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

[CHPC] sermon: "God--Our Rock of Refuge" [2007-08-26]

This was my first day back in town after flying back from the UK the previous night. I wasn't particularly taken with any of the service, but I was glad I went to church.

The Scripture readings were Psalm 71 and Luke 13:10-17, and the sermon was "God--Our Rock of Refuge." There wasn't much to it, though at least it was brief.

I am finding I prefer the Prayers of Confession of the Opening Prayers. I've never been very worship-inclined, but acknowledgement of knowingly turning away from what one knows is right very much resonates with me.

Call to Worship:
Your power and your righteousness, O God, reach the highest heavens.
You have done great things, O God, who is like you?
(Ps. 71:19)

Opening Prayer:
God of miraculous power and love, we come to you in adoration, praise, and thanksgiving! We celebrate your faithful, righteous, and powerful sovereignty over all. We rejoice in your merciful provision for our healing and wholeness in Jesus. We give thanks to you for the fullness of our life, talents for serving, capacity for love, by which we are blessed every day. To you we lift up our hearts and voices and ask that in our worship you may be revealed to us anew. Amen.
(D. Currie, adapted)

Prayed of Confession:
Gracious God, have mercy on us. We confess that we have turned from you and given ourselves into the power of sin. We are truly sorry and humbly repent. In your compassion forgive us our sins, known and unknown, things we have done and things we have failed to do. Turn us again to you, and uphold us by your Spirit, so that we may live and serve you in newness of life, with Jesus as our refuge and guide. Amen.
(Evangelical Lutheran Worship, adapted)
It took me far too long to process "our sins, known and unknown." Partly I was tired and disoriented, but also I think it's largely that when I do wrong, I am usually very conscious of the fact that I am turning away from God's Will, so the reminder that we can do bad things without even meaning to requires some adjustment of my brain.
(I'm also uncomfortable with the phrasing "given ourselves into the power of sin," but I haven't fully hashed out what my beliefs are is on sentient evil, etc.)

The Anthem was "As the deer craves running water..." which I feel like we do here all the time. (I don't have a problem with the hymn, it's very pretty, the repetition just weirds me out.

As I mentioned, the post-sermon hymn was "Great Is Your Faithfulness."

(Non-memorable hymns from the service: "Sovereign and Transforming Grace" and "All My Hope on God is Founded.")

During the Prayers of the People, Karl (possibly rephrasing something one of the parishioners had lifted up, I forget) said something re: Iraq, about "the ridiculous and criminal situation that we've gotten ourselves into over there." I sighed internally.

We now end with a "Dona Nobis Pacem" which isn't in our hymnals so apparently the congregation got taught it while I was away. The repetition of words is printed in the bulletin, but the melody(?) keeps changing throughout the course of it, which frustrates me.

On the back of the bulletin:

All that matters is to be at one with the living God
To be a creature in the house of the God of Life.

Like a cat asleep on a chair
at peace, in peace
and at one with the master of the house, with the mistress,
at home, at home in the house of the living,
sleeping on the hearth, and yawning before the fire.

Sleeping on the hearth of the living world,
yawning at home before the fire of life
feeling the presence of the living Godlike a great reassurance
a deep calm in the heart
a presence
as of a master sitting at the board
in his own and greater being,
in the house of life.

--D.H. Lawrence


After service, Sarah told me about how I'd been on the list to do the Scripture reading (I said I'd switched with someone, didn't mention that I had switched to the day she preached) and Karl was like, "Who's 'E. Sweeny*'?" and asking people and it was literally two weeks later that someone finally realized it was me. I laughed.
*Yeah, the "Church Assignments" (Scripture / Focus on Mission / Coffee hour / Nursery backup) are listed in the monthly newsletter all First Initial. Last Name, which I have never liked.

During Coffee Hour, Liz said to me, "We have to get you on some committees. Put your intelligence and energy to good use."
This is ironic for a number of reasons -- including the fact that I was definitely not feeling energetic that morning. (Also, the Focus on Mission that morning was Paul talking about the Peace, Justice, and Mission Committee, to the very name of which my immediate internal reaction was an automatic "That is so not me.")
Tags: church: somerville: clarendon hill presb

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