21 September 2023
Daily prayers in Ordinary Time
with USPG: (116) 21 September 2023
We are in Ordinary Time in the Church Calendar, and this week began with the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity (Trinity XV, 17 September 2023). We are also in the Season of Creation.
The Church Calendar today (21 September) commemorates Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. But, before the day gets busy, I am taking some time this morning for prayer and reflection.
This week, I am reflecting each morning in these ways:
1, Reflecting on a theme in this Season of Creation, the annual Christian celebration to pray and respond together to the cry of Creation;
2, the Gospel reading of the day in the Church of England lectionary;
3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.
The Season of Creation Prayer, 2023:
The Season of Creation is the annual Christian celebration to pray and respond together to the cry of Creation: the ecumenical family around the world unites to listen and care for our common home, the Oikos of God.
The Season of Creation began on 1 September, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and it ends on 4 October, the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations.
Each year, the Season of Creation Ecumenical Steering Committee proposes a theme for the Season of Creation. This year, the theme is ‘Let Justice and Peace Flow,’ and the symbol is ‘A Mighty River’.
The Season of Creation Prayer 2023 invites us to pray in these words:
Creator of All,
From your communion of love life sprung forth like a mighty river and the whole cosmos came into being.
On this Earth of overflowing love, the Word was made flesh and went forth with the life-giving waters proclaiming peace and justice for all creation.
You called human beings to till and keep your garden.
You placed us into right relationship with each creature, but we failed to listen to the cries of the Earth and the cries of the most vulnerable.
We broke with the flowing communion of love and sinned against you by not safeguarding the conditions for life.
We lament the loss of our fellow species and their habitats, we grieve the loss of human cultures, along with the lives and livelihoods that have been displaced or perished, and we ache at the sight of an economy of death, war and violence that we have inflicted on ourselves and on the Earth.
Open our ears to your creative, reconciling and sustaining Word that calls to us through the book of Scripture and the book of creation.
Bless us once again with your life-giving waters so that the Creator Spirit may let justice and peace flow in our hearts and overflow into all creation.
Open our hearts to receive the living waters of God’s justice and peace, and to share it with our suffering brothers and sisters, all creatures around us, and all creation.
Bless us to walk together with all people of good will so that the many streams of the living waters of God’s justice and peace may become a mighty river all over the Earth.
In the name of the One who came to proclaim good news to all creation, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Find out more about the Season of Creation HERE.
Matthew 9: 9-13 (NRSVA):
9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
10 And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax-collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax-collectors and sinners?’ 12 But when he heard this, he said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.’
The theme this week in ‘Pray With the World Church,’ the Prayer Diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel), is ‘Let Justice and Peace Flow.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday.
The USPG Prayer Diary today (21 September 2023, Saint Matthew, International Day of Peace) invites us to reflect in these words:
Let us lift to the Prince of Peace everyone involved in peace-making work around the world.
O Almighty God,
whose blessed Son called Matthew the tax collector
to be an apostle and evangelist:
give us grace to forsake the selfish pursuit of gain
and the possessive love of riches
that we may follow in the way of your Son Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
The Post Communion Prayer:
who on the day of Pentecost
sent your Holy Spirit to the apostles
with the wind from heaven and in tongues of flame,
filling them with joy and boldness to preach the gospel:
by the power of the same Spirit
strengthen us to witness to your truth
and to draw everyone to the fire of your love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org