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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

587 If we are truly awake we will bow to every person we meet, because we are one.

Day 587 Saturday, October 23, 2021

if we are truly awake we will bow to every person we meet and to ourselves, because we are all reflections of God.

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Opening Song: We Are Called, St. Paul Inspirit Ensemble Welcoming: Kay Kay: Since the beginning “others” have determined our history. In the religious texts, wars created nations and boundaries established even though the warring peoples may only be a few miles apart. And even though in most of those texts, somewhere there is the message of Love Your Neighbor. It’s not only the trials of those early times, nor the great wars of later centuries that have determined our paths. Most of us remember the Watts riots, Haight Asbury, the “wrong side of the tracks” or even the neighbors next door whose acorns crash on our roof or whose dog barks incessantly. Today we examine who our personal “others” are and how we might bring them into our fold.

Linda: We have a short video for you that portrays much of what our theme tonight is about Who are your others? The video is called Who Are You? The DNA Journey its a campaign to show that we, as people, have more things uniting us than dividing us. The DNA Journey is part of momondo's overall vision of a more open and tolerant world. Sit back and enjoy the show. Play video: 5 minutes

First Reading: Alice Waco John 10: 14-16 I am the good shepherd. As the Father knows me and I know the Father, in the same way I know my sheep and they know me. There are other sheep which belong to me that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them, too; they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock with one shepherd. Reflection: David Carlson Paraphrased from writings by Austen Hartke author of Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians In the first reading from John, Jesus is, unsurprisingly, talking about inclusion again. Here he is depicted as the Good Shepherd, the one who knows each sheep by name. But if you go back a few verses you find that Jesus is actually addressing this little sermon about sheep to religious leaders in the community. The people who were in charge of who was in and who was out. “I have other sheep who do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also.” With those words, Jesus reminds us that we’re not the ones who get to decide whether we want those other sheep in our flock. At the end of the day, he says, we will be one flock. Jesus shows us the full range of this arc toward inclusion, with one end anchored at the beginning in Genesis and the other in God’s house of prayer for all people. That is why it is so important to affirm that movement toward inclusion for all people, including people of different gender identities and sexual orientations. Because even though we might not get a say about who’s in Jesus’ flock, we do, as communities, get to decide how other people are going to experience that flock in the here and now. Will LGBTQ+ youth growing up see a church that focuses on a single verse, or will they experience the love of a community that lives out God’s wider welcome seen repeatedly throughout scripture to make sure everyone can experience abundant life?

Second Reading: Jeanine Many factors shape who we are, and they all possess a degree of relative importance. At the same time, we can never be reduced to genetic, sociological, or psychological categories, as modern science tends to suggest. At the deepest level, who we are cannot be condensed into any man-made construct because we are all manifestations of the Divine Spirit, and this means that we are not mere cogs in a political, religious, or global machine. No, we all possess an innate dignity; we all matter. Each one of us has a gift to give to the world. We all uniquely reflect an aspect of God. It is good to bow to images of the gurus or great saints, but if we are truly awake we will bow to every person we meet and to ourselves, because we are all reflections of God. — Isha Das, (Craig Bullock) a Franciscan, Spiritual Director of The Assisi Institute in Rochester, New York. Hi Reflection: Jeanine God is not a Christian, God is not a Jew, or a Muslim, or a Hindu, or a Buddhist. All of those are human systems which human beings have created to try to help us walk into the mystery of God. I honor my tradition, I walk through my tradition, but I don’t think my tradition defines God, I think it only points me to God. —- John Shelby Spong, was an American bishop of the Episcopal Church Song: Open My Eyes/Abre Mis Ojos, Jesse Manibusan & Belen Salinas

Open my eyes, Love Help me to see Your face Open my eyes, Love Help me to see. Open my ears, Love Help me to hear Your voice Open my ears, Love Help me to hear. Open my heart, Love Help me to love like You Open my heart, Love Help me to love. I live within You Deep in you heart, oh, Love I live within You Rest now in me.

Gospel: Enid Macken

Luke 10: 30-37

Jesus answered a law expert, “There was once a man who was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when robbers attacked him, stripped him, and beat him up, leaving him half dead. It so happened that a priest was going down that road; but when he saw the man, he walked on by on the other side. In the same way a Levite also came there, went over and looked at the man, and then walked on by on the other side. But a Samaritan who was traveling that way came upon the man, and when he saw him, his heart was filled with pity. He went over to him, poured oil and wine on his wounds and bandaged them; then he put the man on his own animal and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Take care of him,’ he told the innkeeper, ‘and when I come back this way, I will pay you whatever else you spend on him.’” And Jesus concluded, “In your opinion, which one of these three acted like a neighbor toward the man attacked by the robbers?” The teacher of the Law answered, “The one who was kind to him.”

