Service on Sunday May 19 at 11 am
Call to Worship Litany
(inspired by John 13:34-35)
Let us all pray:
Jesus has given us a new commandment:
We are commanded to love one another.
Just as Christ has loved us,
So we ought to have love, respect, for one another.
By this, everyone will know we are Christ’s disciples:
By our love for one another, By our love for our neighbor and by our love for creation.
Come, may we join our hearts in worship:
Worship God by loving one another.
One True God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever more. Amen
1Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host! Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars! 4 Praise him, you highest heavens, and your waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded, and they were created. He established them forever and ever; he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed. - Praise the Lord!
Reflection on Psalm 148:
With the voice and the song of the Old Psalm 148 we sing our praise this Sunday morning. This is how we should begin every morning. This is how we should embrace every new day. This is how we should praise the creator of heaven and earth, the stars, the moon and the sun, and al living creatures every morning when we rise. “Praise the Lord” the old Psalmist sang. “O Day full of Grace” we sing.
“As birds in the morning sing God’s praise,
his fatherly love we cherish, for giving to us this day of grace, for life that shall never perish.
His church he has kept these thousand years, and hungering souls did nourish…”
This is how we embrace this morning – and especially our Sunday mornings in church. With praise, With faith, With song. With hope. With love.
These past weeks I have been reading a wonderful book called “Searching for Sunday: Loving, leaving and finding the church.” The book is written by author Rachel Held Evans. It is a wonderful testament of faith and search written by a beautiful young woman, mother, and wife who died on May 4 at the age of 38.
From Searching for Sunday,
But if I’ve learned anything in this journey, both in writing this book and clumsily living its content, it’s that Sunday morning sneaks up on us—like dawn, like resurrection, like the sun that rises a ribbon at a time.
We expect a trumpet and a triumphant entry, but as always, God surprises us by showing up in ordinary things: in bread, in wine, in water, in words, in sickness, in healing, in death, in a manger of hay, in a mother’s womb, in an empty tomb.
Church isn’t some community you join or some place you arrive. Church is what happens when someone taps you on the shoulder and whispers in your ear, pay attention, this is holy ground; God is here.
So, we sing about the day full of grace and we give praise to the lord of Heavens and Earth.
Let us confess our Christian Faith:
Gospel: John 13.31-35 The New Commandment
When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him,[j] God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now, I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Reflection on John 13 Love one another
There are so many kinds of love. The love for your children. The love for your spouse. The love of family and friends. The love of church and community. The love of country.
In a wonderful Essay by Belinda Luscombe in Time Magazine last week, “Love your spouse more” a shorter reflection on a book called: “Marrigeology: the art and science of staying together.”
“Parents’ love for their children can make them do peculiar things. Like staying up until 1 am gluing glitter on a second-grade class project. Or driving 40 miles to deliver a singe soccer cleat. Or, perhaps, bribing their teenager’s way into a fancy college. But one of the weirdest things parents do is love their children more than their partners.”
Oh, that hit! Right in the heart of a mother hen!
The essay continues:
“Of course, you have to love your kids. Of course, you must put their needs first. But doing so is also a no-brainer. Children, with their urgent and often tricky-to-ascertain needs, easily attract devotion. Spouses dot need to be fed and dressed or have their tears dried and are nowhere near as cute! Loving your kids is like going to school – you don’t really have a choice. Loving your spouse is like going to college – it is up to you to show up and participate.”
The young author Rachel held Evans who died May 4 at the age of 38, leaving two small children behind and a loving husband, - left a legacy behind of faith and commitment. Even if she was struggling with church, she never lost her faith in God – as a loving, caring, compassionate God who made us in his image and likeness, to live and love like him. Rachel wrote:
“We could not become like God, so God became like us. God showed us how to heal instead of kill,
how to mend instead of destroying,
how to love instead of hate,
how to live instead of long for more.
When we nailed God to a tree, God forgave. And when we buried God in the ground, God got up.”
― Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
“I give you a new commandment that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”