“Easter Breakfast with Jesus” • John 21:1-14 Worship Service for In-Home or Remote Group Use

jesus-on-shore

artwork: presbydestrian; liturgy: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber

Worship Note

For congregations delaying triumphant Easter services until they can physically reunite, this is an alternative Easter morning service. It focuses upon the third appearance of the Resurrected Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of St. John – breakfast on the beach of the Tiberian Sea.

Preparations

  • You may wish to arrange to worship distantly with others at the same time.
  • Consider worshipping at the breakfast table inviting the Risen Christ to join your household.
  • Read through this service before to assemble items needed.
  • A “Christ Candle” can be any sort of candle or object which represents Christ’s presence.
  • Choose songs to sing (our suggestions or your favorites). Assemble what you’ll need to sing.
  • Ensure an uninterrupted place to worship.
  • Decorate the space to welcome God’s Easter presence, as we do at church.

Time for Children

“Out of the Bag: Waiting for Easter” on YouTube channel: Kathryn Schreiber

Worship Service

Please adapt to make this worship service your own. Your intention is what is important.

 We Gather

Call to Worship

Through the Holy Spirit we are united.

Souls throughout time and place assemble.

Christians of every expression faithfully conspire.

Worshippers sheltering in place gather spiritually.

The virus cannot stop us from connecting.

We are joined in our affirmation of the Resurrected One:

Alleluia! Alleluia!

Christ has died.

Christ is risen.

Christ will come again.

Alleluia! Amen!


Light the Christ Candle

Song for Welcoming Easter

Suggestion: “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” – C Wesley, EASTER HYMN (#216 Chalice)

Statement of Faith (Pope John Paul II)

“We do not pretend that life is all beauty.

We are aware of darkness and sin, of poverty and pain.

But we know Jesus has conquered sin

and passed through his own pain

to the glory of the Resurrection.

And we live in the light of his Paschal Mystery –

the mystery of his Death and Resurrection.

We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!

We are not looking for a shallow joy

but rather a joy that comes from faith,

that grows through unselfish love,

that respects the fundamental duty of love of neighbor,

without which it would be unbecoming to speak of joy.” (jpii)

We Unburden and Gather Hope

Naming Our New Reality

If you are with others in person or via devices please share what is on your minds and in your hearts. If you are alone, speak out loud to God. How has it been for you and your loved ones this Holy Week? How have you reinvented Easter this year? What is still buried awaiting resurrection? Be honest. Name your truth no matter what it is. God is listening.

Silent Prayer

In the quietude of your soul simply be in God’s presence, just as you are. Your mind will wander. Thoughts will come up. Be kind to yourself. Temporarily let go of following your thoughts. Sit in God’s presence, possibly repeating “Risen One” or “Jesus Christ” or “Savior.”

Acts of Unburdening and Affirming

Place pebbles or small items at the base of the Christ Candle thinking or speaking whatever you wish to offer to God for release or gratitude. These offerings need not be named. The soul knows what to give to God and God knows what to receive.

Blessing of Grace

Today we celebrate the eternal wonder and gift

of Jesus’s bodily resurrection from death

as we face our own mortal fears and sorrows.

At this complex time,

may we hear the Still Speaking God telling us:

We are graciously forgiven;

We are always beloved;

We are definitely stronger than we believe we are.

May we rise in spirit with Christ this Easter morn. Amen.

We Listen

Gospel Reading: St John 21:1-14

The scripture reading is set up for multiple voices, but can be used however is best for your household. This narrative, found in the gospel of St John – the latest of the four Biblical gospels, reveals a deepening understanding of the Risen Christ among the early Christians. *Special Note: “The Disciple whom Jesus Loved” is a unique term used in St. John’s gospel. Some believe it refers to John the Evangelist. Others believe it is a literary technique to open the story. During today’s reading you may wish to imagine that YOU are this beloved disciple.

Storyteller: First, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene outside the empty tomb.

Then the Risen Jesus appeared to the disciples in hiding.

Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias;

and he showed himself in this way:

gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin,

Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples.

Simon Peter: “I am going fishing.”

The Disciples: “We will go with you.”

Storyteller: They went out and got into the boat,

but that night they caught nothing.

Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach;

but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.

Jesus: “Children, you have no fish, have you?”

The Disciples: “No.”

Jesus: “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.”

Storyteller: So they cast the net,

and now they were not able to haul it in

because there were so many fish.

The Disciple whom Jesus Loved*: “Peter, it is the Lord!”

Storyteller: When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord,

he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the lake.

But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish,

for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.

When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there,

with fish on it, and bread.

Jesus: “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.”

Storyteller: So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore,

full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them;

and though there were so many, the net was not torn.

Jesus: “Come and have breakfast.”

Storyteller: “Now none of the disciples dared to ask him: ‘Who are you?’

because they knew it was the Lord.”

Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them,

and did the same with the fish.

This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples

after he was raised from the dead.

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon this Holy Word. Amen.

Reflection Upon the Risen Christ and Our Needs

(If your pastor has prepared a sermon, please read/view it now.)

In this story the risen Jesus continually acts for the well-being of his disciples. Jesus goes to them, waits for them, helps them find fish, prepares a fire, cooks them breakfast, and feeds them. After this series of very tangible loving actions, after they have finished their breakfast, Jesus begins instructing them in continuing the ministry without his physical presence.

