Chilmark Community Church, Methodist
January 25, 2009
Prelude: Little Prelude in C major by Bach
Passing the Peace
*Call to Worship
And men will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God. Luke 13:29
*Hymn 428 “ For the Healing of the Nations
Prayers: Concerns and Celebrations
Silent prayer :Let us be in the attitude of prayer, bringing our concerns into the presence of God in our hearts.
Collect: O lord, who sees that all hearts are empty except thou fill them, and all desires balked except they crave after thee; give us light and grace to seek and find thee, that we may be thine and thou mayest be ours for ever. Amen
The Lord’s Prayer
Psalm 62:5-12 p.787
For the President and others in authority: (by Bishop White)
*Hymn 120 “Your love, O God”
Scripture: Jonah 3:1-5,10; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1: 14-20
We give thanks, O god of sacred stories, for the witness of holy scripture. Through it, you nurture our imaginations, touch our feelings, increase our awareness, and challenge our assumptions. Bless, we pray,our hearing of your word this day. Grant that by the power of your Spirit, we may be hearer and doers of your word. Amen
Comments and discussion by those who feel like it. Don’t feel bad if you don’t.
Confession: Holy God, who loves us. We are sorry that we hurt our loved ones; that we turn our backs on need; that we seek revenge for petty wrongs in petty ways. Even as we speak these words, we know your presence and your love. We are sorry, O God, for what separates us from each other and from You. Make us strong and tender, we pray, that we may live more as you would have us live. Amen
Thanksgiving: Almighty and most merciful God, we give thanks to thee for the light of another day, for the work we have to do, and for the strength to do it. Guide us, we pray thee, by thy truth; uphold us by thy power; and purify us by the continual indwelling of thy spirit. Grant that in every circumstance we may grow in wisdom, and, knowing the things that belong to our peace, obtain strength to persevere.
Hymn 399 “Take My Life and Let it be”
Closing prayer: Grant, O Lord, that what has been said with our lips we may believe in our hearts, and that what we believe in our hearts we may practice in our lives as followers of Jesus. Amen
Postlude: Andante by Telemann
*Stand if you are able.
Organist: Carol Loud
Leader: Ann Deitrich
Next week’s scripture lessons: Deuteronomy 18:15-20;1 Corinthians 8:1-13; Mark 1:21-28
This week was open discussion again.(next week will have an actual sermon).
We had more to say about Jonah than about Corinthians and Mark..It is an appealing story, a parable, as PC pointed out, that resonates with a sea-going community. She pointed out that there are two lessons from this parable: that you can’t hide from God or ignore God’s message to you and that you can’t control God; God will forgive whomever God chooses.
PG referred to a commentary that excused Jonah’s reluctance somewhat, considering that Nineveh was the capital of Assyria who had been a brutal, occupying force for over one hundred years. It was like asking one of us to go to the camp of Bin Laden.
DC spoke about Jonah’s attempt to flee from God and that God is with you, you can’t escape God. He drew the parallel between Jonah’s dismay at the forgiveness of Nineveh and the anger of the good brother in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. He also reminded us of the opening of Moby Dick and the sermon there.
As for Mark1:14-20, PG spoke of the calling of the fishermen as being a calling from one life to another. This often implies “repentance” for later followers. One commentator defined repentance as ” aligning one’s values and way of life with God’s ways”. Sin has sometimes been defined as “separation from God”. In Hebrew one translation is ” missing the mark” as in archery. The conclusion was that we should be turning to a life whose moments are informed by an awareness of God’s presence and direction.
AD referred to the book SAY TO THIS MOUNTAIN: MARK’S STORY OF DISCIPLESHIP. The calling from the men at their nets and families exemplified the tension between the Temple and the Wilderness, the center and the margins, the power structure and the outsiders.
OK, we didn’t have a sermon, but this will be the place to post sermons when we do have them, as we will on Feb. 1.
We had g00d scripture discussion. Here are a few of the points made:
1 Sam 3:1-10
P. told about the place of the boy in the temple. Referred to commentary that pointed out that the voice of God calls us where we are. Some times we are enlightened to act within our regular jobs. If we are testing whether the idea we have is God’s voice or not, we can test it against scripture, tradition, reason and experience as Wesley taught.
PC said that listening to each other was another way to discern God’s “voice”, especially in church matters.
MH agreed and amplified.
AD mentioned the value of setting aside time to be open to spiritual promptings..just quiet time or reading time.
DC gave background about the author of John’s Greek language and audience. He referred to the beginning of the chapter where “In the Beginning was the Word”. He identified the Word as the idea of a thing, the Platonic idea as being similar to the perfect creation of the Hebrew God. Jesus was the Word made flesh in John and John took pains to emphasize his perfection with stories of miracles etc. In this reading some clairvoyance is suggested, though it might have been intuition on Jesus’ part. Jesus told his followers “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet” .
P. read a little of a commentary that described how a rabbi called followers and what it meant to follow .” To be invited to become a disciple was to be invited to become like the rabbi by observing and practicing everything the rabbi did, and in so doing, to multiply the rabbi’s life with God and others through your own.” Telling Nathanial and others that they would have visions similar to Jacob’s ladder, reminded P. of Jesus’ words to the Woman at the Well. Jesus knew about her without having made her aquaintance before and then promised her water that would quench her thirst for ever. Jesus seemed to be saying that if you try to be close to God as he teaches, you will have glimpses of the Holy.
MH related these ideas to becoming a new church.