Corona Sabbath 31 Loyalty and Devotion

These 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.

The post this week focuses on loyalty. With many relationships and commitments in our lives, how do we sort out our loyalties? Jesus helps us. This post includes a scripture reading done by Barbara Donohue, a reflection from Rev. Kim Wells and a musical offering from Hilton Jones. We hope this post helps to feed your spirit in these difficult times.

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 which is a based on Psalm 96:

O sing to the Cosmos a new song;
	sing to the Beloved, all the earth!
Sing to the Creator, and bless the Name
		above all names;
	sing praises to the Glorious One
		from day to day.
Declare the splendor of the Radiant One
		to all nations,
	the marvelous works of Love
		to all peoples!
For great is the Beloved, and greatly
		to be praised;
	reverence Love above all else.
For where your thoughts are,
	reveals that which you treasure;
	seek only the true Treasure.
Truth and integrity live with Love;
	strength and beauty dwell
		with the Beloved.

Yield to Love, O families of the earth,
	yield to Love's glory and strength!
Yield to Love and learn of justice;
	make of yourselves an offering
		and be guided by Love!
Bow down in adoration and holiness;
	for worthy is the Beloved to be
		praised in all the earth!

Psalm 96:1-9 from Psalms for Praying by Nan C. Merrill

When you are ready, start the video below.


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

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

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

Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things. Every single creature is full of God and a book about God. Every creature is a word of God. If I spent enough time with the tiniest creature–even a caterpillar–I would never have to prepare a sermon. So full of God is every creature.

–Meister Eckhart, 14th century

Breathe. Breathe again. Be filled. With unabashed devotion. Extinguish your candle and engage whatever may come with a sense of peace and a desire to 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.

USEFUL LAKEWOOD LINKS DURING THE CORONA CRISIS:


 

MIdweek Hymn: “To us all, to every nation comes a moment to decide”


This past Corona Sabbath 28 online devotional was about voting, authority, and integrity. The hymn for that post was the Battle Hymn of the Republic. A friend and fellow church musician told me the hymn she often uses in association with the topic of voting is “Once to every man and nation comes a moment to decide.” It’s a GREAT text and I’m happy to have learned of the association of this mighty hymn to the topic of voting. My friend is right on target.

The original text is by James Russell Lowell, 1819-1891.

Here’s what hymnary.org says about him:

Lowell, James Russell, LL.D., was born at Cambridge, Massachusetts, February 22, 1819; graduated at Harvard College, 1838, and was called to the Bar in 1840. Professor of Modern Languages and Literature (succeeding the Poet Longfellow) in Harvard, 1855; American Minister to Spain, also to England in 1881. He was editor of the Atlantic Monthly, from 1857 to 1862; and of the North American Review from 1863 to 1872. Professor Lowell is the most intellectual of American poets, and first of her art critics and humorists. He has written much admirable moral and sacred poetry, but no hymns. One piece, β€œMen, whose boast it is that ye” (Against Slavery), is part of an Anti-Slavery poem, and in its present form is found in Hymns of the Spirit, 1864. Part of this is given in Songs for the Sanctuary, N.Y., 1865, as “They are slaves who will not choose.” [Rev. F. M. Bird, M.A.]

That hymn text isn’t in the New Century Hymnal; however, the tune I associate with is. It’s NCH #267. But the text we’ll sing to it is found on https://hymnary.org/hymn/VU1996/694. It’s Lowell’s text adapted for more contemporary sensibilities regarding gender from the United Church of Canada hymnal, Voices United.

Corona Sabbath 28 AUTHORITY and INTEGRITY

These 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.

The post this week focuses on a teaching of Jesus that may have a word for us during this election season.

This post includes a scripture reading of Matthew 21:23-32 by Sue Sherwood, a reflection from Rev. Kim Wells, and a musical offering from Hilton Jones. We hope this post helps to feed your spirit in these conflicted times.

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:

A hundred times a day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other people, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the full measure I have received and am still receiving.

–Albert Einstein 1879-1955

When you are ready, start the video below.


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

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

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

Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours, Yours are the eyes through which to look out Christ’s compassion to the world. Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good; yours are the hands with which he is to bless…

–Teresa of Avila 1515-1582

Breathe. Breathe again. Be filled. With the desire to trust. Extinguish your candle and engage whatever may come with a sense of peace and a desire to 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.

USEFUL LAKEWOOD LINKS DURING THE CORONA CRISIS: