881: Let's celebrate Today on ZOOM at 4:45pm
Day 881: It's Sunday, August 14, 2022
Today we celebrate on ZOOM at 4:45pm
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Emmaus Liturgical Order of Service For Sunday, August 14, 2022
Welcome to our evening liturgy: Dan
I came to bring fire to the Earth
Dan: It sounds as though we are celebrating an incendiary Sunday!
Immediately, following the alarming and disquieting documentary An Inconvenient Truth in 2006, the choir of fossil fuel and tar sand companies denied the facts with threatening voices, similar to the ones at the time of the prophet Jeremiah: “This man is discouraging people by speaking such words to them. This man is seeking the harm of this people,” or the words to address Jesus: “This man is a danger for the nation, he has a demon, he blasphemes.”
At the beginning of his social and religious activism, Jeremiah tried to initiate a change in the system, but after a while, he reached the conclusion that the only way to achieve reform was for the present institutions to be abandoned and new ones created. The paradoxical, scandalous aspect of the story of Jeremiah and many others this evening is that officials in charge identify with the will of the king, of the priests, or of the party line with the will of God, like what happened at the time of Jesus, who embodied the fiery, compassionate face of his Abba but was demonized and killed like an outlaw.
I came to bring fire to the Earth.
What is there, at the heart of the Universe, at the heart of women and men of every age and culture who have been able to generate new beginnings, to change the course of evolution and of humanity, opening new paths to life, beyond boundaries and conventions? There is a sacred flame that burns at the heart of these people, at the heart of each one of us: a longing for justice, a passion for freedom, a care for the outcast and the sufferer, the yearning for an expanded community of love on Earth. It is the burning bush of God’s dangerous love, a transformative and surprising force that upsets any achieved and oppressing equilibrium kneaded with fears, control, and violence.
OPENING SONG: Jesse Cook – Rattle and Burn Live in Montreal [stop at 3:22]
Victoria: Opening Poem: Listen by Julie Cadwallader Staub
What sound do the vertebrae make
in the back of a neck when they give way?
do they snap and splinter like a wishbone?
do they quietly collapse, crush the windpipe beneath?
What happens to the uniformed knee
when it lifts up, straightens from a body gone limp?
will it haunt its master with the memory of that final shove
when one human life changed from struggle to gone?
We know the sound that vertebrae make
the sound of a throat collapsing
we’ve heard it again and again:
I can’t breathe
and we know what happens to the knee that bends
that pushes until it kills
we’ve heard it again and again:
But what happens if the sound
of vertebrae broken in a Black man’s neck
reverberates across a nation
ignites again that deep, long simmering fire
born of centuries of outrage and mourning
for Eric and Michael and Sandra and Ahmaud and
for Emmett and Trayvon and Breonna and Martin and
Malcolm and Medgar and Addie Mae and Cynthia and Carol and Carole?
Will our nation’s backbone
— engineered to uphold white male supremacy —
be broken, dismantled
transformed vertebra by vertebra
to stand and to stand up for justice?
First reading: Jeremiah 38:4-6 (Peter)
4 Then the officials said to the king, “This man should be put to death. He is discouraging the soldiers who are left in this city, as well as all the people, by the things he is saying to them. This man is not seeking the good of these people but their ruin.”
5 “He is in your hands,” King Zedekiah answered. “The king can do nothing to oppose you.”
6 So they took Jeremiah and put him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king’s son, which was in the courtyard of the guard. They lowered Jeremiah by ropes into the cistern; it had no water in it, only mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud.
Responsorial Song: Cavatina from the Deer Hunter CARisMA Guitar Duo [stop at 3:47]
Second reading: Hebrews 12:1-4 (Sandy)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
Gospel: Luke 12:49-53 (Christ Brings Division) Dan L.
49 “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. 52 For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. 53 Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
The letter to the Hebrews invites us to look at Jesus as a pioneer and perfecter of our faith who endured such hostility against himself from sinners. In Jesus the newness of God’s love shines in a human and vulnerable body. He is the one who doesn’t love the perfection, but the imperfection. Paradoxically his perfection is to love fully the incompleteness of the world. In the middle of suffering and death he transforms them in new possibilities of life, in resurrection.
What is sin if not a resistance, the unbelief of God’s embracing love who offers hospitality to the transience of the world? What is sin if not our fear of mortality that moves us to grasp for the secure and prevents us from being astonished, from inhabiting the body of the world with passion? And is not our faith an exposure, an immersion, a birth into God’s loving waters that widen our hearts and attract us in the adventure of an endless creation, where love outlives death?