Let us imagine what the disciples might have been experiencing: It was only weeks ago that the crowd rejoiced at the arrival of the Messiah. Then, they celebrated the Passover and Jesus spoke to them of things to come. Then, Jesus was betrayed, arrested, persecuted, and killed by Temple and Empire working hand in glove. Jesus was abandoned by his core disciples for they were afraid for their own lives. Some of the women disciples, including his mother, were considered insignificant by authorities thus making them able to safely join him in his last hours. The women returned after Sabbath to tend his dead body assisted by a man of wealth who lent his tomb.

Though the Risen Christ had appeared to Mary Magdalene and to the hiding disciples, in this reading we learn that Simon Peter, the one Jesus appointed as their leader, suggested they go fishing – return to the work they did before Jesus called them to “fish for men.”

We, too, are reeling from current events and are confused about the future. We, too, cling to familiar practices and comforts. As we remember the Resurrected Jesus’s breakfast with the disciples this Easter morning where might Christ be this very moment? How is Christ coming to us, waiting for us, helping us, feeding us, loving us? It may be helpful to imagine the Risen Jesus seated at your breakfast table. Ask the Risen One – Where are You now? Who are You helping now? How are You tending our vulnerable bodies now?

May the eternal presence of the Ever-Living Christ be with each and every one of us this Easter morning – no matter who we are, no matter where we are on our life’s journey, no matter what sort of care we most need.

Special Music

Suggestion: “I Know that My Redeemer Liveth” – solo from GF Handel’s Messiah (YouTube)

We Pray

Prayers of Petition

Prayers on Holy Days carry a special power. Carefully discern your prayer requests of joy and concern. What is most pressing this Easter – most joyful, most concerning? If your community shares prayer requests or a Pastoral Prayer, include them at this time.

Song for Prayer

Suggestion: “I Come to the Garden Alone” – C S Miles, GARDEN (Chalice #227)

The Lord’s Prayer 

Imagine the sanctuary where you usually worship. Let the memory of your Beloved Community fill your soul and let us pray together the prayer Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

We Give Thanks

Offering

Thank Jesus Christ for coming to be with us, for absorbing our sins and mistakes into his body, for offering himself as a reconnection between humanity and God. Offer praise and thanksgiving. Consider an action you might make or a gift you might give to offer needed uplift to others. (Please see the Donation note at the end of this document)

 Song of Gratitude

Suggestion: “Now the Green Blade Rises” – JM Crum, NOEL NOUVELET (#230 Chalice)

 

We Continue in Hope

Affirmation of Resurrection (inspired by Matthew 25:35-36)

It will truly be Easter

when all who are hungry have been given food. 

It will truly be Easter

when all who are thirsty have been given a drink.

It will truly be Easter

when all who are have been labeled “Stranger” are welcome.

It will truly be Easter

when all who are naked have been given clothing.

It will truly be Easter

when all who are sick or in prison have been visited.

It will truly be Easter

when we see in the least of these the presence of the Risen Christ.

Amen.

 Song of Hope

Suggestion: “All Creatures of Our God and King” – Francis of Assisi, LASST UNS ERFRUEN (#22 Chalice)

Benediction

Before Lazarus was raised from the dead,

Jesus said to his sister Martha:

“I am the resurrection and the life.

Those who believe in me,

even though they die, will live,

and everyone who lives and believes in me

will never die.” (John 11:25-26)

We believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah,

God’s Beloved Child given for the redemption of all.

We believe in life eternal forever yoked to Christ.

May our Easter morning affirmations of faith

be a deep blessing upon our souls,

now and forever more. Amen.

this concludes the service —

Online Chalice Hymnal: https://hymnary.org/hymnal/CH1995

YouTube Music Videos: search by title AND one of the authors for best results

Worship Resources: All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber unless attributed to another source. (NRSV) New Revised Standard Version ©1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Chalice) Chalice Hymnal, among other worship publications, has suspended copyright restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. (jpii) Pope John Paul II http://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/angelus/1986/documents/hf_jp-ii_ang_19861130.html

Worship Credit: © 2020, Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber, Living Liturgies

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author.

Donation for Use of Content: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. However, you may express your gratitude financially by making a donation to a local non-profit which tends the needs of the most vulnerable. Or, sew masks for your most vulnerable neighbors or contact someone who is living alone. Let us generously share the grace of Easter in solidarity with our neighbors. Thank you!

Living Liturgies: www.inthebiglove.com; Facebook: “Living Liturgies”; YouTube: “Kathryn Schreiber”

 

“Last Supper” • Luke 22:7-13, 14-20 “Last Blessings” • John 13: 34; 14:1, 6, 16, 18, 23, 27 — Worship Service for In-Home or Remote Group Use

supperatemmuasliturgy: (c) Kathryn M Schreiber; artwork: (c) He Qi “The Last Supper”

PDF online: https://ncnc.dreamhosters.com/resources-and-information-to-respond-to-covid-19/

Worship Note

Instead of observing a traditional Palm Sunday-Holy Week-Easter this year, some communities are delaying Easter celebrations until they can physically reunite as the Body of Christ. This service focuses upon Jesus’ Last Supper and final blessings upon His beloved disciples. It is specially designed for remote worship and can be used anytime Palm Sunday to Holy Saturday 4/5-11/2020.

Preparations

  • You may wish to arrange to worship distantly with others at the same time.
  • If observing a remote Holy Communion, please alert participants ahead of time.
  • Read through this service before beginning, especially for Holy Communion items.
  • A “Christ Candle” can be any sort of candle or object which represents Christ’s presence.
  • Choose songs to sing (our suggestions or your favorites). Assemble what you’ll need to sing.
  • Ensure an uninterrupted place to worship.
  • Decorate the space to welcome God’s presence, as we do at church.

