Advent 3C Prayers

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Advent / Prayers of the People

These prayers were written with the propers for Advent 3C in mind. Feel free to use/amend as you feel appropriate.

Celebrant
In the hushed anticipation of your coming, O Lord, kindle within us the assurance that you are our strength and our sure defense; that we might be ready for your coming, and eager to pray.

Intercessor
O God, surely it is you who save us. We pray for the Church, gathered together around the world this Advent. May we cry aloud and ring out your joy..
Come Lord Jesus, and hear our prayer.


Your deeds, O Lord, are known among the peoples of the earth. We pray for our nation, and all nations, that your peace would be manifest in every corner of the earth.
Come Lord Jesus,and hear our prayer.


In your Kingdom, O Lord, you bring your people safety and comfort. We pray for the sick, the suffering, and those in distress of any kind (especially…); that you would heal all injuries, comfort all grief, and settle all wrongs.
Come Lord Jesus, and hear our prayer.


Your great works of redemption, O God, span the ages. We pray for those who rejoice this week (as they celebrate their birthday, especially… and anniversaries…) that they might be filled with joy and gladness.
Come Lord Jesus, and hear our prayer.


In the fulness of time, O God, you sent your son, to be born of our sister Mary. And his name was Emmanuel: God With Us. We thank you for your Presence with us, and we pray that you might be always present with those whom we love but see no longer. (Especially…)
Come Lord Jesus, and hear our prayer.


Celebrant
Come among us O God, and hear our prayers; so that your peace which surpasses all understanding might guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.

Advent Wreath Prayers

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Advent / Prayer

These prayers could be used while the Advent Wreath is being lit either before, or during, the Sunday liturgy. Feel free to use or adapt as necessary.

Advent 1
O Come, O Come Emmanuel,
As we Light this candle,
So kindle within us the fire of your Presence,
That, with you, we might set the world ablaze with your light and love. Amen.

Advent 2
O Come, O Come Emmanuel,
As we light these candles,
So kindle within us the fire of your love,
That, with you, we might set the world ablaze with your peace and joy. Amen.

Advent 3
O Come, O Come Emmanuel,
As we light these candles,
So kindle within us the fire of your love,
That, with you, we might set the world ablaze with your grace and mercy. Amen.

Advent 4
O Come, O Come Emmanuel,
As we light these candles,
So kindle within us the fire of your love,
That, our hearts might be made ready for your coming.
May your coming be soon, O Lord. Amen.

we wish to see Jesus: Lent 5b

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Welcome to scattered and sown, A weekly guided meditation based on the revised common lectionary

This episode is a meditation based on John 12:20-33, the Gospel lesson for the Fifth Sunday in Lent, year B.

Find a quiet place, where you can be undisturbed for a few moments. And, turn off the notifications on your devices.

Get in a comfortable position and close your eyes.

Hear these words from John’s Gospel:

Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

Those Greeks came for the festival of the Passover. They had come to worship. They had come to celebrate God’s liberation of Israel from Egypt those many centuries before. They had come to remember God bringing His people from slavery to freedom, from homeless to a people with a homeland.

They approached Philip, obviously recognizing him as a follower of Jesus. What do you think it was that gave it away? What is it about Philip that made him look like a disciple?

They said to Philip: Sir, we wish to see Jesus.

Why did they want to see him? Were they curious? Were they ready to commit to being his disciples? Had they heard a bunch of rumors about him, and they just wanted to see the new hot celebrity?

Were their hearts burning within them? Were they so drawn to Jesus and his message that they just couldn’t stay away?

Philip went and told Andrew about the Greeks, and the two of them went to tell Jesus. As non-Jews, these Greeks would have been seen as outsiders in Jerusalem. Unclean. It may be that Philip and Andrew felt like they needed to protect Jesus from them.

Jesus doesn’t care about being protected. He’s about to be the grain of wheat that falls into the earth and dies. And when he dies, he says, he will bear much fruit.

