thinking theology

Lent 4: Chaos into Order

Collect
Loving and forgiving God,
we bring you our fears and doubts. Help us to see these truths that you have placed before us: change is required for some kinds of institutional healing; this holy earth holds everything necessary for abundant living; compassion, generosity, hospitality, forgiveness all have the power to create safety and peace for all. As we meditate on your word and on the way of life to which Jesus leads us, may we find renewed purpose, and grace in living. Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts
Gracious God,
you have provided for us in abundance and you cradle all the earth in your loving embrace. Receive our work, and our faith, as a holy offering of appreciation for your grace and healing. Amen.

Prayer after Communion
Holy Maker,
who weaves chaos into order, who forms new life from that which is spent, we give you thanks. As we consider your handiwork, may our humility stir us in service to each other and to a renewed way of life. May we trust our vision when it is centred on the loving Way of Christ. Amen.

Lent 3: By Every Well

Collect
Holy and loving God,
to you we bring our doubt and fear. We hesitate because we forget that you travel in our midst. Your spirit opens doors of possibility. Your Beloved teaches us courage in the face of adversity. In all things, we praise the sustaining hope that you have provided for us through your Word in story and in the person of Jesus, our Anointed One. In his name we pray. Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts
Gracious God,
we offer you these gifts that you provide for us to share. Bless them and bless the work that we do in your name so that you will know us in every wilderness and by every well of insight. May we be safe haven and a community where all may find a place to belong. Amen.

Prayer after Communion
Holy One,
we give you thanks that you have called us into the household of faith. May we ensure that the door is open for all, and that there is always another place at the table. In humble gratitude and trust in you, we travel into the world in the community of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Lent 2: The Journey

Collect
Holy One,
you call us to journey beyond our own imaginations. You draw us beyond the limits of time and experience. You ask us to stretch our dreams so that the Spirit can show us new paths and possibilities. May we follow faithfully all our days. Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts
Gracious God,
we bring you these gifts from your holy earth, and the wealth that is ours to share. Bless us with vision and holy dreaming as you enfold us in your dream of peace and justice for all. Amen.

Prayer after Communion
God of abundance,
who wills goodness for all creation. May these holy acts and words inspire us to live with the compassion and clarity of Jesus, who showed us how to be human. Amen.

Propers for Lent 1: Year A

Preamble
I think of Lent as a time of unburdening our souls, our communities, our earth. Thus, this discipline begins with a daily reflection on how we can pay attention to the possibility of healing in these areas. For communal worship, we need to reflect on how our lives attach meaning to our shared devotions, and, conversely, how those shared devotions affect our Christian practice and reflection for the week.

Lent 1

Collect
Gracious God,
you share your divine life and freedom with us. Help us to choose the path of wisdom and kindness, that we may be your sign of true humanity. Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts
Generous God,
the world is your garden. We offer these gifts from your abundance. May they become food for us and for all, as you bless us now. Amen.

Prayer after Communion
Loving God,
you have put signs of your presence everywhere in the world. For those who come to this table and receive this sacrament, may they become aware of your grace within, becoming grace that is revealed to those who seek. Amen.

Prayers for use throughout Lent

Prayers of the People
Holy One, without you, the tasks before us leave us without purpose or power. In the light of Christ, together in the vast company of all saints, we lift up the places of our ministry.

 (silence)

For the indigenous people of the world, who struggle against the lingering, but potent effects of colonization. For the Churches’ work in reconciliation and solidarity; for signs of change, for increasing awareness and the light of truth, we pray.
Holy One, open our minds and hearts.

For all places of social hurt and harm; for an end to famine and poverty; for safety and protection of the children of the world; for an end to violence against women and all gender violence,
Holy One, open our minds and hearts.

For all who work for peace and healing, justice and restitution, remembering especially the work of (PWRDF, KAIROS, Melanie Delva, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, Doctors Without Borders, and local groups….)
Holy One, open our minds and hearts.

For our church of …, for our willingness to risk and learn and act for the sake of Christ calling. For our spiritual growth and for the faith growing amongst us,
Holy One, open our minds and hearts.

For those for whom we celebrate…,
and for those with whom we share concern…,
Holy One, open our minds and hearts.

Let us acknowledge those ways in which we recommit ourselves to the work of Christ by freeing ourselves for the work at hand.

(leads into Prayer of Confession)

Prayer of Confession
Maker of all,
judge of your people, we come before you in sorrow and shame for our actions as your people.
In the cause of justice, we have been silent, but we have acted to protect ourselves and secure our own ground.
In the work of compassion, we have grown cold but we have demanded fulfillment of our own needs.
On this day, may we begin again to serve you with integrity and to be the healing body of your Beloved in the world.
Forgive us and help us to forgive ourselves.
Heal us and help us to heal each other.
Teach us so that we might learn from each other.
Holy One, reconcile us to you that we may believe in the possibility of peace.
Amen.

