Preaching to the Choir

These are some sermons, but mostly lectionary discussions. It also has prayers for some Sundays.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Prayer for Pentecost Sunday

Holy Spirit,
you poured yourself out on the people of the early church, pour yourself out on us now.
Holy Spirit you set their tongues on fire with languages so as to speak to one another in ways that could be understood.
Set our tongues on fire to speak in different languages and ways so others may hear the good news about Jesus.

you said you had to go away so that the Holy Spirit, the advocate, the counselor would come and it was so.
Come once again Holy Spirit as the advocate that we all need, as the counselor we all need, and as the helper we all need.

Come Holy Spirit, fan your flames of love and empowerment, set us on fire for you once again. Bring life to each of our dry bones.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sunday prayer

just as you prayed for your disciples so long ago
Pray for us,
Pray for our wellbeing,
Pray for our protection.
Pray for your joy to be made complete in us.
Pray for our spiritual growth.
Pray for your truth to be made complete in us.

Jesus we often do not know how to pray,
So pray for us,
Pray with us,
That we may be one with you,
One with each other, and
One in ministry to the world.

Pray for your weak ones,
Your strong ones,
You ones who are have illnesses,
Your ones near death,
Your ones who breeze through life,
Your ones who struggle in life.

Pray for those who have lost loved ones,
Those who have especially loved ones in past wars.
Those who have lost ones in the present wars.
Those who fear theirs may die in these wars.

We join you in these prayers for all your people,
And thank you that you do pray for us.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Prayer for Easter 6B

Loving God,
We come before you humbly thanking you for your love,
We pray for those in this world who don’t know your love who have not experienced your love, who are in loveless relationships, loveless families, loveless jobs, and loveless lives.

We thank you for your joy, we also pray for those who live joyless lives, whose joy has been taken from them, and who long for a just a little bit of joy in their lives.

We thank you for your friendship, we pray for those who lost their friends or are in need of a friend, or who don’t know how to be friendly.

Lord you put your song in our lives of love, joy and friendship may we sing that song to those in this world who have forgotten the song and how to sing it. Lord may your song fill all our lives, all our communities, all our churches, and our entire world so that the entire universe resounds with your song. Amen


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Easter 5B or Mother's day discussion?

May 10, 2009 [White]Fifth Sunday of EasterActs 8:26-40; Psalm 22:25-31 (UMH 752)1 John 4:7-21; John 15:1-8

Easter 5B is this Sunday as is Mother’s Day. Uh oh, how will you preach Sunday? How will you lead worship? Will you honor your mothers? Will you ignore Mother’s day? What will happen? How is it that Hallmark has become God or THE WORSHIP LITURGIST for our churches? Since when did they get to co-op worship and our churches? It almost seems that they have found a way to make a holiday or some kind of recognition for every day of the year now, especially Sunday? And we in the US buy into it. You could spend all your salary on cards of some kind for some one for some designated day if you weren’t careful.

So who is really God? I do like the passages that refer to God as a mothering hen or a nursing mother, or just mother. I like when Jesus said “Jerusalem, Jerusalem. . .How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing.” Luke 13:31-35
And just think of it Paul tells the Christians in Thessalonica in 1 Thessalonians 2:6-8 (The Message)6-8Even though we had some standing as Christ's apostles, we never threw our weight around or tried to come across as important, with you or anyone else. We weren't aloof with you. We took you just as you were. We were never patronizing, never condescending, but we cared for you the way a mother cares for her children. We loved you dearly. Not content to just pass on the Message, we wanted to give you our hearts. And we did.

