Lindy Sanford, ARCWP and Bridget Ball Shaw led the Upper Room Liturgy with the theme: We are all called to discipleship...where shall I begin? Lindy's shared homily is printed below. The community blessed Deb Trees as she prepares to travel to Panama this week.
Opening Song: Morning Has Broken
Look at the animals roaming the forest: God’s Spirit dwells within them. Look at the birds flying across the sky. God’s Spirit dwells within them. Look at the fish in the river and in the sea: God’s Spirit dwells within them. There is no creature on earth in whom God is absent. When God pronounced that Creation was good, it was not only that Her hand had fashioned every creature: it was that Holy breath brought every creature to life. Look, too, at the great trees of the forest; look at the wild flowers and the grass in the fields; look even at your crops. God’s Spirit is present within all plants as well. The presence of God’s Spirit in all living things is what makes them beautiful; and if we look with God’s eyes, nothing on the earth is ugly.
These are the inspired words of Pelagius, written in the 4th century
Gospel: Mark 1:40-4
A person with leprosy came to Jesus and knelt down. “If you are willing, I know you can heal me.”
Moved, Jesus stretched out his and, touching the person, saying, ”I am willing. You are clean.”
Immediately the leprosy disappeared and the person was healed.
Jesus said, “Go present yourself to the priest, and make an offering of gratitude for your healing as Moses taught us to do.”
The person who was healed went,...and proclaimed the whole matter freely.
Communion Song: I and the Mother Are One
We are all called to discipleship...where shall I begin?
Over the last few weeks we have talked about how that all are called to discipleship. Still, many become overwhelmed. “I can’t...I am not good enough to make a difference…..I don’t know what to do. Even Isaiah tried to beg off. “I can’t...I stutter!”
Pelagius, in the 4th Century and Francis of Assisi, in the 12th spoke often of the Holy One’s presence in all of creation. We forget that God breathed life into us and is pleased with us, just as we are. Like a Mother holding a little child, ready to learn. Jesus reminded us that the Creator will take care of us, too.
Francis and Therese of Lisieux both had no idea where to begin. And they started anyway! Doing little things that they saw needed doing. Ignoring their own imperfections.
Francis, a little man who didn’t take himself very seriously, had never built anything. He started by trying to repair a little chapel wall that was falling down...the bricks fell over and over until others decided to help him!
Theresa was very young and often sick. She had no idea what she could do. It wasn’t until Theresa died that her convent discovered that she was the one who got up every night, sneaked into someone’s room and polish their shoes. No one in the convent needed to polish their shoes for years!
Both these great saints died sure that every little thing we do for someone, for any creature, for all Creation, is a deeply sacred act of discipleship.
Lent, a season we can dedicate to looking with, begins Wednesday. What do you hear in the inspired words?
Blessing for Deb Trees
Deb, The Holy One is always with you and blesses you.
And, we, your community, bless you as you as you are about to leave for Panama.
May you feel our presence with you as faithful companions on the journey.
May you take with you a heart wrapped in wonder and rejoice in all your encounters.
May you have room in your luggage for a mystic map by which you find the invisible meanings in the events of this journey.
May the road before you be filled with beauty and adventure.
May you reach your destination in safety, and happily return to us. Amen.
adapted by MTStreck
Closing Song: For the Beauty of the Earth