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 Ethiopia (ē-thē-ˈō-pē-ə), a nation on the Horn of Africa—the easternmost part of the African continent. Some of the oldest evidence for anatomically modern humans has been found in Ethiopia. It is widely considered as the region from which modern humans first set out for the Middle East and places beyond.
Scripture Reading—Matthew 25:14-30 NRSV
“For it is as if a man, going
on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he
gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his
ability. Then he went away.
The one who had received the five talents went off
at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the
one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received
the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s
After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents.
For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Prayer for Peace
What a beautiful world you created, are creating and will continue to create. So many systems; so many species; so many intricate patterns, colours, shapes and sizes. Each piece has a purpose, and yet, each is part of a whole.
Humankind has been part of that whole. For eons, Earth has given, sustained and nurtured us as we lived within her systems. And yet now we have become so separated from it. We seem to pride ourselves on domination, trophy hunting, consumption, destruction, greed and the ability to remove ourselves from nature’s influence. We manufacture bubbles of business, comfort, and superiority.
We have become aliens on this planet, ignoring the needs of Earth. Now Earth moans and shakes, and we groan and shudder. We are all ailing. And if we listen closely enough, Lord, we can hear you weep.
You gave us agency that we have misused. We are profoundly sorry. Please forgive us and grant us the eyes we need to see your vision for this Earth. We know we will need to change our attitudes and behaviours and it will not be easy. Please grant us the courage to do so. Help us be open to new ways so that we can be transformed by your grace. In this way we will fulfill the call to us to co-create, sustain and care for this Earth in ways for your purposes of the Peaceable Kingdom.
In Your Most Holy Name
Today’s hymn is “I Am Standing Waiting” number 298 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 context for our Prayers of the People 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.
Will you join with me in this time of prayer and meditation acknowledging your soul’s yearning for God’s presence and peace? Silently join your heart with God’s.
O God of love, grant us your peace. We struggle with insecurities and fears, weighed down with issues that affect our sense of worth and wholeness. Grant us peace that calms the inner turmoil of our souls and affirms that we are beloved.
O God of life, grant us your peace. We strive for relationships that are fair, equitable and filled with compassion, yet we often find ourselves enslaved in conflicts with others, even those we love. Grant us the strength to listen with our hearts first that we may grow in deeper connection with those whom we call friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family.
O God of hope, grant us your peace. We have grown weary of the sounds of war, violence, oppression and diminishment of men, women and children, yet we fail to heed your urgent invitation to act for justice. Grant us the courage to extend our hands in acts of mercy, service, and peacemaking. We remember all nations, including Ethiopia, the country we pray for today.
O God of all creation, grant us your peace. We understand that we are made of the same substance as all living things, yet fail to grasp your vision of the sacredness of creation. Make us more aware and weave us into oneness. Grant us a glimpse of your love for creation in all its forms and the compassion to act in ways that respect and honor the genius of your universe.
O God of peace, we offer ourselves as vessels of your grace and peace, so that from where we stand, waves of your loving presence will emanate to bless your world. In and through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
Live simply. Value others.
Honor the Earth. Walk in sacred footsteps.
Go in peace.
Susan Naylor, snaylor@CofChrist.org, 816-529-3718 (call or text)