Please join me in the prayers of the people today; When you hear the words,” God of Light”, please respond with “Hear our prayers”.
“Arise your Light has come!” Isaiah calls to us from thousands of years ago. It’s always a surprise, but no surprise, when there are four minutes more daily sunlight in our northern climate; we wait for warm spring from the day of the solstice, we wait for light, we wait and watch and are always stunned by the steadfast miracle of creation as the world turns. It reaffirms our faith in our creator like an epiphany and calls us to respect our world and protect its future. God of Light… “hear our prayers.”
Light of nations, we ask you, in our ecumenical prayer cycle, to watch over the countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen. And your presence to comfort the Australians living in fire. We pray for peacekeepers posted throughout the world, and for their families. We say prayers for the gender-diverse folks in countries where they are persecuted. We remember our Bienestar people making a difference on the ground with their good work in Guatemala. Because we have repeated their name for so long, we think of Nyandnazi Methodist Church in Zimbabwe as nearly-family, and we wish them strength and hope. Special prayers for peace in Iran and Iraq as anger and retaliation rises; we remember that over the middle east was the first sighting of the star that brought those ancient sages to seek revelation in the birth of a child. From earth to space, may all nations look at the stars, and feel unity, wonder and awe.
Closer to home, we send our prayers and well-wishes to the Plura Hills United Church in Kamloops, and the congregations of Port Hardy and Port Alice. God of Light… “hear our prayers.”
God of Faithlight in darkness: We remember our people who are sorrowful and ill, and those who have experienced loss. Sometimes inspiration, miracles and hope seem to be faraway illusions to them. We pray for those named in our Prayer List that they can find their way through faith, and that they be given what they need. Others who we want to pray for today… …God of Light… “hear our prayers.”
Radiant god, the star of Bethlehem is a challenge to us. As the hymn says, “it hurts our eyes to see the glow”, and another asks “will you hide or decide to meet the light?” Give us the courage to meet the Christian challenge in our daily lives and ask ourselves the Christian questions at each juncture: “Does this meet the test of Jesus, is this fair and true, how can I best help my neighbour, how much love can I extend?” We are called to be there, with the Magi over our shoulders, sharing our gifts.
We thank you, O God for being here ”asparkle and ablaze, warming all our days.” Let us have leaps of faith every morning when the sun rises, and epiphanies every day. God of Light… “hear our prayers.”
And the people say… “Amen!”