Sunday, 8 January 2017

Bringing our Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh

Lord of all eternity, in whose hands are all our times, we come today to  give you our gifts, as people have come for millennia with gifts to offer in your service.

We are the rich and we are the poor, we are the strong and we are the weak, we are the powerful and we are the disempowered; and we bring the offering of our lives before you for transformation and redemption, for the salvation of the world.

So we bring you our gold; our money, our power, and our strength. And we rejoice that you receive our offering.

Too often in our world money, power and strength create corruption, coercion, and catastrophe.

We pray today for all those who are seduced by the mythology of their own success.

We pray for politicians and presidents, for monarchs and dictators, for those who have inherited wealth and for those who have acquired it. We pray for those who rule over kingdoms, and whose power is beholden to money and strength.

We pray especially for America, with the forthcoming transition of power, and we ask that those who will hold power will not lose sight of the responsibility they bear for the weak and the vulnerable.

Just as magi brought wealth and power to your cradle, and you accepted the gift, may those with such gifts to bring in our world discover your willingness to receive and transform their offering.

And we recognise that we ourselves have to live with the responsibilities of our own place in that world. Those of us with jobs, savings, and houses need to find in you a way of living well with our wealth, and so we bring our gold before you.

And we do so in faith that you are God revealed in human form. Our offering of ourselves is not merely an act of self transformation, it is an act of worship to the one in whom all of life finds it's beginning, its end, and its redemption. You are love incarnate, and we worship you with all that we are and all that we have. We bring our offering of frankincense to the God of creation.

And as we do so, we hear the challenge that you bring to all other claims on our allegiance.

The clamour of the false gods is strong, and all too easily we are seduced into offering them our worship.

May we learn to resist the lures of materialism, the deceptions of individualism, and the compelling drive to competitiveness and violence.

So we pray for those who are trapped in servitude to these gods of our society, that demand ever-greater tribute, but never offer release. May the world discover the freedom that is found in the God of love who gives freely to all who seek. May the world discover the path to peace that opens through following the way of Jesus.

And so we worship you as our saviour, and as the saviour of the world. We bring our offering of myrrh to the one who dies that the world might be redeemed. We proclaim our faith that it is only in and through your life, death, and resurrection that our own lives acquire meaning.

And so we pray for all those seeking meaning to their lives; for searchers and seekers, for the curious and the questioners. May they hear in your story, the path towards freedom, love, and eternal acceptance.

We pray for our friends and our families, for those we meet and those we avoid. Help us to remember that it is not our calling to save others, but rather that it is our vocation to live out our own salvation before the world, always pointing to the one in whom the God of love is made fully known.

In weakness and in strength, in poverty and in power, in loneliness and in love, we offer our prayers to the one in whom all our times are held.


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