,
      the future of this arrogant world is dismal.
Unless you are a God of grace and mercy,
      our place in your future is hopeless.

With the anger of a temple cleansing,
      overthrow greed and scatter our indifference.
With the suffering of your crucified Son,
      forgive our sins and heal our diseases.
With the mercy of justice and the justice
      of your unique mercy, lead us on towards
      the consummation of your kingdom.

You alone are our help and hope.
You alone are our health and happiness.

Through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Amen!
 
~ written by Bruce Prewer, and posted on www.bruceprewer.com


From the blog
Yield as sacrifice
Prayer poem: Not unless
On Writing Prayer-Poems
 

The Lord is near

Rejoice in the Lord always.
I will say it again: rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all.
>>> The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus.

 


A prayer

Lord Jesus,
by the loneliness of your suffering on the cross,
be near to all who are desolate, and in pain and sorrow;
let your presence transform their sorrow into comfort,
and their loneliness into fellowship with you;
for the sake of your tender mercy.

 
by George Appleton
from The Book of a Thousand Prayers by Angela Ashwin, #435


From the blog
Circle me, Lord
The Holy Other
The Spirit does wonders
 

This far, no further

Praying for Wisdom

based on Job 38

Lord, you laid the earth’s foundations;
    you placed its cornerstone;
while the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels shouted for joy,
you set limits for the sea and said,
     “This far and no further!”

You gave orders to the morning
    and showed the dawn its place;
you moulded the earth until it took shape.

You alone know the springs of the sea;
    you alone comprehend the vastness of the universe;
    you alone know the laws of heaven:

Lord, give wisdom to our hearts
    and understanding to our minds.
Amen.

 
~ written by Michael Perry, and posted on re:worship


From the blog
Song in the night
In the school of prayer with Eddie Askew
Continually curious