Absolution
The Holy One calls us to return and be renewed in love. As we offer ourselves in humility and trust, let us also be open to healing and to be alive in the Spirit of liberation, in the name of the Trinity of love.
Amen.

Great Thanksgiving for Lent
(You may use sursum corda according to your tradition or the one provided.)

May you abide in the love of the Holy One.
We lift our hearts in trust.

The Spirit stirs us in awe and wonder.
We give our lives in love.

It is a gift to us to offer thanks and praise.
We exist within the sphere of God’s love and creation.

God our Creator, we offer our thanks as we greet each other around this table. We remember that you blessed human life with the Divine Presence in many traditions and with many names. But always it is in the ordinary signs of life that your Sacred Presence is revealed. In stinging sandstorms and in Arctic blizzards, your people have sought you, only to lose sight of you again. You call us in famine and in feast to recognize your abiding love that wills abundant life for all. At this time of pausing, teach us to choose the pathway of your Beloved and grant us what we need to follow Jesus.

At the time of Passover, your Beloved Jesus became the Christ in the world. We remember the gift of that life, the time when we learned the power of naming and challenging, the power of healing and solidarity. Jesus showed us how to see our community as one family, the lifeblood of the faith.

One night in Bethany, Jesus sat down with his family and friends. A woman prophet anointed him with oil to recognize the unique gift of his life. 

We remember this woman, the first witness to resurrection within this life.

Before his trial, while everyone was eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it. Then, beholding at his people, he said for them to receive the sign of the bread. Looking at them all, he said, “This, my body.”

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
For in the one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body.

Then Jesus took a cup of wine, and after giving thanks, he gave it to them and all of them drank from the one cup, like one family, one blood. And he said to them, “This, my blood which is offered for many.”

You are the vine; we are the branches, full of the sap of divine life.
May your joy abide in us so that we may be one family, offered for love of the world and chosen to bear the fruit of justice and peace-making.

And Jesus prayed to God, “As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes, I bless myself, so that they too may be truly blessed. I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their words, that they all may be one.” (John 17:18-20)

May we all be one in purpose and many in inspiration.
May we all be one in compassion, although diverse in understanding.

Breaking of the Bread
In the desert, you feed us, By the well, you bless us.
At your table we are renewed

Blessing
May you experience the love of God healing you and showing you the beauty and strength with which you were made. May the Holy Trinity of Creation: Maker, Beloved, and restless Spirit cause you to hunger and thirst for fulfillment in peace and joy. Amen.

Propers for February 9th

Collect
Holy one,
across time and history, you call to us through your prophets. Your voice may be heard in the raging of the earth, the cries of the poor and the struggles of the oppressed, in the prayers of the followers of Jesus. May your voice embolden us and cause us to seek your will. May peace and creativity flourish as we learn to heal and thrive. Amen.

Litany for Peace
Blessed are you O Holy One. You are the point of beginning and ending. You hold all things together with your fierce compassion and your creative love. We give you thanks for our lives and for all that we cherish. We also thank you that we have been called into the great congregation of the saints, where your praises are sung in the oceans and through the forests. We pray now for wisdom to learn and to act with mercy and justice.

We pray for the governments and their leaders in every land. May cooperation become more  attractive than competition. May the need for peace override the lust for war and conquest.

Hear our contrite prayer.

We pray for the poor in every land. May their struggles be eased by our response to their needs. We remember especially….

We pray for the earth and all the living that inhabit this planet. May we find ways to appreciate your gift of life for all, from worm to whale, from primrose to giant cedar.

We pray for the indigenous people of every land, who are recovering from the ravages of colonialism and its ongoing pain, for all the wisdom they have retained. Hear our prayer.

We pray for those we love. For those who suffer in body or mind….

For those who approach the holy gate of death….
For those who love with danger in their work….
For those who are moving through a time of change….
Hear our prayer.

We offer you these prayers with hope in our hearts and good news on our lips.

In the mystery of the Trinity we pray.

Prayer over the Gifts
Gracious God,
we bring these gifts to be blessed as the work of our hands, the hope in our hearts, and our faith in your loving presence in our lives. Amen.

Prayer after Communion
Loving God,
as we have been fed with a living hope, so may we be nurture for our community. May all that we have received this day make us more aware of how we may follow Jesus and be his disciples. In his name, we pray. Amen.

