Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this “Temple [that] calls the entire church to become a sanctuary of Christ’s peace, where people from all nations, ethnicities, and life circumstances can be gathered into a spiritual home without dividing walls.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 163:8c
Today in our prayers we remember the people of Hungary, a nation in Central Europe enclosed by Slovakia, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Austria, and Ukraine.
Scripture Reading—Luke 2:8-20
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Prayer for Peace
Teach us, we pray, peace-speaking God, the language of shalom. We have not yet learned your ancient, unfamiliar tongue. Our accent is that of the foreigner. Our gestures are awkward. Tongues tangle, throats hurt, and mouths tire of trying to shape so many new sounds.
But we are willing to start at the beginning; learners asking for help; practicing again and again and once again until we hear your inflection in our own voice, catch your nuance in new words from patient teachers of peace.
One day, slowly, haltingly may we hear in our own voice the faint hint of music, the rhythmic beauty of the language of peace. May our words be with gesture of hands and movement of feet. Letter by syllable by word may we speak the vision of your new world into being.
Help us say, “forgive me, please,” to our families. Teach us to pronounce “healing” in hospital rooms, to plead “reconcile” in our places of work, to proclaim “justice” when we call our government’s representatives. Then, in the dark of our own weary nights, Lord, will you please whisper in us, “shalom”?
God, Eternal Word of peace, speak the language of shalom through us, stanza by stanza in the world, we pray, in Jesus name. Amen.
Today’s hymn is “Go, Tell It on the Mountain,” number 409 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 Hungary, 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.