Sunday 4th March 2018 – Lent 3

Offertory Prayer

God,

who lifts us from our burdens

that our lives may be an offering of worship,

we respond with heart and soul,

acknowledging Your presence

in every breath and activity.

May what we offer

from our wealth and talent

reflect the hope and courage

of our faith

in Christ.

Amen.

 

Prayers of the People

In the winter chill and enforced rest,

You, Creator God,

have been at work.

When humanity would want to scurry on by,

opportunities for reflection

and awareness

have nestled into the waiting time.

As the cold wraps around us

and the hard work of movement frustrates,

we find it hard to be thankful.

But thanks we offer You,

for time spent with family;

for community spirit

that has neighbour reach out to neighbour.

We are grateful for those moments

when we have been moved to look beyond ourselves,

and notice all that You have created;

the awe we have felt at changing light

and icy blasts;

the compassion that has been stirred

as from warm homes

and full stomachs,

we have remembered those

who were seeking shelters in doorways

or who fridges were empty

with little hope of being replenished.

 

Disrupting Presence,

we pray for those

who have no place to call home,

moving from doorway,

to sofa to hostel.

Teach us the humility that we do no know the reasons why

and the answers to how,

and instead making us willing

to make conversation

and offer support.

Where we can offer simple help,

open our hearts.

Where we recognise the need for changing structure,

let our voices sound

to those who need to hear.

 

We pray for those who have felt trapped

by the weather,

as isolation settled in their homes.

While for some this was an unusual experience,

for others loneliness is the pattern of a day.

We give thanks for those who act as neighbours,

making phonecalls,

knocking at doors,

bring food,

offering support.

Where we see the need for community,

enable us to reach out to our neighbours

willing to help,

and to accept the offer.

 

On this mid-week of Fair-trade,

we find ourselves unsettled.

Aware of the goodwill, energy and support

that the branding has been brought,

it would be easy to be discouraged

at the businesses who are seizing the opportunity to do something different.

As church communities may we celebrate

the support that has been offered

to small local community businesses,

and covenant to continue the practices we have.

As a community with a voice and buying power,

may we challenge supermarkets and purchasers

to seek a fair price for work and goods.

 

Spirit of Creation,

sweep through our world,

and upset the tables that prevent us

from meeting You in others,

and allow Christ’s love ever-present love

to pour into all of life.

Amen.

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