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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

377 Jesus: "Turn our sanctuaries and the entire world into a house of prayer and peace"

Day 377: SUNDAY, March 28th, 2021:

We Celebrate Palm Sunday: TODAY

I imagine the eyes of Jesus

Were harvest brown,

The light of their gazing

Suffused with the seasons:

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Sunday March 28th:

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Begin with Victoria, (Who welcomes all and introduces theme): Our theme tonight is:

Holy Week Through the Eyes of our brother Jesus….

I invite you to gaze at the face and eyes of Jesus, as depicted by this artist’s rendering of a Palestinian Jesus. I invite you to look outward from these eyes…see Jesus’ beloved Jerusalem and the throngs of those gathered around him, as he enters the city, and the week of High Holy Days ahead of him. “Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem coincides with the triumphal military entry of the Roman imperial representative, Pontius Pilate. On… [one] side of the walled city, Pilate rides into Jerusalem on his war chariot and his war horse, with the whole cohort of six hundred Roman soldiers, making full show of imperial force, power, war, and military triumph.

But here, on the other side of Jerusalem, Jesus rides in on a donkey—meek, humble, gentle and nonviolent. He is the opposite of the war machine…His symbolic act is bold political street theater at its finest.”* Then, only a day later, Jesus enters the Temple and engages in, and performs an act of nonviolent direct action…[Jesus] engages in peaceful civil disobedience by turning over the tables of the money changers and preventing people from coming and going.

After denouncing this “den of robbers” and calling for “a house of prayer,” he teaches the crowd the good news of love, compassion, nonviolence and justice.”* Continue to gaze at this face of Jesus, as we now listen to the words of John O’Donohue, for our Opening Blessing:

Opening Blessing: The Eyes of Jesus.

Stay with Victoria, who offers: Opening Blessing/Meditation:

The Eyes of Jesus

by John O’Donohue

I imagine the eyes of Jesus

Were harvest brown,

The light of their gazing

Suffused with the seasons:

The shadow of winter,

The mind of spring,

The blues of summer,

And amber of harvest.

A gaze that is perfect sister

To the kindness that dwells

In his beautiful hands.

The eyes of Jesus gaze on us,

Stirring in the heart’s clay

The confidence of seasons

That never lose their way to harvest.

This gaze knows the signature

Of our heartbeat, the first glimmer

From the dawn that dreamed our minds,

The crevices where thoughts grow

Long before the longing in the bone

Sends them toward the mind’s eye,

The artistry of emptiness

That knows to slow hunger

Of outside things until they weave

Into the twilight side of the heart,

A gaze full of all that is still future

Looking out for us to glimpse

The jeweled light in winter stone,

Quickening the eyes that look at us

To see through to where words

Are blind to say what we would love,

Forever falling softly on our faces,

His gaze plies the soul with light,

Laying down a luminous layer

Beneath our brief and brittle days

Until the appointed dawn comes

Assured and harvest deft

To unravel the last black knot

And we are back home in the house

That we have never left.

Switch to Reader, Beth: who offers First Reading: Zechariah 9: 9-10

Rejoice heart and soul, daughter of Zion!

Shout for joy, daughter of Jerusalem!

Look, your king is approaching,

He is vindicated and victorious,

Humble and riding ops a donkey,

On a colt, the foal of a donkey.

He will banish chariots from Ephraim

And horses from Jerusalem;

The bow of war will be banished.

He will proclaim peace to the nations,

His empire will stretch from sea to sea,

From the River to the limits of the earth.

Responsorial Psalm:

Switch to: Peter: who offers words from: Langston Hughes

I LOOK AT THE WORLD by Langston Hughes

I look at the world

From awakening eyes in a black face—

And this is what I see:

This fenced-off narrow space

Assigned to me.

I look then at the silly walls

Through dark eyes in a dark face—

And this is what I know:

That all these walls oppression builds

Will have to go!

I look at my own body

With eyes no longer blind—

And I see that my own hands can make

The world that's in my mind.

Then let us hurry, comrades,

The road to find.

Meditation Music: (Kyrie) Everyone is invited to just let this music wash over you while you listen to it.

Switch to Reader, Alice: A Gospel Reading: from the words of John Dear

(Walking the Way, pages 47-53)

[The Gospel of] Luke lists three charges against Jesus: “We found this man misleading our people; he opposes payments of taxes to Caesar, and he maintains that he is a Messiah, a king.” (Lk 23:2)

… Every Passover, the faithful made what for many was a long trek to Jerusalem and paid a hefty fee to enter God’s sanctuary…the Temple held a national bank, offered loans, kept track of debts, and changed money for “unclean” sinners so they could pay with “holy” Temple money. The money changers then added another fee for their service of changing the money. Women, poor people, and other outcasts had to purchase expensive doves so they would be “purified” for worship. The various fees robbed the poor and did so in God’s name under the greedy eye of the religious authorities and the Roman Empire.

