When in Doubt: #Prayer Resource #Jesus Condemned

John 19:1-16a and Psalm 146

Call to Worship: Lord we come here for sanctuary Knowing the world is not always safe, we turn to you I will not put my trust in the power of mortals or princes I put my trust in the Lord, who executes justice–the one who gives food to the hungry. Breath departs and plans perish. So My hope is in God who’s promise is peace, that God I will praise all my life long. 

Prayer of Confession: Lord almighty, I confess that I feel the powers that be. I am strained by the systems, by the abuse and violence that is in the world. I am overwhelmed. So help me to turn to you Lord Jesus, let me see your love, so I am not only encouraged but also empowered to love in the midst of hardship I pray.

Assurance of Pardon: Hear this, our God is the one who sets prisoners free, opens the eyes of the blind. Lifting up those who are bowed down and watching over the stranger. This God is the one who proclaims the truth to us: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen

Offering Prayer/Prayer of Dedication: Lord we are here, hoping to give ourselves, not to the powers and principalities of mortals, but instead to you. So that we might love and serve the Lord, so that God’s love can shine through everything we do, we pray in your most holy name. Amen.

 

 

 

Prayers and Liturgy by Pastor Katy Stenta who is the solo pastor at a bigger on the inside church in Albany, NY and enjoys reading fantasy, soaking up sunshine, playing with her three sons and visiting her husband at his work, the library.

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When in Doubt: Peter’s Denial #worship and #liturgy resource, including Communion

Prayers & Liturgy written by Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl, all available for use with credit.

More resources for Lent available here.

lent

John 18:12-27 and Psalm 17:1-7

Prayer of Great Thanksgiving

One: The Lord be with you.

Many: And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

O God, since speaking Creation into being,

you have spoken openly to the world.

You teach your people wherever they come together.

You do nothing in secret.

You speak aloud rightly to all who would hear,

You use the testimony of those who hear what you say.

Sometimes, we are able to testify to your love and your works.

At other times, we are not even sure we know you.

At times, belonging to you is a joyful affirmation.

At other times, belonging to you is more of an accusation.

We doubt our ability to stand with you when danger arises,

We are immobilized by our doubt.

But your faithfulness and love are not dependent on us.

You proclaim them regardless of our feelings and participation.

When our commitment is in doubt, your commitment is sure.

When we deny your claim on us, you claim us still.

You act with justice and mercy to redeem all creation.

In everlasting love, you choose your people as your own.

Hearing our cries of fear and doubt,

you deliver us from the house of bondage.

Loving us still, you make us heirs with Christ of the covenant.

Like a mother, you do not forsake your nursing child.

Like a father, you run to welcome your prodigals home.

ALL: You are faithful still.

Despite our unfaithfulness,

in spite of the moments when we deny you,

you claim us.

You sent your Son: born to among us as one of us.

He lived among us, full of grace and truth,

your servant and the servant of the people you created,

speaking and healing, leading and comforting.

He was crucified, one person dying for the people;

he rose from the dead, conquering death and evil,

and all that separates us from you and from each other.

He promised the full coming of your Kingdom,

and emboldened those he left behind to walk and witness to your way.

We praise you for your great and glorious work,

joining our voices with all who came before us—

prophets and martyrs, disciples and followers,

and with all the people belonging to you in every time and place,

who forever sing the glory of your name.

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,

speaking openly so all may hear.

Hosanna in the highest.

O God, send your Holy Spirit upon these gifts of bread and cup,

that they may be for us the body and blood of your Son,

joining us to him and to you and to one another.

May your faithfulness inspire our faithfulness,

making our witness potent and powerful,

enabling us to testify to being your people,

who are called to proclaim and practice all that Christ said and did.

We pray the only way we can—

through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ,

by his power, grace and mercy.

We pray in the only unity that holds:

in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

We pray to you, the only one worthy of glory and honor;

all glory and honor are yours, almighty God,

now and forever. Amen.

Prayer After Communion

Lord, we thank you that we belong to you even when we are not sure.

May this bread and cup be for us tangible evidence of our relationship to you,

showing us your call and claim on us individually

and as the church, your body.