Sir, we wish to see Jesus.

Their request… how can you make this YOUR prayer?

What is it within Jesus that draws you to him?

See him standing before you.

See him there on the week before he dies. The week where he is betrayed and beaten, spit upon and scourged, striped naked and nailed to the cross. See him there a few days before his corpse is laid in a tomb, and a few days before he rises from the dead.

Is your heart burning within you?

See this seed that is about to fall into the earth and die, for us and for our salvation.

What is it within you that draws you to Jesus?

What resistance do you have to Jesus? When are you most resistant to him, his love, and his message to love God and our neighbor?

What is it that draws you towards Jesus and his love, and what is it that draws you from the love of God?

Ask God to help you want to see Jesus more and more.

Stand before God in prayer and say,

Sir, I wish to see Jesus.

I wish to see Jesus.

I wish to see Jesus.

Now, let us pray the prayer that Jesus taught, saying, “Our Father…”

for love: Lent 4b

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Welcome to scattered and sown, A weekly guided meditation based on the revised common lectionary

This episode is a meditation based on John 3:14-21 the Gospel lesson for the Fourth Sunday in Lent, year B.

Find a quiet place, where you can be undisturbed for a few moments. And, turn off the notifications on your devices.

Get in a comfortable position and close your eyes.

St. John wrote:

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

God gave his only son.

God sent his son into the world.

And why? Because God so loved the world that he wanted the world saved.

For love.

During one of St. Julian of Norwich’s visions she saw God’s hand holding something so small and brown, it looked like a nut. She came to understand that it was the whole created universe. The cosmos cradled in God’s hand.

See that nut. See it nestled in God’s palm.

Look closer at that nut, with its swirls and galaxies and stars and planets spinning around those stars.

Look closer, and amongst the billions of galaxies, find ours. The Milky Way.

Then, look closer, and amidst the hundreds of millions of stars in that galaxy, find ours. Our star, our sun.

And then, look closer, and see our green and blue and white and brown planet spinning around that sun.

Under its clouds, moving by winds blowing high above the surface, see the people. People living in cities, and in suburbs, and on islands, and on farms, and in villages, and in slums, and ghettos – see them all. With their various colored faces, and various colored hair, and various colored eyes.

See them. With all their ideas, and dreams, and creeds, and fears, and nightmares. See them in their poverty and in their riches, their righteousness and their plots and schemes, their goodness and their evil.

See the children. Some well fed. Some in school. Some in safe neighborhoods. See other children in homes where food is scarce. In countries where education is rare. In places that are unsafe, wartorn, and incubators of terror.

See the adults. Some young and energetic. Others tired and worn. Some with jobs, and homes, and cars. Others unable to find work, homeless, and stagnant. Some fulfilled in life, and others discontent, bored, or angry.

See the elderly. Some cared for, others neglected. Some with means, and others completely without means. Some weak and sick, others still vibrant.

See those who are trying to make their homes, their communities, their country, and their world a better place. See those who are compassionate and concerned about the welfare of others.

But also see those who are hardened, greedy, and concerned only with themselves.

See those who work and pray for peace, and see those who only ever seem to contribute to the violence and disruption of the world.

See all of them. Behold them.

And hear the words of Jesus once more:

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

This world, with all its places of light, and all its places of darkness is a world God loves. Adores. And which God seeks to save.

Resolve in prayer right here, now, that you will join God in God’s love of the world. And that your prayers, your words, and your deeds would join God in saving it, and saving God’s people, whoever and wherever they are.

Now, join me in praying the prayer Jesus taught us, saying, Our Father…

holy fools: Lent 3b

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Welcome to scattered and sown, A weekly guided meditation based on the revised common lectionary

This episode is a meditation based on 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 the epistle lesson for the Third Sunday in Lent, year B.

Find a quiet place, where you can be undisturbed for a few moments. And, turn off the notifications on your devices.

Get in a comfortable position and close your eyes.

