Liturgy for Sunday, June 30, 2013

On Mondays I am sharing liturgical writing focused on the Luke passages for each Sunday in the Revised Common Lectionary. This week Matthew Stevens shares a service based on Luke 9: 51-62

Stumblin’-In Service  — June 30th, 2013 -Sixth after Pentecost

A long time ago I served rural congregation in western Canada. It was an unusual pastorate in many ways, not the least of which was its location at the junction of a highway and a county road.  The church shared a pie-shaped parking lot with a popular roadhouse/bar. It was common on a Sunday morning to find a few folks  sleeping-off their Saturday night revelries in their pickups, scattered about the parking lot. Since the congregation’s attitude tended toward self-righteous, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if some folks from the parking lot woke to a urgent need to use the facilities, and in desperation stumbled-in to church one morning. One particular service seemed an excellent opportunity to pose to the congregation a question which I called “Stumblin’-In Sunday”.

Welcome to Worship:(Responsive)

Here we all are, safe and comfortable in our accustomed places.
Take a moment to look around you, perhaps say “good morning” to someone near by.
Do you think a stranger who happened to stumble-in would find us welcoming?
Yes, a stranger would, for we’re trying to be an accepting and embracing community of faith.
A very righteous village in Samaria once discovered, that Jesus the Christ might be that very stranger who unexpectedly stumbles-in offering a practical gospel teaching.
No one knows when we may be challenged to find the Christ in a stranger, and so we try to be prepared.
Not all strangers are people you don’t know!  Some you may know only too well, and yet still find it very strange for them to stumble-in upon you.
Then let us set-aside pre-conceptions or lingering notions of self-righteousness, and try to be open to a gospel teaching from genuine experience.

Our Gathering Prayer:

Creator, may we see ourselves from time-to-time, as others routinely see us – and may we remember what we see! Help us set-aside myriad good intentions, and recognize that it’s ill-considered remarks and unintentional attitudes that wound.

From the Gospels let us see ourselves like the characters in the narrative. The same motivations – same desires – same inadequacies – same temptations! Like them we struggle to be faithful, and like them we’re adept at excuse-making.

This morning may we acknowledge that we’re weary of our lame justifications, and ready to commit to Jesus’ mission. Strengthen our resolve while we go about sharing the good news of your kindom through our actions. Amen

A Story For Young of All Ages:

Themes to Explore:  All prejudice is based upon fear – fear of what we don’t know or don’t understand. When we give-in to prejudice, we’re basically allowing ourselves to be made fearful by someone(s) else. Since we don’t like that feeling, we blame the other person(s) for making us fearful.

I once knew a boy who said terrible things about a Native classmate, simply because he received higher grades. The boy was afraid that the Native student would make him look bad in class, so he told all sorts of lies to prejudice the class against him.

Then there was also a little girl who was afraid that the new girl in class was going to have more friends than her. She secretly went to each of the other girls in class and spread all sorts of nasty rumours about the new student.

Have you ever seen something like that?  What do you suppose Jesus would want us to do?

Our Morning Gospel:

Luke 9:51-62 – “Foxes have holes…but the Son of Humanity has nowhere to lay his head.”</p
Not long before it was time for Jesus to be taken up to heaven, he made up his mind to go to Jerusalem. He sent some messengers on ahead to a Samaritan village to get things ready for him. But he was on his way to Jerusalem, so the people there refused to welcome him.  When the disciples James and John saw what was happening, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to destroy these people?” But Jesus turned and corrected them for what they had said. Then they all went on to another village.

Along the way someone said to Jesus, “I’ll follow you anywhere!” Jesus said, “Foxes have dens, and birds have nests, but the Son of Humanity doesn’t have a place to call his own.”

Jesus told someone else to come with him. But the man said, “Lord, let me wait until I bury my father.”  Jesus answered, “Let the dead take care of the dead, while you go and tell about God’s kingdom.”

Then someone said to Jesus, “I want to follow you, Lord, but first let me go back and take care of things at home.”  Jesus answered, “Anyone who starts ploughing and keeps looking back isn’t worth a thing to God’s kingdom!”

Our Sharing Prayer:
Through our gifts let’s plough the mission field that stretches-out before us.
“Anyone who starts ploughing and keeps looking back isn’t worth a thing to God’s kingdom!”
We want to be faith ploughmen and women, but there just seem to be so many other things to first take care of in our own homes.
“Anyone who starts ploughing and keeps looking back isn’t worth a thing to God’s kingdom!”
As we now try to decided upon what of our gifts of time, talents, and treasure we’re willing to share with strangers, let us never forget that …
“… Anyone who starts ploughing and keeps looking back isn’t worth a thing to God’s kingdom!”                                    Amen

Our Benediction:Although foxes have dens, and birds have nests, may the Son of Humanity find a place to call his own within your heart. May your every thought, word, and deed make it evident to everyone around you, that you are showing the path to God’s kingdom on earth. Amen

Scripture readings are cited from the Revised Common Lectionary, Year “C”, and used  with permission from:  (CEV) – Contemporary English Version, © American Bible Society, All based upon First Nations, inclusive language renderings.

A Collaboration of Forty-four Writers on the Scriptures from Luke
June – November, 2013
edited by Maren C. Tirabassi

All of these resources were given freely and they may be used in worship contexts. They may be adapted to fit your context. Please cite the original author when you reprint them or share them orally. For any other use please contact me so that I can put you directly in touch with that particular author.

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2 Responses to Liturgy for Sunday, June 30, 2013

  1. Emily Geoghegan says:

    Thank you. What a gift and blessing! Very inspiring! Emily Geoghegan

    Sent from my iPad

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