May we offer bread and body, cup and service, to your people,

carrying them and their burdens as you have carried us.

Potential hymns:

Ah, Holy Jesus
Before the Cock Crew Twice

Bitter Was the Night

Christ, the Life of All the Living

Guide me Ever, Great Redeemer/Guide me, O Thou Great Redeemer

Here, Lord, We Take the Broken Bread

My Song is Love Unknown

O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

O Sacred Head Surrounded/O Sacred Head Now Wounded

Psalm 31:9-16

Sharing Pascal Bread and Wine/Shadows Lengthen into Night

This is The Night. Dear Friends, The Night for Weeping

‘Tis Finished! The Messiah Dies

What Wondrous Love is This  

When My Love to God Grows Weak

When We Are Tempted to Deny Your Son

Potential art

Jesus Before Caiaphas   http://www.pitts.emory.edu/dia/bridge.cfm?ID=450

The Denial of St. Peter (Carvaggio, Baroque period)

https://honorsartatthemet.ace.fordham.edu/files/original/2425ce4528557ba00b62e31482fde4e9.jpg

Denial of St. Peter by Adam de Costner (this one may be here > once; this is better image)

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=6HtF3_kMJLdxHM:

The Denial of St. Peter c. 1623

https://collections.artsmia.org/art/1886/the-denial-of-st-peter-gerrit-van-honthorst

Peter Denies Jesus But Receives God’s Forgiveness

https://hopestreamradio.com/peter-denies-jesus-but-receives-gods-forgiveness/

Peter About to Be Struck in Front of the High Priest Annas

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanhedrin_trial_of_Jesus#/media/File:Jes%C3%BAs_en_casa_de_An%C3%A1s_Museo_del_Prado_Jos%C3%A9_de_Madrazo.jpg

The Repentant Peter (El Greco)

https://www.wga.hu/support/viewer/z.html

Peter Denying Christ (Rembrandt)

http://www.abcgallery.com/R/rembrandt/rembrandt5.html

Denial of St. Peter ( (Tournier)

https://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/t/tournier/denial.html

Condemnation of Christ and the Denial of St. Peter

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=oCUme6ZMInYDZM:

Diatessaron (conflated gospels) Denial of Peter

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=tdOmyW4Y5w2bDM:

Contemporary version Denial of Peter

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=rsUOQtmJQwY7CM:

Another contemporary version

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=3K8T8EwYH0ydCM:

Church of St. Peter/Gallicantu. Jerusalem

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=shpcvwX7WpmwxM:

Contemporary Metal Sculpture at Church of St Peter/Gallicantu, Jerusalem

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=b2dmi82lx0YCDM:

Contemporary clay sculpture, Church of St. Peter/Gallicantu, Jerusalem

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=68IZNHGVFmaUBM:

Peter After His Denial of Christ

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=FbtLo-z-XdTuMM:

Denial of St. Peter (Renaissance)

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=vhurCdiQ7H0g_M:

St. Peter’s Repentance

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=rPRmbme3q4YHqM:

Black & white contemporary line drawing

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=Bwqkw2ybmpNUwM:

The Cock

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=P7yyfRA986FvXM:

Third Denial (Tissot)

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=FcppgOxJYMjxyM:

Denial of St. Peter (Preti)

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=WK7ab8w-zw-A8M:

Passion of Jesus

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=LJ8_HD4vfPZQWM:

When in Doubt: Jesus and Pilate #prayer resource

John 18:28-40 and Psalm 145:10-13

Call to Worship: God, your kingdom is everlasting, and endures throughout all generations,  All  of your works shall give thanks to you. Someday even the rocks will cry out about your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Let all your faithful bless you. The Trinity God is faithful in all of their words, and gracious in all of their deeds. Come let us worship God’s holy name. 

