Wednesday, February 4, 2015

PEOPLE'S PRAYERS/CHRISTINA BRENNAN LEE: Lift Ticket, 5th Sunday after Epiphany

Prayers of the People:

for February 8, 2015, 5th Sunday after Epiphany, Year B, Readings: Isaiah 40: 21-31, Ps 147: 1-12, 21c; 1 Cor 9:16-23, Mark 1:29-39   

Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? [Isaiah 40:21]

...but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles... [Isaiah 40:31]

The LORD lifts up the lowly, but casts the wicked to the ground. [Ps 147:6]

...Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever...[Jesus] came...and lifted her up. Then the fever left her... [Mark 1:30-31]

         The book of the prophet Isaiah introduces the readings for today - more specifically, in scholarly/theological terms, this piece is from Deutero-Isaiah or Second Isaiah. The book of this prophet is written in three distinct parts and most likely by three distinct authors. This piece is sometimes called the "Book of Consolation" as it speaks to an audience of those in a long exile out of Jerusalem which for some was not too bad and for others just terrible. This piece is filled with non-judgmental, hope-filled language of restoration, rebuilding, and renewal. God reminds us that we have heard this before, that God has always promised to remain with us and, as during the Exodus, God's power never fails, never grows faint or weary. In a poetic turn not only are we protected by the wings of God, but God gives those in exile and us wings of our own to lift us out of our weakness and weariness, an unusual and profound gift. What are we to do with them?
         The Psalmist reminds us of the rebuilding of Jerusalem, the gathering of the exiles to return home, and how God recognizes and heals the wounds and broken hearts, God lifts up the lowly. We are all to sing praises, sing with thanksgiving, make music upon the harpfor all that God has bestowed upon us.
         Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians tries, in his way that is not always easy for us to understand, to tell us to meet people where they are in order to offer the way of the Gospel. He's also giving us some insight into how difficult things can be in congregational life with competing factions, different understandings, and varying ideas on how things should be done. What Paul is trying to tell them - and us - is that we need to listen, not judge, see what concerns people and welcome everyone. A true balancing act that we have difficulty with in our own time.
         And Jesus, lifted up Simon's mother-in-law and she was freed from the fever. Her response was to honor Jesus in the way she knew how. Isn't that what we each must do?  
         Let us honor the gifts of God, the healings, words, and works of Jesus, and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, by accepting our wings, soaring to new heights of commitment, andproclaiming the message. Haven't you heard? We have the ticket.
LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY (click here)

Thanks to People's Prayers, sidebar


St. Alban Mission chapel, Casa Convento Concepcion
Saint Alban Episcopal Mission, Antigua, Guatemala

You are invited to join us for English services every Sunday at Noon.

Casa Convento Concepcion, Antigua Guatemala, All are welcome.

See welcome letter at the sidebar.

St. Alban English Mission, Antigua, Guatemala is an outreach project of The St. James English parish, Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala, IARCA

The Most Reverend Armando Guerra Soria,  Rector of St. Alban Mission, Bishop of Guatemala and Primate of Central America

The Rev. Ricardo Frohmader
Associate Minister
Saint Alban Episcopal Mission
Antigua Guatemala

2366 0599; 3344 9641 

UPDATE ON PREVIOUS PRAYER REQUEST by Mary Kingman for Skip Marsh, diocese of Los Angeles, TEC:

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