This is Advent, the season of preparation. The shops are full of gifts that we might give or receive. Streets are decorated and choirs begin the rounds of community centres and retirement homes with their seasonal offerings of carols. As we prepare, we remember another, John the Baptist, who came to prepare the Jewish people for the arrival of Jesus. John, who would prepare a way through a call to repentance, so that hearts and souls would be ready to receive the One who was to come.
Father God, prepare our hearts not only for the celebration to come, but also for sharing that Good News with friends, family and work colleagues should opportunity arise. Grant us courage and a real willingness to talk about the love that came down to earth and walked among us. Amen(Read more at: http://www.faithandworship.com/prayers_Advent)
Amassing wealth is morally indefensible in a world where poverty and hunger still stalks millions. Why do we still respect and look up to those who flaunt their wealth with lavish lifestyles when sharing that wealth could be saving countless lives?
Justice in today’s world means sharing with those in need, caring for those suffering, and living as a global family. Amassing wealth is just the opposite.
Hunger is an obscenity,
a four-letter word
scrawled across the lives of millions
by those of who don’t see well enough to care
or love deeply enough to share.
The words of Picasso ring true for me. I believe every single one of us are born as unique and gifted individuals. Each of us have a special gift that we can and should share to make the world a better place.
True joy is when we are finally able to recognize that gift and begin sharing it. It is in the giving of our gift that we begin growing into our full humanity.
Half the children in the Central African Republic are malnourished. They are hungry all the time. They never get enough to eat. They are becoming both physically and mentally stunted.
The world provides more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet. That includes the hungry children in the Central African Republic. Why then are half the children there hungry?
This is simply one more example of the lack of caring among the majority of current society. We need compassion. We need action. And we need it now.
We can end hunger in our lifetime. But not if we ignore places like the Central African Republic.
God of mercy and justice, we praise you this perfect day for all the gifts you have given your children. We glorify your name for your sustaining grace and the everlasting love poured so freely into our lives. You have given us so much, and for everything we have and all that we are, we give you our thanks.
Our prayer this morning is for the grace to more fully respond to the love and grace you have first given us. Help us always remember, and always be aware that all we have comes from you.
We have been so richly blessed with material abundance. We have financial wealth unimaginable by most of our human family. We take solid shelter and good homes for granted in a world teeming with refugees and the homeless. Food security is never an issue for our families Instead, we complain about variety and search out ever newer and exotic meals. We spend without thought, and eat to excess in a world full of poor and hungry.
Forgive us, Lord, for our thoughtlessness. Forgive us for our lack of awareness. Forgive us for our continued misuse of the gifts so freely bestowed upon us. Forgive us for our lack of caring… and our lack of sharing.
Lord, open our eyes so that we might see our world through your eyes. Grant us compassion deep enough to bring us to our knees in true empathy with those of our family chained by poverty and hunger. Grant us the miracle-working power of your Holy Spirit to lift us above our self-centeredness, our selfishness and fears so that we might love the least of these among us enough to open ourselves fully enough to share not only all we have…but all we are. Lord, teach us this morning how to be generous, and to give as you have first given to us.
Grant us more generous hearts. Help us more fully reflect your love through our caring and our sharing. And let all we have been given be used to glorify you. Amen