Prayer of Confession: God our creator, we confess that we do not understand your kingdom. We get obsessed with power and status, and forget that yours is a kingdom of grace and love. We see our own truths, and forget that yours is the greater truth of the world. Remind us of who Ruler is, and how he leads us all, we pray. Amen

Assurance of Pardon: Remember God’s love is like God’s Kingdom, from everlasting to everlasting, and that through Jesus Christ, we are forgiven from generation to generation. Amen

Prayer of Dedication/Offering Prayer: Send us into the world, to build your kingdom, working together with all of creation to bring your works to fruition. We pray this is the strength and hope of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayers and Liturgy by Pastor Katy Stenta who is the solo pastor at a bigger on the inside church in Albany, NY and enjoys reading fantasy, soaking up sunshine, playing with her three sons and visiting her husband at his work, the library.

When in Doubt: Jesus Washes Feet

John 13:1-17 and Psalm 51:7-12

Call To Worship: We come to serve Jesus, who came to serve us. Let us know the Lord. We come to be made clean, by one who will bathe us in love. Let us know the Lord. We come to be made whole, by the Holy Spirit. Let us know and worship the Lord. 

Confession: Create in me a Clean heart, O Lord. Create a right spirit within me.  Hide your face from my sins, and blot out my iniquities. Restore unto me the joy of my salvation, sustain my spirit and give me joy and gladness.

Assurance to Pardon: We are already forgiven by the God of unconditional love. Go in peace, and know that you have been made whole.

Offering Prayer/Prayer of Dedication: Let us go forth, no longer doubting that you served us so that we might know how to serve, going into the word ready to put that love to work, we pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Prayers and Liturgy by Pastor Katy Stenta who is the solo pastor at a bigger on the inside church in Albany, NY and enjoys reading fantasy, soaking up sunshine, playing with her three sons and visiting her husband at his work, the library.

When in Doubt: Jesus Raises Lazarus

John 11:1-44 and Psalm 104: 27-30

Call to Worship: God who gives us good things, so we can gather them up. Help us prepare our hearts for you. Lord Jesus who weeps with us as we weep. Give us time to mourn Holy Spirit who creates us. Create love in us today. 

 

Prayer of Confession: Lord, the waiting is hard. Too often, we cry out “if only you were here” unable to see your presence among us. We confess that sometimes we want to give it all up, to lay it all at your feet, and go home to cry. Remind us that you are here, that your healing is beyond human understanding, and that crying is sometimes the best thing to do we pray. Amen

Assurance of Pardon: Know this: When God’s hands open, good things pour out, when God’s Spirit is sent forth, we are created and our God renews the face of the ground. It is in the name of this God we know we are beloved and forgiven. Thanks be to God.

 

Offering/Dedication Prayer: Loving God, remind us, even in this season of Lent, that you are the God of resurrection. Help us to go into the world, ready to do the hard work of waiting for you we pray in your most Holy name, Amen.

Prayers and Liturgy by Pastor Katy Stenta who is the solo pastor at a bigger on the inside church in Albany, NY and enjoys reading fantasy, soaking up sunshine, playing with her three sons and visiting her husband at his work, the library.

#Selah #violence and #thecross

I love the word Selah, the untranslatable cry to God. We have guesses, but we don’t know exactly what it means

For me it translates into the prayer that we don’t know how to pray

Selah

Its the cry out on Maundy Thursday when Jesus is worried about something that we cannot yet conceive, Selah

The cry when the first Muslim judge- Sheila Abdus-Salaam-is found dead, the domestic murder of a teacher-Karen Smith-and her student-Jonathan Martinez-registers as almost normal and when an Asian man-Dr. David Dao–is assaulted to give up his airline seat. Selah.

The cry when it is revealed that one of your friends will betray your teacher, Christ. When the fellowship is still intact, but Friday is coming. Selah

The cry when your leader bombs not one but two countries in the same Fortnight. Selah

The cry when Friday is coming, and you wish this cup can be taken from your lips, but you know it can’t be, so you pray at Gethsemane, and Friday still comes. Selah.

Drought in Africa, Dirty water in Flint, Trans Man outed by a Gay Competitor, Black Lives Still Matter, Missing Teens of Color some of these prayers never seem to end. Selah.

“There’s usually a point in Holy Week when I inform God that I’m really not sure humanity was worth all that.
We’ve reached it.”-@revlucymeg. Selah.

The violence that makes up the Cross is present, its real, its stark and needs to be mourned. Selah.

