I have seen a whole lot of gardening posts recently on various platforms so I ‘stole / borrowed’ this whole section from our Rogation Liturgy. The way I would like to use it this week is to invite and resource prayer. Hence the added prayers below each response.
Genesis 2 The Lord God planted a garden in Eden and there he put the people, whom he had formed, to till it and keep it and treasure it. And the Lord God walked in the garden at the time of the evening breeze.
God has made so many different kinds of plants for gardens.
God has made so many different kinds of people for his world.
We rejoice at St Catherine’s both in Stuttgart and across the world at the people that belong to this faith family.
We thank God for the gift of different languages and cultures, different experiences and histories, different needs and talents to share and bring blessing in the sharing.
Some plants need to be in the sun; some like to be in the shade.
Some of us need to be at the centre; some of us are more reserved.
We pray for those who need challenges to flourish and we pray for those who need a gentler encouragement to bring what they can offer in the worship and service of God.
We pray that at St Catherine’s both shade and sun may be equally important and the plants in them given equal attention and nurture.
Some plants hug the ground and others reach for the sky.
Some of us have a modest role in life and others have great ambitions.
We pray for us all that we may have the courage and make the time and soul investment to discern what role we are to play, what talents and skills to offer. The value of the offering lies in the heart.
Some plants grow in rich soil and bring forth flowers, seeds and fruit in abundance.
Some of us are full-nourished and produce marvellous ideas or creations that enrich the lives of many.
We pray with thanksgiving for those who at this stage in life are in a place of flourishing and harvest and sharing that abundance.
Some plants do best in poor soil but it takes all their strength to survive.
Some of us are so straitened in our lives that survival is our only achievement.
We pray for those who are fragile, vulnerable, broken, bruised (all biblical words) and pray that they will feel safe at St Catherine’s.
Also we pray that they may not feel alone in their struggles, but loved and accepted.
We pray for ourselves and one another for protection and care, for nurture and resilience, for strength and courage, for patience and forbearance.
We thank God especially here and especially at this time for those who have the particular gift of caring and supporting.
Let us pray….
O Lord we need to accept that you made us all so different,
with our own temperaments and talents.
Like plants we cannot change our nature, yet you rejoice in each one of us being special.
Help us to come to terms with who we are and what we are called upon to do;
wherever our lives are planted, grant that we may praise you and glorify your name. Amen.
A further* invitation might include:
- prayer for our Wardens and all those who are in any leadership roles at St Catherine’s
- prayer for God’s provision of Ministry Gaps – most urgently a Point Person for safeguarding to work with Chaplain and Wardens and a Point Person for our environmental engagement
- prayer for our ‘over 10s’ group who have resourced all the Bible Reading for our Online Worship and indeed some of the Prayers also – that whatever type of ‘plants’ they might be that they too would flourish
*once a teacher always a teacher – no lesson planning is complete without some ‘extension work’ for those who need it and/or finish ahead of the class …..