Welcome, Vox family, welcome, welcome.
It is well, that we come together.
Through the sound of the music,
The faces and voices of those on the screen,
The loved ones singing, sitting, or playing next to us,
The stillness of being by oneself,
The ache of grief for who you long to be seated next to,
Perhaps the fur companion cozied beside you,
The scripture that will be read,
The message that will be spoken,
The prayers of gratitude and request that will be made,
The bread and juice or whatever is handy that will be taken,
We are together.
Even in loneliness may we breathe a little more
lightly around the often breathe-restricting
sensation of loneliness and grief.
As we remember that in the now, our senses connect us.
We together are God’s offer of hope in this season where
many are on empty, weighed down,
and of deep thirst for connection.
May we practice being hope to one another
in the kindness and truthfulness of our
smiles, tears, laughter, amends, and silence.
In the name of God, our loving Father,
Christ, our bold example,
And Holy Spirit, our gentle inner whisper.
We invite you to hear from the Gospel of Luke 4: 21-22 and 24-30.
21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has
been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 All spoke well of him and
were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.
They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”
24 And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in
the prophet’s hometown. 25 But the truth is, there were many
widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was
shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe
famine over all the land; 26 yet Elijah was sent to none of
them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon.
27 There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet
Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”
28 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage.
29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him
to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so
that they might hurl him off the cliff. 30 But he passed
through the midst of them and went on his way.
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.
Homily and Reflection
Where or what within your internal world are you struggling to be present?
How might you be invited to exercise power through peacemaking this week?
God who is beyond all human identity and groups,
Yet who so beautifully lives in all,
Shine on us your gentle prophet Spirit this week.
Be our softening where we are hard
And our limits where we’ve run dry.
Unfold our tightly gripped goodness and grief
That have long gone without the light of day.
Fold in that in us which we are just learning
To hold with tenderness.
May we grow in being present toward
ourselves, each other, and our community.
In the name of God, our merciful Mother,
Christ, our fierce and wise truth-teller,
And Holy Spirit, our reminder to breathe.
Go in peace, and live the church.
May you find belonging and community this week.
[Photo by Milo Weiler]