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Intercessions for Second Sunday before Lent Year B: 8 February 2015


The Hand of God from Sant Climent de Taüll, fresco c.1123, Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

The Collect

Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image: teach us to discern your hand in all your works and your likeness in all your children; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things, now and for ever. Amen.

¶ The Liturgy of the Word


First Reading: Proverbs 8.1,22-31

Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice? The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.  When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth –  when he had not yet made earth and fields, or the world’s first bits of soil.  When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master worker; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.


Psalm 104.26-37

O Lord, how manifold are your works! * In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
There is the sea, spread far and wide, * and there move creatures beyond number, both small and great.
There go the ships, and there is that Leviathan * which you have made to play in the deep.
All of these look to you * to give them their food in due season.
When you give it them, they gather it; * you open your hand and they are filled with good.
When you hide your face they are troubled; * when you take away their breath, they die and return again to the dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created, * and you renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord endure for ever; * may the Lord rejoice in his works;
He looks on the earth and it trembles; * he touches the mountains and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; * I will make music to my God while I have my being.
So shall my song please him* while I rejoice in the Lord.
Let sinners be consumed out of the earth and the wicked be no more. * Bless the Lord, O my soul. Alleluia.

Second Reading: Colossians 1.15-20

Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers – all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.


Gospel Reading:  John 1.1-14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


(This starts with a solo and builds very slowly – but is exhilarating at the end)

I turn to Jane Williams once again for the best explanation of the lectionary I have read this week. Searching ‘weight’ here will take you to page 36 as the second result. I cannot reproduce it all, but here is part of what she says:

When we call out to God in anger at so much evil and suffering, we are demanding that God explain the world to us, as he himself seems to promise he will, by creation through ‘Wisdom’, ‘the Word’, ‘the image of the invisible God’. We are demanding that God be God. God’s answer is the Word, Jesus. It is, in one sense, no answer because it does not take away the suffering and injustice that we cannot bear to see in God’s world. But Jesus suggests God’s anger and love in the face of suffering. He also suggests a way of living that confronts injustice, that has compassion for suffering, that brings the vitality of God into everything. And he suggests a way of dying that might hold, contain and transform evil and suffering. Is that enough? If not, honour God by demanding to see the ‘image of the invisible God’ through whom all things have bee created and who makes God known to man.


Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray to God, our creator, sustainer and redeemer. We bless you for the living arc of the sky over us. We bless you for the miracle of light to our eyes and the mystery of it ever changing. And we bless you for your countless mercies to us.

¶The Church of Christ

Lord,  let the light of your guidance shine upon your Church and confer a new spirit upon your people. Unlock the gates of true understanding and let the light of faith shine forth in resplendence. Gather all your people under the shadow of your wings and unite them in harmony, so that they may become like the rays of the sun, or the waves of the ocean, or the fruit of a tree. Drinking from the same fountain and refreshed by the same breeze, may we proclaim anew the good news of the Kingdom to all people.*

Lord, your word is a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path: in your mercy, hear our prayer


¶Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

Lord, our creator, still our minds and bodies as we contemplate the marvels of your universe. Help us to become fully aware of the interdependence of our human lives with all aspects of the natural world. When we seem alone in the darkness, puppets of impersonal forces,  we look at the atom, a space both minute and infinite, and each of us in turn seems like a universe. Marvellous and vigorous, splendidly unfolding, we contemplate with awe as, with passion and with tenderness, fresh energy divine brings new beauty to birth.

Lord, your word is a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path: in your mercy, hear our prayer


¶The local community

Lord, when we look at the world and the people we live amongst in a narrow way, how narrow they seem! When we look at them in a mean way, how mean they seem! When we look at them selfishly, how selfish they seem! But when we look at the world in a spirit of open-mindedness and generosity, in a spirit of love and friendship, what wonderful people we see we are surrounded by! Lord, we thank you for our community and ask for your help in seeing our neighbours with the same eyes of living love that you see them with. **

Lord, your word is a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path: in your mercy, hear our prayer


¶Those who suffer

Lord, be a living presence to all those who suffer in mind or body, so that they may feel the reality that you are the light of the world for every season, which can never be overcome by darkness and shines forever for all people. However long our lives, we can never outrun your love. However far our journey, we are never beyond your loving care and you have promised that you will be with us always, even unto the end of the age.

Lord, your word is a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path: in your mercy, hear our prayer


¶The communion of saints

Lord, you have taught us that the way lies onwards. We cannot turn back, we cannot retrace our steps; we cannot stay still, the way lies on. We shall not be lost, but the way goes on. All things pass but you, O Lord, never change. *** If we perservere in patience, we shall want for nothing. For you alone, O Lord, suffice in all things, for all eternity.

Lord, your word is a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path: in your mercy, hear our prayer



Prayer after Communion

God our creator, by your gift the tree of life was set at the heart of the earthly paradise, and the bread of life at the heart of your Church: may we who have been nourished at your table on earth be transformed by the glory of the Saviour’s cross and enjoy the delights of eternity; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


The prayers today are based on poems and texts from ‘Worldwide Worship’ edited by John Marks Templeton.

*Abdu’l – Baha p.9

** Horace Rutledge p.160

***Edwin Muir p. 251


Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): John 1.1-14 © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Pub. Hodder & Stoughton Post Communion (2nd before Lent) © 1980, 1986 Mowbray, a Cassell Imprint: Prayers for the Alternative Services comp. David Silk Some material included in this service is copyright: © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA Collect (2nd before Lent) © Oxford University Press: The Book of Common Worship of the Church of South India Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2000

1 comment on this post:

Anne said...

Thank you for this.

07 February 2015 20:33

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