Jesus replied, “You go, then, and do the same.”

Shared Homily: Linda

This is a beautiful story about loving ones neighbor, right? The Good Samaritan went out of his way for a stranger. Even gave the innkeeper money to care for him until he was well. On top of that, he promises to return to cover any additional costs. This would be like one of us us bringing home a person living on the street. The Samaritan didn’t know the traveler but he was filled with pity for the man. This is in itself pretty remarkable, but there is even more to this story. A deeper meaning. The beaten man was a Jew. The Jews and the Samaritans had a long standing hatred for one another. They were adversaries from way back. The tension between these two groups is documented throughout the bible. But keep in mind, the bible was mainly written by Judeans and it is hard to know if their criticisms are accurate of exaggerated. And that is one of the problems with having enemies. After a while, its hard to know where objectivity ends and hate takes over. Very much like the situation between Palestine and Israel today.

So when the Good Samaritan came upon this crumbled man on the side of the road he was filled with compassion. The Good Samaritan saw beyond the political, historical, division between the two. He loved this neighbor as Jesus would have. He extended himself and saw beyond the “otherness” of the Jew.

Linda - personal “others”

Kay - personal “others”

Questions for response:

- Who are my “others?”

- How can I address “other-making” in our world

Song: See Me Beautiful by Red Grammar with Video montage by Christopher Lay

Prayers of Intercession: Ed and Mary Fitzgerald

Mary: The refrain is from Rumi, a 13th Century poet

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

Let us take into our hearts the very poorest of poor as well as those wealthy beyond our comprehension.

All: Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

We pray for people of all faiths or spiritual practices and especially for those with none.

All: Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

Let us not fail to love the young, the aging, the physically or mentally challenged, the incarcerated, the abused and the abusers, those for pro-life and those for pro-choice.

All: Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

We pray for peoples of all races and color as well the racists.

All: Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

October is LGBTQ+ history month so let us celebrate those who identify as such and respect the gender, the sexual preference of all.

All: Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

Kay: As a beloved community let’s have a moment of silence to call in those we hold in our hearts and intentions today. Bring them to this table.

The Eucharist Prayer:

Kay: O Mother God, Father God, shine your Holy Light on our prejudices and barriers we hold that keep us separate from others. May these perceptions be transformed into opportunities to grow in our spiritual life. Give us the wisdom to bring about positive change in our fractured world.

All: We come with open arms and hearts.

Linda: We bless this bread and this wine. May it become the nourishment we need for our souls to carry on and not give up. May it unite us in our desire to bring about social and ecological justice. It will become our spiritual food and spiritual drink.

All: Blessed be God forever.

Kay: In our Hearts and in our actions, may our determination for oneness be so intense, that the world will never be the same.

All: May our love change the world.

Linda: To our table we bring both our strengths and our weaknesses.

All: Let us know the difference and use our strengths for good and acknowledge our weaknesses so we may do no harm.

Kay: May the Spirit be with us.

All: And the whole world.

Linda: Jesus called us to the table of life and compassion. All: We break and share this bread, as Jesus broke and shared it, and we give it to one another as our pledge of openness to the Spirit of Love in our midst and, as our remembrance for the life of Jesus, who enlightened our minds and hearts and who was ready to die for what he believed. Kay: This cup of wine and drink is symbolic of the cup of life. As you share this cup of wine and drink, you undertake to share all that the future may bring. May you find life’s joys, doubly gladdened, its bitterness, sweetened, and all things hallowed, by true companionship and love.

All: We invite the Spirit to come on this wine in order to remind us of our promises to love and of our call to love as courageously as Jesus loved.

Let us offer our communal prayer: Rosemary & Joe Silva

O Birther! Father-Mother of the Cosmos you create all that moves in light.

Hear the one Sound that created ALL others

In this way the Name is hallowed in silence.

Your rule springs into existence as our arms reach out to embrace all creation.

Let all wills move tighter in your vortex, as stars and planets swirl through the sky.

Grant what we need each day in bread and insights:

subsistence for the call of growing life.

Lighten our load of secret debts as we relieve others of their need to repay.

Keep us from hoarding false wealth, and from the inner shame of help not given in time.


Kay: invite everyone to partake in their communion.

Kay: Filled with the presence and compassion of Jesus, let’s give one another the Kiss of Peace

Closing prayer: Linda

Listening with the intent to hear through the ears of another creates the pathway to remembering the truth of our shared being as part of the web of life.

Rose Zonetti, Community Program Coordinator at A Network for Grateful Living

Linda: And the people of this Emmaus Community say, AMEN!

Closing Song: Bob Marley

Announcements: Invitation to the floor

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