Weekly Liturgy : May 29-June 4
Matthew 28:16-20 The Message Translation
Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. The moment they saw him they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally. Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”
Jesus is inviting people to be about the things that God is about: Healing the sick, setting captives free, loving our enemies, caring for the orphans, widows, and strangers. Today, there are roughly 2.5 billion people who call themselves Christians, or followers of Jesus, in the world. That’s over 25% of the world’s population. That means that there should be 2.5 billion people that are healing the sick, restoring the broken, and setting the captives free. 2.5 billion people bringing and being the good news to a hungry and hurting world. But, when you ask people what they think about Christians today, at least in America, what you tend to hear are words like “judgmental,” “self-righteous,” and “arrogant.” What’s up with that? Would the world look different if those 2.5 billion people actually cared about and did the things that Jesus did? Probably. In fact, the world would be a more peace-filled place if the people who call themselves Christians would just stop hating other Christians.
These past few weeks, as we have worked to open a new shelter in Polk County, we’ve heard objections from lots of people. The ones that sting the most, though, are the ones from other Christians, pastors, and church leaders. They say, “you are not a real church,” or “you are not loving your neighbor.”
We disagree. Our aim is to be about the things that Jesus is about, which is what every church should be about.
We hope that we are influencing our community to see the humanity in their neighbors—sheltered or unsheltered—and to stand with those on the margins, to care more about being in right relationship with others, and less about being right.
Outward Mindset Application
Learn the objectives of 3 people that you affect at work.
Pathways Toward Centeredness
Activism Loving the world through justice work, social reform, or confronting error and evil.
What is one area in your life where you can identify a lack of justice, or fairness? Write a letter or an email to someone who is in an influential position to change that area.
Questions for Reflection
What are you teaching others with your life? Who are the people that are influencing you or teaching you? Does your desire to be right have a negative impact on your relationships?
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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