Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
its way, like the passing of the years, like the passing of our
lives. He comes as a child, as a teacher, and as the one who carried
his own cross. He comes to you with eagerness and hope like a child
on Christmas morning, unable to contain himself with the anticipation
of what you have done with your precious life.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
* Welcome and Call to Worship
One: Let us say who is welcome here!
All: No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome at Grace Congregational United Church of Christ!
Men: Shine, God's People!
Women: We join others in Christ.
All: We are a united and uniting church.
Women: Shine, God's People!
Men: We are of all races, cultures, and nations.
All: We are a multiracial and multicultural church.
Men: Shine, God's People!
Women: We are differently gifted in mind and body.
All: We are a church accessible to all.
Women: Shine, God's People!
Men: We are whole and Holy, loving faithfully.
All: We are an open an affirming church.
Men: Shine, God's People!
Women: We are struggling for justice and peace.
All: We are a peace with justice church.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Friday, August 06, 2010
steadying, sustaining hand on your back. A bolt of lighting may
blind you on the road.
The magic of Moses and the encounter he had at the burning bush is
not so much that God spoke to a person there. God is always
sustaining and calling to you. That voice is there right now. The
extraordinary thing about that moment for all of us is that Moses
turned aside to listen to what God had to say. So, be ready!
And may the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord's face shine upon you and give you strength to be ready.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
You are the mountain rock, impossible to comprehend up close.
From a distance, you are unmoving; the same, present, reference point.
I name you God, the rock solid mountain.
I promise that I will try to find you, the solid ground,
and place my feet,
I promise that I will look for you in the distance
to know always where I am by
where I am in relation to you.
You are the one who walks, the one who laughs, and weeps.
You are the deep soul of shared meals, of sacrifice, of a new day, a new song.
You tell the stories. The stories shape the day.
I name you Christ, the laughable, laughing, singer of this life.
I promise that when I tell a story I will try to tell it as you hope
I'll tell it.
I will listen into the story they tell.
I promise to laugh and be laughable, to cry,
and to walk.
You are mover and change-lover. You are knitter and sitter.
You shield us from the wind, you are the wind.
I name you Holy Spirit.
I promise that I will open the windows and let you blow through the room of me.
I promise to follow you through the doorways you open.
June 14, 2003
Monday, May 03, 2010
Mary, the mother of Jesus, have moments of grace to share with the
world. You always have been with your servants, women and men. As
we have borne fruit in the form of compassion, wisdom, justice, and
creativity, we are a blessing to other people and to all creation.
In those moments, we are ourselves blessed. Remember, we humbly
request, this prayer of joy and fear that we pray this Mother's Day.
We pray that you will be as welcoming as a mother to each of us now
and in the hour of our death.
In the name of the sons and daughters of Grace, amen.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Dear God, your steadfast love!
and trembled and wept at how the world changes when they glimpse your steadfast love!
I will try today to open myself to your steadfast love. Amen.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.
But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.
But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.
…he said to them, 'Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.'
On Friday afternoon, we are all on the same page. Jesus has just been killed. Jesus is dead.
By Sunday morning, we recognize this as normal. This is the way it happens in the only world we've ever known.
As the days go by, we shrug and sound wise to each other. We note that human brutality in the name of justice, keeping the peace, sustaining traditional power, responding to societal threats, appeasing the crowd, and silencing the voices of dissent has so frequently led to arrest, incarceration, torture, and death.
We all accept that flowers die.
As soon as we can, we scatter.
On Sunday, some of us see the empty tomb, listen to an angel, and know that Jesus is resurrected from death. Others of us want to reject that thought at first but we find our way to a place of acceptance soon enough. Still others of us need the evidence to mount a little higher. With more witnesses, more encounters with the risen Christ, and more breakfasts on the beach, we begin to get it, to see it. There are those of us, and maybe some part of each of us, that will only believe when we place our fingers in the wounds of the living hands of Jesus himself.
It takes more than a morning of trumpets for resurrection to sink in.
So, we live our lives between Good Friday and … when? Easter? Maybe between Good Friday and Pentecost. For on Pentecost, to which we trace the founding of our churches as the Spirit descends on the disciples, we begin to see something concrete again, something we can touch. We begin to see the church.
The church is like Jesus in that it is capable of death, capable of being killed. It is also like Jesus in that it is capable of being reborn. It is also capable of being the place where a soul can find that which will prove to be new life, renewal, and salvation. It is capable of being that kind of home.
If you have doubts, let them be holy doubts, sacred doubts. If you doubt the risen Christ do not allow that doubt to compromise your hope for the kingdom to be found among us. Do not allow your uncertainty to let you settle for a church that is a building and good friends. Hold to the integrity of the church as the embodiment of Christ still among us. Let no one dissuade you from your struggle to show extravagant kindness, to practice radical welcome, to experience surprising joy in the only life we have, to stand against oppression, and to disrupt any moments when one human being tries to diminish another.
Oh Holy One, we pray for an everyday Pentecost. We pray for the Spirit to inspire our hearts in the divine song. We pray, thy kingdom come. Amen.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Dear God, your steadfast love has been sung by people for ages. Your love is what we see in our best moments. Your love is what we explore in metaphors of life eternal, creation stories, deep sacrifice, and the observation in the creed that you so loved the world that you gave your only begotten son that all who believe in him should not perish but have everlasting life. Bind me today to a love that strong! Let it free me from my smallness of heart. Let the love I feel for people, for this wonderful earth, and for you expand like a rising wind in March, so that I love more deeply and widely. …so that my life is changed today! Amen.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 05, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Dearest One, we greet you with contrite hearts. I have learned to keep doors of my awareness so tightly closed that I may not remember where they are, let alone how to find the key. You must open the door from the other side. I promise: well, I will try, anyway, to notice when you do what I ask. I will try to pay attention when you open for me the way to know the truth that is you. Amen.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Dear God, we call from our short lives to you who are the beginning and the end. O hear me now in my fear of what will come at the end, at the end of my life. For I know that my life will end and so too the lives of all whom I have loved. I don't ask that you do anything about this fate. I know how the story ends. I only ask to live this wonderful life more vividly, more deeply, more compassionately, more for others than for myself, that my life may therefore have meaning, and be a gift to all whose lives I touch. …and be delightful and surprising to you, my heart, my home, my God. Amen.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
'Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.'
It comes from the second chapter of Luke and, since Luke is such a
good read, you might pull out your Bible and read the whole chapter
to get the context. They are the words, a song really, from an old
man. His name is Simeon.
When Simeon sang his song, he had just held a baby in his arms. It
is the only moment of his life we know about at all and the reason we
know is because the baby was Jesus. What happened to Simeon after
this moment is anybody's guess. I'd like to think that he lived on
for some years, long enough, perhaps, for Mary or Joseph or even
Jesus to catch a glimpse of him moving through the streets the way
old men move, shining through the daylight the way one shines who has
seen God at work in his own life.