Time for Children

“Out of the Bag: Ritual” on YouTube channel: Kathryn Schreiber

Worship Service

Please adapt to make this worship service your own. Your intention is what is important.

 We Gather

Call to Worship (unison)

We have not made all the arrangements

We normally would have made,

But God will provide.

 

We can’t do all the things

We usually do this time of year,

But God will make a way.

 

We aren’t sure how to do this;

We have never done anything like this before,

But God will show us how.

 

As we begin this Holy Week

which is a very different Holy Week,

may we set our attention

not upon what we have done in the past,

but upon what God is doing right now. Amen.

 

Light the Christ Candle

 

Song for Welcoming Christ

Suggestion: “Kum ba Yah” – by Marvin Frey  (#590 Chalice)

We Unburden

Naming Our New Reality

If you are with others in person or via devices please discuss the past week as well as the coming week. If you are alone, speak out loud to God. How are you dealing with sheltering in place and changes to this year’s Holy Week and Easter? What has been hardest? What has been most surprising? What has been most uplifting? What is bringing hope? Be honest. Name your truth no matter what it is. God is listening.

 

Silent Prayer

In the quietude of your soul simply be in God’s presence, just as you are. Your mind will wander. Thoughts will come up. Be kind to yourself. Temporarily let go of following your thoughts. Sit in God’s presence, possibly repeating “Messiah” or “Teacher” or “Jesus.”

 

Act of Unburdening

Place pebbles or small items at the base of the Christ Candle thinking or speaking whatever you wish to offer to God for release. These “releases” need not be named. The soul knows what to give to God and God knows what to receive.

 

Blessing of Grace (unison)

Let us pray:

Before we uttered a word,

before we put a label on our discomfort

You, O Lord, knew what we were carrying

and called us forward to release

awaiting this moment

when You could fully unburden us.

Merciful One, Thank You. Thank You. Amen.

 We Prepare

Gospel Reading: St Luke 22:7-13

Note: Scripture readings are set up for multiple voices, but can be used however is best for your household. Anyone can lead the celebration of Holy Communion. Ordained status is not required.

The first scripture reading, from the Gospel of St Luke 22:7-13 (NRSV), has Jesus preparing for the Passover meal in Jerusalem. (This narrative is also found in Matthew 26:17-19 and Mark 14:12-16. In the Gospel of St John the Last Supper is not set during Passover.)

 

Storyteller:

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread,

on which the Passover Lamb had to be sacrificed.

So Jesus sent Peter and John.

 

Jesus:

“Go and prepare the Passover meal for us that we may eat it.”

 

Disciples Peter and John:

Where do you want us to make preparations for it?”

 

Jesus:

“Listen: When you have entered Jerusalem,

a man carrying a jar of water will meet you.

Follow him into the house he enters

and say to the owner of the house:

‘The Teacher asks you: “Where is the guest room,

where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’

The owner of the house will show you a large room upstairs,

already furnished.

Make preparations for us there.”

 

Storyteller:

So Peter and John went

and found everything as Jesus had told them;

and they prepared the Passover meal.

 

Storyteller:

The very first observance of the Last Supper

was filled with mystery, faith, and household generosity.

This year, as we shelter in place,

we, too, have an opportunity to embody the Last Supper

with mystery, faith, and household generosity.

Notes: If you have not already, prepare for your in-home observance of Holy Communion. For health safety, please use individual servings (one cup, one plate) for each person. An additional set may be put out to represent those not physically present. Place cups and plates in the center of the table in reach of all participating. Any beverage and food can be used, though juice/wine and bread/cracker are traditional.

Holy Communion is always a gathering of souls, not just bodies. Who would you like to invite to share this meal? Maybe, you’d like to extend a general invitation to gentle souls who would like to gather with you? Before proceeding, please call their names or offer a spoken word of invitation. We never celebrate this blessed meal alone.

 

We Share

Song for Sharing the Last Supper

Suggestion: “Be Known to Us in the Breaking of Bread”  

– J Montgomery, JB Dykes (#398 Chalice)

         

Be known to us in breaking bread, but do not then depart;

Savior, abide with us, and spread thy table in our heart.

         

There sup with us in love divine; thy body and thy blood,

That living bread, that heavenly wine, be our immortal food.

 

Second Gospel Reading: St Luke 22:14-20

Notes: Continuing with the Gospel of St Luke 22:14-20 (NRSV) we join Jesus and the disciples in partaking of the Last Supper. Jesus reinterprets the Jewish Passover recalling God’s faithful liberation of the Hebrew slaves from bondage in Egypt by offering himself for the liberation of all peoples. (Also found in Matthew 26:26-29 and Mark 14:22-25. In the Gospel of St John the Last Supper is not set during Passover.)

Storyteller:

When the hour came,

Jesus took his place at the table,

and the apostles with him.

 

 

Jesus:

“I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you

before I suffer;

for I tell you, I will not eat it

until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

 

Storyteller:

Then Jesus took a cup, and after giving thanks he said:

 

Jesus:

“Take this and divide it among yourselves;

for I tell you that from now on

I will not drink of the fruit of the vine

until the kingdom of God comes.”

 

Everyone takes a cup. Do not drink.

Thank God for this cup, this observation of the Last Supper.

 

Storyteller:

Then Jesus took a loaf of bread,

and when he had given thanks,

he broke it and gave it to them.

 

Everyone takes a plate with food on it. Do not eat.

Thank God for this food, these eternal gifts from Jesus Christ.

 

Jesus:

“This is my body, which is given for you.

Do this in remembrance of me.”

 

Everyone eats from their plates.

