Prayers of the people | November 29

W

e are slowly approaching the shortest day of the year known as solstice.  The earth rejoices at the coming of the Saviour.  We are also approaching a season that will pull us in every direction imaginable.  May we assume a stance of watchfulness and waiting for the coming of the Saviour.

In late November, our landscape is colourless and grey yet transformed with tinsel, lights and animation.  We are moving from a bleak month of remembrance of our war heroes to the season of Advent initiated many centuries ago by the coming of a baby boy.  Our senses will be distracted by secular consumerism and religious traditions but we call on our informed spirituality, capacity of discernment and your guidance to filter and shape this journey.  May we choose a path that feels less stress, invites creative ways of giving and be open to the unexpected, O God, as we look amongst the crowd, around the corner and amidst the mayhem for this Christ child.
We watch and wait for you, O Lord.  In your mercy, hear our prayer.

Tonight’s lessons speak of the restlessness and distress of the nations and THE END but we heard about the promise of restoration, as seen in Jerusalem.  May that same shift be realized in modern day combat, as we remember regions in the world ravaged by war, unsettled economies and regimes lacking basic needs of food, water and health care.  As we live in a land of prosperity and privilege, may we find purpose in facilitating social justice by instilling awareness and alternative solutions to what plaques our world, country, region and neighbourhood.  May we be part of the global village that does not sleep if aware of another in need.
We watch and wait for you, O Lord.  In your mercy, hear our prayer.

As politicians continue to debate whether we are in a recession, may we explore how the change in economy can reshape our worldview… to use less, give more; drive less, walk more.  May we join the dance of reciprocity that is fair, equitable and sustainable and welcome Jonathon Wilson-Hartgroves’ challenge to effective resourcefulness of community life.  Globally, we bring before you victims of flooding in Britain and British Columbia and the four police officers ambushed in Washington.  We pray for lives lost, relocated and forever changed by these disasters.  We celebrate the freeing of Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan being held captive in Somalia.
We watch and wait for you, O Lord.  In your mercy, hear our prayer.

Locally, as we continue to enjoy unseasonable warmth, we ask for safety in travel, protection from viruses and the flu and opportunities to welcome healthy minds, active bodies and open spirits in the days ahead and even as the colder temperatures arrive.  We remember the Sisters of the Church in Burlington, St. John’s Baptist Church and Rutba House in Durham, North Carolina and the Home Uganda Project.  We pray for our national and diocesan church leaders as well as Jamie, Helen, John and Chris – and we welcome and affirm Chris as our Deacon.  At this time, we are called to offer up our brothers and sisters in need – for those experiencing ill health, with recent difficult diagnoses; those experiencing economic or employment changes; or loss of loved ones, we pray. Please take these moments to mention aloud or in your heart those for whom we pray…
For every breath we take, every move we make, every step we take, thank you that you watch and care for us… like the mother of the runaway bunny.
We watch and wait for you, O Lord.  In your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all the tables that characterize our movement at saint benedict’s table, we enjoy the table of creativity in many art forms; the table of hospitality in the sharing of food, conversation and learning; the table of commitment to Agape Table; and the table of worship in the sacraments.  As we come to your open and inclusive banquet this evening, once again, we thank you that there is no reservation necessary as you invite us to eat and drink at no cost.  You are less concerned in who we are but that we continue to come.  Fill us and fulfill us, O Father – within, with others and with earth.
We watch and wait for you, O Lord.

Amen.

Written by Nancy Constantine, to be offered in worship on the 1st Sunday in Advent, November 29, 2009.

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