But here are the passages for this Sunday and I don’t see word one about mothers in them;
Acts 8:26-40. This is the strange yet wonderful tale of Phillip’s witnessing to the eunuch by helping him understand what the portion of scriptures he was reading said. This then led to the baptism of the Eunuch. I call it the unhindered gospel.
· Psalm 22:25-31 (UMH 752). From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him. 26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD. May your hearts live forever! 27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him. 28 For dominion belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations. 29 To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and I shall live for him. 30 Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord, 31 and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, saying that he has done it. From a Psalm of Lament we now turn to words of praise, remembrance and worship of the Lord.
1 John 4:7-21. This is more from John on Love, God, loving one another, and abiding in Christ. It can go with the Gospel lesson as well. We love because he first loved us, verse 19
John 15:1-8. Abide in Christ, the true vine, and you will bear much fruit, and even more as the Father prunes you. So how do you preach about vines, vineyards, vine growers and vine dressers to people who may not even know what you are talking about except for the wine they drink?

I’ll be saying more as we go along this week, and you are invited yourself to write something about the scriptures or about Mother’s day. In the meantime, I have included a prayer from Wild Goose publications, Iona;

Loving Mother,who with perfect timingknows when to push; to nudge; to shove;and when to wait,even though panting for change.Grant us the courage to name you;and the grace of your timing.

Sister Christ,who feeds us with warm breast milkwhen the heavenly feast is too rich a fare;and in whose death our own wounds find resurrection.Teach us also to play with you,that we may know the delightof your particular freedom.

Lady Wisdom,who nurtures and wills our growing.Lead us in your wild dance,that we may tread the unfamiliar pathssinging gladly;and find fulfilment for the dreamsthat fit your knowing of us.
Chris Polehill
From Fire and Bread: Resources for Easter Day to Trinity Sunday, Ruth Burgess, Wild Goose Publications: Iona, Scotland, 2006.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Sunday prayer for Easter 4B/ Good Shepherd Sunday

O Lord, our Shepherding God,
come close to us now
Come near us in our time of need.

Shepherding God,
we need you in our time of anxiety.
We need you in our time of economic uncertainty.
We need you in a time of a globe trotting disease.
We need you to bind our wounds, pour your healing ointment on our heads .
We need the briars, and brambles, and burrs pulled out of our fleece and skin.

Shepherding God.
you guide us with your voice,
Help us to listen and follow no matter where your voice leads.
Help us to trust you.

Shepherding God,
protect us from the hired hands, that do not really care for us and have in the past neglected or abused us

Shepherding God,
thank you for your son who did lay down his life for hose who follow him and for those who are not in the fold yet..
Lord we pray for those who don’t know the shepherd, whose life circumstances kept them from knowing the good shepherd. We pray that by our actions, our behavior, and our reaching out into the community, they may come to know you

Shepherding God,
Renew us, Guide us with your love and renew us with your peace. Amen


Friday, May 01, 2009

Prayer about the Swine Flu/H1N1

Almighty God, who cares for his children like a mother hen.Care for the ones who already have contracted H1N1 and their family members.Care for you little ones who are so vulnerable to this flu virus.Care for your elderly, those already sick and weak who then are more vulnerable as well.Care for the medical workers who are working day and night to treat those who already are sick, to keep this in check and stop the spread of this disease.Care for our world leaders who are working together to halt the progress of this disease.Care for those who have become stricken with fear because of it.Help us to use wisdom to care for ourselves and one another, and to use regular hygiene.God forgive those of us who may have used this to point fingers, call names or cause phobia of other people because of where the swine flu was first identified.Help us as your followers to be servants in this hurting frightened world.Amen.You won't find many prayers out there just yet. So I thought I would write one.You will find a couple at the Church of England website for General prayers for the developing situation regarding swine flu, for those who have contracted the virus and for the people of Mexico. Bravo for the Church of England.
Here also are the Prayer Points from the Presidental Prayer team:
Pray for God's help and wisdom for President Obama, Health and Human Services Secretary Sibelius and CDC Acting Director Richard Besser.Pray that the illness will be contained quickly.Pray that citizens will be responsible in taking precautions including hand washing and covering sneezes.Pray for parents who will need care plans for their children if their schools are temporarily closed. Pray that those who suspect they are infected will avoid going to work and public places.Pray for no further loss of life. Pray for supplies of flu medication to reach those most in need. Pray that those infected who enter our country will be successfully quarantined.Pray for medical workers who risk their own health as they care for others. Pray for those in Mexico who have lost loved ones to be comforted.