Weekly Liturgy : May 1-7
A Place for Everyone
John 14:1-14 NRSV 1-4 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6-7 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” 9-14 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Like Philip, I am often wondering who God really is, and what God is really like. To my anxiety, this story takes the easy answer: that Jesus is like God, and flips it to say: God is like Jesus. This switch in emphasis is important to me. It helps me keep my definitions for God within the boundaries of Jesus’ life and way of being human. It helps me remember that God doesn’t do things that Jesus wouldn’t do. But then Jesus flips the script again. He says he’s leaving. And it will be up to us to prove to one another who God is through our own ways of being human. So may we continue to do what Jesus started in bigger and fuller ways: to prepare room for every person ever.
Outward Mindset Application
Find reasons to thank as many co-workers as you can.
Pathways Toward Centeredness
Contemplation (loving the world in thoughtful adoration): Find some private space where you can spend 10 minutes each day in silence and solitude. Identify one word that you aspire to be true of you.
With your eyes closed, focus your mind on that word for the 10 minutes. If your mind starts to drift, that’s okay! Gently return your attention to the word you’ve chosen. After the 10 minutes, return yourself to the world.
Questions for Reflection
Where is your favorite place on earth? The place you get to be most fully yourself? If you could design your dream house, would you prefer to be small, and isolated? Or big and close to people and full of space for others?
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.