“Becoming a Neighbor”

Posted on 10 Jul 2016, Pastor: Joanna Hipp

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Amos 7:7-7; Psalm 82; Colossians 1:1-14; Luke 10:25-37

Please click here to listen to Diane Baker’s “historic reminiscence” and remember, they are included in worship on the second Sunday of each month during our 250th Anniversary Celebration Year! Please click here to listen to “Down to the River to Pray” sung by the Sanctuary Choir with Tandy Graham, soloist.

Prayers of the People
Jim Scarlett

Prayer of People – July 10, 2016

 

Heavenly Father, we come to you this day with heavy hearts, as violence continues to tear at the fabric of our country and at our very being. Our nation is shattered by the killing of police officers and by the killing of civilians. Bloodshed begets more bloodshed. We ask, “Where are you O God?” but our sadness, confusion, and anger only generate more questions, and do not bring us any closer to racial justice and reconciliation. True racial healing begins with each of us however. It begins with the simple words spoken by Job (31:15): “Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?”

Beyond merely repeating and acknowledging those words, we must undergo a conversion of the heart, from fear to hope, from distancing to embracing, and from grudging respect to true agape love for all people. As Christ broke down the dividing wall, and the hostility between Jew and Gentile, so too will he one day return and unite believers in all nations in eternal harmony with him and under his authority. Until his glorious reign comes, let us contemplate our fallen world today, and collectively direct our prayers to God and those in need of his power and mercy:

  • To those living on the economic margins, grant them the opportunity to earn a living wage, and the dignity and self worth that come from contributing to society.
  • To those struggling with disease, infirmity, mental illness, alcohol or chemical dependency, purify and heal them O God.
  • To the millions of displaced peoples of the world, living a desperate existence, deliver them O God.
  • To those caregivers of the world, who care and comfort the sick – grant them rest and strength for their vital work O God.
  • To our senior members no longer physically able to attend worship services, let them know we hold them close to our hearts O God.
  • And to those suffering in silence and feeling alone right now, make your presence felt in their lives, renewing their spirits and giving them hope O God.

God, as chaotic and as savage as our world is right now, we know that your kingdom is unshaken, it is immovable, and it is eternal. Your Son and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, conquered death and sin, and reigns yesterday, today, and forever. His victory brings us peace and confidence that this brokenness of this world will be overcome. Let us carry Jesus’ peace in our hearts and reflect that peace to all we encounter.