One: Where the Spirit of God is, there is freedom. (2 Cor. 3:17)
All: For freedom Christ has set us free. (Gal. 5:1)
Sovereign God, ruler of all hearts, you call us to obey you, and you favor us with true freedom. Keep us faithful to the way of Jesus, that, leaving behind all that hinders us, we may steadfastly follow your will. Amen. (ELCA)
Hymn: "O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing"
This is one of those hymns which has a tune I really like and which makes me want to sing it, but which lyrics I don't feel comfortable singing because they're not true for me
Choral Call to Prayer:
You know, it annoys me that the hymn titles aren't listed for the ones the congregation doesn't sing. But this is the lovely, "Do not be afraid, I am with you. I have called you each by name."
Unison Prayer of Confession:
God of history, you have led many people to this land, and, out of conflict, created in us a love of peace and liberty. We have failed you by neglecting rights and restricting freedoms. Forgive pride that overlooks national wrong, or justifies injustice. Forgive divisions caused by prejudice or greed. Have mercy, God, on the heart of this land. Make us compassionate, fair, and helpful to each other. Raise up in us a right patriotism, that sees and seeks the good of all. Amen. (The Worshipbook, 1970)
Time For Our Children:
Karl raised the question: Should Christian people get so involved in national celebrations?
(I thought of Miles talking with someone after the memorial the previous day about how he doesn't get involved in politics -- he's a Jehovah's Witness, which he didn't tell this person.)
He said we get so many parades, speeches, etc., and he must have been getting a blank look from Corinne, 'cause he then asked the congregation if we don't really get much of that around here and said, "maybe we need to do a little bit more?", commenting how weird that feels to say.
Scripture Reading: Galatians 5:13-25
Hi, this passage troubles me with its anti-flesh thing. I'm gonna assume "flesh" is being used metaphorically, but I've gone from being v. gnostic to being v. incarnationalist (though I'm totally still gnostic sometimes), and I just really don't like the idea that all things of the body are inherently bad and are to be suppressed.
Interestingly, I plugged this into BibleGateway.com, and the NIV (my default) gives me "sinful nature" instead of "flesh."
Sermon: "Christian Freedom"
Yup, I dozed off during this one (again). Sermons that start off slow are not a good idea when I'm not getting enough sleep. He was talking about how the same word is used in Scripture and in stuff like the Die Hard movies but it doesn't mean the same thing. I was briefly awake for a bit about the freedom the Founding Fathers (who were not all Christian, he pointed out) were talking about, which privileged the individual, and Christian freedom... which doesn't.
Hymn: "Make Me a Captive, Lord"
Yeah, not a fan.
Lloyd Stone's hymn to the tune of Finlandia.
This was new to me, but I liked it a lot, and it totally felt like it could make me weep.
Full text from Wikipedia. Parts that particularly struck me bolded.
This is my song, Oh God of all the nations,I stumble over the Benedictory song when I'm not looking at the words, but with some attention I can reconstruct it from memory. And on my way to and from CWM later that day I was singing it to myself. ("Praise to the Living God, around, within, above / Beyond the grasp of human mind, but whom we know as love / In these tumultuous days, so full of hope and strife / May we bear witness to the Way, O Source and Goal of life.")
A song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my sacred shrine.
But other hearts in other lands are beating,
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.
My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
Oh hear my song, oh God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.
Postlude: "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" (again, not given in the bulletin)
I enjoyed how many of us were singing the "Alleluia" refrain and doing the syllabic sing-along for the actual words (the only line I could remember was "Christ has opened Paradise").
In the Announcements, Karl commented that Trevor had e-mailed him in response to his Forgiveness sermon, talking about how our criminal justice system is a system of punishment, and Karl said that after church he'd do an adult ed session on the topic, but that never seemed to actually happen, which Alex and I were a little disappointed by.
Sarah went to USC and Alex went to Columbia, so they were talking about the experience of having ghetto areas right near a prestigious college. She said that one of the L.A. ghettos (Compton, Watts, something else) was changing its name to something flowery like L.A.'s official full name, which of course meant when I went home I Wikipedia-ed it.
In 1781 the town was founded and was named "El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula," ("The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels on the River Porciúncula").
When I was leaving, Karl asked me if I was familiar with goth music, and I said no. He said a group called Dreamchild which was very good was gonna be performing at CHPC sometime soon (how much do I love that they host Serenata Chamber Music as well as this?). I immediately thought of Cheryl's AOL screenname, which meant I was extra-amused when he said it's two people: Frank and Cheryl. He also recommended a group called Amber Spyglass.