St. Paul wrote

For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

The foolishness of God.

The weakness of God.

These are not categories we typically assign to God, or the things of God. We usually say that the people who do not think as we do, or act as we do, are weak fools.

We recoil when someone calls us weak. We get enraged when someone calls us a fool.

But, God is willing to be foolish for us. God is willing to be weak for us. And why? So that we might be fools for God. So that we might cast off our need for power and dominance and be weak for God.

It’s a crazy kind of vulnerability. But, it’s also a holy vulnerability. It’s a vulnerability which requires a complete release of ego and security.

It’s the kind of vulnerability which might allow a Being such as God to be arrested, beaten, whipped, spat upon, stripped naked, and crucified.

It’s the kind of foolishness that one allows when that one is totally in love with another. It’s the kind of vulnerability that love brings out of us, and requires of us.

Let’s take a few moments to contemplate the crucifixion.

With your eyes still closed, see Jesus in agony in the garden.

See Jesus be chained to the pillar and undergo the scourging. See his body torn apart, so that it barely looks human anymore.

Watch as Jesus is crowned with thorns that pierce his scalp, and the blood flows onto his face.

Watch as Jesus’ body, beaten to a bloody pulp, carries his cross through the streets of Jerusalem. Listen to the crowds mock him and spit on him.

Listen to the nails get pounded into his body, affixing him to the cross.

Watch as the cross is lifted up with him on it. Behold this holy fool, in utter weakness. Behold this holy fool utterly in love with you… in love with those you love, with those who are your enemies, and the whole world.

Now, take a few moments to contemplate how you are a holy fool for Jesus. How do you reflect that kind of love for him, and for those who he calls beloved?

What do you need to let go of to be a fool?

What do you need to let go of to be weak?

Finally, let us with humble hearts pray the prayer Jesus taught us… Our Father.

abandon: Mark 8:31-38

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Welcome to scattered and sown, A weekly guided meditation based on the revised common lectionary

This episode is a meditation based on Mark 8:31-38 the Gospel lesson for the Second Sunday in Lent, year B.

Find a quiet place, where you can be undisturbed for a few moments. And, turn off the notifications on your devices.

Get in a comfortable position and close your eyes.

We can so often find our lives, our bodies, our minds, our days filled with tensions. We are pulled this way, and that way.

We find ourselves in situations where we are uncomfortably in the middle of people who we love. We readily place demands upon ourselves that are almost impossible to meet, and which take a great toll upon us.

We hold on for dear life for many reasons, but mostly because of fear. We fear losing.

We fear losing money.
We fear losing time.
We fear losing security.
We fear losing control.
We fear losing life.

But, Jesus tells us that those who want to save their lives will lose them, but those who lose their life for the sake of the Gospel will find their lives saved.

There is a saving IN the losing.

Release, abandon, and letting go are the only way we will be saved.

Clenching down and holding on are the surest way to lose it all.

This sounds ridiculous. Completely counter-intuitive. It goes against our basest instincts. When we feel ourselves fall we flail wildly for something to hold onto.

Jesus says it is only in the falling that we will be saved.

It is only in the cross that there is victory. It is only through death that we find a life that has no end.

So, relax your shoulders.

And your chest, and your abdomen.

Relax your arms and your legs.

Relax them, and then relax them again – for there is still probably tension there.

Relax your neck, and your face, your eyes, and your scalp.

Relax your hands and feet, your fingers and your toes.

With your body relaxed – with every muscle having let go… what else do you need to let go of?

Search your soul for the knots of resentments. The people you resent. The situations you resent being put into.

Ask God to help you let them go.

Search your soul for people who you have not forgiven. Recall the things they did, the things they said, and the things they failed to do. Recall the ways they let you down.

Ask God to help you to release those feelings. Ask God for help in healing and forgiving.

Remember, forgiving them isn’t letting them off some hook. It’s removing the hook from you. It’s freeing you every bit as it might free them.