 

Storyteller:

And Jesus did the same with the cup after supper, saying:

 

Jesus:

“This cup that is poured out for you

is the new covenant in my blood.”

 

Everyone drinks from their cups.

 

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Holy God Who Always Provides,

We are not in our beloved Sanctuary, yet You are here.

We are not physically assembled with our dear friends, yet You are here.

We have not shared a common loaf and cup, yet You are here.

 

May the deep blessing of this different Holy Communion

recalibrate our souls to You,

reminding us that it is Your eternal love

which casts the bonds of faith

between this world and the next. Amen.

 

We Pray

Prayers of Petition

Lift up your joys and concerns in prayer. If your community shares prayer requests or a Pastoral Prayer, include them at this time.

 

Song for Prayer or Special Music

Suggestion: “In Remembrance of Me” – R Courtney, B Red

          verse 2 — change “open the door” to “open your heart” (Chalice #403)

 

The Lord’s Prayer (unison)

Imagine the sanctuary where you usually worship. Let the memory of your Beloved Community fill your soul and let us pray together the prayer Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

We Give Thanks

Gratitude Offering

Whether with others or alone, use this time to name the blessings experienced this past week and those encountered this very day.

 

Song of Gratitude

Suggestions: “Thank You, Lord” – African American (#531 Chalice)

 

We Continue in Hope

Gospel Readings: St John 13: 34; 14:1, 6, 16, 18, 23, 27

In the Gospel of St John Jesus’ last meal with the Disciples is not set at Passover. It is part of a series of physical and spiritual blessings, including the beautiful quotes below. If you are alone, please image your soul fiends with you as you read the “ALL” parts.

Storyteller:

After Jesus had washed the feet of his Disciples

and shared a meal with them,

He offered beloved words of instruction and blessing,

included these comforting affirmations:

 

All: Let us remember that Jesus said:

One: “I give you a new commandment,

that you love one another.

Just as I have loved you,

you also should love one another.”

 

All: Let us remember that Jesus said:

One: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.

Believe in God, believe also in me.”

 

All: Let us remember that Jesus said:

One: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

No one comes to the Father except through me.”

 

All: Let us remember that Jesus said:

One: “I will ask the Father,

and he will give you another Advocate

to be with you forever.”

 

All: Let us remember that Jesus said:

One: “I will not leave you orphaned;

I am coming to you.”

 

All: Let us remember that Jesus said:

One: Those who love me will keep my words,

And my Father will love them,

And we will come to them

And make our home with them.”

 

All: Let us remember that Jesus said:

One: “Peace I leave with you,

My peace I give to you.

I do not give as the world gives.

Do not let your hearts be troubled,

And do not let them be afraid.”

 

Song of Hope

 

 

Benediction

No matter who you are…

No matter where you are…

No matter what is going on…

Hear the voice of Jesus saying:

“Peace I leave with you,

My peace I give to you.

I do not give as the world gives.

Do not let your hearts be troubled,

And do not let them be afraid.”

 this concludes the service

 Online Chalice Hymnal: https://hymnary.org/hymnal/CH1995

YouTube Music Videos: search by title AND one of the authors for best results

 Worship Resources: All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber unless attributed to another source. (NRSV) New Revised Standard Version ©1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Chalice) Chalice Hymnal, among other worship publications, has suspended copyright restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Worship Credit: © 2020, Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber, Living Liturgies

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author.

Donation for Use of Content: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. However, you may express your gratitude financially by making a donation to your local foodbank through your faith community or directly. Your financial support is greatly needed at this time. Thank you!

Living Liturgies: www.inthebiglove.com; Facebook: “Living Liturgies”; YouTube: “Kathryn Schreiber”

“You Feed Them” • Matthew 14:13-21  Worship Service for Home or Small Group Use

loaves & fishes mosaicby Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2020

Preparations

  • You may wish to arrange to worship distantly with others at the same time.
  • Read through this service before beginning, especially for items needed.
  • A “Christ Candle” can be any sort of candle or object which represents Christ’s presence.
  • Choose songs to sing (our suggestions or your favorites). Assemble what you’ll need to sing.
  • Ensure an uninterrupted place to worship.
  • Decorate the space to welcome God’s presence, as we do at church.

Time for Children

“Out of the Bag: Sharing” on YouTube channel: Kathryn Schreiber

Worship Service

Please adapt to make this worship service your own. Your intention is what is important.

 We Gather

Invocation (unison)

Our spirits are in need of the Living Christ

for we have heard bad news.

We are in need of very Good News.

Come, Jesus, Come!

 

We are hurting and scared.

We need compassion and wisdom.

We need our Spiritual Leader.

Come, Jesus, Come!

 

We are sad that so many are ill and dying.

We worry our loved ones will become sick

and are concerned about our own health, too.

Holy Healer, we need Your help.

Come, Jesus, Come!

 

Light the Christ Candle

Song for Welcoming the Holy Spirit

Suggestions: “Come to Me, O Weary Traveler” – S Dunstan, W Rowan; AUSTIN; “Come unto Me, Ye Weary” – W. Dix, S Wesley

 

We Unburden

Naming Our New Reality

If you are with others in person or via devices please discuss your reaction to the rapid spread of COVID-19. Maybe you know someone who is ill or quarantined? If you are alone, speak out loud to God about this past week. Be honest. What has been hardest? What has been most surprising? What has been most uplifting? Name your truth no matter what it is. God is listening.

Silent Prayer

In the quietude of your soul simply be in God’s presence, just as you are. Your mind will wander. Thoughts will come up. Be kind to yourself. Temporarily let go of following your thoughts. Sit in God’s presence, possibly repeating “Holy One” or “Dear Abba.”

