Monday, March 6, 2017

Upper Room Liturgy - March 5, 2017

Kim Panaro, ARCWP, and Lynn Kinlan, ARCWP, led the First Sunday of Lent - liturgical celebration at the Upper Room with the following theme:
“We begin a season of seriously seeking Jesus and inviting Him into our heart of hearts. We accompany him on the dusty journey from a desert experience of temptation and trial all the way through to glorious Easter joy.”

Opening Prayer by Lynn Kinlan:

Dearest Holy One, safe as we are in your infinite love and joyful with the chance to gather in your name, we also find ourselves living through troubled moments and desert experiences. Like Jesus, we see that to be tempted is human. To rely on Your love is Divine. Help us to listen clearly, share openly and always find the better angels of our nature, relying on Your love today and through the Lenten season.

A reading of the inspired words of Joyce Rupp

                               I Must Stay at Your House Today

Jesus, this Lent, I am yearning to wear a Zacchaeus heart.
I am wanting to hear you call my name just as you did his.
I am anxious to know that you are inviting yourself to my
I am humbled, amazed, excited and astounded, just as he was.

But that is where the desire to wear a Zacchaeus heart stops.
because I know what happens when you visit someone’s house.
Conversations occur. Choices are presented. Changes happen.
That’s because you look for more than dust when you come to
And you talk about things more vital than the weather.
You move into the heart’s dimension. You gaze deeply.
You don’t just dwell. You interact. You activate.
You dwell so lovingly that the truth cannot be resisted.

This Lent help me to welcome you and yearn for your love.
Grant me a Zacchaeus heart that turns around and sees the
I need the gaze of your love to remind me of my truest self.
I, too, need the strong call to make amends and start anew.
Hurry Jesus, come and stay at my house today.

Response Song: Spirit of the Living God

Closing Prayer by Lynn Kinlan:

Beloved One, as we go now into a sometimes troubled world, we ask for Lenten blessings of trust and patience and grateful focus to put aside the turmoil and busyness of everyday life, to "slip the surly bonds of the skies on laughter-silvered wings” and touch the face of God.

Phrases in this closing prayer are adapted from the poem below, "High Flight" by John Magee, an American pilot in WW II who died in service to the Allied cause. The first line came to mind because I recalled it from President Reagan's eulogy for the astronauts who died in the Challenger Disaster back in the 1980s. The poem seems to reflect the awe and joy present when we feel the intimate bond of love with God.                                                             

                            High Flight
​      ​
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air… .
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
— John Gillespie Magee, Jr​  ​

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