Friends and siblings,
Welcome to this sacred place this morning.
Let us pause for a moment to be still and breathe.
[Take a moment for the congregation to take a breath]
Today, when we are challenged,
may we be receptive to the Spirit’s moving.
When we are humbled,
may we make room for God’s healing and grace.
When we face difficult emotions and trying situations,
may we welcome these experiences and learn from them.
When we are filled with fear, sorrow, or grief,
may we experience God’s abounding love.
This morning, dear friends, make some space to
contemplate and care for yourselves,
so that the change we experience here
may spread into our homes, workplaces, and city.
We pray In the name of God, our Creator,
Jesus, our Savior,
And the Holy Spirit, our Breath of Life.
We invite you to hear from the gospel of John 21:18-22
18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”
20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; he was the one who had reclined next to Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” 21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!”
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
Homily Podcast – Engaging Tension with Humility 9.24.2023
Where in your life are you fleeing from tension?
Which of these unresolvable tensions calls to you the most??
Which of the unresolvable tensions feels most pressing to engage in personally? Corporately?
May God grant us the patience of a learner,
To sit in the tension between
What is known and not known yet—
The tediousness of unlearning and relearning
What was understood before the plates shifted
And the continents settled.
May Christ grant us stamina as we walk the the labyrinth of a learner,
Until the way opens up inside us.
For the road is long,
Therefore let us companion one another
Thrilled to explore the interior of our mind
Where the landscape is always changing.
And may the Spirit grant us courage as we risk
Stepping out on limbs which have not yet been tested.
For to learn is to be vulnerable
And a drop of cynicism can poison the body;
Therefore, let us be the anti-venom which makes one another bold,
For learning is always a sacred act, and failure need never be fatal.
In the name of God our Teacher,
Christ our Companion,
And the Spirit of all wisdom,
(Gena St. David)
[Photo by Tomas Robertson ]