Beloved community, let’s begin our time
together with a calming, restorative breath.
The old stories of this earth repeat
again and again: War and rumors of war,
Bombs, bloodshed, and destruction.
Oh God, hear our lament.
The old stories repeat:
Children removed from their families,
refugees fleeing their homes,
The land stolen and exploited.
Oh God, hear our lament.
The old stories fail us. These are
the stories of the broken systems
of men. Yet the story of Christ is
our anecdote and promise: the holy
response, the beautiful relief, the sacred coda.
Oh God, this morning, remind us:
Christ Jesus is writing a new story
with us and in us. Together, may we
build Jesus’ upside-down Kingdom
and fill this tired, dying earth with
life, hope and redemption.
This we pray in the name
of the triune God,
Holy in One,
We invite you to hear from the Gospel of Luke 9: 28-40.
28 …Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on
the mountain to pray. 29 And while he was praying, the appearance
of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.
30 Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. 31 They appeared
in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at
Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but
since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.
… a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified
as they entered the cloud. 35 Then from the cloud came a voice
that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”
When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent
and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen. 37 On the
next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a man from the
crowd shouted, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son; he is my only child.
39 Suddenly a spirit seizes him, and all at once he shrieks. It convulses
him until he foams at the mouth; it mauls him and will scarcely leave him.
40 I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.”
The Word 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
What are “old stories” in your lives that you’re holding on to?
What would new versions of these stories look like if you could perceive them differently?
God of Yesterday,
we knew you then:
your promises; your words;
your walking among us.
But yesterday is gone.
And so, today, we are in need of change.
and change us.
Help us see life now
not through yesterday’s stories
but through today’s.
With the hope of
God who creates,
Christ who saves,
And the Holy Spirit,
who advocates and guides.
(Selection from “Prayers in Times of Change” by Padraig O’Tauma)
Go in peace, and live the church.
May you find belonging and community this week.
[Photo by OJ]