Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this service of peace. “Listen to the Voice that echoes across the eons of time and yet speaks anew in this moment. Listen to the Voice, for it cannot be stilled, and it calls you once again to the great and marvelous work of building the peaceable kingdom.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 162:1b
Today in our prayers we remember the people of Lebanon, located in Western Asia. It is the smallest recognized country on the entire Asian continent. Evidence of an early settlement in Lebanon was found in Byblos, which is considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, dating back to earlier than 5000 BC.
Scripture Reading—John 3:1-17 NRSV
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?
“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
“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.
Prayer for Peace
Lord, let me see what you really mean by peace. What is it that you want me to do—today—and on Monday?
Should it be at work—at school—in my neighborhood—or just wherever I am?
Lord, help me share peace with others—those I know and those I need to know.
It can be simple, right Lord? So often I wait too long looking for the perfect opportunity.
Let me see those like me all over the world who know that with just a little extra courage at just the right time will make a world of difference.
It may be something said—or not said. It may be a warm greeting rather than a cold shoulder. Maybe it is just a…
Lord, I think it is getting clearer now. I can see it—a little at least. I am ready and I want to try better to share peace in my own small way.
Thank you for being there for me. Amen.
Today’s hymn is 365 in Community of Christ Sings, “The City Is Alive, O God.” Sing or silently reflect on the meaning of the text as it is sung. Hymn number 365.
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 then, enlarging life’s circle, move outward to include those we know and love, to strangers and enemies, to the entire world, and to all of creation.
Please join with me in today’s prayer and meditation; quiet your breathing and embrace God’s eternal grace as you become aware of your own responses to the guided prayers of the people.
God, you are the still point of the circle within which all creation is found. I yearn to connect with your spirit of peace and experience the companionship of your presence in this moment. May I abide in the center of creation’s circle with you?
Creator of horizons, help us draw the circle wider to include those I know and love, and even those I struggle to understand and accept. Fill this circle with the gifts of forgiveness, mercy, compassion, and peace. Give us the desire to include all whose paths cross ours into a place where acceptance is offered freely. Draw our circle wider.
Giver of dreams, let the peace we’ve dreamed of expand to embrace all your children. We remember all nations, including Lebanon, the country we pray for today. Within this circle may we see the other as brother and sister, and act as mutual stewards of one another. You call us to live without borders that exclude. Help us to draw the circle wider still.
God of all living things, your world longs to be whole and in harmony. The dream of shalom includes caregiving for the water, earth, air and all that has life in one great family. You created us with interdependencies. Give us mutual respect and tender care for all. Let this be our song: Nothing on your created Earth stands alone, but lives in shalom with all other living things. Draw the circle wide open.
Architect of life and peace, may we be blessed by your vision of shalom this day. May our minds, hearts, and spirits be wide enough for all to find a home. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, God’s shalom. Amen.
May blessings of peace
Be realized today
Through the Source, Savior, and Spirit.
Go in peace.