Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this sacred space where we are called to, “above all else, strive to be faithful to Christ’s vision of the peaceable Kingdom of God on earth. Courageously challenge cultural, political, and religious trends that are contrary to the reconciling and restoring purposes of God. Pursue peace.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 163:3b
Today in our prayers we remember the people of Portugal, a nation on the Iberian Peninsula in Southwestern Europe. Portugal is bordered by Spain on one side and the Atlantic Ocean to its west.
Scripture Reading—Matthew 21:23-32 NRSV
When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.
Prayer for Peace
Our hearts are broken by the events of our day. Wherever we look, we see violence—violence through hunger, abuse, economic policies and war. Yet, while we seem empathetic towards those who are suffering, we are not yet angry enough to work toward a solution. Make us more aware that mere thoughts are insufficient to address the needs of the world in which we live. Help us to see that we all to be more involved in the activities of life—involved to the degree that we elect those government officials who will worry more about human dignity than reelection; involved to the degree that we will not give a minute’s rest to elected officials through aggressive action demanding their efforts toward solutions.
Restore our relationships, O God—our relationships with ourselves, our relationships with each other, and our relationship with you. For we acknowledge that it is only through right relationships that we will truly understand what is meant by the word peace. We recognize that peace is a lifestyle that must be continually nurtured. We affirm that such a lifestyle is what each of us wants to attain. Grant that we may do so through your power and wisdom. Grant that we may become a people of peace for your glory, O God.
Bless us now as we seek to understand; as we work toward fulfilling your purpose in us; as we strive to live lives of wholeness and righteousness.
In the name of God, the Creator, God, the Redeemer, and God, the loving presence amid life. Amen.
Today’s hymn is “Sanna, Sannanina” number 469 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 Portugal, 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)