 Act of Unburdening

Place pebbles or small items at the base of the Christ Candle thinking or speaking whatever you wish to offer to God for release. These “releases” need not be named. The soul knows what to give to God and God knows what to receive.

Blessing of Grace (unison)

Let us pray:

Before we uttered a word, before we put a label on our discomfort, You, O Lord, knew what we were carrying and called us forward to release awaiting this moment when You could fully unburden us. Merciful One, Thank You. Thank You. Amen.

We Listen

Gospel Reading (responsive)

Our scripture reading is from the Gospel of St Matthew 14:13-21 (NRSV). This story also appears in Mark 6:32-44, Luke: 9:10b-17, and John 6:1-15. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the miraculous feeding of the crowd takes place immediately following the execution of John the Baptist.

In Matthew 14:1-12 King Herod arrested John the Baptist for criticizing Herod’s sexual affair with his sister-in-law Herodias. Herod imprisoned John and wanted to kill him, but the King feared backlash from the public. On Herod’s birthday, his niece, Herodias’ daughter, danced a very special dance. King Herod was so happy that he promised her anything. She asked for what her mother wanted — the head of John the Baptist. The text says “the king was grieved” but Herod followed through anyway. He killed the prophet John. Keep this in mind as we read Matthew 14:13-21.

This passage contains an important conversation between Jesus and his disciples. The reading below is set up for a storyteller, the disciples, and Jesus. One person may read in different voices or multiple people may each read a part.

Storyteller:

Now when Jesus heard of the killing of John the Baptist,

he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself.

But when the crowds heard about the killing of John the Baptist,

they followed Jesus on foot from the towns.

When Jesus went ashore, he saw a great crowd;

and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.

When it was evening, the disciples came to Jesus.

The disciples:

“This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late;

send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages

and buy food for themselves.”

Jesus:  

“They need not go away; you give them something to eat.”

The disciples:

“We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.”

Jesus:

“Bring them here to me.”

Storyteller:

Then Jesus ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.

Taking the five loaves and the two fish,

Jesus looked up to heaven,

and blessed and broke the loaves,

and gave them to the disciples,

and the disciples gave them to the crowds.

And all ate and were filled;

and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces,

twelve baskets full.

And those who ate were about five thousand men,

besides women and children.

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon this Holy Word. Amen.

Reflection Upon Fear, Need, and Resources

(If your pastor has prepared a sermon, please read/view it now.)

Let us try to imagine what it must have been like all those years ago… The followers of John the Baptist would have been in shock. Many thought him to be The Messiah. Others believed John’s proclamation that Jesus was The Messiah. All must have wondered who else was in danger now that the King had cruelly killed John the Baptist. Might Jesus be killed, too? Might they? Many scared and sick people traveled on foot to find Jesus looking for comfort and healing.

Jesus had gone away by himself to grieve the death of John the Baptist. But he left his private place of prayer and saw the gathering crowd. Jesus put aside his personal sorrow and performed many acts of care and healing. As night approached, Jesus’ disciples came to him asking him to tell the people to leave, to go to one of the nearby villages for food and lodging.

How does Jesus respond? He says: “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” Basically, Jesus says to his disciples: “You feed them.” The disciples are bewildered because they only have five loaves and the two fish. Do you think Jesus knew there was other food among them? Did Jesus know that the crowd also had extra food in their pockets, baskets, and bags? As Rev. William Sloan Coffin was fond of saying, “Resources weren’t the problem. Distribution was.” Sound familiar?

It is predictable human behavior to horde goods when we are afraid. All over the world scared people are stockpiling critical items for private use, maybe we are doing that, too? Given this COVID-19 pandemic, what do you think Jesus might say to us?

Let this story lovingly trouble your soul. What might you have that is really needed right now? What might God be saying to you and your household?

Listen to the sounds of nature or special music before moving on.

When your reflection time is done, simply say: “Amen.”

 We Pray

Prayers of Petition

Lift up your joys and concerns in prayer. If your community shares prayer requests or a Pastoral Prayer, include them at this time.

Song for Prayer

Suggestions: “Sweet Hour of Prayer” – W Walford, W Bradbury; SWEET HOUR; “Standing in the Need of Prayer” – African American spiritual; PENITENT 

 The Lord’s Prayer (unison)

Imagine the sanctuary where you usually worship. Let the memory of your Beloved Community fill your soul and let us pray together the prayer Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

We Give Thanks

Offering

Do something to show your love of God. Offer words of adoration to the Ever-Giving One. Do something for someone others might be avoiding. Make a donation of time, talent, or treasure. (Please see the Donation note at the end of this document)

 Song of Gratitude

Suggestions:

“Gloria Patri”- Doxology; “Great is Thy Faithfulness” – T Chisholm, W Runyan 

 We Continue in Hope

Affirmation of Plenty (unison)

Within the baskets of the crowd,

Within the pantries of our homes,

Within the corners of our hearts,

There is enough.

Among our global neighbors,

Among our friends and family,

Among our very household,

There is enough.

 

Sweet Ever-Living Jesus

Keep speaking to us saying:

You feed them!”

And let us eagerly reply:

We will!” Amen. 

 

Song of Hope

Suggestions: “God of Grace and God of Glory” – H Fosdick, J Hughes; “We Are the World” – M Jackson & L Richie, 1985.

Benediction

Thérèse of Lisieux lived over 100 years ago in France. She was known as “The Little Flower of Jesus” because she encouraged Christians to live a life of simple, practical faith.

Thérèse wrote: “Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, or even at their difficulty, as at the love with which we do them.”

