Weekly Liturgy : May 8-14
God Wants to be with Us
John 14:15-21 Common English Bible 15-17 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. I will ask the Father, and he will send another Companion, who will be with you forever. This Companion is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world can’t receive because it neither sees him nor recognizes him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be with you. 18-21 “I won’t leave you as orphans. I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”
Some people much more wise than myself will often say something like this: to know someone is to love them. And to love them is to know them. I think that it is also true that in order to know someone, we have to be with them. I am not always the best at being with people. I’m a hardcore introvert and I like my alone time. A LOT. My own insecurities also make me doubt how much people really even want to be with me. Then I read a text like this and I’m confronted by the idea that the Infinite God of the Universe really does want nothing more than to be with me and for me to be with God. For love to flow back and forth between the two of us. To know each other. And to do good for each other the way any lovers would. For those of us who have ever been told that God might be angry with us or unwilling to be in relationship with us (for any reason), I hope this alternative God becomes more and more real this week.
*A note from John: For some of us, the quickest way to feel close to God is through doubt. But Christianity sometimes has a hard time giving permission to express doubt and anger and frustration toward God. This song is from my favorite band and I return to it often when I need help finding words for my negative emotions about God. I hope it is only ever helpful for you too.
Outward Mindset Application
When you start to feel aggravated toward someone, try to remember a time that you have done something similar to what he or she is now doing.
Pathways Toward Centeredness
Intellection (loving the world in thoughtful our mind): Find a poem, a quote or a text of Scripture that helps you make sense of the world. See if you can memorize it by the end of the week.
Questions for Reflection
Who or what do you turn to when you need help figuring out what’s true? Who are three people who really help you feel like you belong in the world. Who are three people who could use your help feeling the same way?
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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