Monday, November 12, 2018

Proper Prayers for RCL Proper 33B (18 November 2018)

RCL Proper 33B
Sunday between 13 and 19 November

1 Samuel 1.4-10; 1 Samuel 2.1-10 (as canticle); Hebrews 10.11-14, (15-18), 19-25; Mark 13.1-8

Collect of the Day

Almighty God, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to be the light of the world. Free us from all that darkens and ensnares us, and bring us to eternal light and joy; through the power of him who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.  [The Book of Alternative Services 1985, 392-393]
or
Almighty God, your sovereign purpose brings salvation to birth.  Give us faith to be steadfast amid the tumults of this world, trusting that your kingdom comes and your will is done through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen. [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 53 alt.]
or
Timeless One, you create all moments of our lives, giving each its meaning and its purpose. Strengthen us to witness continually to the love of Jesus Christ, so that we may hold fast in times of trial, even to the end of the ages.  Amen.  [Liturgy Task Force 2016, 99]
or
O God, you gather a people you call your own.  Confirm us in the strength of your abiding word and stay our hearts in the time of trial, so that on the day of the Son of Man we may without fear rejoice to behold his appearing.  We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ.   Amen.  [Liturgy Task Force 2016, 99]
or
Subversive God, deconstructing temples of power in which we would keep you trapped and tamed:  lead us through violent times, unafraid to speak for peace, untempted by those who promise easy answers; may we follow him alone who renews the world in love; through Jesus Christ, who sits at God’s right hand.  Amen.  [Prayers for an Inclusive Church 2009]

Prayer over the Gifts

Holy God, in this eucharist we renew our baptismal covenant.  Help us, through our offering this day, to renounce all things that draw us from your love.  This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  [The Book of Alternative Services 1985, 393]
or
God of mercy and grace, the eyes of all wait upon you, and you open your hand in blessing.  Fill us with good things at your table, so that we may come to the help of all in need, through Jesus Christ, our redeemer and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 64 alt.]
or
Merciful God, as grains of wheat scattered upon the hills were gathered together to become one bread, so let your church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom, for yours is the glory through Jesus Christ, now and forever.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 64]
or
Holy God, gracious and merciful, you bring forth food from the earth and nourish your whole creation.  Turn our hearts toward those who hunger in any way, so that all may know your care; and prepare us now to feast on the bread of life, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 107 alt.]
or
God of all creation, all you have made is good, and your love endures forever.  You bring forth bread from the earth and fruit from the vine.  Nourish us with these gifts, so that we might be for the world signs of your gracious presence in Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 107 alt.]
or
Blessed are you, O God, maker of all things.  Through your goodness you have blessed us with these gifts:  our selves, our time and our possessions.  Use us and what we have gathered in feeding the world with your love, through the one who gave himself for us, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 107 alt.]

Prayer after Communion

Gracious God, in this sacrament we have shared the body and blood of Christ.  May we who have been nourished by holy things bear witness to his light, and share in his eternal priesthood; for he is Lord for ever and ever.  Amen.  [The Book of Alternative Services 1985, 393]
or
Gracious God, in this meal you have drawn us to your heart, and nourished us at your table with food and drink, the body and blood of Christ.  Now send us forth to be your people in the world, and to proclaim your truth this day and evermore, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 65]
or
O God, our life, our strength, our food, we give you thanks for sustaining us with the body and blood of your Son.  By your Holy Spirit, enliven us to be his body in the world, so that more and more we will give you praise and serve your earth and its many peoples, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 65 alt.]
or
We give you thanks, almighty God, that you have refreshed us through the healing power of this gift of life.  In your mercy, strengthen us through this gift, in faith toward you and in fervent love toward one another; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 114]
or
O God, we give you thanks that you have set before us this feast, the body and blood of your Son.  By your Spirit strengthen us to serve all in need and to give ourselves away as bread for the hungry, through Jesus Christ our Lord.     Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 114]
or
God of abundance, with this bread of life and cup of salvation you have united us with Christ, making us one with all your people.  Now send us forth in the power of your Spirit, so that we may proclaim your redeeming love to the world and continue forever in the risen life of Jesus Christ, our Lord.     Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 114 alt.]


