Prayers 2 Easter Yr A

Prayer of the Church, 2nd Sunday of Easter, Year A

P: Ancient of Days: We praise and thank you for revealing your definite plan and foreknowledge of salvation through Christ to apostles like Peter who bore witness by proclaiming the Word. God of new, resurrection life: C: Hear our prayer.
P: God our Refuge: You show us the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore. God of new, resurrection life: C: Hear our prayer.
P: Merciful God: Blessed are you for giving us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. In him our inheritance is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. God of new, resurrection life: C: Hear our prayer.
P: Risen Christ: On that first Easter evening long ago, you appeared to the disciples—giving them your peace and breathing on them the Holy Spirit. In a world full of conflict and divisions bestow your peace to all nations and breathe new, Spirit-filled life into them—especially we pray for: Sudan and Uganda and our nation, Canada; may the citizens or our land exercise their democratic right and responsibility by voting tomorrow to elect a new government. God of new, resurrection life: C: Hear our prayer.
P: Christ our Life: During the Easter season, we celebrate your victory over sin, death and the powers of evil. Yet many doubt your resurrection like Thomas of old. We confess that we too have our struggles with doubt. May you work through all who doubt to lead them into a deeper faith in you, like you did with Thomas. God of new, resurrection life: C: Hear our prayer.
(Additional thanksgivings and intercessions may be included here, ending with: God of new, resurrection life: C: Hear our prayer.)
P: Holy One: You would have us live full, healthy lives—however, many among us are languishing and suffering from sickness and disease. May your healing presence touch them in mind, body and spirit; especially, we remember those whom we name either out loud or, in the silence of our hearts: PAUSE. God of new, resurrection life: C: Hear our prayer.
P: Have mercy and hear our prayers God our Father; Christ our Risen Saviour; and Holy Spirit our Advocate; one God, who lives and reigns now and forever. ALL: Amen.

Prayer Easter Day, Year A

Prayer of the Church, Easter Day, Year A

P: God our Life-Giver: As ancient Israel thanked and praised you for delivering them from their exile and they celebrated with joy their return to the Promised Land; so today we praise and thank you as you deliver us from the exile of sin, evil and death into our Promised Land of forgiveness and new, resurrection life. With joyful Hallelujahs we worship you LORD of Life: C: Hear our prayer.
P: God our Victor: We give you thanks, for you are good; your steadfast love endures forever! There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous. The LORD is our strength and our might; he has become our salvation. We shall not die, but we shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD. With joyful Hallelujahs we worship you LORD of Life: C: Hear our prayer.
P: Christ our Risen Saviour: We are most grateful that through our baptism; we have been raised with you to new life. Bestow your grace upon us; that we may set our minds on things that are above as we look into the future with the hope of eternal life. With joyful Hallelujahs we worship you LORD of Life: C: Hear our prayer.
P: Christ our Resurrection and Life: We praise and thank you that the powers of sin, evil and death could not defeat you. Your crucified, tomb-imprisoned body was transformed into a resurrected one; bursting forth from the tomb. Your resurrection presence had the power to banish the fears of the women as you met and commanded them to be the first messengers of New Life in you. May you banish our fears too—that we, like the women, might be your joyful messengers of the resurrection. With joyful Hallelujahs we worship you LORD of Life: C: Hear our prayer.
(Other prayers may be added here, ending with: With joyful Hallelujahs we worship you LORD of Life: C: Hear our prayer.)
P: LORD of the Nations: Amidst the clamour of war, the tyranny of greed, the abuse of power, the oppression of the weak and poor; pour out wisdom and knowledge, compassion and mercy, and a deep commitment to justice and peace among all leaders of nations. As the Risen LORD, may you transform the hostile powers of death into new, resurrection life around the world and within your Church. With joyful Hallelujahs we worship you LORD of Life: C: Hear our prayer.
P: Father of Mercy; Christ our Risen Messiah; and Life-breathing Spirit; One God: We worship you and offer these our prayers with joyful celebration and expectation, as we pray: ALL: Our Father….Amen.

Prayers Good Friday, Yr A

Prayer of the Church, Good Friday, Year A

P: Blessed are you, LORD God of all creation: Today we remember Jesus whom you sent to be our Suffering Servant. In his Passion, he was marred beyond human semblance. He was despised and rejected by others; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. Yet as the Suffering Servant for the whole human race, he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. His sacrifice on the cross has atoned for the sins of the world. Today we stumble on our words—for they fall far short of comprehending the enormity of our Crucified God’s suffering; and the extent of his saving work accomplished on that first Good Friday, long ago. Jesus, may we always remember your love for us on the cross: C: Have mercy, and hear our prayer.
P: Blessed are you, LORD God of all creation: Long ago the psalmist cried out in an agonizing prayer: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” On the cross, Jesus in his suffering also cried out those same words; expressing his excruciating pain of mind, body, soul and spirit. Yet, in his aloneness, and feeling abandoned; it was to you he spoke those words. In our times of suffering; of feeling alone and abandoned; may we always remember that you are with us Jesus. Today we especially remember those in our midst and around the world who are left alone and abandoned—give them the assurance that you are with them Jesus; and deliver them from their forsakenness. Jesus, may we always remember your love for us on the cross: C: Have mercy, and hear our prayer.
P: Blessed are you, LORD God of all creation: Today we praise and thank you for making a covenant with us through the suffering and death; the sacrificial body and shed blood of Jesus. He has forgiven our sins and opened the curtain to give us access to the sanctuary of your Holy Presence. In response to his abundant love for us; may we consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds as we meet together to worship and serve you and our neighbours. Jesus, may we always remember your love for us on the cross: C: Have mercy, and hear our prayer.
P: Blessed are you, LORD God of all creation: We are all participants in the Passion of your Son; we along with Judas, the soldiers, police and political and religious leaders betray you and arrest you. We, like Peter deny you. We, like Pilate place you on trial, judge and sentence you to death; when, in truth, you are our Judge. We, like the soldiers and the crowds mock and taunt you and yell “Crucify him!” Forgive us in our sinful exploitation and oppression of the world’s poorest, weakest, and most forgotten of peoples—for you are present in them and their suffering. Jesus, may we always remember your love for us on the cross: C: Have mercy, and hear our prayer.
(Other thanksgivings and intercessions may be offered here, ending with: Jesus, may we always remember your love for us on the cross: C: Have mercy, and hear our prayer.)
P: Blessed are you, LORD God of all creation: Have mercy and hear our prayers that we pray in the name of Jesus our Suffering Servant. ALL: Amen.

