Full St. Nick's News for December 5, 2023 Dear Friends, This past Sunday, we had…
One of my favorite professors in seminary would often say, “you must be the presider of your own spiritual lives.” She would remind us that the busyness of life and the stresses of our day and age will compete for our time and energy. We must be vigilant in our personal relationship with God. She was right. She was right in her words and she was right in her passion behind her words. She wanted us, her students, to be good stewards and managers of our spiritual lives and to put God first.
The Episcopal Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is a useful resource to help us be “presiders of our own spiritual lives.” You can explore the online version here. Throughout the book there are helpful prayers, daily prayers services, and daily devotions. There are prayers for a great many issues and occasions beginning on page 810. I commend it to your use to help you grow in faith and to be a help when you need God’s comfort and peace. In addition to the online version, we have prayer books at St. Nick’s.
I want to offer two prayers that may be a source of comfort as we hear news of the war between Israel and Hamas. I also recommend praying the Great Litany on page 148 for ourselves and the world.
A prayer for peace (pg. 815) –
Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
A prayer for peace among the nations (pg. 816) –
Almighty God our heavenly Father, guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth, and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that they may become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
I shared in last week’s message that we are called to be spiritual stewards. We are called to manage our own spiritual lives and care for it. We are also called to pray for the world and people around us. I am praying for all of us, that we may not be overcome with life’s challenges but turn towards God and trust in God’s love for us and the world.
One of the prayers for the night service of Compline in the BCP helps us to turn towards God’s eternal love for us. I pray this for our St. Nick’s family and for those whom we love dearly.
Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP p. 133)
We have a full weekend full of hopeful and joyful events. I look forward to seeing you and your friends this weekend at our Pet Blessing on Saturday from 1pm to 3pm. We have glasses for the eclipse and lots of activities for our animals. We also have worship Sunday at 8:30am outdoors and 9:30am indoors. After worship our Youth Group will gather to carve pumpkins and put together treats for our annual Costume Blessing on October 29th. I hope to see you and hear about your favorite prayer books and the many ways you connect to God. As we journey together, may God continue to bless us with energy and inspiration as we manage and steward our spiritual lives.
God’s Peace, Love, and Blessings,