Pause for Peace

Revd Rex A E Hunt

PAUSE FOR PEACE
The Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Canberra
Wednesday 5 July 2006

Gathering

Acknowledgement
For thousands of years Indigenous people
have walked in this land, on their own country.
Their relationship with the land is at the centre of their lives.

I acknowledge the Ngunnawal People and their stewardship of this land
throughout the ages.

Silence
In this time of silence may we move
from busy-ness
to quietness...
Silence

God of life
God of peace
God of wonders that will not cease...
Present with us now.
Silence continues

Prayer
We pray:
In all our daily tasks and concerns may we pause
to wonder at brisk winter days, frosted back lawns and stark hillsides;
to wonder at a word spoken that carries a little kindness or consolation;
to wonder as a candle burns... that the spirit of goodness may also burn.
Amen

Silence

Guest presenter

Reflective silence  (two minutes)

Music
“Prayer for the rainforst”
By Stevan Pasero. Seasons.

Contemporary reflection
"Winter... is a time of turning inwards"
By Trisha Watts. Sanctuary/84.

Winter,
a time of snow and wetness.
The days are short and cold,
the deciduous trees are bare.

Winter,
a time for cutting away
dead wood from roses,
and pruning unwanted branches
from grape vines.

Winter,
a time of shaping things,
tying up the waste,
a time for clearing.

Yet, in this time,
there is still growth:
the flower withers
to form the seedcase...
tubers shrink and turn inside out,
sending up the shafts of stem
and sending down the anchoring roots.

Underneath everything,
in the darkness,
new life is seething,
yearning to break through the surface.

The husks fall away from the seed
and the ticking kernal starts to shoot.  (adapted)

Prayer and silent reflection
We pray:
Warming God, we remember the cycles of life and the time of winter.
They invite us to turn inwards and reflect
on the choices in our lives.
Silence

We have come to this sacred place of peace and quiet.
because we are people of faith.

We come as ordinary people,
each with strengths and each with weaknesses,
aware of our shortcomings.

Our lives set before us many tasks.
We are not always equal to them.

Too often we fall short of our best expectations of ourselves:
we do not know enough,
we are not always patient,
we do not wait for wisdom,
we lack vision.

And yet, here we are,
not always perfect,
not always wise,
but always human,
gloriously and miraculously alive and breathing,
wondrously and mysteriously human.
(Pause)

May our time together renew our hope.
May the music we hear lift our spirits.
May the words we speak invigorate us.
May the sight of faces new and familiar,
restore us in faith.
Silence

With others, and at this time, we share our concern
for all who lack the necessities of daily life,
those who face danger,
those who face war,
those who face persecution.

We lament there are people who live without dignity, and have no hope...
We lament there are those who kill and maim their neighbours who are different...
We lament there are those who seek to rule and dominate others through politics...

May we learn the ways of justice,
and that violence and oppression and war may cease.
(Pause)

The world is ours for a time, may we be encouraged to know it;
the human mind is ours for a time, may we be encouraged to explore it and expand it;
the human heart beats out its number for a time, may we be encouraged to be fully alive in our time.

May peace be with us and our world this day.  (From various sources)
All Amen.

Blessing
May the blessing in the strength of the Brindabellas,
the calm of Lake Burley Griffin
the freshness of gum tree and wild flower, remain with us...

And may God's strength, peace and creativity go with us always.
All Amen.

rexae74@gmail.com