Rejoicing in Prison

Imprisoned, Paul would be without food gifts from outside its walls.
The Philippian church held him in their hearts and shared God’s grace with him in his imprisonment.

Imprisoned, Paul kept focused on sharing the Good News with those around him.
I want you to know, beloved, that what has happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel. (Philippians 1:12 NRSV)

Partnered with the Philippians, Paul proclaimed the gospel out of love.
In the midst of his own suffering Paul rejoiced in the One whose love endures.

Let us worship as a true community that loves those like us
and those who are not like us.
those who sin against us
and those who we have sinned against.

Let us remain focused on the journey Christ sets before us.
Amen.

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Posted in Philippians, Philippians 1, Philippians 1:1-18, Uncategorized

Miraculous & Mysterious Things

The stone was rolled away.
Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, Rabbouni” (which means Teacher). (John 20:16 CEB)

Mary was in the presence of the transforming Jesus.
Mary Magdalene left and announced to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord.” (John 20:18a CEB)

The risen Christ appeared to the disciples in hiding.
He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:22 CEB)

But Thomas wasn’t there.
But he replied, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my finger in the wounds left by the nails, and put my hand into his side, I won’t believe.”  (John 20:25b CEB)

After eight days the risen Christ appeared again saying, “peace be with you.”
He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here. Look at my hands. Put your hand into my side. No more disbelief. Believe!” (John 20:27 CEB)

Miraculous and mysterious things occurred.
We doubt and believe. We doubt and worship. We gather to grow and learn and be transformed through doubt & questioning.

Posted in Easter, Eastertide, John, John 20, John 20:19-31, New Testament, Uncategorized

Listen! Do You Perceive It?

Listen! Do you perceive it?
That’s God calling to us. Let us choose to respond together in true community.

We are just ordinary people filled with flaws and imperfections.
Yet we are God’s chosen instruments. 

In worship and our actions, may we be worthy of our callings.
We turn to scripture, to one another, and to God that we may be equipped to do the work before us. 

Posted in Acts, Acts 9, Acts 9:1-19, Call to Worship, Uncategorized

Journey to Damascus

Wherever we are in along the road…
God sojourns alongside us.

In our confusion and our distress, in our joy and excitement…
God feels our emotions with us.

In our fragmented world, so desperately in need of hope and healing…
God calls us to a new way of being. God calls us to be transformed by the extravagant love which overcomes even death.

Praise be to God! Praise be to Jesus!
Shine, Jesus, Shine!

Suggested follow-up hymn: Shine, Jesus, Shine (#39 in Chalice Praise)

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Posted in Acts, Acts 9, Acts 9:1-19, Call to Worship, Uncategorized

The Continuously Creating Love

Creating One, in all your magnificence you are changing and adapting in relationship with us and all of creation. We see this in your great rivers which change courses in response to cliffs. We see this in the chameleon’s adaptive color changes. Like rivers and creatures of all types, we are continually made and remade by your loving spirit. Reflecting your image, we are our most authentic selves when we live into your dreams for us. May we perceive your loving lure as we live into relationships which reflect your creating, transforming essence. May each of us, perceive you within the journeys of our neighbors whether cisgender or transgender. May we fully affirm the transforming pilgrimage in ourselves and others as full evidence of your glory. We are all your people. May our movement throughout our lifespan, radiate your continuously creating essence.   For this inexplicable touch of love, we are grateful. Amen.

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Posted in Prayers, Uncategorized

Palm/Passion Sunday Liturgy (Journey)

Prelude

Welcome

Invocation responsive

In this very room, we feel your divine breath that blew across the waters. You move in and out of our lungs. You seek to touch our hearts and minds, awaiting our response to your boundless love and dreams for humanity.  Your confidence in us is revealed in your persistence. May we be worthy. May we perceive your Spirit as she lures us ever toward you within the unfolding realm of hope, peace, justice, and boundless love.
May we follow the beckoning Spirit this morning and beyond. Amen.

Journey to Jerusalem

*Call to Worship responsive

We’ve been on a journey for five weeks now.
We began with ashes, reminders that we are created from the earth.
And that it is God who breathes life into us.

We traveled with Jesus who is the gate for us to a better way. He called Lazarus out of the tomb telling us to unbind him.
He reminded us that God’s unfolding realm on earth requires our participation.

With Jesus riding a colt, we arrive in Jerusalem today on that morning when the palms waved and all seemed right in the world. The full manifestation of the kingdom seemed imminent.
We glimpsed the kingdom of God on that day. 