Jesus…did not seek to reform the Temple. Through his symbolic action, he called for an end to the entire Temple system. Of course, this action and those teachings threatened and outraged the religious authorities. Their economic and political privilege would end if his teachings were adopted, so they had to get rid of him. And fast.

What does Jesus’ dramatic, illegal, nonviolent, direct action against systemic injustice mean for us? If he gave his life to confront the injustice in the Temple, what would he want his followers to do in the face of the Pentagon, Los Alamos, the School of the Americas, or our other military facilities? What would he do in the face of global corporations that hurt and threaten millions of low income people, or the forces that threaten the entire planet by hastening catastrophic climate change? What would he say about the way we have turned the entire world into a den of robbers?

…Jesus would expect his followers to take similar bold, nonviolent action for justice and peace so that we might turn our sanctuaries—and the entire world—into a house of prayer and peace.

Switch to: Victoria (who will begin with Homily Starter; and after restating the homily starter questions below, begin facilitating the Shared Homily):

Looking out from the eyes of Jesus, what insights / reflections about Jesus and/or yourself come to you about this Holy Week ahead of us?

• Using the life of Jesus as our guide, what action does it implore you/us to take?

Shared Homily: Camera switches to: those with hands raised to speak; Victoria will stay unmuted to welcome persons who will speak and thank them after they finish speaking.

Switch to Beth, who will offer, “What intentions do we bring to our table tonight?”

Switch to Co-Presiders: Beth and Alice: Offering at our Eucharistic table

( Alice ):You have filled us, and all creation, with your blessing

and fed us with your constant love;

you have redeemed us in Christ Jesus

and knit us into one body.

Through your Spirit you replenish us

and call us to the fullness of life.

( Beth )On the night before he died,

Jesus was at table with his friends.

He took bread,

gave thanks to you,

broke it, and gave it to his friends saying,

All: “This is my body, broken for you.”

( Alice )As supper was ending, Jesus took the cup of wine.

Again he gave thanks to you,

gave it to his friends and said,

ALL: “This cup is the new covenant of my lifeblood shed for you and for all.

And as often as you do this,

You do this in memory of me.”

( Beth ) Now gathered at your table,

we offer to you our gifts of bread and wine,

and ourselves, as living offerings of your love.

Pour out your Spirit upon all these gifts and all of us that

we may be the Your Living Body, Your Lifeblood.

Breathe your Spirit over the whole earth and make us all your new creation.

(Alice) In the fullness of time

bring us with all your saints

from every tribe and language,

from every people and nation

to feast at the banquet prepared

from the foundation of the world.

( Alice and Beth hold up the bread and wine together as we all say together:)

All: For it is... Through Him

With Him

And in Him

In the unity of the Holy Spirit

All glory and honor is yours, Almighty God,

Now and forever



Switch to: ( Beth ): “Let us offer our communal prayer, Heavenly Father..”

Heavenly Father, heavenly Mother,

Holy and blessed is your true name.

We pray for your reign of peace to come,

We pray that your good will be done,

Let heaven and earth become one.

Give us this day the bread we need,

Give it to those who have none.

Let forgiveness flow like a river between us,

From each one to each one.

Lead us to holy innocence

Beyond the evil of our days —

Come swiftly Mother, Father, come.

For yours is the power and the glory and the


Forever your name is All in One


Switch to: (Alice ): who Leads All to Offer Kiss of Peace:

“Let’s offer each other a sign of peace!”

Switch to ( Beth ): who offers Welcoming Communion Prayer:

This evening we pray that we will allow the life and teaching of Jesus

to motivate all that we do,

so that what we profess to have seen in his life and heard in his teaching

might be evident in our living and loving.

And in that spirit of a Beloved community,

we extend the invitation of Jesus to each and everyone,

to take and eat, to take and drink.

Come, come, whoever you are…

Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.

It doesn’t matter.

Ours is a caravan of love and Jesus is offering us his table.

Everyone Partakes of Communion at this time

Switch Communion Song: Song: Strength for the Journey (from Dana and Doug library)

Switch to ( Victoria ): who offers a Final Blessing in honor of our dear friend, Irene:

Blessing the Distance by Jan Richardson

It is a mystery to me how as the distance between us grows, the larger this blessing becomes,

as if the shape of it depends on absence, as if it finds its form not by what

it can cling to but by the space that arcs between us.

As this blessing makes its way, first it ceases to measure itself by time.

Then it will release how attached it has become to this place where we have lived, where we have learned to know one another in proximity and presence.

Next this blessing will abandon the patterns in which it has moved, the habits that helped it recognize itself,

the familiar pathways it traced.

Finally this blessing will touch its fingers to your brow, your eyes,

your mouth:

it will hold your beloved face in both its hands, and then it will let you go; it will loose you into your new life; it will leave each hindering thing

until all that breathes between us is blessing and all that beats between us

is grace.

Switch to Closing Song and Video in honor of Tom and Irene (My Love Will Fly):

Announcements: Camera switches to each person who needs to make an announcement

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