Prayers of the People

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Prayers of the People February 18, 2018

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Based on Mark  9:2-9, Transfiguration:

With deep sadness at the tragic losses of this week and with true and searching humility, we have come today, O God, recalling that you bid us listen to your Son, Jesus.  And so we must.  Let us treasure his teachings, his compassion, his forgiveness, his challenges, his selflessness, his peace.  We acknowledge that there is no voice more worthy of our attention.  Help us, day by day, to listen for that voice in every form, in every situation, and every person through which we may hear it.  Keep us unafraid to focus upon his message to us – unconcerned that it may ask us to follow him into new places – uninhibited in trusting his guidance and his call.  Uncloud our vision and show us, as you showed the disciples of old, the dazzling brilliance of love made flesh.

Then give us courage, dear God, to face the fullness that life with Christ offers us: both bright mountain-top moments and walks through the dark valleys.  Remind us that the disciples walked from their moments of glory with Jesus, to the cross and beyond.  Let that knowledge help us to face seasons of darkness and defeat, knowing, by faith, that though clouds may overshadow us – or those we love – or the world we inhabit - yet your love shines through to encourage us, and to instill the confidence we need to believe that ultimately, your light for the world shall not be overcome.  It cannot be extinguished by poverty or illness, by pain or grief, by disaster or ignorance, not even by heartbreaking violence that steals innocent life.  For your goodness will shine through again, even beyond these tragedies.  Grant us the gift of awe before your tenacious grace, God.

And help us, through your transformative spirit, to become, like your beloved Son, open people, whose inner goodness is readily visible, a mirror of your own bright and shining image.  Keep us mindful always of the identity with which we have been imprinted and the high calling that accompanies it – we are your children.  We are asked to walk the challenging way with Christ.  So let us get up and get to work on his behalf.

We pray all these things, O God, using words your beloved Son was once heard to teach his followers.  We are listening to him still, and speaking now with his voice, we say together … The Lord’s Prayer.

Prayers of the People February 11, 2018

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Based on Exodus, Chapters 35 and 36

God we give you thanks for the gifts we receive from you each day, for we acknowledge that we are a blessed people.  Where some face violence, we live in relative peace. Where some have no home in which to lay their heads tonight, we are blessed with homes, friends, and full lives.  And where some struggle to find their next meal, we count on ample provisions every day.  We have received all these gifts, and so many more.  We have also received the gift which your followers across the millennia have treasured above all gifts – the gift of your transformative presence in our midst.  Let your holy presence fill us and sustain us for all that lies ahead for us, as a congregation devoted to you. 

As we journey together, make us neither rashly imprudent, nor overly cautious.  Do not let us adopt a perspective of scarcity, but one of abundance.  Do not allow fear or pessimism to alter our church’s mission to help feed the hungry, comfort the lost, tend the afflicted.  Do not allow us to shrink from the calling to build together a church community where all are welcome, where children can find a safe place to learn, and adults a haven to grow in grace, through sharing the spirit of your son, Christ. 

We will surely face challenges together, O God, yet through it all let us acknowledge your claim upon us.  Help us to trust, as generations before us here at Community Church trusted, that you will provide all we need for the tasks you place before us.  Give us courage, stamina, and faith to follow in your way today, and the willingness to offer our best in your service.  In fact, like your followers in Moses’ day, let us give to your service until reserves overflow, and all needs are met, and we must be restrained from giving any more.  Let us be a congregation gone wild with the joy of giving.

Then, O God, as your generous people, let us gather again very soon to enjoy all that we find here of you – all that replenishes us, unites us, empowers us, and offers us peace.  Hear us now as we say the words of prayer which your son’s followers have gratefully and faithfully said in his memory, for century after century.  The Lord’s Prayer.