*Sacred Words John 12:12-13 CEB

12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him. They shouted, “Hosanna! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the king of Israel!”

*Hymn Ride On, Ride On in Majesty! #191 v. 1 & 2 (Chalice Hymnal)

Journey with Others

Call to Servanthood responsive

On our journey we traveled through the upper room where Jesus shows us that the path to liberation, joy, & justice is through radical servanthood.
Jesus turns the ways of the world upside down. Love of neighbor and expanding hope & justice are cornerstones in the unfolding kingdom on earth.

Hymn Make Me a Servant #99 (Chalice Praise)

 

Sacred Words John 13:1-9 CEB

Before the Festival of Passover, Jesus knew that his time had come to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them fully.

2 Jesus and his disciples were sharing the evening meal. The devil had already provoked Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew the Father had given everything into his hands and that he had come from God and was returning to God. 4 So he got up from the table and took off his robes. Picking up a linen towel, he tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he was wearing. 6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand what I’m doing now, but you will understand later.”

8 “No!” Peter said. “You will never wash my feet!”

Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t have a place with me.”

9 Simon Peter said, “Lord, not only my feet but also my hands and my head!”

Offering                                                                                                                                                                                    Invitation
Offertory
Doxology together
Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Circling through earth so all may grow
Vanquishing fear so all may give
Widening grace so all may live. Amen. (traditional tune, words from Eric Law)

The Lord’s Table 
Invitation
Hymn Here is Bread # 161 (Chalice Praise)
Words of Institution                               
Prayer
Distribution
Please take a piece of bread and dip in the center cup as it is passed to you. All bread is gluten-free.

Journey to the Cross

Call to the Cross responsive

Fearful in the midst of a harsh world, clinging to an illusion of their power under the thumb of Rome, the leaders of the Temple manipulate an unjust system to be rid of Jesus.
Jesus is mocked and whipped.

Throughout his suffering, Jesus remains calm and at peace. Trusting God, he follows his calling despite the looming cross.
The trial of Jesus before Pilate and the Temple leaders comes to a conclusion. Christ is crucified!

Sacred Words John 19:16b-22 CEB

16 Then Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified. The soldiers took Jesus prisoner. 17 Carrying his cross by himself, he went out to a place called Skull Place (in Aramaic, Golgotha). 18 That’s where they crucified him—and two others with him, one on each side and Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate had a public notice written and posted on the cross. It read “Jesus the Nazarene, the king of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city and it was written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. 21 Therefore, the Jewish chief priests complained to Pilate, “Don’t write, ‘The king of the Jews’ but ‘This man said, “I am the king of the Jews.”’”

22 Pilate answered, “What I’ve written, I’ve written.”

Hymn Were You There? #198 v. 1 & 2 (Chalice Hymnal)

Call to Hope responsive

Because we’ve journeyed with Jesus, because the breath of God is our very lifeblood we know this will not be the end of the story. Let us pray:
In this world of deep hurt & hatred, of poverty & hunger, alienation & greed, and of human frailty of body & spirit, we turn to you. We celebrate with palms, break bread assured of your love, strive to be radical servants, and grieve at the crucifixions all around us. Fill us with the confidence and peacefulness of Jesus. We long to be hopeful in the knowledge of the coming resurrection. Amen.

Journey Outward

*Sacred Words John 13:31a, 34 CEB

31 When Judas was gone, Jesus said…34 “I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other.

*Hymn of Commitment Just As I Am, Without One Plea  #339 v. 1 & 4 (Chalice Hymnal)

*Benediction

Posted in Holy Week, John, John 12, John 12:12-13, John 13, John 13:1-9, John 19, John 19:16b-22, Liturgies, Liturgy, Palm Sunday, Palm/Passion Sunday, Passion Sunday, Uncategorized

Invocation: Alpha & Omega

Invocation responsive

In this very room, we feel your divine breath that blew across the waters. You move in and out of our lungs. You seek to touch our hearts and minds, awaiting our response to your boundless love and dreams for humanity.  Your confidence in us is revealed in your persistence. May we be worthy. May we perceive your Spirit as she lures us ever toward you within the unfolding realm of hope, peace, justice, and boundless love.

May we follow the beckoning Spirit this morning and beyond. Amen.

Posted in Invocation, Palm/Passion Sunday, Uncategorized
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All materials by Tim Graves unless otherwise noted. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/

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