698 Help us to live with integrity, To reflect the light, To bear the radiant beams of love
Day 698 Saturday, February 12, 2021
Help us to live with integrity, To reflect the light, To bear the radiant beams of love.
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Emmaus Liturgy 2-13-2022 by Ed & Mary FitzGerald
Psalm 90 - Nan Merrill
Eternal and Immortal One, You have been
our refuge in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
before You had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting,
You are the Alpha and the Omega.
For our days on Earth are a mystery,
a searching for You,
a yearning for the great Mystery
to make itself known.
The years pass and soon the
Harvest is at hand,
a time to reap the fruit of
Who has lived with integrity?
Who will reflect the Light?
Who can bear the radiant beams of Love?
Who has reverenced the Counselor,
and opened their hearts to the
Spirit of Truth?
Teach us, O Beloved, to honor each day
that we may have a heart
Awaken us, O Holy One!
Too long we have been asleep!
Have mercy on your people!
Help us to wait in Silence
for your gentle Voice;
Strengthen us with courage to
face the fears within.
O, that we might be converted
in our hearts
and walk together in peace and
Let your Love be known to the nations,
your Glory to our children's children.
Let the grace and gentleness of the
Holy Spirit be upon us,
guiding our feet upon paths
of Love Consciousness
Increase the Light within us –
O Beloved, hear our prayer! Amen.
Song: Open My Eyes - Jesse Manibusan
We thought we had our theme figured out but when David sent his reflection earlier this week which was from the Baltimore Carmelites and how they are working with the synod, we started to go in a new direction. In 2015, Pope Francis wrote a book called Walking With Jesus: A Way Forward for the Church. We took the liberty of thinking a better title might be Walking TOGETHER with Jesus – A New Way of BEING Church. While some of us are more interested in the synod than others, we see that Emmaus, as a small intentional faith community, is a new way of being church.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus said, "Follow me." What if the 21st-century Church actually heeded that call? What would the world look like if the Church were truly on the move? Simply put, very different. But these ponderings beg one more critical question: What exactly should the Church be moving toward? In trying to answer this question we turned towards a different community of believers. Ed has for many years now had a fondness for and an attraction towards the Quakers’ simplicity of worship so he found a video of Arthur Larrabee, a Quaker teacher, explaining what the Quakers believe.
It is more of a guideline for how to live our lives or, we could say, a guideline for what the church should be moving towards rather than a set of beliefs. We would like to suggest that these guidelines are more in tune with how we want to live as a small intentional faith community than the beliefs listed in the Nicene Creed are.
We’d like to play this six minute video for you now and ask you to consider the idea that living by these precepts is what the church, whether institutional or our small faith community, should be moving towards. How could living by these precepts help us to, as Psalm 90 says, live with integrity? To reflect the light? To bear the radiant beams of love?
Video: 9 Core Quaker Beliefs - Transcript
In attempting to name what I believe are core principles, or core beliefs of the Religious Society of Friends as understood by unprogrammed Quakers, I’m hoping that we would move in the direction of strengthening our faith practice, and strengthening our faith practice with each other and be more clear and affirming of what we’re able to say to the world, what we’re able to carry out into the world.
1. There is a living, dynamic, spiritual presence at work in the world which is both within us and outside of us.
Quakers use many names to describe this spiritual presence. Among the names we use are God, spirit, the light, the inward light, the inner light, Christ, truth, love.
2. There is that of God in everyone.
This statement of belief is similar to the first statement, and Quakers will talk about there being that of God in everyone, and it is the belief that the creator has endowed each person with a measure of the divine essence, and that as a consequence, all of life is sacred and interconnected.
3. Each person is capable of the direct and unmediated experience of God.
Our belief leads us into a form of worship that does not rely on clergy or liturgy or creed. Rather, we come together in the silence. We sometimes refer to our worship as “waiting worship.” Waiting to hear—listen for—the still, small voice within, and listening for that of God—the still, small voice—speaking to us.
4. Our understanding and experience of God is nurtured and enlarged in community.
When we come together in community, each of us brings our own manifestation of the divine energy. When we come together in community, we experience and embrace our diversity; we experience a much larger understanding and vision of God.
5. The Bible is an important spiritual resource, and the life and teachings of Jesus are relevant for us today.
For many of us, the Bible is an inspired record of humankind’s interaction with God through the ages. Quakers find that the truth and the teachings found in the Bible are an inspiration for daily living and also an inspiration for our worship together.
6. The revelation of God’s truth is continuing and ongoing.
Quakers are very clear that the revelation of God’s truth did not end with the writing of the Bible. We believe that God has continued to reveal God’s truth and make God’s will and energy, truth—known to humankind down through the ages, down to the present day.
7. We welcome truth from whatever source it may come.
We find that our experience of worship and our experience of the Divine is enriched by welcoming truth from different sources. We welcome spiritual truth from different sources.
8. Our inward experience of God transforms us and leads us into outward expressions of faithful living, witness, and action.
Individually and collectively, we witness to God’s presence in our lives by the way we live our lives and the way we model God’s truth in the world. One of the consequences of listening for the inward voice and being led into outward expressions of faithful living and witness and action are Quaker testimonies. Testimonies that are well known today are testimonies of simplicity and peace and integrity, community, equality and stewardship.
9. Modeling God’s presence in our lives is more important than espousing beliefs.
Quakers believe that the way we live our lives is of much more importance than what we say. There’s an old Quaker expression, “Let your life speak” and that’s very much a part of Quakerism: the understanding that the way we model God’s truth in our lives is to let our lives speak it.
Shared Homily: Discussion Question
● What should the church and/or our Emmaus community be moving towards? Do the Quaker guidelines help us to visualize that?
Prayers of the Faithful:
What do we bring from within our minds and hearts to hold up to the Light?
Mary: 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.
Ed: 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.
Mary: 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.
Ed: 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.
Mary: May the Spirit be with us.
All: And the whole world.
Ed: Jesus called us to the table of life and compassion. Christ comes to us with bread and wine and makes us one with himself and one another.
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.
Ed: Body of Christ. [All eat of the bread]
Mary: 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.
Mary: Blood of Christ. [All drink from the cup]
Let us offer our communal prayer:
Our Mother, Our Father, 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 mercy:
Forever your name is All in One.
Mary: Filled with the presence and compassion of Jesus, let’s give one another the Kiss of Peace
Come Rain, come
We invite you to visit us
Please come; we need you
Come abundantly; we want you
May our intention, our desire,
have you befuddle those who think they can predict you
Confuse them like the butterfly who blew in the hurricane
Come Rain, come
Soak our land
Parched, thirsty for you
Fill our cup to overflowing
Come and ease the pain of our Mother Gaia
Sooth the flames of her rage
O source of all life, we invoke you
Come Rain, come
Closing Song: In the Day of the Lord (Ed Gutfreund)