Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this sacred space where you are invited to “Become a people of the Temple—those who see violence but proclaim peace, who feel conflict yet extend the hand of reconciliation, who encounter broken spirits and find pathways for healing.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 161:2a
Today in our prayers we remember the people of Uganda (ü-ˈgän-də), a nation in East Africa with a diverse landscape that encompasses the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and immense Lake Victoria. The ancestors of the Ugandans were hunter-gatherers until 1,700-2,300 years ago.
Scripture Reading—Matthew 25:31-46 NRSV
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Prayer for Peace
A year ago we celebrated the anticipation and humble birth of your Son. Now today we celebrate Jesus, the One you crowned as Christ the King; the king who came to do the work of peace. You crown him to mend, unite, and calm. As followers and disciples, we too would mend, unite and calm. We know we cannot do the work without the support and enabling of your Holy Spirit. Help us, we pray be energized by that Spirit. Inspire us to utter words that unite rather than divide. Give us insight into ways we can “sue for peace” and the courage to do them. We pray this in the name of Christ the Peace King. Amen.
Today’s hymn is “Leftover People in Leftover Places” number 275 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 will begin with individuals and groups, then move out from this Temple of peace to include the human family and the planet.
You are invited to join in prayer and meditation as you close your eyes and imagine yourself held in God’s loving hands. Be aware of your current needs, known to you and the one who calls you by your name.
God of my life, may I receive your love, peace, and healing.
Imagine someone who is close to you being held in God’s loving hands. Perhaps this person is a good friend or someone with whom you are struggling.
God of relationships, may this person receive your love, peace, and healing.
Envision all the people of the world, every nation and tribe, every town and village. Imagine those that live in oneness, as well as those ravaged by war and violence.
God of all peoples, may these communities receive your love, peace, and healing. We remember all nations, including Uganda, the country we pray for today.
Behold all that God has created. See the beauty of the Earth. Recognize the brokenness and destruction we have caused. Imagine all the beauty and the damage held in God’s loving hands.
God of creation, may this planet receive your love, peace, and healing.
May this spirit of peace and compassion for ourselves, others, all people, and the Earth remain alive in us this day. Amen.
Take the peace you have found today in this sacred space with you into the world—renewed and inspired to act.
Go in peace.
Susan Naylor, snaylor@CofChrist.org, 816-529-3718 (call or text)