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  • Writer's pictureJohn M

Weekly Liturgy : June 19-25

House Sparrows  ©Natural History Museam
House Sparrows ©Natural History Museam

Matthew 10:24-39 The Message Translation

Don't Be Intimidated

4-25 “A student doesn’t get a better desk than her teacher. A laborer doesn’t make more money than his boss. Be content—pleased, even—when you, my students, my harvest hands, get the same treatment I get. If they call me, the Master, ‘Dungface,’ what can the workers expect?

26-27 “Don’t be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. So don’t hesitate to go public now.

28 “Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.

29-31 “What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.

32-33 “Stand up for me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think I’ll cover for you?

34-37 “Don’t think I’ve come to make life cozy. I’ve come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don’t deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don’t deserve me.

38-39 “If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.



The task of healing the world is really hard. It takes a ton of patience and humility and sacrifice and willingness to be different from the rest of the world. It’s the work no one really wants to do and it’s the work many actively oppose. It requires us to give of ourselves, while we simultaneously absorb the pain of our neighbors. Sometimes, it puts us in conflict with others who we love. The project is personal. But we are not alone. And we do not need to fear. We have a teacher. One who has done it all before and knows the way. A teacher who cares for us and wants the best for us. And best of all, on the other side of all this really difficult work, on the other side of faithfulness to the way of Jesus, is an abundance beyond what we can imagine. Full immersion into the Divine!



Outward Mindset Application

Refrain from complaining or saying anything negative about anyone today.

Pathways Toward Centeredness

Activism (loving the world through confrontation): Is there an individual or an organization with whom you are frustrated? Write a letter outlining your concerns. Decide if you want to share that letter, connect in person, or keep the letter to yourself.

Questions for Reflection

What practices to you have for building your resiliency in the world? What has been your experience with opposition in your life or work? Have you experienced healing or reconciliation? What made that possible?


You’re Invited!

One of our community practices is to gather every Sunday morning for prayer, friendship, and conversation about the week’s Scripture text. Doors open at 10:30am for coffee and donuts. Our circle begins at 11:00am. We would love to see you there!

The Open Table (@ The old DMV)

2640 N Portland Rd

Salem, OR 97301


“Liturgy” refers to the habits and practices humans use to form community around shared values and meaning. At Church at the Park, we desire to be a community of practice, becoming people who see the world through the eyes of the marginalized, making meaning through the lens of pain and suffering, and committing ourselves to non-violence in a wounded world. This weekly email is intended to provide pathways of practice for becoming the type of people who embody these values.

Many of our reflections on each week's text come from other sources. If you're interested in reading more of what inspires us, here our our two favorite reflections.

Copyright (C) 2023 Church at the Park. All rights reserved.


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