Jun 20, 2018

Border Crossers: A Reflection

In the wake of the American government’s decision to intentionally separate children from their parents when crossing the American/Mexican border, Claudio Carvalhaes has put together a “Worship Service in Solidarity with Unaccompanied Minors Crossing the Borders.” It includes this reflection. (See below for link to the entire service.) 

Reflection: Crossing Borders

Abraham was a border crossing
Isaac was a border crosser
Jacob was a border crosser
Joseph was a border crosser
Moses was a border crosser
Hagar was a border crosser
Ana was a border crosser
Esther was a border crosser
Lidia was a border crosser
Joseph, Mary and Jesus were border crossers in the midst of a genocide
The Holy Spirit crossed borders to start the church
And is still crossing borders today
Churches are border crossing places
We are border crossing people, all of us with no exception
No human being is illegal. None!
This country and every country are made of border crossers
We are heirs of border crossing people
We must attend the borders without ceasing

~ from “Worship Service in Solidarity with Unaccompanied Minors Crossing the Borders” by Claudio Carvalhaes. Posted on his website at http://www.claudiocarvalhaes.com/blog/worship-service-solidarity-unaccompanied-minors-crossing-borders /

Jun 18, 2018

Gospel Reflection: Mark 4: 35-41

Here’s a thoughtful reflection on Mark 4:35-41 (the account of Jesus calming the storm) from Bruce Prewer.

Who is this Jesus?
(inspired by Mark 4:35-41)

To leave the safe sheltered quay;
to rest while strong men fear;
to doze through a storm at sea:
  who is this Jesus?

To display the might of the meek;
to sleep while threats are near;
to dream while fierce gales peak:
  who is this Jesus?

To know what keeps you afloat;
to let another hand steer;
to be safe in a foundering boat:
  who is this Jesus?

To be see when there’s no light;
to trust when nothing’s clear;
to confront the powers of night:
  who is this Jesus?

To speak the word that saves;
to know God is even here;
to command the wind and the waves:
  who is this Jesus?

— Copyright Ó B D Prewer 2000.  Posted on Bruce Prewer’s Home Page.  http://www.bruceprewer.com/

Opening Prayer: Mark 4: 35-41

Here’s an opening prayer inspired by Mark 4:35-41, the account of how Jesus calmed the storm.  It comes from the Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren.

Opening Prayer
(inspired by Mark 4:35-41)

Mighty God, who speaks a word of peace to calm our troubled sea;
Caring God, who nudges us away from fear and toward faith;
Ever-present God, who fills us with awe
   but also raises many questions
      without easy answers;
Open our eyes to see you in our boat—today,
Strengthen our hearts for the challenges that lie ahead,
Open our ears this hour to hear the word you speak.
This we pray, In Jesus’ name. Amen

— posted on the Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren website.  http://rockhay.tripod.com/

Call to Worship: Turning a Cheek

Here’s a call to worship which explores true strength.  It is inspired by 1 Samuel 17:1-58 and Matthew 5:38-42 (Luke 6:28-31).  It was written by Katherine Hawker.

Turning a Cheek
(inspired by 1 Samuel 17:1-58, Matthew 5:38-42)

Strength is commanding
the wind and sea to obey,
Strength is wielding
a slingshot in the face of a raging giant.
Strength is accepting vulnerability
from inside the boat,
Strength is standing in solidarity
with the powerless.
Strength is turning a cheek,
Strength is loving an enemy.
We come to worship
a God who redefines our vision of strength.

~ written by Katherine Hawker, 1997, and posted on Liturgies Outside.  http://liturgyoutside.net/  

Jun 7, 2018

Affirmation: You Call Us to Service

Here is an affirmation or statement of commitment from John Birch. It was posted on his Faith and Worship website.

Affirmation: You Call Us to Service

You call us to service;
to be your eyes and ears,
hands and voice in this, your world.

To open our eyes not only
to the beauty and love which you create,
but the injustice,
hate and suffering that humankind generates.

To open our ears not only
to the chattering of this coming week,
but the searching,
fears and questioning of all whom we shall meet.

To open our hands not only
to those we choose our lives to share,
but in welcome,
love and fellowship to all who you draw near.

To open our mouths not only
to speak platitudes and simple words,
but the truths you lay upon our hearts.
Your Word for this, your world.

You call us to service,
to be your eyes and ears,
hands and voice in this, your world.

~ written by John Birch and posted on his Faith and Worship website. http://www.faithandworship.com/liturgy_Lent_3.htm#ixzz1lkU9wBx2