Holy One, we your children gather to worship, to draw close to your holy spark within each of us, to let our light shine, as Jesus encouraged us. We gather at this time in history, nearly 500 years since this branch of the Christian tree first developed its tentative shoot from the trunk of faith. Now, as then, we ask, `What are you showing us God?’ and how then shall we live; what are you calling us to do and be?’
Help us as a community of faith to be more courageous than cautious, to pursue peace by working for justice, to find where our deep joy meets the world’s hunger for meaning. May we learn from the mistakes as well as the faithful steps of Christ’s followers through the years, and may we in turn live boldly, love deeply, and share the good news of your love in ways that will bless the world. Amen.
Introduction to picture Presentation:
Looking Back to See Ahead
Jesus surely didn’t have the Protestant Reformation in mind when he told this parable, but the Reformation may well be seen in light of this wee story. Just like the Pharisee in the story, the leadership of the church in the 16th century was `Complacently pleased’ with themselves, and were quick to label others negatively so they did not have to feel responsible to them. The Reformers didn’t intend to start a new denomination, but rather to bring their church back to the gospel and away from self-righteous political and religious power. So… let’s travel back to the Reformation and see what we might learn for our time and place. How can we be humble, curious and faithful in our day?
- · The main part of the worship service involved watching a picture presentation of a Spiritual pilgrimage to France, Switzerland and Scotland, which Juanita and Jim attended in July 2012. We witnessed the historical the theological developments that happened, primarily through the work of Jean Calvin and John Knox, and ended up reflecting on the questions: What is God showing me in my community? What is God asking us to do about it?