Pentecost is a feast of the mysterious movement of God. Each year, it is an invitation to be attentive once more to God’s presence in our lives. Come Spirit, who makes a home in us. Draw us to the treasure of your dwelling. Reveal to us the inner journey of love. We heard the words in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians a different perspective on life and death. The parable in Mark’s gospel demonstrates that however fruitless our efforts may seem, we never know what life-giving action is taking place below the surface. We just need to keep planting seeds – seeds of hope, seeds of recovery, seeds of transformation, seeds of love. As we watch our landscapes become restored, renewed and revived, we ask that of ourselves; as well to be reclaimed and redeemed in your life-giving spirit. Come Holy Spirit, Lord in Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayer.
Today, we remember all Fathers and the unique, profound and amazing challenge this offers to shape the lives of upcoming generations. We all have a story about our Dads – whether they were present and nurturing or absent and distant. We pray for our Fathers, whether alive, passed on, living far away or across the city. As Friday was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, may we be cognizant of protection of our parents and grandparents – that they not be vulnerable to any physical, psychological or financial abuse. We pray for ongoing consciousness raising in effective stewardship of our resources. May we walk, bike, carpool or bus more, buy less and repurpose more, and scrutinize the products and services we endorse. In the plethora of inventory in our homes and garages, make us generous to those who need, guide us to more voluntary simplicity, and remind us of the relational rather than emotional attachment to things! Come, Spirit, who is our light. Shine among the shadows within. Warm and transform our hearts. Come Holy Spirit, Lord in Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayer.
Globally, we are reminded of unsettled regions around the world; violence in Syria, political unrest in Egypt, and a bleak economy in Greece. We also remember victims of fire, floods, and unstable weather patterns, impaired drivers and random or intentional acts of violence. We also pray for some semblance of calm in Quebec among students and politicians. As Canadians facing ongoing changes in the economy, may our leaders steer us through with values of fairness, justice and equity. Help us to find creative ways of reciprocity in our global village, whatever that village looks like – as vast as the continent, or as intimate as the street we live on – whether Haiti or Agape Table. Make us keen to give and take, to hold close and set free, to see visions and dream dreams. Locally, we pray that amidst construction and civic issues, our city will swell with enthusiasm around Jazz, Folk, Fringe and other Festivals where we enjoy a reprieve from work, prediction and routine. Come Holy Spirit, Lord in Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayer.
We remember those among us and known to us needing prayers at this time. Please take this opportunity to name aloud or in your hearts those in need. We pray for your healing power to those who are sick, your comforting grace to those who mourn, and your endless commitment to empower those afflicted with any dis-ease of body, mind or spirit. For those who await organ donation, disease therapies and cures, and whose lives are marked with the daily stigma of mental illness, we ask your sweet and generous love and care. As we move into the time of our service when the table is set, thank you for our circle of sacrament – for the ongoing magnitude of your body and blood to fill and fulfill us, to enable us to do more than we can ask or imagine, to be what you want us to be in the world. May we live simply, love generously, care deeply and speak kindly. God Above Us, God Beside Us, God Beneath Us, The Beginning, The Breathe, The End. Come Holy Spirit. AMEN
Written by Nancy Constantine and offered in worship on June 17, 2012