Propers for February 16

Collect
Holy One,
from the beginning, you have made us to be free and to walk in peace with you. In our arrogance, we prefer the limits of human knowledge to a life lived in the wisdom of the Spirit. Jesus called us back to you through love in community, generosity to the needy, and hospitality to the stranger. Open our minds now to receive your message of liberty and safety for all people, and a planet filled with your healing grace. Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts
Generous God,
who creates stars and planets, atoms and galaxies, we ask you to bless these gifts that we bring today. May they remind us that you love a humble and open heart, regardless of status or power. In Jesus name, who fed all who came to him, we pray. Amen.

Prayer after Communion
God of all,
who longs for communion with us, we open our hearts and our lives to peace and healing in community. We thank you for the gift of faith and for those places we find ourselves supported as we journey. Amen.

Propers for February 23: Transfiguration

Collect
God of mystery,
through the majesty of your earth, through the message of the prophets, and through the life and teachings of your Beloved, we come into your presence with hope and trust in your love. Your servant Moses covered his face to show his people true humility in the face of your grandeur. Jesus holds out his body broken in love for the poor and resurrected in defiance of human cruelty and sin. May we witness through all we say and do in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts
Gracious God,
we ask you to bless these gifts. Through your guidance and mercy, may they become nurture and hope for those we serve here and in the wider world. Amen.

Prayer after Communion
Loving Maker,
we give you thanks for our lives, for all who have and who continue to serve each other in Jesus’ name. May Christ be so transfigured in this place, that all who encounter us find peace and healing, through our joy and our love. Amen.

Propers for February 26: Ash Wednesday 

Collect
Gracious God,
we bring to you our fear and doubt. As Jesus cried out in the garden, so we cry out as we face the political and ecological struggles in our world. May we remember that we have been called into your service as beacons over a dark ocean, candles in windows everywhere, and hope in a despairing world. You made us from the dust of stars to be with you forever, so let us live in the light and promise of Christ who offered his whole life in love. Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts
Loving God,
receive our prayers for the world and for ourselves. May these gifts that we bring for blessing, be tools in the work of reconciliation. Amen.

Prayer after Communion
God of the stranger,
the needy, the oppressed, and the downhearted, may this sacrament and these acts of worship and learning, transform our mission and bless our journey in your love. Amen.

The wisdom tradition can be traced back to Mesopotamia, from where so many ideas in Hebrew scripture originated. It can also be found in Egyptian, Hindu, Greek, and other religious traditions. Like the Great Commandment, it has an interfaith, intracultural, history. In our readings today, we can hear how significant Wisdom was for Judaism, as both Paul and the gospel writer employ it. Many theologians see Jesus the rabbi, as a Wisdom teacher.

Collect
Holy and wise are you O Holy One. As we praise and give thanks, May we learn to value justice beyond our present fears. May we seek transformation beyond the comfort of certainty. May compassion erase the boundaries that limit our growth in Christ. Let us pray in his name and for his sake. Amen

POP (This would go well with a one line sung refrain)
With awareness that you, O Holy One hear our searching hearts and minds, we pray to be signs and instruments of transformation.

We give thanks for all the blessings in life. For safety and comfort, for food and healing, for relationship with you and with each other, for life without end in a universe of possibility, we thank you.

For humans suffering everywhere: for refugees and victims of injustice, for women in their social, physical, and economic vulnerability; for people without money, or homes, or understanding; for those we love…………Enfold us all in your care.

For the earth and it’s creatures, let us act to end the abuse of land and sea. Let us stand with indigenous people everywhere who will help us save the earth with their ancient wisdom. On our sacrificial planet, let us treat all creatures with thanks for their lives that make our lives possible, bees and elephants, seeds and trees, all things green and blue, hard and soft, fierce and gentle.

For the governing of the nations, that the Spirit of Wisdom will sweep away the cruel and selfish and remind us that only compassion and reconciliation can deliver peace. May we use the instruments of politics and community service as we act with the passionate justice of our God.

As you receive our prayers, so may we hear your voice, calling us out of ourselves and into the eternal company of The Way of Jesus, for the sake of the world he loves. amen

Prayer over the Gifts
Loving God, we ask you to bless these gifts from our abundance of love, and comfort. May we use them in the works of justice and healing. Amen

Prayer after Communion
Gracious God, you have given minds to learn, hearts to be broken in compassion, and hands to heal. May your Spirit be carried with us as we travel through this week. In the name of the Trinity of love, we pray.

Blessing:
May the Creator of faith free our spirits to step beyond our history and culture. May the Wisdom of Jesus free us from superficial wealth to receive the spirit of generosity is relationship. May the Spirit of community hold us together beyond definition and in love.