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Prayer and Work
Preparing for the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Two Days before Sunday (Year A)
Psalter: Psalm 149
Old Testament: Exodus 10:21-29
Epistle: Romans 10:15b-21
Psalter: Psalm 119:33-40
Old Testament: Ezekiel 24:15-27
Epistle: Romans 10:15b-21
O God, your never-failing providence sets in order all things both in heaven and earth: Put away from us, we entreat you, all hurtful things, and give us those things which are profitable for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer)
Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in its Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.
Let them praise his name with dancing,
making melody to him with tambourine and lyre.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
he adorns the humble with victory.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy on their couches.
Let the high praises of God be in their throats
and two-edged swords in their hands,
to execute vengeance on the nations
and punishment on the peoples,
to bind their kings with fetters
and their nobles with chains of iron,
to execute on them the judgment decreed.
This is glory for all his faithful ones.
Praise the Lord! (Psalm 149).
Victory celebrations are wonderful things. Whether it’s the joy of the Super Bowl champions or the World Series victors’ celebration is a wonderful thing.
But some celebrations are even more important. The celebration at the end of World War II on the streets of America cannot compare to the celebration of the winners of the World Cup. The joy of having men and women home from far away lands, the peace knowing that the violence and the death are over, and the knowledge that perhaps some normalcy will return to life make those celebrations worth remembering.
Psalm 149 is a victory celebration. The war is over. The violence has ceased. It is time to pick up the pieces and build once again and to get on with life in the way that God intended it to be. God did not create human beings for violence. Peace and reconciliation are at the heart of the ways of God. While the violence of the world seems all too common, it could be said that theologically, peace and reconciliation are the natural state of humanity.
The end of war is something to celebrate, and the reminder of the violence should spur us on to seek the peace of all and work toward the day when the swords are beaten into plowshares and the spears into pruning hooks.
May that be our prayer and may that be our work.
PRAYER: Hear our prayers, God of power, and through the ministry of your Son free us from the grip of the tomb, that we may desire you as the fullness of life and proclaim your saving deeds to all the world. Amen. (Revised Common Lectionary)
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