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Re-Presenting the Past to Shape Our Future: Reflections on Remembrance Day 2018

Re-Presenting the Past to Shape Our Future
Reflections on Remembrance Day 2018

Propers for Peace from the BCP 1979 (TEC)
11 November 2018

Holy Trinity Cathedral
New Westminster BC
            When I was a boy, at least once if not twice a year, my father would pack up my mother, my sister and me to drive from Colorado to upstate New York to visit my Leggett grandparents.  My father loved the freedom of long-distance driving, so the trip was always a joy for him. My mother could knit or nap in the front passenger seat, so she kept busy.  My sister could read her favourite books, so she was content.  But I was too young to drive, not fond of napping and could not read in a moving vehicle without becoming carsick.  

            My father invented a game for me.  How many different license plates could I collect along the way?  It was not enough just to record where the license plate was from.  My dad expected me to ponder any motto on the plate.  New Hampshire was always one of my favourites:  “Live Free or Die!”  But on one trip I came upon a rare plate to see on the highways of the United States: a car with license plates from Québec.

            No one in my family spoke French and it wasn’t until I went to university that I learned to read, write and speak French --- after a fashion.  So I had no idea what the motto meant:  “Je me souviens.”  I tried various pronunciations, but it remained a mystery to me.  Google Translate was still many decades in the future, so I had to be content to remain in ignorance of this strange motto from a foreign land.

            Skip forward twenty-five years.  I’ve graduated from university with a degree in modern languages and secondary education. I’ve completed my seminary education, served in various ministry settings, almost completed a doctoral degree and find myself in Canada.  “Je me souviens” now has meaning for me --- “I remember”.  

            Our neighbours to the east remember who they are.  There is great strength in knowing who we are and how we have come to be where we are in the great mystery of time.  There is also great danger in forgetting that we remember our past in order to shape a better future, not only for us but for all who share ‘fragile earth, our island home’.  I value my own identity as the descendant of Welsh settlers of the island of Britain who then dealt with the invasion of Anglo-Saxon and Norman French peoples by creating a hybrid culture, a kind of British Métis if you like.  I cannot and will not forget my grandfather who fought in the First World War, my three uncles veterans of the Second World War, my father a veteran of Korea, my cousins who served in the British armed forces and my brother-in-law who cared for the wounded and injured of Iraq and Afghanistan.  But I dare not forget why I remember.

            Within the Christian tradition there are few more important words than ‘remember’. Every Sunday, as we celebrate the eucharist, you hear me twice quote Jesus’ words on that last night, “Do this in remembrance of me.”  The word that the writers of the gospels use is anamnesis.  ‘Anamnesis’ literally means ‘not forgetting’, the opposite of ‘amnesia’.  Even more importantly, the word ‘anamnesis’ means to ‘unleash the power of the past into the present in order to shape the future’. To remember, as Christians, is not a trip down some nostalgic road so that we can romanticize about the past, to wish things were the way they used to be.  

            We remember that last night because we want to unleash the power of Jesus’ self-giving to empower us to work towards the future God envisions for all of creation.  We remember the many generations of those disciples of Jesus who came before us because we want their stories to shape our own so that ‘we and all God’s children may be free’. We remember the sacrifices of those who fought and died in armed conflicts as well as the sacrifices of their families who tried to carry on at home because we do not want their sacrifices to be in vain, to be simply one more tally in humanity’s failure to discover more life-giving and life-sustaining ways to manage conflict.