Dear Ones, this week may we do what we do with great love.

Go forth in peace. Christ goes with us. Amen.

(this concludes the service)

Online music: https://hymnary.org/ YouTube: google by title AND one of the authors

 Worship Resources: All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber unless attributed to another source. (NRSV) New Revised Standard Version ©1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 Worship Credit: © 2020, Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber, Living Liturgies

 Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author.

Donation for Use of Content: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. However, you may express your gratitude financially by making a direct donation to your local church or religious community. Check with your church’s Treasurer about the best way to give during this time. Your offerings will touch many lives. Thank you!

More from Living Liturgies:

Website: www.inthebiglove.com; Facebook: “Living Liturgies”; YouTube: “Kathryn Schreiber”

“Who Touched Me?” • Luke 8:43-48

(c) Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber, 2020

Worship Service for Home or Small Group Use

Content is offered for FREE — however, see Donations note below

PDF (English or Cantonese) available: https://ncnc.dreamhosters.com/resources-and-information-to-respond-to-covid-19/

Preparations

  • You may wish to arrange to worship distantly with others at the same time.
  • Read through this service before beginning, especially for items needed.
  • A “Christ Candle” can be any sort of candle or object which represents Christ’s presence.
  • Choose songs to sing (our suggestions or your favorites). Assemble what you’ll need to sing.
  • Ensure an uninterrupted place to worship.
  • Decorate the space to welcome God’s presence, as we do at church.

Time for Children

“Out of the Bag: Hands! Wonderfully Made!” on YouTube channel: Kathryn Schreiber

Worship Service

Please adapt to make this worship service your own. Your intention is what is important.

 We Gather

Invocation (unison)

Brother Jesus, we are feeling very vulnerable today.

We are keeping our bodies away from other bodies.

We are trying to slow down this invisible virus

that hides among us, that flies through our sneezes,

that hitchhikes on our hands.

It is unsafe to touch and to be touched

and yet, we need to be lovingly cradled.

So we reach out to You, Eternal Christ.

Feel our touch, Holy One.

Do not be afraid of us. Amen.

 Light the Christ Candle

Song for Welcoming the Holy Spirit

Suggestions:

“Come and Fill our Hearts” – Taizé Community, Bro. Jacques Berthier

“Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” – Robert Robinson

 We Unburden

Naming Our New Reality

If you are with others in person or via devices please discuss your experience of staying away from people and sheltering in place this week. If you are alone, speak out loud to God about this past week. Be honest. What has been hardest? What has been most surprising? What has been most rewarding? Name your truth no matter what it is. God is listening.

 Silent Prayer

In the quietude of your soul simply be in God’s presence, just as you are. Your mind will wander. Thoughts will come up. Be kind to yourself. Temporarily let go of following your thoughts. Sit in God’s presence, possibly repeating “Holy One” or “Dear Abba.”

 Act of Unburdening

Place pebbles or small items at the base of the Christ Candle thinking or speaking whatever you wish to offer to God for release. These “releases” need not be named. The soul knows what to give to God and God knows what to receive.

Blessing of Grace (unison)

Let us pray:

Before we uttered a word,

before we put a label on our discomfort

You, O Lord, knew what we were carrying

and called us forward to release

awaiting this moment

when You could fully unburden us.

Merciful One, Thank You. Thank You. Amen.

We Listen

Gospel Reading (responsive)

Our scripture reading is from the Gospel of St Luke 8:43-48 (NRSV). This story also appears in Mark 5:25-34 and Matthew 9:20-22.

Jesus had been traveling and performing many healing miracles drawing large crowds of sick people. Today, we are avoiding being near people, especially crowds. To reduce the spread of the coronavirus, we are also extremely limiting touch. In Jesus’ time, people would have been afraid of the Hemorrhaging Woman’s touch because she was sick. She was shunned. They would not have wanted to touch her or have her touch them. Let us pay careful attention to this sacred story, especially the parts where people are touched.

Because this passage is a conversation it is set up for three voices: Storyteller, Jesus, and Peter. One person may read in three different voices or three persons may each read a part.

Storyteller’s Voice:

Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years;

and though she had spent all she had on physicians, no one could cure her.

She came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of his clothes,

and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. Then Jesus asked…

Jesus’s Voice:

“Who touched me?”

Storyteller’s Voice:

When all the Disciples denied it, Peter said…

Peter’s Voice:

“Master, the crowds surround you and press in on you.”

Storyteller’s Voice:

But Jesus said…

Jesus’s Voice:

“Someone touched me; for I noticed that power had gone out from me.”    

 Storyteller’s Voice:

When the woman saw that she could not remain hidden,

she came trembling;

and falling down before Jesus,

she declared in the presence of all the people

why she had touched him,

and how she had been immediately healed.

Jesus said to her…

Jesus’s Voice:

“Daughter, your faith has made you well;

go in peace.”

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon this Holy Word. Amen.

Reflection Upon Illness and Touch

Please turn away from watching the clock. Rest into the grace of Kairos time.

In Jesus’ day illness was understood to be caused by sinful behavior. Illness was a divine punishment for wrongdoing. To be healed REQUIRED a spiritual change on the part of the sick person. Do you believe that?

The Hemorrhaging Woman had been socially isolated for at least a decade because people feared her moral condition. Yet, she was a VERY courageous person. She entered the large crowd, followed Jesus, and when she was beside him, she bent down and touched the edge of his robe. She was very cautious, but she did believe Jesus could heal her. She believed he could remove the spiritual curse put upon her as divine punishment.

