Hallelujah Prayer for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 11/10/13 Pastor Judy Lee, ARCWP

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These are some of our members,including myself, who have risen again and are still rising. On the left is our Elder and worship leader Mr. Harry L.Gary whose testimony is new every Sunday. Also Roger and Len.

In our Gospel today (Luke 20;27-38) Jesus says that God is the God of the living, all are ALIVE to God! We are assured that we can and will rise again. Hallelujah!

If you know Leonard Cohen’s song Hallelujah! hear it and sing it with this prayer.

In a few hours we will celebrate together. Our inclusive Catholic Mass is at 2PM on Sundays. No day is ordinary and we pray that all may be full of God’s life today.  And now I pray as I take in the events of the day. Join me in prayer as you go through your day.

I pray as I look at our little lake with wonder. The algae blight that covered the lake this summer is now almost completely gone and the ducks and coots and egrets have returned. Hallelujah!

My neighbor Imogene is a prayer warrior who sits facing the lake with her prayers and Scripture reading every day.If you are on my prayer list she may have prayed for you too. She is getting more frail in her mid eighties but she still feeds the ducks and birds and tends her garden. The algae bloom saddened her heart as it did mine. Everyone we called said there was nothing that could be done.  They spoke about fertilizer use and warm waters. She kept on praying. See her smile now that it is gone! Hallelujah!

I pray as I shepherd my rescued cats through their morning ins and outs in separate groups. “Hiss” says Potsy, the newest. “I am not ready for all these others yet.” ” Ahhh,m’row” he says as he returns to his safe room and bed. But he will not die on the streets (he is FIV Positive and stress is a killer for him, and so are attackers and cars since he would sit right in the middle of the street). He sniffs Star and Silver at the door. He will be ready soon. I pray for all beings that have to live outside when they were designed for indoor homes.Hallelujah!

I think of Len who could easily lose his home as he ignores things like paying the bills and is debating whether we can help him with this. I think of Rich mowing lawns and living in a shed. I think of Don living outside. I pray we can work together to get each of these truly housed. I think of Sally who had her “rest” in the Psychiatric Hospital, I pray that she is stable enough to get started in housing again. She is living in her car until she can face the reality that she will not own her own home but live in a small Efficiency on her income. They may all be in church today, I pray for homes and God’s abundant grace for them! Hallelujah!

I am shocked at the morning news. The news about the typhoon in Central Philippines affecting 4.3 million people and the direct hit on  Tacloban City,  in the Philippines is overwhelming. Possibly over ten thousand people killed in the Tacloban area. “My God!” we cry together. This must feel like the end of the world for them. Like the reading from 2 Maccabees today about horrific torture, rising to God is the only good part of the story. We pray for each one who died in this terrible natural event. It is not an act of God, but of nature and it overwhelms us like the roaring sea and wind.We pray for the loved ones of all who perished. We pray for all of the survivors, and all those whose lives and hearts are broken. We pray for quick aid. We pray and we sing Leonard Cohen’s broken and holy “Hallelujah”!  

The Philippines is very dear to me as Filipina Methodist Deaconess Virginia Maniti Williams shepherded me from my youth and Filipino Pastors like Emerito Nacpil and others also served at Bethany church in Brooklyn encouraging our youth when they visited.  Deaconess Virginia went home often with beloved Rev. Mel, and she returned alone after his rising to God.  She helped and we did as well in the building of a new Methodist Church.  She returned home to serve her people before her own illness brought her Stateside to live with her daughters, then in an Assisted Living home in California.  For the health and strength of Deaconess Virginia Maniti Williams we sing a holy “Hallelujah!”

We pray too for all those wounded warriors from all walks of life who in losing limbs and sight and mental health to war have to fight to rise again. We pray for the members of the Wounded Warriors Band that appeared on CBS Sunday Morning Show this morning.With the guidance of the acclaimed Roger Waters they make beautiful and astounding music out of the wrecks of their bodies and lives. They truly rise! And we pray for those wounded soldiers who are studying music with Arthur Blum and visiting stars like YoYo Ma at the Walter Reed Hospital. We pray that each one will continue to rise. We pray for their return to full life, for their resurrection. And we pray for all wounded warriors who have not yet found a way to rise, that they will find it.  Hallelujah!

We pray for Tim Donley the marvelous lead singer of the Wounded Warriors Band-that he may continue to rise! His testimony this morning was astounding. His signature song is Leonard Cohen’s melancholy and profound Hallelujah. We will quote some of it as we end our prayer. Tim said that when he lost both legs he was broken but he still had his right hand. He was okay. Then he lost the use of his right hand. He said “Every dream was broken and I didn’t know where to turn. In that place God said to me,”Do you still trust me to have what’s best for you?”  It may be the best is now for me. That made me understand Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.”

WOW!

Amen to our brother and Amen to all who rise again and sing “Hallelujah”. I am going to get The Wounded Warriors Band rendition of Hallelujah to share with my people and all who are rising again.

This is two stanzas from Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah! It is a story about the Hebrew King David and also about all of us who have fallen or been wiped out and need to rise again.

“…

There’s a blaze of light

in every word

it doesn’t matter what you heard

The holy or the broken Hallelujah.

Hallelujah, hallelujah (4x)

….And even though

it all went wrong

I’ll stand before the lord of song

with nothing on my tongue but hallelujah.

Hallelujah,

Hallelujah, hallelujah (8x)”.

And so we end our prayers today with a broken and a holy Hallelujah! May we all rise again. Amen and Hallelujah!

Pastor Judy

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