Corona Sabbath 21 HOPE

IMG_2909These weeks when we cannot gather in person for Sunday worship, Lakewood United Church of Christ is providing brief weekly sabbath programs for you to listen to on your own or with others in your social isolation group. They will be posted on Friday so that you can schedule your sabbath time to suit your schedule and your spiritual inclinations. We hope these programs are of spiritual support to you in these difficult times.

During these summer weeks, the theme being used in “Grounded.” Some of us feel that shelter-in-place feels like being grounded. Some would normally have travel plans and feel grounded. With the many challenges facing our society, it is important to feel grounded. So these Summer Sundays will focus on key concepts in Christianity that provide grounding. So, welcome to “Grounded.” This post focuses on hope.

There is a scripture reading offered by Jim Andrews and a meditation by Pastor Kim Wells as well as music offered by Music Director Hilton Kean Jones.

You are invited to find a quiet space, inside or outside. Light a candle. Take a look around you. Breathe. Life-giving breath. Be present.

You may begin with this reading:

God of life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and wear us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies gray and threatening; when our lives have no music in them and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage. Flood the path with light, we beseech you: turn our eyes to where the skies are full of promise.
St. Augustine, 354-430 C.E.

When you are ready, start the video below.

(For written text of the above video click HERE.)

Christy Martin grew up in the church and is now a member as an adult. She is a mom with two wonderful daughters. She shares these words about where she finds hope in these difficult times when her daughters are scared to go outside because of the police:

Make America Great Again- in which time period was America Great for Blacks? The founding fathers were not for blacks. The Declaration of Independence was signed by white men; this didn’t even include people of color or white women. Slavery was abolished but still blacks didn’t have the same rights. My dad’s family is buried in a black only cemetery. What did giving blacks the right to vote do?  In the 70’s my father had to go to Gibbs Junior College, known today as St. Pete College, because blacks were not allowed anywhere else. Just last year my daughter heard a teammate tell another teammate to stop acting crazy, stop acting black. This came from a 13 year old white girl. Which means she hears it from her inner circle. 

When was America Great? It is understood that all lives matter, but a white man didn’t have a knee on his neck crying for his mom. A white woman wasn’t in her bed when the police broke in and shot her dead and then realized it was the wrong house. No white man was stopped because he fit a description of a robber and was shot dead.  It will never be GREAT for Blacks until All Americans realize that America needs to change to include all people, no matter the color of their skin. Then and only then can we say ALL LIVES MATTER. 

This movement didn’t just happen because someone died in police custody.  On August 28, 1963, there was a march on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr. said and I quote “I have a dream that my four little children will one day to live in a Nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” This fight now has a social media platform, but this is not a new fight. We just have the next strong generation taking over.

I will end with a piece of a poem from Maya Angelou:

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I RISE.

As you listen to the music from Hilton which follows, you are invited to notice the thoughts and feelings and that arise for you.

After viewing the video, you are invited to offer the following closing –

How many nights
have I lain in terror,
O Creator Spirit, Maker of night and day,

only to work out
the next morning over the frozen world
hearing under the creaking of snow
faith, peaceful breaths . . .
snake,
bear, earthworm, ant . . .

and above me
a wild crow crying ‘yaw yaw yaw’
from a branch nothing cried from ever in my life.

–Galway Kinnell, “How Many Nights”

Breathe. Breathe again. Be filled. With hope. Extinguish your candle and engage whatever may come with a sense of peace and a desire grow and serve.


LAKEWOOD UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

The mission of Lakewood United Church of Christ, as part of the Church Universal, is to:

  • Celebrate the presence and power of God in our lives and in our world;
  • Offer the hospitality and inclusive love of Christ to all people;
  • Work for God’s peace and justice throughout creation.

QUICK LINKS TO OUR RECENT POSTS DURING THE CORONA CRISIS:
Online Devotionals: https://lakewooducc.org/category/online-devotional/
Sermon Texts: https://lakewooducc.org/category/posts/sermon-texts/

For above links, please note “Older Posts” button near bottom of page.
Music: https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/music-at-lakewood

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