Did it surprise you when Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” or when Peter told Jesus such things were bound to happen. Jesus explained to Peter this wasn’t an ordinary bumping into someone in a large crowd, rather…I noticed that power had gone out from me.” Jesus named that something extraordinary had just happened and wanted to know who had touched him.

 When the woman revealed herself, she probably expected to be punished again. Yet, Jesus affirmed and blessed her and said it was her faith which healed her. Can you imagine what a gift Jesus’s words must have been to her?

Let this story rest lightly upon your soul. What might God be saying to you, to us, today?

Listen to the sounds of nature or special music before moving on.

When your reflection time is done, simply say: “Amen.”

 We Pray

Prayers of Petition

Lift up your joys and concerns in prayer. If your community shares prayer requests or a Pastoral Prayer, include them at this time.

Song for Prayer

Suggestions:

“I Want Jesus To Walk with Me” – African American spiritual, tune: SOJOURNER

“Kum ba Yah” – by Marvin Frey

 The Lord’s Prayer (unison)

Imagine the sanctuary where you usually worship. Let the memory of your Beloved Community fill your soul and let us pray together the prayer Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

We Give Thanks

Offering

Do something to show your love of God. Write a check or make an online donation, write a note to someone who doesn’t text or use email, put something beautiful beside the Christ Candle. (Please see the Donation note at the end of this document)

Song of Gratitude

Suggestions:

“Gloria Patri”- Doxology

“There is a Balm in Gilead” verse: Don’t ever feel discouraged  -African-American spiritual

 We Continue in Hope

Affirmation of Faith (unison)

We are the Hemorrhaging Woman.

We are the Crowd.

We are Peter and the Disciples.

Let us reach out toward Jesus.

Let us courageously believe in Him.

Let us take from Jesus what we need

to be healed of both illness and judgment.

Amen.

 Song of Hope

Suggestions:

“Precious Lord, Take My Hand” – Thomas A Dorsey

“Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” – E Hoffman, A Showwalter   

Benediction

May we reach out to the Living Christ

Hearing Jesus say to us,

“Beloved, your faith has made you well;

go in peace.”

(this concludes the service)

Online music: https://hymnary.org/ YouTube: google by title AND one of the authors

Worship Resources: All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber unless attributed to another source. (NRSV) New Revised Standard Version ©1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Worship Credit: © 2020, Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber, Living Liturgies

 Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author.

Donation for Use of Content: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. However, you may express your gratitude financially by making a direct donation to Shuumi Land Tax – a voluntary annual financial contribution that non-Indigenous people living on traditional Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone territory make to support the critical work of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust. https://sogoreate-landtrust.com/shuumi-land-tax/ – Thank you!

Woman-touching-Jesus-garment-Marcellinus-Peter-Catacomb-610x351More from Living Liturgies:

Website: www.inthebiglove.com; Facebook: “Living Liturgies”; YouTube: “Kathryn Schreiber”

“Peace Be with You” • John 20:18-22  

(c) Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber, 2020

Invoking Peace Worship Service for Home or Group Use

Content is offered for FREE — however, see Donations note below

Preparations

  • Read through this service before beginning. Make copies if needed.
  • Assemble props and materials including a “Christ Candle” which can be any sort of candle, or another item, to represent Christ’s presence. Carefully read italic notes for more props.
  • Review our Song List suggestions below or make your own selections. Assemble sheet music, hymnal, recorded music, or instruments before beginning worship.
  • Dedicate an uninterrupted place for worship. Decorate it as an expression of intentionally welcoming God’s presence.
  • You may wish to arrange with others who are also privately worshipping to begin at the same time and check-in afterward.

Invoking Peace Worship

Please adapt to make this worship your own. Your intention is all that is important.

 

We Gather

Prayer of Gathering (responsive)

One: We call upon the disciples

who went into hiding

after Jesus’ death on the cross…

All: Come, join us. We are scared, too.

 

One: We call upon the mystics

who have always heard God speaking

in the midst of chaos…

All: Come, join us. We want to hear God, too.

 

One: We call upon our loved ones

unable to be with us in body,

but who are with us in spirit…

All: Come, join us. We need you, too.

 

Light the Christ Candle

 

All: Come, Jesus Christ, join us.

We need you most of all. Amen.

 

Song of Invitation (see Song List)

 

We Unburden

Statement of Burden

If more than one is gathered, tell each other what weighs on your soul right now. Be as honest as feels safe. If you are alone, talk to God out loud. Name your worries, concerns, and burdens no matter how odd they might seem. God is listening.

Silent Prayer

In the quietude of your soul, share with God what you wish was different – especially about yourself. Tell God what you need from God. Thank God for listening.

Act of Unburdening

Place pebbles or small items at the base of the Christ Candle silently or speaking out-loud what you are offering to God for release.

Blessing of Grace (unison)

Let us pray:

Before we uttered a word,

before we put a label on our discomfort,

You, O Lord, knew what we were carrying

and called us forward to release

awaiting this moment

when You could fully forgive us.

Merciful One, Thank You. Thank You.

Amen.

 

We Listen

Gospel Reading (responsive)

Our scripture reading is from the Gospel of St John (NRSV).  The Resurrected Christ has gone to comfort his frightened disciples.

One: When it was evening on that day,

the first day of the week,

and the doors of the house where the disciples had met

were locked for fear of the Jews,

Jesus came and stood among them and said,

All: “Peace be with you.”

 

One: After Jesus said this,

he showed them his hands and his side.

Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

Jesus said to them again,

All: “Peace be with you.

As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 

 

One: When Jesus had said this,

he breathed on them and said to them,

All: “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon this Holy Word. Amen.

