November 13, 2022

Liturgy, Reflection, Benediction 2022.11.13

Let us begin our liturgy in prayer as a community.
Our response will be highlighted in yellow.

When we think we have it figured out, know what’s
coming, see the story with total certainty, may we
consider the possibility we have veiled our hearts
to God’s ongoing work – a work that transcends time,
place, and culture and draws the circle always wider.

Together may we follow Christ, and in Christ
may we open our hearts to God’s eternal work.

Enticed by a culture of witty blurbs, memes and taglines,
we fall prey to a contextless murk – a cacophony of shouting
voices, flashy manifestos, and elusive expectations – and
there we stop our breath. We tire. Alone, we burn out.

Together may we follow Christ, and in Christ
may we surrender our fears and our egos.
Together we search for wholeness.

When we believe we are
more than the sum of our labels,
more than the images we project,
then our creative minds are opened
to work in unforeseen ways
for God’s Goodness and Peace.

Together may we follow Christ, and in
Christ may we love and live in freedom.
In the name of the Holy Triune –
our breath, our hope, and our guide, amen.


(Crystal Franz)

Scripture Reading

We invite you to hear from the Gospel of Luke 21.

5 When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned
with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, 6 “As for
these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone
will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.”

7 They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be
the sign that this is about to take place?” 8 And he said, “Beware
that you are not led astray, for many will come in my name and say,
‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them.

10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation and
kingdom against kingdom; 11 there will be great earthquakes
and in various places famines and plagues, and there will be
dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.

12 “But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you;
they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be
brought before kings and governors because of my name. 13 This
will give you an opportunity to testify.

17 You will be hated by all because of my name.
18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By
your endurance you will gain your souls.

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

Homily Podcast – Recounting Goodness 11.13.2022

How might the name of Jesus guide and ground you in chaotic and troubling times?

Where might you be led astray by easy answers, charismatic personalities, shiny spectacles, or a group to scapegoat?

What is essential about your life that you must not betray in challenging times?

Benediction

Our tiny worlds spin at a dizzying pace,
yet our Almighty Alpha and Omega does
not speed, nor slow to a stop, but rather
abides with us, envelops us, fills us,
and carries us into the deep.

Christ – bring order to chaos
and sooth our madness.
We invite the love of Christ to ease
the tension we hold in our hearts
in our relationships and in our communities.

We yield our lives to Christ, growing inwards
towards the center – God’s dwelling place –
God’s love stretching evermore outwards,
touching always the fringes, the unloved,
and the lonely.

As the circle widens and boundaries
vanish around the rim, left within are
childlike faces, waiting anxiously to be
loved, received, healed, and accepted.

We believe it can be so – help us face our doubts.
Christ – restore our faith in the power of your name.
May our community widen the circle.

We pray in the name of our Loving God,
Healing Christ, and Uniting Spirit, amen.

Go in peace, and live the church.
May you find community and belonging this week.


(Crystal Franz)

[ Photo by David Garry ]

This post needs your thoughts.