Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

Rest and Bread ("Labor")

I got there around 5:30 and went up to Laura Ruth's office 'cause I'd said I could help set up since Keith had said last week that he thought he might be running late this week.  I saw both of them up there already, so I went back downstairs to sit outside in the beautiful weather and read.

About twenty minutes later they came down, and Laura Ruth stuck her head out the door and said, "Hi, beauty."

At the opening of the service, Laura Ruth talked about how they always welcome input (including words of encouragement) on the service, and they've made a couple of changes for this week -- including adding a comma where there wasn't one before but should have been.  I grinned, because that was totally my input.  Someone (Mary?) said, "But not a period."  There was general laughter.

The Psalm was Psalm 127.  Excerpt:
1 Unless God builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.  Unless God guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain.

2 It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for God gives sleep to God's beloved.
The Sacred Text was from Ecclesiastes.

Keith did the Reflection.  He quoted the bit about "the harvest is plenty but the workers are few."  He said that Jesus calls people to take up their cross and leave their family, but he also promises life abundant, so the kingdom must not just be drudgery, there must be some joy there.  I looked at Laura Ruth and grinned.  He talked about "Hevel," which sometimes gets translated "vanity" but is more accurately translated "vapor" or "emptiness."  He reminded us that our work here is transitory, said this can be comforting to people who are not fulfilled by the jobs that they have, and is also a good reminder for those of us who can tend to identify ourselves by our work.

Edit: I forgot to mention that in the Prayers of petition, Laura Ruth lifted up "the daughter of the vice-presidential candidate," who "has become a symbol of something much greater than she." I literally said, "Thank you," sort of softly, right at the time, and after service I thanked her directly, saying I had wanted to lift that up but couldn't figure out how to articulate it. /edit

As we began to serve each other Communion, Laura Ruth began to sing, "Stay here and keep watch with me.  Watch and pray."  Whoa, Tenebrae.  I was distracted by trying to get the words right because I kept wanting to do the version I knew from CAUMC/CWM, but it was really powerful, really making present the Last Supper.

In the Benediction, Laura Ruth said, "Work is good.  But drink wine ... God approves."
Tags: church: somerville: ucc: rest and bread, people: church: keith, people: pastors: laura ruth

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