            My grandfather Broom was a gentle man who served first as a cavalryman and then as a machine-gunner in the First World War.  In that war he lost faith in many things and wanted nothing more than to come home to love his family and to tend his garden.  During the Second World War he sent his only son off to India while he remained in England as a member of the Home Guard and an Air Raid Warden. I remember going into his garden shed and finding his old helmet.  I put it on and marched proudly out into the back garden only to see something in my grandfather’s eyes I had never seen before --- anger, not at me but at the memories; fear, not of me but for me; sorrow, not at me but for me.  He gently removed the helmet, put it back in the shed and I never put it on again.  My grandfather remembered and in that present moment he desired a different future for his grandson.

            There are those who ponder why some churches, such as ours, observe Remembrance Day.  It has been, in my experience, an occasion for some ‘vigorous fellowship’ in some of the circles in which I live and work.  What I tell my friends who have different views from mine is this. Deeply embedded in the human soul is the need to remember, but that deeply-felt need must be shaped by a vision for the future.  Without a vision for the future, remembering becomes a comfortable or an unsettling experience that does not lead into productive action.  As Christians we have a vision for the future and that future is the creation made new, the restoration of right relationship between God and humanity, right relationship between humanity and creation, right relationships between all human beings regardless of any category we might wish to place ourselves or others, right relationship within ourselves as persons who know both the light and the shadow within us.  And so we remember our past in order to unleash its power to shape the future, a future that embodies the good news of God in Jesus of Nazareth.

            So remember, my friends.  Remember in order that today we can take even just small steps into the future God has shown us.  Je me souviens.  Nous nous souvenons.  We remember who we have come from so that who we are today is a sign of who we shall be.

God is working his purpose out
as year succeeds to year:
God is working his purpose out,
and the time is drawing near;
nearer and nearer draws the time,
the time that shall surely be,
when the earth shall be filled with glory of God
as the waters cover the sea.[1]


[1]The Hymnal 1982, #534 v. 1.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

A Letter for Eleanor (All Saints Sunday, 4 November 2018)

This Sunday we're baptizing Eleanor at Holy Trinity Cathedral.  For the past seven years I have written a letter to the person being baptized, especially when it's a child, in the hope that the child's family will read it to her or him in a few years' time.

Here's my letter for Eleanor.


4 November 2018

Dear Eleanor,

            I am writing this letter to you because, in a few years, you may want to ask some questions about your baptism and what it means to be a Christian. These are good questions to ask and I thought that writing a few things down for you will be helpful when that day comes.

            You are being baptized on one of the very special days of the Christian year, a day we call All Saints Day.  During the year Christians remember many of the people who have been followers of Jesus ever since he lived among us and showed us the way to love God and to love one another.  We call these people ‘saints’, a word that means ‘holy ones’.  Some of them are famous and are known both by Christians and by non-Christians.  Others are remembered only by Christians and many are only remembered by some but not all Christians.

            Because there are so many people to remember who have followed Jesus and who have helped other people follow in Jesus’ way, we long ago decided to have one day when we celebrated all the saints, known and unknown, famous and not so famous, important to everyone and important only to some.

            All Saints is one of the days during the year when our church family, the Anglican Church, sets aside as a good day for baptisms.  You might wonder why.  After all, how do we know that you’ll be a ‘saint’?  Well, Eleanor, I’ll tell you a secret that many people don’t know, including some Christians.  Anyone who follows Jesus, no matter how young or old, no matter how well known or not so well known, are saints.  We are all God’s holy ones because we are all trying, as best as we can, to love God and to love one another.

            Today, in your baptism, we are saying to the whole world, ‘Here is Eleanor, a saint of God, a holy one who can show you how to follow the way of Jesus.’ Being a saint is something we work at being for our whole lives.  Sometimes we’re really good at it and sometimes we know that we’re not at our best. But what makes us saints is that we keep working at following the way of Jesus 

  • by serving the world God created and gave into our care; 
  • by gathering with Christians to pray, to share in the bread and wine and to listen to what the Bible is saying to us today;  
  • by sharing with other people what we know about God and God’s ways; 
  • by learning as much as we can about God’s ways, and 
  • by caring for others when they are in any need or trouble.


