Monday, July 31, 2006

Mondayu Question of the Week . . . Times of Loss

I went to a funeral today and as you can guess Psalm 23 was read. I have never been particular found of this passage and I am not really sure why. So that got me thinking what is it about this text that people find so comforting? What other passage from the bible have you in the past found of comfort during times of loss?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hump Day Prayer . . . Yes, it is OK to Laugh, God Does Not Mind…

I thought that I would add a little levity to our week hump day prayer.

Man’s Prayer
I'm a man . . .
But I can change . . .
If I have to . . .
I guess.

The above is from a Canadian TV show called The Red Green Show. If you have never seen the show it is worth a look, here in the US it is carried on many PBS stations.

Lord, you are God.
You are the Triune, Immutable,
Omniscient, Revelatory,
the First Principle.
You even know what
I am going to pray next!...
[etc. etc. etc.]"

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hump Day Prayer . . . The Middle East

A Service of Prayer for Peace in the Middle East
(adapted from a service at Hunter Presbyterian Church, Lexington, Kentucky, on December 19, 2000)

Lighting of the Christ Candle

The light shines in the darkness,
And the darkness has not overcome it.
In our Lord Jesus Christ there is light and peace.
Thanks be to God!

Scripture Readings
Responsive Reading Psalm 87 (adapted from Grail Translation)
On the holy mount stands the city founded by the Lord.
The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God.
Egypt, Babylonia, Philistia, Phoenicia, and Ethiopia are some of the nations that know you,
And all their people say, "We were born in Zion."
God most high will strengthen the city of Zion.
Then everyone will say, "We were born here too."
The Lord will make a list of his people,
And all who were born here will be included.
All who sing or dance will say, "I too am from Zion."

Psalm 27:7-10 in Arabic
Psalm 27:7-10 in Hebrew
Psalm 27:7-10 in English

A Moment of Silent Reflection

Isaiah 2:1-5
A Moment of Silent Reflection

Isaiah 65:17-25

A Moment of Silent Reflection

Prayer of Intercession (Responsive)

Give us ears to hear, O Lord,
to hear the cries of a people living under occupation,
of farmers whose land has been taken,
of parents whose children have been killed or wounded,
of faithful Christians and Muslims barred from worshiping in the Holy City.
Hear our prayers for justice and peace for the Palestinians.
Give us ears to hear, O Lord,
to hear the voices of those who bear the scars of the Holocaust,
Of mourners grieving the deaths of those killed in recent conflicts,
of those who seek new ways of bringing reconciliation,
Of those whose bright hopes for a "promised land" have ended in despair.
Hear us as we pray for security and peace for the people of Israel.
Eternal God, merciful and compassionate,
we pray for the Christians of Israel and Palestine.
Surround them with the prayers of their sisters and brothers around the world,
strengthen them to witness fearlessly for justice and peace.
We pray for the Jews of Israel and the settlers of the Occupied Territories,
that the spirit of the prophets may flourish among themand then they may know your shalom.
We pray for the Muslims of Israel and Palestine,
that they may worship freely and be richly blessed.
We pray for all the children of Abraham-Christian, Jewish, and Muslim-
that justice and peace shall clasp hands and the "Holy Land" become truly holy.

Closing Responses
When the song of the angels is stilled
and the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home
and the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to proclaim liberty to the oppressed,
to bring peace to the people.

Salaam. Shalom. Peace.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Monday Question of the Week

Luke 23:39-43 (NRSV) says:
One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding Jesus and saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!" 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." 42 Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." 43 He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

How will Jesus be with the criminal in Paradise today, if Jesus descended into hell for the next three days?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Monday Question of the Week

Does the Bible Promote Vegetarianism?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Hump Day Prayer - Fourth of July

With malice toward none;
with charity for all;
with firmness in the right,
as God gives us to see the right,
let us strive on to finish the work we are in;
to bind up the nation's wounds...
to do all which may achieve and
cherish a just and
lasting peace among ourselves and
with all nations.
- Abraham Lincoln
Source: From Lincoln's second inaugural address (1864)

Monday, July 03, 2006

Monday Question of the Week

Did God Create Humanity in Order to Show Mercy?