Prayers of the People: October 1

Published on Oct 2nd, 2017 by Member of Congregation | 0

In the United Church, we tend to avoid the use of the word “Lord” with capital “L” as a name for God. But apparently, the English word “lord,” small “l”, comes from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “bread keeper.” I think that’s a lovely image for God, who provides what we need, the bread of life and love. I’m going to use the word “lord” in that sense, as our breadkeeper.  So when I say: “Life-giving lord” please respond with “be among us.”   Let us pray.

We have come today to share bread, to join people worldwide in celebrating communion…as Jesus taught. We feel the connection and kinship that comes from this simple act as it brings us closer to people all over the world.

The bread we hold in our hands is essentially flour and water, usually with some embellishments. It comes to us in many shapes, sizes and colours, with many ways of preparing and serving it. Yet around the world, bread is understood to sustain life. It is a shared symbol of life.

Bread also reminds us that people come in many shapes, sizes and colours, formed by different cultures and backgrounds… yet we are all called human beings, to be valued without discrimination. All lives are enriched by this diversity, just as we are enriched by the varieties of bread.

The suffering of the world – its people and other creatures, the environment – is a bit overwhelming these days. Bread and water, and safety – the simple necessities – are elusive for so many. We know this. And we feel it.

Great Spirit of love, sustain our hope, nourish us, so that we can respond with the bread of love, and so that we can cast our bread on the waters with courage, offering our love-filled acts of charity, or prayer, protest or solidarity…even though we cannot be assured of the results of them.

We pray for clarity, and for strength, and for the wisdom of Jesus to guide us. Life-giving lord…    “be among us.”

In our Kootenay Presbytery Prayer List, we pray for Jack Lindquist, retired minister living in Cranbrook, who preaches regularly at Jaffray; and for the members and adherents of Jaffray United Church. May they be nourished by bread, this day and always. We pray for the countries and people of Belarus, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine, in our World Council of Churches Prayer Cycle.  May their tables and hearts be laden with bread. We remember and pray for peacemakers and peacekeepers, health care workers, teachers, engineers and others who serve throughout the world. We pray for our friends, our brothers and sisters, at Nyanyadzi Methodist Church in Zimbabwe. May bread and love nourish them and strengthen their hearts and bodies. We pray for all those who suffer from violence and hate, from drought and starvation, from hurricanes and earthquakes. May they have bread for their journey to peace and life and safe places to live. And closer, we pray for those on our Prayer List, and for the people who care for them…    And we pray for those in our hearts, their names spoken now, aloud or silently….    …Life-giving lord…    “be among us.”

We strive to become breadwinners – those who provide the basic necessities of life to others – love being first among those. We commit to putting the bread of love on all tables that we come to. We commit to share bread whenever we can. In this, we follow and honour Jesus, who offered life and sustenance, and love, to those he encountered. Even those whose actions he boldly opposed. Clearly, our bread is buttered on both sides when we, the fortunate ones, follow the example of Jesus as we work to ensure that all are nourished and sustained by the bread of love and life.

And in gratitude for all of this, we say…   “Amen!”

 

 

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