            I also need to tell you that being a Christian is not always easy.  It’s not easy because God has given us a job to do. Our job is to work with God to make a new world possible, not only for us but for everybody.

            I know some Christians who may walk for two or more hours on a Sunday to join other Christians for prayer.  As they walk, they sing a walking song:

We have another world in view, in view,
we have another world in view.
We have another world in view, in view,
we have another world in view.

Our Saviour has gone to prepare us a place,
we have another world in view.

We have another world in view, in view,
we have another world in view.
We have another world in view, in view,
we have another world in view.

We have another world in view.  Some people see the world and all its good things as something to use for their own needs alone.  Other people try to take all the good things of the world for themselves without sharing them with others.  This is not how Christians see the world.

            Christians see the world as a gift from God who loves us in so many ways. God wants every single creature, whether they are people or animals or plants, to enjoy life as fully as possible. God’s love reaches to every single person on the earth, no matter what they look like, no matter whom they love and live with, no matter whether they believe in God or not.

            Eleanor, I’m really glad that today you’re being baptized.  You’ve always been a special person to God, to your family and to us here at Holy Trinity Cathedral.  Today you’re becoming even more special by joining as a saint, a person trying to follow the way of Jesus, a person who has another world in view. No matter where you go in the years ahead, there will always be a place like Holy Trinity Cathedral where you can practice up on being a saint and where you sing about the new world God wants for all us.

            So, welcome Saint Eleanor!  Welcome and may the world we’re dreaming of and working towards come even closer for you, for your whole family, for everyone in the world.

Your friend,

Richard +



Monday, October 29, 2018

Proper Prayers for All Saints B (4 November 2018)

RCL All Saints B
1 November or the Sunday following 1 November

Wisdom of Solomon 3.1-9 or Isaiah 25.6-9; Psalm 24: Revelation 21.1-6a; John 11.32-44

Collect of the Day

Almighty God, whose people are knit together in one holy Church, the mystical Body of your Son, grant us grace to follow your blessed saints in loves of faith and commitment, and to know the inexpressible joys you have prepared for those who love you; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen. [The Book of Alternative Services 1985, 428]
or
Source of all being, beginning and end, we praise you for those who have served you faithfully.  Replenish our hope in your eternal kingdom, so that we may have life in all its fullness, unbound by the fear of death; through your Son, Jesus Christ.  Amen.  [Liturgy Task Force 2016, 156]
or
Lord of heaven’s reach and of earth reborn, you call us from starless graves to sing under infinite skies:  we praise your name for those who have walked this way unheralded and unnumbered but known to you, their beginning, their end, their joy in life.  Give us the same grace to be unbound and to take the step of faith, through Jesus Christ, the Alpha and the Omega.  Amen. [Liturgy Task Force 2016, 156]
or
All-holy God, you call your people to holiness.  As we keep the festival of your saints, give us their meekness and poverty of spirit, a thirst for righteousness, and purity of heart.  May we share with them the richness of your kingdom and be clothed in the glory you bestow.  Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.  Amen. [Opening Prayers 1997, 139]

Prayer over the Gifts

Holy and mighty God, we give you thanks for the triumph of Christ in the lives of all his saints.  Receive all we offer you this day, and help us, like them, to run our course with faith, so that we may come to your eternal kingdom.  We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. [The Book of Alternative Services 1985, 428 alt.]
or
God of mercy and grace, the eyes of all wait upon you, and you open your hand in blessing.  Fill us with good things at your table, so that we may come to the help of all in need, through Jesus Christ, our redeemer and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 64 alt.]
or
Merciful God, as grains of wheat scattered upon the hills were gathered together to become one bread, so let your church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom, for yours is the glory through Jesus Christ, now and forever.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 64]
or
Holy God, gracious and merciful, you bring forth food from the earth and nourish your whole creation.  Turn our hearts toward those who hunger in any way, so that all may know your care; and prepare us now to feast on the bread of life, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 107 alt.]
or
God of all creation, all you have made is good, and your love endures forever.  You bring forth bread from the earth and fruit from the vine.  Nourish us with these gifts, so that we might be for the world signs of your gracious presence in Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 107 alt.]
or
Blessed are you, O God, maker of all things.  Through your goodness you have blessed us with these gifts:  our selves, our time and our possessions.  Use us and what we have gathered in feeding the world with your love, through the one who gave himself for us, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 107 alt.]

