Prayers of the People: December 29

Published on Dec 31st, 2019 by Member of Congregation | 0

Peace on Earth can it be?
Years from now, perhaps we’ll see?
See the day of glory
See the day, when men of goodwill
Live in peace, live in peace again
Peace on Earth
Can it be?

Every child must be made aware
Every child must be made to care

Care enough for their fellow human
To give all the love that they can

I pray my wish will come true
For my child and your child too
They’ll see the day of glory
See the day when people of good will
Live in peace, live in peace again

Peace on Earth
Can it be

Can it be

When I heard this Classic Christmas recording by David Bowie and Bing Crosby this year, I was struck with a feeling of deep sadness. Here was this earnest prayer recorded in song in 1977, when I would have been just a baby. And here we are 40 years later, still praying for peace. And, really our world doesn’t feel any more peaceful. And the weight of that can feel enormous.

I wonder if everyone here in the room would be willing to feel that with me.

(Take a deep breath)

I don’t need to go into a list of problems that modern society is facing around the world, we have talked about them before.

So, what do we as Christians do when we feel the weight of the world upon our shoulders? Well, we act certainly to bring the light of God and Peace into whatever corner of the world we occupy. And we pray. We pray for Peace, yes, but also for courage, strength and resilience to be that beacon of light, to take the individual and collective actions that we know we want to take.

Because we value justice, peace, fairness, decency and a good life for all of those in our really big extended human family.

And besides, what’s 40 years in the infinite eternity of God’s love anyway? Not very much. It helps to remember the vastness of God’s creation in unlimited time and space, and to remember that it’s hard to see something properly when we are RIGHT IN IT.

I’m going to add some people to our prayer list today. The first group is victims of human trafficking, women and children who are some of the most vulnerable in the world. The next group is sex workers, and I want to recognize that while both groups have some overlap, they are absolutely not synonymous. I include them both because I so strongly value dignity, respect and safety for all people.

Now, pray with me.

Loving God, help us remember that you are always here with us and for us. You came to us in the form of a naked infant born in a stable to help us to remember to honour and protect those most vulnerable among us.

In our World Council of Churches Prayer Cycle, we pray for the countries of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. We are thankful for: The lands and monuments sacred in the origins of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, those who unceasingly work for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land, the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (I had to look that one up), and those who continue to welcome the multitudes of refugees in their lands.

We pray for ending the violence racking this region, that the people might live together in peace, security and respect for each other. We pray for those who have grown weary and disillusioned in searching for solutions. We pray for an end to religious differences being exploited to perpetuate conflict and further displacement of people. We pray for political leaders who will courageously bring about justice and reconciliation for the sake of all.

In our Pacific Mountain Regional Council Community of Faith Prayer Cycle, we pray for Omineca UC, Osoyoos UC, Pacific Spirit UC and Peachland UC

In our Nelson United Church prayer list, we pray for Our Bienestar partners involved in the Nelson United Church outreach project in Guatemala,  Our brothers & sisters at Nyanyadzi Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, Peacemakers and peacekeepers, health care workers, teachers, engineers and the many who serve throughout the world through many organizations, LGBTQ+ people who are persecuted in many countries. The future of our environment; protecting and respecting this gift of creation, Victims of human trafficking and Sex workers, 

Here at home, we pray for all those named in our Prayer List. Wonderful God, our hearts have been uplifted in this season of joy and inspiration. May our prayers float up to heaven carrying our cares and deep concerns to you with the gentleness of a slowly rising column of air. When we pray in this earnest and heartfelt way it pleases us and we hope that it pleases you. We feel lighter. En-lightened? Hmmm, either way, we trust our cares to you God. We sit together and hear stories of the miracle of birth, the miracle of life, the miracles of the natural world. It warms our hearts and we feel lighter, supported, and loved.

Thank you for this God. Amen.

 

 

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