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

[CHPC] ("The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him.") [2007-09-02]

Karl was away, so we had a guest preacher (Tom Kepler, husband of the previous CHPC pastor). The Scripture reading was Luke 4:14-21, which his sermon was vaguely connected to. It was basically a "This is my interpretation of what Jesus was about." One of his major points was, "people are more important than rules." He talked about how you have rules which are designed to honor God and then you're also confronted with the "crying need" of another human being in distress, and you're commanded to love God but also to love your neighbor as yourself, and that Jesus' answer was always: "people are more important than rules." I was somewhat uncomfortable because Jewish law says you can break any commandment to save a life, so I felt Jewish tradition was being somewhat unfairly represented here. But I'd forgotten about this by the time service was over and I actually could have opportunity to talk to him (plus Alex was sitting behind me, so as I got up we got to talking).

Mostly what I liked was the Hindu writing he ended with (PRAISE BE to the Internet that I managed to find a full text with only the few words I had jotted down). The parts I particularly liked are bolded.
Leave this chanting and singing and telling of beads!
Whom dost thou worship in this lonely dark corner of a temple with doors all shut?
Open thine eyes and see thy God is not before thee!
He is there where the tiller is tilling the hard ground
and where the pathmaker is breaking stones.
He is with them in sun and in shower,
and his garment is covered with dust.
Put off thy holy mantle and even like him come down on the dusty soil!
Where is this deliverance to be found?
Our master himself has joyfully taken upon him the bonds of creation;
he is bound with us all for ever.

Come out of thy meditations and leave aside thy flowers and incense!
What harm is there if thy clothes become tattered and stained?
Meet him and stand by him in toil and in sweat of thy brow.

-Rabindranath Tagore

Call to Worship:
Give thanks to God, for God is good.
The steadfast love of God endures forever.

Despite what I said last Sunday, I almost liked today's Opening Prayer better than the Prayer of Confession.

Opening Prayer:
God of all delight, grant us that joy which none can take from us, of having a work to do, and a life to live; that joy in believing which will carry us through every temptation, anxiety, and grief. May we not serve you grudgingly, but with the gladness of people who delight in you and rejoice in your work. Amen.
(A New Zealand Prayer Book, adapted)

Prayer of Confession:
     We confess, O God, that we breathe the proud spirit of the world, the spirit which scorns the way of weakness, boasts of its cleverness, clings to knowledge as a means of power, and seeks to prove its worth by belittling others.
     Your wisdom unsettles our values and compels our love. Forgive us and fill us with the desire to search for your truth, that being content to be fools for Christ's sake, we may transform the world. Amen.
(Book of Common Order, Church of Scotland)

We sang the Gloria, and Tom said, "I've never heard that before, and I want to hear it again," so we sang it again :) It's neither the tune nor the exact words I grew up with, but I've grown fond of it (especially because it's so up-beat). "Glory to God the Creator, and to the Christ, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. Amen."

It was Communion Sunday, and I felt almost insulted eating the cube of bread (which tasted almost bordering on stale feeling, since it was white bread that had just been sitting out in the air) like, "This is the body of Christ? You've gotta be kidding me!" I was away for August's Communion Sunday, so I honestly don't know the last time I had traditional Communion. I've gotten used to CWM's loaf method.

(I did like that in the Communion liturgy it said, "On the night before he met his death.")
Tags: church: somerville: clarendon hill presb

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