Prayer after Communion

Lord of hosts, we praise your glory reflected in your saints.  May we who share at this table be filled with the joy of your eternal kingdom, where Jesus is Lord, now and for ever.  Amen. [The Book of Alternative Services 1985, 428-429]
or
Gracious God, in this meal you have drawn us to your heart, and nourished us at your table with food and drink, the body and blood of Christ.  Now send us forth to be your people in the world, and to proclaim your truth this day and evermore, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 65]
or
O God, our life, our strength, our food, we give you thanks for sustaining us with the body and blood of your Son.  By your Holy Spirit, enliven us to be his body in the world, so that more and more we will give you praise and serve your earth and its many peoples, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 65 alt.]
or
We give you thanks, almighty God, that you have refreshed us through the healing power of this gift of life.  In your mercy, strengthen us through this gift, in faith toward you and in fervent love toward one another; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 114]
or
O God, we give you thanks that you have set before us this feast, the body and blood of your Son.  By your Spirit strengthen us to serve all in need and to give ourselves away as bread for the hungry, through Jesus Christ our Lord.     Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 114]
or
God of abundance, with this bread of life and cup of salvation you have united us with Christ, making us one with all your people.  Now send us forth in the power of your Spirit, so that we may proclaim your redeeming love to the world and continue forever in the risen life of Jesus Christ, our Lord.     Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 114 alt.]


Friday, October 26, 2018

The Risky Way of Faith (RCL Proper 30B: 28 October 2018)

The Risky Way of Faith
Reflections on 10.46-52

RCL Proper 30B
28 October 2018

Holy Trinity Cathedral

Mark 10.46-52

            10.46[Jesus and his disciples] came to Jericho.  As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside.  47When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  48Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  49Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.”  And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.”  50So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.  51Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?”  The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.”  52Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.”  Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

Risking everything on one throw of the dice
            One of the popular ways of engaging the Bible is what is sometimes called ‘the African Bible study method’.  A particular text of the Bible is read three times.  After the first time, the listeners are asked, ‘What one word caught your attention?’  After the second time, the question is ‘What phrase caught your attention?’  And, after the final time, the listeners are asked, ‘What is this text asking you to do as a disciple of Jesus?’

            When I begin my preparation for a sermon, I read all the lectionary texts appointed for the day.  As I keep this congregation and the events of the world in my mind, one of the texts will often catch my attention.  Sometimes I will apply the ‘African’ method and read the text three times.  This Sunday is just such an occasion.

            The word that captured my attention was ‘immediately’. In the New Testament Gospels the word ‘immediately’ is used fifty-four times.  Half of those occasions are found in the Gospel according to Mark.  His is the gospel of ‘immediately’.  It is a gospel that calls upon its audience to be prepared to jump up from their seats or their workplaces or their homes and set out on the ‘way’, the road of Christian discipleship.  ‘Trust your emotions and intuition,’ Mark seems to be saying, ‘Don’t overthink things.’

            The phrase that caught my attention was ‘ . . . throwing off his cloak . . .’  Ponder this for a moment.  Bartimaeus is a blind beggar in a world with no social safety nets.  He’s probably homeless or, at best, spends the best of the day seeking shelter for the night.  Whether it’s ragged or in relatively good shape, his cloak is probably his best protection against the cold of the night and the assaults of the weather.  I imagine he holds it very close to his heart. And yet, at the call of Jesus, Bartimaeus risks everything on the chance that this rabbi from Nazareth will restore his sight.  So, in the midst of a crowd, some of whom are probably more than willing to take advantage of a free cloak lying on the ground, Bartimaeus throws off something that is hindering his approach to Jesus.

