Weekly Liturgy : May 22-28
John 20 : 19 - 23
The Day of Pentecost
John 20:19-23 Common English Bible 19-23 It was still the first day of the week. That evening, while the disciples were behind closed doors because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you don’t forgive them, they aren’t forgiven.”
There is only one way for violence to end in the world. Someone… ANYONE… just has to decide not to retaliate when violence is done to them. Someone just has to decide to forgive. And the cycle of pain is over. So, 50 days after Easter, Jesus shows up to make sure his disciples get the point. If those of us who claim to follow a God-revealed-in-Jesus (who, through his life, death, and resurrection showed how to do this forgiveness thing), don’t actually do the forgiving thing… no one else will. If those of us who believe in a compassionate God who shows up in dark places with only one message (Peace be with you!) don’t also do the same exact thing… no one else will. We don’t even have to be Jesus either. We don’t even have to call ourselves Christian. We just have to be willing to believe that the Way of the Universe, the Cosmic-Lifeforce-Vibrating-at-the-Frequency-of-Love, the God Reality that Christians call Father, Son, and Holy Spirit empowers us to behave this way. If we are so willing to believe and behave, peace might really come for all of us.
Outward Mindset Application
Do something helpful for your supervisor, that he or she does not expect nor your job require.
Pathways Toward Centeredness
Sensation (loving the world through our senses): Think of a physical activity that helps you feel restored. It could be running, yoga, getting a massage, swimming, etc. As you do that activity this week, see if you can think of what you are doing as prayer.
Questions for Reflection
How does the reality of violence fit into your understanding of the world? When you find yourself in the middle of conflict, what voices do you listen to for guidance? What feelings occur in your body when you’ve “won” against someone, versus when you’ve reached resolution together?
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.
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