On Sunday May 6th we heard “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.” Last Sunday, May 13th, we heard “You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last….” And today, May 20th, we hear, “[Father] as you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” The speaker in each instance, of course, is Jesus. He is speaking to those who gather around him—in every age—to hear what he is saying. He is speaking to us.
As the Sunday Morning Forum gathers (9am PDT) at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, CA this Sunday morning we will wonder aloud with each other what this means in 21st century America, in our lives, and in our common life. We will also pray for each other. Having heard something about who and whose we are and knowing that we are sent into the world to “bear fruit that will last” we pray for each other:
O God, we pray for the gifts of ministry. Inspire our minds with a vision of your kingdom in this time and place. Hear us, O Christ.
Touch our eyes, that we may see your glory in all creation. Hear us, O Christ.
Touch our ears, that we may hear from every mouth the hunger for hope and stories of refreshment. Hear us, O Christ.
Touch our lips, that we may tell in every tongue and dialect the wonderful works of God. Hear us, O Christ.
Touch our hearts, that we may discern the mission to which you call us. Hear us, O Christ.
Touch our feet, that we may take your Good News into our neighborhoods, communities, and all parts of the world. Hear us, O Christ.
Touch our hands, that we may each accomplish the work you give us to do. Hear us, O Christ.
Strengthen and encourage all who minister in your name in lonely, dangerous and unresponsive places. Hear us, O Christ.
Open the hearts and hands of many to support your Church in this and every place. Hear us, O Christ.
O God, we praise you for the depth of your love for the world revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. We thank you for choosing and sending us to reveal by our word and example your steadfast love: making some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers to equip your people for the building up of the Body of Christ. Bless us in our words and works that your Name may be glorified, now and for ever. Amen.
Litany: The Book of Occasional Services, 2003, excerpted, p. 246, Collect, p. 237 adapted
I welcome you to join us (who have more questions than answers and who have love to share). Consider becoming part of the Forum. Have questions but can’t attend? I encourage you to leave your questions here and I’ll answer as best I can. ~dan rondeau