            What I find this passage from the Gospel according to Mark is asking me to do as a disciple of Jesus is to understand that faith is a risky enterprise.  Sometimes it means trusting my emotions and intuition more than my measured intellectual assessment of a given situation.  Sometimes it means seizing a moment rather than holding back and waiting for ‘the right time’.

Life is about managing risks not avoiding them.
            When you think about it, almost everything about life is about the management rather than the avoidance of risk.  For example, every time I get into my car to drive to an errand or to work, I manage my risks.  I make sure that my car is in good running order.  I put on my seatbelt and check my mirrors.  I use my signals and try to maintain a safe distance between the car in front of me.  I do my best to stay within the speed limit.

            But there is nothing I can do to control the behaviour of other drivers.  There is nothing I can do to control some unexpected road condition or even some unexpected mechanical failure in my vehicle or someone else’s.  Despite all these unknowns, I still start the engine and set out on my journey.

            When we fall in love with another person and decide to make a life-time commitment, we take risk of our relationship not fulfilling its promise and hopes.  When we make the decision to have children, to adopt children or to foster children, we take the risk of having our worlds turned upside down.  We can manage the risks of relationships and the risks of parenting as best as we can, but we cannot avoid the risks.  We make decisions on the spot and we trust our emotions and intuitions even as our intellects are flashing yellow lights.  And, if the truth be told, at least nine times out of time, we would say that the risk was worth it.

Following the way of Jesus is a risky way of life.
            When Paula was pregnant with our youngest child, she had a conversation with a wise woman, Marjorie Powells, who lived across the hall from us at Vancouver School of Theology.  Marjorie and her husband, Cyril, had been missionaries of the Anglican Church of Canada in Japan.  Paula and Marjorie struck up a friendship that changed our life.

            One afternoon Marjorie asked Paula what she wanted to do with her life.  ‘I want to become a priest,’ Paula said, ‘but I’m waiting for the right time.’  ‘There is no such thing as “the right time”,’ Marjorie said, ‘There’s only hearing God’s call, answering it and figuring things out as you go along.’  And so, within a year, Paula began her studies towards ordination and we managed the risks of a marriage, a career, three children under the age of five and all the other things that came along.

            Now don’t get me wrong.  I believe that thinking things through is an important part of being a disciple and living one’s life.  We need to love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind and all our strength. Sometimes discipleship means trusting the heart more than the mind.  Discipleship always means managing risk rather than avoiding it.

            Another word for ‘managing risk’ is ‘stewardship’.  Stewardship involves the faithful use of the time that God has given to us, the courageous use of the talents that God has given to us and the thoughtful use of the financial resources entrusted to us.  Good stewardship is as much about throwing off our cloak and immediately following the call of Jesus as it is about careful consideration of the long-term management of our time, our talents and our treasure.

Hearing the Gospel again for the first time
            Listen to today’s gospel one more time:       

            10.46[Jesus and his disciples] came to Jericho.  As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside.  47When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  48Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  49Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.”  And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.”  50So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.  51Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?”  The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.”  52Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.”  Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

What word catches your attention? What phrase stands out for you? What is this text asking you to do as a disciple of Jesus?  Hold on to that word.  Find meaning in that phrase.  Follow where your heart leads you.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Winning Isn't Everything. Serving Is.

Dear friends,

On Sunday, 21 October 2018, our Parish Deacon, Carole Neilson preached a sermon based upon Mark 10.35-45.  I hope that you will take the time to listen to it.

Click here to listen to 'Winning Isn't Everything.  Serving Is.'