Selah.

Selah.

 

 

#GoodFriday #Bulletin #Worship #liturgy

Good Friday April 14th, 2016 6:30pm

New Covenant Presbyterian Church Won’t You Be Our Neighbor?

INTRODUCTION TO THE SERVICE

The service tonight is known as the “Service of The Nails”.  It is a series of readings, responses, and silent reflection and prayer designed to help us enter more deeply into the meaning of Good Friday.   Everyone is requested to take a nail to keep it with them for use during the service. For the service, you are asked to remain seated.

 

Call to Worship  (based on Is. 52:13-15)

L  The Lord be with you.

P  And also with you

L  See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.  Just as there were many who were astonished at him–so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals– so he shall startle many nations;  kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.

THE NAIL OF STUMBLING                                           MATTHEW 26:36-45

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”  He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.  Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.  “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy.  So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.  Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

Sung Response Extinguishing the Light

      Were you there when he prayed upon the hill? 

      Were you there when he prayed in upon the hill? 

O Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

       Were you there when he prayed upon the hill?…..(silence)

Meditation and Prayer

O God – help us consider how we waver, how we seek to avoid

responsibility and to blame others for our actions.

O God – do not let us deceive ourselves. 

       Our indecision hurts us and creates walls between us and others.

                                

THE NAIL OF BETRAYAL                                       MATTHEW 26:48-56

Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.”  At once he came up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.  Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.”  Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.  Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear.  Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.  Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at  once send me more than twelve legions of angels?  But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?”  At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit?  Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me.  But all this has taken  place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.”  Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

   

Sung Response: Extinguishing the Light

Were you there when they crucified my Lord? 

      Were you there when they crucified my Lord? 

O Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

                 Were you there when they crucified my Lord?(silence)

THE NAIL OF CRUELTY                                 MATTHEW 27:27-31, 39-42

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him.  They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head.  They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”  They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head.  After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself!  If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”  In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself.  He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him.”

Sung Response Extinguishing the Light

Were you there when left him on the cross?  

      Were you there when they left him on the cross? 

O, Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

      Were you there when they left him on the cross? (silence)

Meditation and Prayer

O God – help us consider how we are cruel to others, how we malign

and slander others and add to the evil that comes upon them.

O God – do not let us deceive ourselves.  

       Our cruelty hurts us and creates walls between us and others.

RESPONSIVE READING: THE PROMISE OF MERCY       ISAIAH 53:8-13

They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.

Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.

The righteous one, God’s servant, shall make many righteous, 

   and he shall bear their iniquities. 

Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

THE NAIL OF HATRED                                          LUKE 6:22, 32-33, 44-46 “ Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.  Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. When he had said this, he breathed his last..”

Sung Response: Extinguishing the Light

Were you there when the sun refused shine?  

      Were you there when the sun refused shine? 

O, Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

                Were you there when the sun refused to shine? (silence)

Meditation and Prayer

L   O God – help us consider how we show hate to others, how we fail to

care for others and make distinctions among them.

O God – do not let us deceive ourselves.

       Our hatred hurts us and creates walls between us and others.

THE RESPONSE

ACT OF CONFESSION                                             ISAIAH 53:4-6

You are invited to have your sins nailed to the cross

Meditation and Prayer

O God – help us consider how we betray others, how we abandon

them in their time of need, how we think of ourselves first

O God – do not let us deceive ourselves.  Our acts of betrayal hurt us and           

      create walls between us and others.

Communion

The Lord be with you

And also with you

Lift up your hearts

We life them up to the Lord

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God

It is right to give our thanks and praise….(Pastoral Prayer & Lord’s Prayer)

Jesus came into the world, not to judge it, but to save it.

We are so grateful for God’s infinite love, and we celebrate with all of creation, the saving work, of our Suffering Saviour. On the night before he was nailed to the merciless cross,

Jesus shared His last meal with His friends. He took the bread, He broke it, and He gave thanks, and then He passed it among them saying,

This is my body which is broken for you. Eat it and remember Me.

He took the wine, and He gave thanks, and then He passed it among them saying,

This is my blood which is shed for you. Drink it and remember Me.