Recall all the ways you try and build up security for yourself. The things you buy that you don’t really need. The things you horde. They little ways you put yourself before and above others.

Ask God to help you to let those things go.

Ask to be placed in God’s hand, and not your own.

Ask God to help you love your neighbor better, giving to your neighbor who may be in need what you don’t need.

Recall the habits and addictions that overtake minutes, or hours, or days of your life. Things that draw you away from who God wants you to be, and who you want to be.

Ask God to give you the strength and wisdom to let those things go.

Ask God to give you the strength to seek help from others when necessary. You do not need to walk these roads alone.

Is there anything else you need to let go? Is there anything else you need to lose? Is there anything else you can release your vice-like grip from?

Now, free, liberated and ready to bear your cross, let us pray the prayer Jesus taught us… Our Father.

driven: Mark 1:9-15

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After Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit drove him into the wilderness for forty days.

The children of God had spent 40 years in that wilderness, making their journey from slavery to a land that God had promised them. Those 40 years forged them into a new people, ready for freedom.

See Jesus in the wilderness. There he is. Baptized. Driven by the spirit. Tempted. Ministered to by the wild animals.

What blessing, what gifts, what strength does he gain in this wilderness?

What things does he shed that room might be made inside him for what he needs to proclaim to an expectant people that the time is fulfilled?

Sit with Jesus here in the wilderness.

What do you need for your journey?

What do you need to shed for your journey?

Ask the Holy Spirit to drive you these forty days of Lent, that you would be led to overcome temptation, and that you would be ministered to by angels, by friends, or by wild beasts.

Before we leave the wilderness, let us pray the prayer Jesus taught us… Our Father.

the brilliance: Mark 9:2-9

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Journey with Jesus up the mountain. He leads the way, and you follow not knowing where exactly he’s going. You follow not knowing what you are walking up the mountain for.

Feel your legs get tired. Feel your lungs burn. Feel the sweat on your brow and on your back.

As you reach the summit, and Jesus stops you experience relief, but also some trepidation for you don’t know what’s coming next.

And then comes the light. Everything is white, bright, and shining like the sun.

You see the other figures, and though you only see them in silhouette, you know who they are.

The disciples were seized with terror, here standing amidst the glory of God.

Are you terrified? If not, what are you?

Then the brightness is diffused and muted by a cloud that enshrouds the mountaintop.

This is the cloud of unknowing. The cloud that obscures.

It’s the same cloud which enveloped the mountain on which Moses met God. It’s the same cloud which filled Solomon’s Temple when it was dedicated.

Like a mirror darkened and dimmed you can no longer make out the details of the glory of God. But, you know God is here.

Do you have the sense that the brilliance and the cloud appeared out of no where?

Or, do you have the sense that this holy brilliance is everywhere, if only we’d open our eyes to see it?

Sit in the cloud with God for a while. You don’t need to say anything. Just listen. Just adore. Just be with the God who made you, saved you, and loves you.

As the cloud lifts and the world goes back to normal, let us pray the prayer Jesus taught us… Our Father.

In the crowd: Mark 1:29-39

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Imagine that crowd around the home of Simon and Andrew.

Picture all those men, women, and children there to see Jesus.

Some of them were sick. Some were scared. Some were filled with an evil they could not reconcile. Some had broken hearts, and others had broken bodies.

Stand there in the crowd with them. Stand there expectant. Stand there yearning for Jesus.

What brokenness will you offer him to make whole?

Now, follow Jesus as he leaves the home early in the morning, while it is still dark, and cold, and calm.

Follow him to a place that is deserted and watch as he sits on the earth and turns his inward gaze heavenward – towards his Father.

Join Jesus in lifting your inward gaze towards God too. What will you say to God? How will you listen for God’s voice?

Stay there in that deserted place with Jesus as the sky begins to lighten. As it turns from violet, to red, to orange, and to blue.

And now us pray the prayer Jesus taught us… Our Father.