Blessings,

Richard +
Vicar of Holy Trinity Cathedral
Archdeacon of Westminster

Monday, October 15, 2018

Proper Prayers for RCL Proper 29B (21 October 2018)

RCL Proper 29B
Sunday between 16 and 22 October

Job 38.1-7, (34-41); Psalm 104.1-9, 25, 37b; Hebrews 5.1-10; Mark 10.35-45

Collect of the Day

Almighty and everliving God, increase in us your gift of faith, so that forsaking what lies behind and reaching out to what is before, we may run the way of your commandments and win the crown of everlasting joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.  [The Book of Alternative Services 1985, 387]
or
Sovereign God, you turn your greatness into goodness for all the people on earth. Shape us  into willing servants of your kingdom and make us desire always and only your will, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen. [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 50 alt.]
or
Most glorious God, in Jesus you call your people to true humility and servanthood. Grant to us the boldness to desire a place in your kingdom, the courage to drink the cup of suffering, and the grace to find in service the glory you promise; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.  [Liturgy Task Force 2016, 96]
or
Suffering God, when in whose we seek glory for ourselves, cast down all our idols and direct our hearts to him who bears our wounds and is our peace, Jesus Christ, the true God and servant of all.  Amen.  [Liturgy Task Force 2016, 94]
or
Creator God, you are wrapped in light as a garment, clothed with honour and majesty. Enlighten us with true faith and humble obedience that seeks to serve others in your name; through Jesus the Christ, your beloved servant.  Amen.  [Revised Common Lectionary Prayers 1992, 202 alt.]

Prayer over the Gifts

Eternal God, your word inspires our faith.  May we who offer you our praise trust you in all things.  We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.  Amen. [The Book of Alternative Services 1985, 387]
or
God of mercy and grace, the eyes of all wait upon you, and you open your hand in blessing.  Fill us with good things at your table, so that we may come to the help of all in need, through Jesus Christ, our redeemer and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 64 alt.]
or
Merciful God, as grains of wheat scattered upon the hills were gathered together to become one bread, so let your church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom, for yours is the glory through Jesus Christ, now and forever.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 64]
or
Holy God, gracious and merciful, you bring forth food from the earth and nourish your whole creation.  Turn our hearts toward those who hunger in any way, so that all may know your care; and prepare us now to feast on the bread of life, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 107 alt.]
or
God of all creation, all you have made is good, and your love endures forever.  You bring forth bread from the earth and fruit from the vine.  Nourish us with these gifts, so that we might be for the world signs of your gracious presence in Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 107 alt.]
or
Blessed are you, O God, maker of all things.  Through your goodness you have blessed us with these gifts:  our selves, our time and our possessions.  Use us and what we have gathered in feeding the world with your love, through the one who gave himself for us, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 107 alt.]

Prayer after Communion

God of peace, you have nourished us in this sacrament with the body and blood of Christ. May we who have taken holy things keep faith in our hearts and lives, in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.  Amen. [The Book of Alternative Services 1985, 388]
or
Gracious God, in this meal you have drawn us to your heart, and nourished us at your table with food and drink, the body and blood of Christ.  Now send us forth to be your people in the world, and to proclaim your truth this day and evermore, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 65]
or
O God, our life, our strength, our food, we give you thanks for sustaining us with the body and blood of your Son.  By your Holy Spirit, enliven us to be his body in the world, so that more and more we will give you praise and serve your earth and its many peoples, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 65 alt.]
or
We give you thanks, almighty God, that you have refreshed us through the healing power of this gift of life.  In your mercy, strengthen us through this gift, in faith toward you and in fervent love toward one another; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 114]
or
O God, we give you thanks that you have set before us this feast, the body and blood of your Son.  By your Spirit strengthen us to serve all in need and to give ourselves away as bread for the hungry, through Jesus Christ our Lord.     Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 114]
or
God of abundance, with this bread of life and cup of salvation you have united us with Christ, making us one with all your people.  Now send us forth in the power of your Spirit, so that we may proclaim your redeeming love to the world and continue forever in the risen life of Jesus Christ, our Lord.     Amen.  [Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006, 114 alt.]