God, good beyond all that is good,
fair beyond all that is fair, in you is
calmness, peace, and concord.
Heal the dissensions that divide us from one
another, and bring us back to a unity of love,
bearing some likeness to your divine nature.
Through the embrace of love and the bonds of
Godly affection, make us one in the Spirit by
your peace which makes all things peaceful.
We ask this through the
grace, mercy, and tenderness
of the Holy Compassionate One,
of the Crucified Lord,
and of the Searching Spirit.
We invite you to hear from the book of 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17-18
10 Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you but that you be knit together in the same mind and the same purpose. 11 For it has been made clear to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters.
12 What I mean is that each of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” 13 Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel—and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power. 18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
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
Where do you experience the wounds of severed community?
How might the cruciform power of Jesus bring care to your pain?
What creative redemptive foolishness might you be invited to participate in?
Let us close with a benediction.
Where there is separation,
there is pain.
And where there is pain,
there is story.
And where there is story,
there is understanding,
and not listening.
May we − separated peoples, estranged strangers,
unfriended families, divided communities −
turn toward each other,
and turn toward our stories,
with argument and acceptance,
with challenge, change
Because if God is to be found,
God will be found
in the space
(Pádraig Ó Tuama)
Go in peace and live the church.
May you find community and belonging.
See you throughout the week.
[ Photo by Kris Atomic ]