Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 (Trinity 12 / Proper 16 / Ordinary Time 21)
1 Kings 8: (1, 6, 10-11), 22-30, 41-43; Psalm 84; Ephesians 6:10-20; John 6: 56-69
Thom Shuman writes: “I am using the alternate OT texts tomorrow, and tying them in (hopefully) with the Ephesians/John passages. Seems to me that they all speak about being able to say ‘yes’ to God. I will probably use the following quote from Dag Hammarskjold, the UN Secretary General whose diary, “Markings”, was published after his death. I discovered “Markings” during my first year of college, and 50 years later, it still impacts my faith journey.
“I don’t know Who – or what – put the question, I don’t know when it was put. I don’t even remember answering. But at some moment I did answer Yes to Someone – or Something – and from that hour I was certain that existence is meaningful and that, therefore, my life, in self-surrender, had a goal”. (Dag Hammarskjold, UN Secretary General, 1953-1961)
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.
Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.
God, give me grace
to allow you to be my only defense.
I ay aside my capacity, my wisdom, my faith.
I surrender my distractions and obsessions,
my being comfortable, my being right.
Strip me of any defensiveness, anger,
dishonesty or superiority I cling to.
Give me courage to let down whatever shields me
from being one soul with another.
Let me be unprotected against the truth,
against the pain of the world,
the griefs hidden in my soul,
the terror of the dark places,
the heart of the heart before me.
Let me be naked in the light
of being human and imperfect, of having a body.
Give me the power of powerlessness—
vulnerable, willing, sensitive and open.
Be my only shield, my only security.
Let love and truth keep me whole and alive,
your presence alone preserve me,
your delight alone be my weapon and my strength,
my fortress, my life.
God of Love, your light is my armour. (c) Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Lord our God, all truth is from you, and you alone bring oneness of heart. Give your people the joy of hearing your word and of longing for your presence more than for life itself. May all the attractions of a changing world point us to the peace of your reign, a peace which this world does not give. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(from Uniting in Worship, Leaders Book, p. 272.)
Lord our God, help us to seek the values that will bring us lasting joy in this changing world. In our desire for what you promise make us one in mind and heart. Grant this through Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (CanticaNova)