Posted on Fri, Nov 20, 2015
Devote Dec. 14 to reflections on Paris, incarnation
Below is a prayer that will help give expression to your pain, fear and passion for those who suffer from the terrorist attacks in Paris this past Friday. You might include this prayer as you Fast and Pray on the first Friday of December. By then we will have begun our journey to welcome once again the coming of the Prince of Peace.
Grace, Justice and Peace,
God, our help and our hope in every time of life:
we bow before you in distress and confusion.
Devastation and death seem to rule your world today.
We know not where to turn, nor even how to pray.
Assure us that you know our thoughts before we think them,
that you accept
petitions that have no words,
prayers that are inarticulate anguish,
even anger in the face of events we do not understand.
Remind us of your presence with Jesus
in his hours of agony
in the face of abandonment by many whom he trusted,
in the pain of crucifixion,
and even death itself.
Enable us to know that you do not desert us
but in times of need stand even closer than before.
Comfort those who mourn.
Give hope to those who seem to have lost all hope.
With your healing power, touch any who are injured;
to all medical and rescue workers
give patient endurance, wisdom, and skill.
As you give us opportunity to serve those in need,
grant us also generous spirits
and the wise and efficient use of our abilities
in offering aid.
If today our words of praise are mute,
if today we find it easier to curse than to bless,
point us to the empty tomb,
which lies beyond the cross.
Remind us that it may be Friday now,
but in your Providence Sunday's coming,
and your love will see us through
For you, O God, are our hope and our strength,
an ever present help in time of trouble;
to you we pray through Jesus Christ
who triumphs over all things. Amen.
From This Day: A Wesleyan Way of Prayer (How Is It With Your Soul?) by Laurence Hull Stookey; All rights reserved (c) 2004 Abington Press
December 4 is our next first Friday conference-wide day of prayer and fasting. It comes at the end of the first week of Advent when we are waiting in the shorter days for the coming of the "true light that enlivens everyone." Advent, which anticipates Christmas and the birth of Christ, invites us to pay attention that we might receive anew the gift of God enfleshed, embodied. The embodiment of God in Christ Jesus calls us to honor our bodies and the body of Christ. Our faith, our love, our service, our best aspirations come to fullness as they are embodied.
Quotes on Incarnation
The incarnation took all that properly belongs to our humanity and delivered it back to us, redeemed. All of our inclinations and appetites and capacities and yearnings are purified and gathered up and glorified by Christ. He did not come to thin out human life; He came to set it free. All the dancing and feasting and processing and singing and building and sculpting and baking and merrymaking that belong to us, and that were stolen away into the service of false gods, are returned to us in the gospel.
― Thomas Howard, Evangelical is Not Enough: Worship of God in Liturgy and Sacrament
For me it is the virgin birth, the Incarnation, the resurrection which are the true laws of the flesh and the physical. Death, decay, destruction are the suspension of these laws. I am always astonished at the emphasis the Church puts on the body. It is not the soul she says that will rise but the body, glorified.
― Flannery O'Connor, The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor
The nativity mystery “conceived from the Holy Spirit and born from the Virgin Mary”, means, that God became human, truly human out of his own grace. The miracle of the existence of Jesus , his “climbing down of God” is: Holy Spirit and Virgin Mary! Here is a human being, the Virgin Mary, and as he comes from God, Jesus comes also from this human being. Born of the Virgin Mary means a human origin for God. Jesus Christ is not only truly God, he is human like every one of us. He is human without limitation. He is not only similar to us, he is like us.
― Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline
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