Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this Temple which is “dedicated to the pursuit of peace. …[and which] shall be for reconciliation and for healing of the spirit.” “You are called to create pathways in the world for peace in Christ.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 156:5a; 163:3a
Today we celebrate Epiphany. The word epiphany is commonly defined as an experience of sudden and striking insight. In the Christian tradition, Epiphany celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. It is the twelfth day after Christmas. Today’s scripture recognizes the journey of the Three Kings or Magi, who followed a star to honor the newborn king with treasure.
In our prayers today we remember the people of Egypt, a nation in northeast Africa. Egypt links this continent with Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt has one of the longest histories of any modern country, dating to the tenth millennium B.C. as one of the first nation states.
Scripture Reading—Luke 1:76-79
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
by the forgiveness of their sins.
By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon[a] us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Prayer for Peace
God, our constant companion on the journey of life, we come to this moment with our hearts and minds filled with the sounds and images of the many others that join us in this place. We see and hear the children, the youth, the parents, the elderly from the many places of this world, near and far, where peace is nothing more than a word, barely understood and ever-elusive.
Like they, we seek meaning and purpose amid a world that is wildly careening through time without any apparent purpose. We, like they, dare to hope that despite deep divisions and injustice, the people of this world can become united.
Through the images and sounds of the world on this day reflect a world separated by race, creed, color, class, and political prejudice, still as children of the one God we seek a peace that passes all understanding. A peace that is found and experienced in your grace-filled and loving presence.
In this place dedicated to the pursuit of peace, we lift our voice and by it join the worldwide chorus of peacemakers and peace seekers in affirming our commitment to this worthy and noble cause.
We are grateful and thankful for your continuing presence and the spiritual endowment that is ours by that companionship amid our pilgrimage. This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ who revealed in his life both the cost and the joy of peace. Amen.
Today’s hymn is “Sing of God Made Manifest” number 446 in Community of Christ Sings. Sing or silently reflect on the meaning of the text.
Prayers of the People
As we enter a time of guided prayer, meditation, and musical reflection, you are invited to offer silent prayers or meditate during the moments of quiet. The Prayers of the People this day begin with ourselves and move outward, in rippling waves to those we know and love, to strangers and enemies, to the entire world, to all of creation. We begin by noticing our breathing.
We breathe in spirit and exhale those things that separate us from you, O God. Breathe in. Breathe out.
Please enter into the silence with me as we pray for peace remembering God’s promise to be with us and to work in us. Listen for the sound of the beloved’s voice.
God of creation, in the beginning your breath moved over the waters and brought calm and peace to a chaotic world. Breathe into my being this day; bring respite to my frenzied soul. Refresh my frayed sense of self and bring alive my hope for peace through words and actions inspired by your spirit. Breathe on me, breath of God.
God of reconciliation, 2,000 years ago you breathed and the word became flesh among us, teaching us the way of forgiveness, mercy, compassion and peace. Breathe into our relationships this day; allow us to enflesh the teachings of your Son within our family, friends, neighbors, and even our encounters with those we do not yet know. Breathe on us, breath of God.
God of sacred community, your Holy Spirit seeks to blow through the discord, disruption, and disease of the world to bring healing and wholeness once again. We remember all nations, including Egypt, the country we pray for today. Remind us that many of your children lack the basic needs of life, including freedom, space to grow, and love to support them. Breathe on your people, breath of God.
God of all, your planet is gasping for breath, heaving under the pressure and weight of unbridled consumption of resources and greed-driven destruction of your world. The Earth groans from forces of chaos that destroy what we have been given as a gift for all creation. Awaken us to our responsibilities to heal and bring peace to our earthly home. Breathe once again over the waters, skies, land, and all that inhabit them, breath of God.
May the awareness of our own breathing connect us to you, O God, and to all that lives because you create it, love it, and call it good. In and through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
Be blessed this day with frustration at injustice.
To motivate us to work for peace.
Go in peace.
Susan Naylor, snaylor@CofChrist.org