May 5, 2024

Liturgy, Reflection & Benediction 2024.05.05


Beloved community, let’s begin our time
together with a calming, restorative breath.
[Pause for the congregation to 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 antidote 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, justice and redemption.
This we pray in the name of
God, the Creative Mother,
Jesus, the Righter of Wrongs,
The Spirit, our Friend and Guide.

(Vox Prayer Team)

Scripture Reading

We invite you to hear from the Gospel according to John 15:9-16

9 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have
kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 I have said
these things to you so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may
be complete.12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as
I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s
life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command
you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does
not know what the master is doing, but I have called you friends, because
I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go
and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever
you ask him in my name.

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
The grass withers and the flower fades,
but the Word of the Lord endures forever.

(Vox Prayer Team)

Homily & Reflection

Podcast: Make Yourselves At Home In Love

In what ways do Jesus’ words meet and stretch you during our divisive, violent, and overwhelming times?

Are there creative yet practical ways Jesus’ example inspires you to selflessly love your neighbor and enemy? 

What hope or empowerment might come from knowing Jesus shared everything he heard from God?


Book: Renovation of the Heart in Daily Practice: Experiments in Spiritual Transformation  by Dallas Willard and Jan Johnson


God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow,
Give us hope for right now.
When we witness cruelty, violence, and injustice,
Give us courage to act rightly,
Give us your truth to name accurately,
Give us words that repair rather than attack.
Give us space for recovery and care,
Give us allies who listen and validate.
Give us strength to keep going.
We may not see all of heaven on this side today.
We may not see it tomorrow.
It may be a long, long way off.
But with courage, truth, repair, and recovery,
May we see a bit of your holy vision
enacted on this earth right now.
In the name of
God, our strong foundation,
Jesus, our courageous truth-teller,
And the Spirit, our kind, healing presence,

(Vox Prayer Team)

[Photo by Christopher Parker]

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