Jesus, you are the Son
of the living God.
In perfect unison,
all things were formed
by you and through you.
Displayed in the utterance of word
and the work of wing was your
glory made known.
Though your identity and intentions
remain in question for most,
you remain confident in who you are.
Come then and be with us.
Be among us as we read your story
and practice our rites and rituals.
Let doubt and confidence commune
and share in the offering.
In the name of Simeon’s patience,
in the name of Mary’s courage,
in the name of Peter’s enlightenment,
we pray and give thanks, amen.
We invite you to hear from the reading of 1 John 4: 17 – 21.
17-18 God is love. When we take up permanent residence
in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way,
love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature
in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day
— our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is
no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since
fear is crippling, a fearful life — fear of death, fear of judgment
— is one not yet fully formed in love.
19 We, though, are going to love — love and be loved.
First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.
20-21 If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating
his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t
love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see?
The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes
loving people. You’ve got to love both.
The Good News of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
The grass withers and the flower fades,
but the Word of the Lord endures forever. Amen.
Sermon and Reflection
After a year of quarantine, how will you seek freedom and rest for yourself this spring?
As we witness the hate and injustice of the world, how will you support the liberation of others?
How will you allow God’s love to “fully form” in you this week?
Let us end with a benediction.
Vox community, so spacious is the
Messiah that everything can find its
proper place in Him without crowding.
All the broken and dislocated
pieces of the universe
get properly fixed
and fit together
in perfect vibrant harmonies
through His love
and sacrifice for all.
Messiah, bring your friendship
into our communities.
Bring your life and liberty and laughter
to those who’ve been without it for far too long.
Forgive our sins,
and our sins against one another,
and our sins against your earth and all creation.
For we know our enmity affects the environment.
To you, our Provider and Sustainer,
we pray and give thanks,
Go in peace, and live the church.
May you find community and belonging throughout the week.
[Photo by Imanuel Reza Setyo]