Prayer Maundy Thursday, Year A

Prayer of the Church, Maundy Thursday, Year A
P: God our Deliverer: We praise and thank you that in ancient times you instructed Moses and Aaron to institute the Passover festival; which is to be a perpetual ordinance for Israel. The blood of the Passover lamb on the Israelite houses was a sign to the LORD to pass over and save them from death. The Passover is also a meal celebrating the freedom of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. We pray for all peoples in our land and around the globe who continue to be oppressed and suffer from various forms of slavery; grant them deliverance. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer. P: God our Deliverer: Like the psalmist of old, we will lift up the cup of salvation and call on your name; for you have loosed our bonds. We will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice as we call on your name to worship and serve you. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer. P: God our Deliverer: We give you our praise and thanks for instructing the ancient Church to institute the sacrament of Holy Communion; and handed down to us today. As we eat and drink the bread and wine, may we always remember what you have done for us on the cross Jesus. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer. P: God our Deliverer: On that first Maundy Thursday long ago, you took on the role of the lowest slave or household servant by washing the feet of your disciples. In washing their feet, you set an example of humble service for all time to everyone who wishes to follow you. In this way, you also revealed how to live out your new commandment by loving one another. Forgive us when we fail to love one another in acts of humble service; forgive us for failing to let everyone know that we are Jesus’ disciples by not loving one another. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer. (Additional prayers may be included here, ending with: God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer.) P: God our Deliverer: During this Holy Week, we are drawn into the story of your Passion. We too are saddened by the betrayal of Judas who was one of your disciples. Have mercy on us when we betray you and evil powers overtake us. Deliver us from those who betray us. As we celebrate your Holy Supper tonight; draw us close to you and grant us ever-grateful hearts for the saving power of your forgiveness poured out for us on the cross. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer. P: God our Deliverer: The world continues to be filled with sorrow and grief, hatred and evil, terrorism and war. Bestow your divine grace upon all leaders of nations; that they may govern with compassion for their people to serve and protect the interests of the weakest and most vulnerable in the land. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer.
P: All of these our prayers we commend into your all-sufficient hands; that in mercy you would hear us for the sake of Jesus our Crucified Messiah. ALL: Amen.

Sermon Palm/Passion Sunday Yr A

You can read my sermon for April 17, 2011 here: Palm Passion Sunday Yr A

The Church and the federal election

The Church and the federal election

One of the quintessential questions for some Christians over the centuries has been: What is the relationship between the church and the state; faith and politics? The question remains, for some, as contemporary and relevant as it is ancient and historical. The wide variety of Christian denominations have different “takes” in answering such questions. One thing is clear, there is no avoiding politics—those who claim neutrality are also making a political statement, there is no room for quietism and indifference (I still have not, received any comments or correspondence from the Church of Sweden on my last post and wonder what their lack of response means concerning the issue that I raised). Although I believe it wrongheaded for the Church to endorse any political party—indeed such endorsement can lead to tyranny and oppression, as the dark pages of church history have hopefully taught us—nonetheless, as citizens in the world, it is our right and responsibility, our duty and privilege to be involved in politics as stewards of creation and servants of justice and peace in the world. In our democratic society, we do this by showing up at the polling stations and voting.

So, dear readers, are you intending to vote in the upcoming federal election? If so, what are do you think are the most pressing issues in this election? What do you think of the 2011 ELCIC Compassionate Justice Election Resource? Click here.

What do you think of the KAIROS federal election kit focussing on the three topics of climate change, indigenous rights, and migrant justice? Click here

Do you think these resources are helpful for church folk in educating them on the most pressing election issues? Did reading these resources help you or change your views on certain issues? Are you going to vote in the 2011 federal election? If not, can you explain why you are not voting? I’d love to hear from you.

From The Simon Wiesenthal Center

From The Simon Wiesenthal Center

The state of Israel received a lot of criticism about targeting civilians in the 2009 Goldstone Report, which the United Nations supported. Now Judge Goldstone has retracted statements in his report against the charge targeting civilians in the Gaza conflict with Hamas. The Wiesenthal Center is now petitioning the UN to:
1. Make a public statement endorsing Goldstone’s retraction of the Report

2. Call on UN Human Rights Council Chief Navi Pillay and UNHRC members to block any further action based on the erroneous charges in what is now seen by the author as a fundamentally flawed document

3. To inform members of the UN General Assembly of Judge Goldstone’s retraction of the libel that Israel targeted Gaza’s civilians during the 2009 war with Hamas
You can read about it further and sign a petition here.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper writes about his trip to Malmo, Sweden to investigate the growing antisemitic incidents in that nation, you can read about it here. Sweden being primarily a Lutheran nation; I wonder what the Church of Sweden is doing to support the Jewish community there. I hope it is monitoring the situation carefully, and not remaining silent and turning a blind eye. If there are any Church of Sweden readers of my blog, I’d appreciate hearing from you.