And so, we take, we eat and drink, and we remember:

There is no greater love, than this sacrifice which You, Jesus, made for us

Sung Response: Extinguishing the Light

Were you there when they crucified my Lord? 

      Were you there when they crucified my Lord? 

O Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

                 Were you there when they crucified my Lord? (silence)

(Blow out remaining Candles and Leave in silence)

Invisible People

April 3
Vision
Katy Stenta
Luke 18:35-43

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“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” Shush, says the crowd, big quiet, do not talk. This blind man, who couldn’t see Jesus, yet knew he was there. Jesus is on his way to certain death, making the final journey to Jerusalem. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on ME!” Louder, this time, and Jesus hears it. (Part of me thinks of course Jesus hears him, Jesus always hears him). The ignored one, the incomplete, imperfect one, the no-doubt-annoying-one. The fussy child who can’t sit still, the family that can never get to church on time, the elder who has a lot of trouble hearing, the one in pain, the one alone, the one who for whatever reason cannot see Jesus today. The one who can’t see Jesus, because of their perspective, the one who has to climb a tree just to see Jesus.

In a time where still people are ignored, erased or shunted to the side, in an age of constant chatter, still so many need to try out to be heard.

And then, Jesus stops. He stands still, and says not only “receive sight” but also “your faith has saved you.” We are given not only the vision, but also the salvation we need. What has been granted is so much more than “Be Thou my Vision.” We are given the time and notice and love we need—those things we need to have faith and be saved. Praise God.

Pastor Katy Stenta is the Solo at a Bigger-on-the-inside & Revitalized New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Albany, NY

 

#bless and #blessing #slatespeak #reLENTless

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Genesis 12:1-4

I was able to take a pilgrimage to Israel in Seminary and meet Archbishop of Jerusalem Father Elias Chacour, who was doing work to build schools to education Jews, Muslims & Christians together to sow peace.

Father Chacour said that “blessing” has a very active meaning in his (and Jesus’s) native tongue of Aramaic.

To be blessed, means to be called to work into God. In essence every time we read that someone is “Blessed” we should probably actually translate it as Genesis 12:2 “You are blessed, now go and be a blessing” (Read the Beatitudes this way, and I guarantee it will rock your world)

I love it. Sometimes I think I want to start a new church plant and call it

Achoo ministries

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Bless and be  Blessing

Its catching

Blessings are funky, because we try to think that they are limited. Throughout the New Testament the disciples are worried about how liberal Jesus blesses and heals people. Their attitude continues to be “shouldn’t you save some of that for later/more of it for us” As if there is a LIMIT to the amount of blessings int he world. I can imagine Jesus continually chuckling at their confusing and explaining, again, that this is not how blessings work.

The most modern parallel I can see to this is safety. In the modern era we act like there is only so much safety to go around, we have to grab our safeness “quick” before its all taken. Also, counterwise, if someone else is safe, that means we cannot also be safe, because that group has “taken up” the safety.

Objectively put, we can see how ridiculous the idea of limited safety and blessing is….but the church, and the United States continue to act as if blessing and safety are limited.

When in fact, when one person is more safe, the entire community is more safe.

When in fact when you are blessed, then you also are being called to go and be a blessing and share it out as much as possible.

How changed is our life is we act like blessings and safety (i.e. Peace) are actually from the never-ending bounty of God.

….Its catching….

#Rain #reLENTless #slatespeak

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Love is not exclusive. Everyone can love. Even this who do not believe in God, even those who are evil, the “bad guys” that my 5 year old likes to name. Even they can love the people who love them.

Look at the dictators of the world, many of them love. But then they also hate. They hate their enemies, they burn with the need to destroy.

God says to love our enemies. Love the neighbor, love the stranger, love the enemy.

The good news is there is NO gaps in the love of God.

The bad news is, there is NO gaps in the love of God.

When we go out in the storm that is God, we all get soaked in God’s love. The righteous and the righteousness all dripping with Goddroplets.

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Image: Storm Goddess

Its a funny thing, that God is the storm, and the love is the water.

And yet, maybe that’s why we get baptized in water.

To remind us, when you go out in the storm, everyone gets soaked.