The following prayers were used at the Wine Before Breakfast service on January 24. They are adapted from the Prayers of Intercession in the resources from Ecumenical week of prayer. The opening section is adapted from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2012 (by Mary Scifres) and the closing section from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers. O God, our King and Creator, forgive us when we try to make you in our image; forgive us when we turn to earthly rulers for the wisdom and strength you have already shown us. Fulfill your purpose in us, that we may be your people, your temples upon this earth, your partners in love and mercy. Creator God, today we live with the consequences of actions that have made life unsustainable for some and overabundant for others. Teach us how to responsibly use the resources you have given to us, that they would be used for the benefit of all and with respect for your creation. Creation cries out to you. Teach us and show us the way. [Silent and spoken prayers for creation and those affected by climate change and food insecurity] Compassionate God, help us repair the harm that we have inflicted upon each other and the divisions we have created among your people. Just as Christ Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit onto the disciples to birth the community of the new creation, send your grace to heal our divisions and gift us with the unity for which Jesus prayed. Teach us and show us the way. [Silent and spoken prayers for the church and the university] Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, you embodied justice in your ministry on earth by the good that you did, breaking down the walls that divide and the prejudices that imprison. Open our hearts and minds to recognize that though we are many, we are one in you. Teach us and show us the way. [Prayers for justice and reconciliation] Holy Spirit, you create anew the face of the earth. The summit of the mountains, the thunder of the sky, the rhythm of the lakes speak to us – Because we are connected. The faintness of the stars, the freshness of the morning, the dewdrops on the flower speak to us – Because we are connected. The voices of the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized speak to us – Because we are connected. Unlike earthly kings, you, O Lord, are ever steadfast and faithful. You sent us your Son, Jesus the Christ, to rule over us, not as a tyrant, but as a gentle shepherd. Keep us united and strong in faith, May we know your presence in our lives and see you in the lives of those around us. Amen.
Prayers written by Deb for the January 24 Wine Before Breakfast service focused on 1 Samuel and the image of God as king. Creator God, We come before you in heartache and frustration Because the system just isn’t working. We long for the ease and confidence of a society that is just, fair and noble But the world in which we live is anything but just, fair and noble. The system just isn’t working. In our attempts to right the ship we have forgotten you and put our faith in the latest and greatest idea. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent... We confess that we don’t know how to meet the suffering in the world But, trusting that you do, we quiet our hearts and await what you are ready to teach us. Amen.
The following are a few excerpts from a sermon preached by Peter Haresnape at Wine Before Breakfast on January 24.
Growing up in England, Elizabeth was the queen, Maggie was the Prime Minister, Kathryn Janeway was the captain, Margaret was the pastor, and my Mum was in charge. And now, 2023, men seem to be everywhere. We have men prime ministers, men popular entertainers, and even men preachers. And now, a man queen…
A king can symbolise concepts that are hard to grasp. The Crown in right of Canada represents the immaterial presence of authority and power, the power that lies behind the institutions of courtroom, cabinet, and cop. It’s the assertion of sovereignty over vast tracts of land, on the basis that the Crown holds the land on behalf of the Indigenous nations, administering it in their best interests. It’s a complicated legal fiction designed to make it hard for Indigenous nations to have their land rights recognized, and simple enough for the citizens of Canada to believe. A king can be very helpful.
So the people say, ‘give us a king’. And why not? These are the elders of Israel, speaking on behalf of the whole nation. ‘Give us a king’, because Samuel the Judge and Priest and Prophet is old, and his sons are corrupt, and there are no more righteous judges. The days of Deborah and Gideon have gone, the old days when God called leaders to respond to specific problems. They want an end to the uncertainty, a permanent king and army and state, like other nations.
In the fullness of time, God sends someone into the line of King David, in the form of a prophet, with the authority of the judge. And this person is plunged into the pain of the world, filled with the Holy Spirit, and tempted with three great temptations – hunger, safety, and power. And he says ‘worship God’. And this person is acclaimed as a healer and a miracle worker, a teacher and storyteller, and he says ‘God’s kingdom is here’. And this person forms an army of outcasts and insiders, and marches on the capital, and says nothing to those who demand his life.
And these rulers crown him, and raise him up, and call him the King, and kill him.
This is God’s solution to the violence of the world. The true King who holds absolute power of life and death, who could summon angel armies and darkness and blight, but who chooses to forgive. This is God’s solution. This is God’s Kingship. And this Kingship undoes every abuse of power and every claim to innocence. This Kingship exposes every tyrant’s pretension and every strongman’s terror. . . .
To read all of Peter’s sermon, see his website.