Sunday between 4 and 10 September, Year B
(Proper 18, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Inspired by Mark 7:24-37, James 2:1-10, (11-13), 14-17 and Psalm 146.
Opening prayers or Call to worship
Open our eyes Lord
as we come into your presence
so that we may see the beauty of your creation,
the wonder in each person,
the brightness and openness of your love
the possibilities you set before us
and the path of peace and justice
that you wish us to walk.
Open our eyes Lord to all that is before us;
the wonderful things, the worrying things, the things that are tragic and distressing
and help us to respond with wisdom and love.
Open our eyes to ourselves:
help us to see the things that hold us back,
the ways we affect the lives of others
and the potential we have to change the world around us.
Give us your vision of what we can become
and help us to grow closer to that vision each day we live.
Open our eyes to those we live and move amongst:
help us to see the needs and the pains and the confusion
and not to turn away from them.
[especially… or brief pause]
Give us discernment to know how to help and how to pray.
Open our eyes to all the people who worship you:
the gatherings in this town, in this country and all around the globe.
Separately we are small but working together and acting in your love
we have the opportunity to shape the world’s attitudes and direction.
Sometimes we are a little be baffled by the way others worship you
but help us to be accepting and open,
following together wherever you lead.
Open our eyes to the strangers at the gate:
the newcomer looking for a friendly face in a new town;
the lonely, friendless people longing for us to stop and talk;
the huddled, weary migrants searching for a place to call home;
[we think of… or brief pause]
Let us not be guilty of turning away and leaving it to someone else.
Open our eyes to this world;
from its immense beauty to the unfolding human catastrophes,
from its amazing variety of cultures to the interminable wars,
from the rolling green hills to the lands parched by climate change.
Remind us always that your concern is global
and that ours must be too.
We see that we, your people, are called to see the truth, to speak the truth
and to be the ones with true vision in this world.
We ask for your grace, wisdom and strength
to go into this world as the people who can change everything,
the people you want us to be.
Bring something extra to this Easter with a carefully-crafted short Easter drama!