God, in Jesus, interrupts the course of repetition, of violence, of dominion, and opens a new potential direction: the ever-renewing power of love stronger than the fears of death. Jesus expects the same prophetic fire that burns in him to burn also in his follower’s heart, to transform the wounds into new life. “By each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” Love perseveres through the storm, never giving up, always reaching out, and making space for something new to happen.
May we never underestimate our power of hope, the force to change the atmosphere around us, ignited by the flame of the divine and mysterious heart.
Luke 12:49 - I have come to ignite a fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!
What is the “fire” that Jesus refers to in Luke 12:49, and why does He wish it were already kindled? How does this relate to the baptism He mentions in the next verse?
Luke 12:50 - But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!
Dan: What do we bring to the table this evening?
Liturgy of the Eucharist•
Offertory Song: Canticle of the Turning – YouTube [3:37]
Patti: God is within us and God is among us.
Dan: Let us listen with our hearts,
All: We lift them up to the Mystery.
Patti: Let us be thankful for all the ways in which the burning bush of God’s dangerous love permeates us.
All: It is good to be grateful.
Dan I discover myself sustained by a spirit that protects me and spurs me forward, relating and celebrating with you the joy and the sorrow: that is the meaning that we are here, gathered together in this Eucharist, to open ourselves to the Source of every transformation, urging us to strengthen our communion and trust.
Patti: We remember that Jesus brought fire to the Earth, though some refused to harness it. We remember too, that those who allowed themselves to be astonished were drawn to the fiery compassion of Jesus.
Dan The night before Jesus was to give up his life so that we could share in that fire, many who desired truth and love gathered with Jesus for dinner. Instead of merely sharing a meal, Jesus took the opportunity to share the truth, so that we could understand and remember the sacrifice.
Patti: Jesus took bread, gave thanks to God, blessed it, broke it, and shared with those present, saying, “Take; eat. This is my body broken for you.”
Dan: After the meal was finished, Jesus took a cup of the fruit of the vine, gave thanks to God, blessed it and shared it with all, saying, “This is the cup of the new covenant in my blood. When you do this, remember me.”
Patti: So, we too gather here, to be fed and healed by the body and blood of our Savior. We ask that the Holy Spirit shine in each of us, that we may be witnesses to Your love and servants to all of humanity. We ask that these elements be transformed in a very real and personal way into the very essence of the healing, loving, forgiving body and blood of Your own blessed Child. Help us to feel Your presence in us.
For it is through Him, with Him, in Him In the unity of the Holy Spirit, All glory and honor are Yours, Almighty Father, Forever and Ever. Amen.
Denise: O God, Mother and Father of Us All, Like your son, Jesus of Nazareth, who blessed a variety of human relationships rooted in love, may we have the wisdom and grace to foster, strengthen, and support all loving relationships and all families. May your command to love one another as you have loved us, O God, cause us to pay heed to the movement of your Holy Spirit, who calls us in the here and now to embrace the rainbow of loving human relationships that reflect your love for all of humanity in its wonderful diversity. May we speak out courageously when others try to pass laws that exclude, diminish, or demonize other persons and their families because of who they are and whom they love. May we take to heart what we know to be true: that where love and charity prevail, you are to be found. We ask this, as always, through your Many Holy Names. Amen. Bernard Schlager
Dan: Kiss of Peace
Patti: • Invitation to the Table:
On their own, the bread and wine are nothing.
To become a foretaste and a promise
of love made real and a world made whole,
they need a story and a blessing
and a people who believe…
It would not have been God’s table
if they hadn’t all been gathered around it:
the betrayer and the friend
the power-hungry and the justice seeker
the faithful and the fickle.
When Jesus poured the wine, and the bread was broken;
when everyone could eat -
the outcast and the beloved
the arrogant and the gracious
the wrong-doer and the wrongly done by -
the table became a foretaste
of love made real
and of a world made whole.
Your company at the table
will include the betrayer and the beloved
the wrong-doer and the wrongly done by.
It would not be God’s table without them.
And the promise is
that when you are together,
when you tell the story and give the blessing
when you break the bread and pour the wine
you will discover a foretaste
of love made real
and of a world made whole.
--- Cheryl Lawrie
Patti and Dan: We invite everyone now to partake of this communion we share while we listen to our Communion Song.
Communion Song: On Eagle's Wings MV [mhcaillesrn 4:05]
Closing Prayer: Enid - Dreaming a Grace
Imagine a place a-fire people gathering, sharing food and conversation and their deep desires for the way things can be in this world at this time in Rome in the bosom of Synodality and a new consciousness of God in all things in joy and pain is emerging without competition without striving to be or do anything.
I imagine listening and awakening and holding as precious each other and each other’s gifts and each other’s dreams inviting each other to speak to show and tell stories to challenge and be challenged by the arts to say what can only be spoken.
And the people of this beloved Emmaus community say: Amen!