Monthly Archives: March 2012
Our help is in the name of the Lord who birthed Heaven and earth!
Call to Worship:
“Where can we go from your spirit? Or where can we flee from your presence? If we ascend to heaven, you are there; if we make a bed in Sheol, you are there. If we take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead us, and your right hand shall hold your people fast. If we say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover us, and the light around us become night’, even the darkness is not dark to you; For it was you who formed our inward parts; you knit each one together in our mothers’ wombs! We praise you! For we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that we know very well. ” (adapted from Psalm 139: 7-14)
Prayer of Confession
“From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens ” (Job 38:29)
God who birthed heaven and earth
God in whom all things dwell
Do forgive us for the the sins we attempt to hide in the darkness.
But moreover, have compassion on us like a mother has compassion on her offspring,
Compassion on us for the many things we do in the light of day
Things we do without any cognizance of the destruction we are reaping upon our planet,
Upon our neighbors,
Upon our children
Have compassion on us oh God!?!?
For the smoke that fills our skies
For the oil that spills into our waters
For the possessions we hoard
And the waste we attempt to hide.
Have mercy on us for these tangible ways we so often fail to love our neighbor,
These tangible ways we so often fail to love our God in whom all things dwell.
We long for the day that God will be all in all.
Help us we pray to live into that future today?!?!?
Words of Comfort and Assurance
Shall I open the womb and not deliver? says the Lord; shall I, the one who delivers, shut the womb? says your God. Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her— that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast; that you may drink deeply with delight from her glorious bosom. For thus says the Lord: I will extend prosperity to her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall nurse and be carried on her arm, and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem (Isiah 66:9-13).
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Spirit that is life giver and Mother to us all,
the Spirit that shared her Son with a young Galilean woman
For our sake and that of all of the creation that holds together in her womb
Prayer for Illumination
Guide us, O God,
by your Word and Spirit,
that in your light we may see light,
in your truth find freedom,
and in your will discover your peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For Sunday March 25, 2012; Fifth Sunday in Lent
Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. Then Isaiah said: ‘Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel (Isaiah 7:10-14).
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her (Luke 1:26-38).
Proclamation & Meditation
We are not Motherless children! You are not a Motherless child! Oh Sometime indeed we may feel like it. The absence of my earthly mother is an acute pain I have felt each day since her untimely death. Some of us have been abandoned by our parents: our fathers and yes even our mothers. It happens. Many, many more of us – with perhaps less sensational stories but nonetheless similar pain – still nurse wounds from hurtful words or actions from one or both parents. Often without them even being aware of the lasting affects of their actions.
But our God – the God in who all things dwell, the God who is big enough to encompass all of creation yet imminent and intimate enough that there is nowhere we can go to escape our God’s presence – is also the God who is big enough, strong enough, close enough, self giving enough to be both Father and Mother to us all. In Christ this same God shares a Son with a young Galilean women and also becomes our brother.
A sign of God’s life giving goodness was given to Ahaz when the kingdom was in perils times. The ultimate act of God’s life giving goodness was shared with the world when it seemed that through the Pax Romana the kingdoms of this world had achieved peace.
In good times and in bad, in times of joy and times of sorrow, to orphans and to the children parents whose quiver is full, the Spirit of God comes! The Spirit does not come and share Christ so that we can be taken away from the misguided or even evil practices of the kingdoms of this world. Neither does the Spirit come and share her only Son so that we may escape the pain of our earthly families. The Spirit came and still comes to bring new life to this world, to what is already here, broken as it may be. The Spirit comes and shares her son so that we may become agents of transformation in the kingdoms of this world. The Spirit comes that we may forgive the mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters that wounded us.
The Spirit breathes life on us! In this Spirit we live and move and have our being!
We are not Motherless children! You are not a Motherless Child!