January 15, 2023

Liturgy, Reflection, Benediction 2023.1.15


We receive invitations for a new year.
Be more impressive, disciplined, & accomplished
Be less mediocre, unrestrained, & incapable

We set familiar goals, even if the goal is to set no goals.
We hope for the magic combination of inspiration & perspiration,
and we should all over ourselves.

Behold! Look! Here!
There’s more than meets the eye.
We’re invited into another way.
Let us come and see!

We crave wholeheartedness, aliveness, and clarity of purpose,
We seek steadfastness in our communal work of liberation love.

We also sense our need for rest and (re)creation
Our need for tender care of our bodies & sense of belonging.

Behold! Look! Here!
There’s more than meets the eye.
We’re invited into another way.
Let us come and see!

Let us listen to the conversation of competing desires.
Guide us beyond either/or thinking and living.

May we marvel at the mystery of God’s vulnerability
Allow this paradox to usher us into both/and being.
Humbly lead us to greater freedom in our lives and world.

In the name of the Lord of the Heavens,
the Lamb of God who dismantles sin structures
And the Spirit who initiates us into abundant life.

Scripture Reading

We invite you to hear from the gospel of John 1: 35-42.

35 The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and as he watched Jesus walk by he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.

38 When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and see,” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.

40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (Which is translated Anointed). 42 He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).

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 – Immersed in the Way of Christ 1.15.2023

How might we sit in the tension of the paradox of Christ?

How can we intentionally make space to listen?

What ways can we foster community towards transformation?


Let us close with a benediction.

Go now from this place, looking at those around
you as reminders of your own salvation.

In faithfulness, treat everyone you meet with kindness,
as though they had something to teach you about yourself.

Welcome these lessons, as best you can,
with open hands, receptive to the work
God is doing in your heart.

Explore the wilderness and know
you’ll never be lost; you’re tethered
forever to the One who loves you,
gave you breath, and watches
over you at every moment.

So go, praising the name
of the Father,
of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit,

(Sarah Berson)

Go in peace and live the church.
May you find community and belonging.
See you throughout the week.

[ Photo by Will Esayenko ]

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