Monday, September 25, 2017

Upper Room Liturgy - Answering When the Holy One Calls

Lindy Sanford, ARCWP and Dennis McDonald, ARCWP led the Upper Room liturgy on Sunday, September 24, with the theme: Answering when the Holy One Calls. They chose a first reading from Joyce Rupp which is printed below Lindy's homily starter.

Lindy's homily starter: The Vineyard Parable 

Jesus broke the rules! Known as Rabbi and as teacher, he cherished the rules of Judaism in his day, and loved them. He also knew which rules needed breaking, and did so by sharing his friendship with those who needed it the most, regardless of those rules.

When people asked Jesus what the kin-dom of heaven was like he always told a story, a parable with many layers of meaning. This one startles people, even today.

The owner of the Vineyard asked for workers 3 times that day to be sure harvesting would get done. When the work was over, he paid them all the same amount. No wonder those who were asked to pick grapes first thought they should have been paid more than those who began mid day and especially than those who began late in the afternoon! Many think this parable is about coveting what others get or have.That those who started early in the morning should not covet how easy it was for those who were called last. 

But I doubt that the kingdom of the God is like being taught that we must not covet, even when it is understandable.

I think this story is about the Holy One calling each of us to be a priestly people.
About God loving us so much that She has chosen a special time and way to invite us to accept an incredible gift. Some of us hear this call when we are young. Some of us are not able to respond when we hear it until the world around us changes. Some of us hear the call when the world is ready. Some of us hear the call just now. Each of us are called to accept a love so deep that it spills out on everyone around us. Healing us and the world around us when we need it the most.

This call is given at a special time,... when we are ready...a special time when the world needs us in a way we might never know or understand.

God loves us so much that He breaks the rules. The kin-dom is like this vineyard. Everyone, no matter when we are called is given the same gift...abundant, unmeasurable, unending, unconditional love.

What will you gain by accepting this Love? What will it cost you?

Growing Closer to God in Every Situation
by Joyce Rupp

As we open ourselves to spiritual growth, there is simply no part of our life that can be left out. Nothing is too dirty or smudged. Nothing is too ecstatic or passionate. Nothing is too mundane or ordinary. All of life is the food of our spiritual growth. We can grow closer and deeper in our relationship with the Holy One through every situation, depending on our attitude, our openness, and our awareness. Be aware of God teaching you through your life today.” These are the inspired words of Joyce Rupp and the community affirms them by saying, Amen.

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