 

Reflection Upon Fear and Peace

Please turn away from all clocks. Let this recounting unfold as it will unfold. Remember a time, or times, when divine help appeared when you were anxious. Stories may be shared verbally, or written down, or recorded as artwork, song, or movement.

Looking back on what you recalled: What do you need to remember and carry forward today? Where do you sense the Peace of Christ being spoken today? Who or what calls your soul to peace?

You may wish to listen to the sounds of nature or special music before moving on. When your reflection time is done, simply say: “Amen.”

We Pray

Prayers of Petition

This entire service is prayer, communication with God, however, there is a type of prayer for lifting up specific joys and concerns. If others are present, especially anyone who is especially vulnerable, please listen to their prayer requests very carefully.

For whom or what do you wish to pray right now? Don’t forget to lift up joys. You may place additional pebbles or small items at the base of the Christ Candle as you offer these prayers.

 Song of Prayer (see Song List)

 

The Lord’s Prayer (unison)

Let us gather with souls in all places in all languages who are currently praying this prayer Jesus taught us to pray:

(Please use the version most familiar to you)  Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

We Give Thanks

Offering

Do something to show your love of God. Write a check or make an online donation, put something beautiful beside the Christ Candle. (Please see the Donation note at the end of this document)

Song of Gratitude (see Song List)

We Continue in Peace

Practice of Peace (responsive)

One: Take a deep breath.

Let some place or person who is anxious come to mind.

Put your hands out, palms up, in front of your chest.

Imagine Jesus here saying to them:

All: “Peace be with you.”

 

One: Take a deep breath.

Think of the people you are missing right now.

Put your hands out on your sides, as before joining hands.

Imagine Jesus here saying to the completed circle:

All: “Peace be with you.”

 

One: Take a deep breath.

Think of yourself and how hard this time is.

Put your hands over your heart.

Imagine Jesus here saying to you:

All: “Peace be with you.”

Song of Peace (see Song List)

Benediction

Julian of Norwich, a 14th-century English spiritual guide, survived three bouts of the plague, horrible civil disruptions, and various personal challenges. God was always with her.

Julian wrote: “And all shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be exceedingly well.”

All shall be well. Go forth in Peace. Amen.

(the worship service is concluded)

__

Song List (suggestions)

online aids: https://hymnary.org/ YouTube: google by title AND one of the authors

Song of Invitation

“Come and Fill our Hearts” – Taizé Community, Bro. Jacques Berthier

“You’re Welcome in This Place” – Maverick City Music, by C Moore, N Raine, A Eugene

Song of Prayer

“O Lord Hear My Prayer” – Taizé Community

“Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying” – Ken Medema

Song of Gratitude

“Gloria Patri”– Doxology

“Great Is They Faithfulness” – Thomas O Chisholm, William M. Runyan

“Let All Things Now Living” – Katherine K Davis, Welsh folk melody (Ash Grove)

Song of Peace

“Dona Nobis Pacem” – Traditional Latin chant

“Shalom Chaverim” – Traditional Hebrew blessing, Israeli melody

“Let There Be Peace on Earth” – Sy Miller and Jill Jackson

Worship Resources: All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber unless attributed to another source. (NRSV) New Revised Standard Version ©1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Worship Credit: © 2020, Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber, Living Liturgies

Permission: Permission granted for use privately or publicly as long as credit is given. Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author.

Donation for Use of Content: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. However, you may express your gratitude financially by making a direct donation to United Church of Christ Congregations Erasing Medical Debt in the East Bay https://secure.qgiv.com/event/ucceb/ 31 UCC churches in the San Francisco East Bay working together to erase medical debts of our neighbors in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties before Easter 2020. – Thank you!0a710f971dd64b7f473be83f626fbc05--hand-lettering-peace

More from Living Liturgies:

Website: www.inthebiglove.com; Facebook: “Living Liturgies”

Mapping Joy: an online spring spiritual practice March 6 to April 21, 2019

mapping joy 2019

(c) Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, 2019

Join us online — Facebook page “In the Big Love” for this new way of practicing spiritual care together via social media. (see our Event: “Mapping Joy”)

We will tend our triggered and weary souls by intentionally opening ourselves to joy – yes, joy!

This practice is not meant to costume or avoid real hurts and challenges, rather both ancient wisdom and modern neurochemistry teach us that to stay in the good fight we have to first be nourished by the good. And so, we will intentionally map those places and moments when we encounter joy.

How to prepare for the practice? You may wish to designate a notebook (we like something unlined) for capturing thoughts and images as we move through these 46 days. You may wish to set up a quiet space at home for displaying items that help you in this practice. You might wish to set aside a regular time to check online or continue an earlier posting tip. This is a rules-free spiritual practice – a flowing of good intention and support. Make the practice work for you.

And, a bit of reality – while our intention is to offer a new post daily – that might not happen. We will daily hold in prayer all on this journey. And very frequently, possibly daily, we will post a practice, or an image, or a thought with your well-being in mind. We invite you to share your joyful findings, too.

While there is no fee for this practice, we hope you’ll do two things to support our work. a) If you enjoy our content, please share and invite others to join us, and b) if you would like to financially support our efforts, please email us at inthebiglove@gmail.

A Big Love Poem: “Love Everything”

2018 03 02 0925

photo and poem (c) Kathryn M Schreiber, 2018

 

Love Everything

Love the neighbor who always puts the trash bin in the wrong place;

Love the tree branch taping against the window when the breeze is strong;

Love the face that is aging with more character than grace;

Love the food that is in the refrigerator and on the shelf.

 

Love the hurt child that hides in your heart;

Love the frightened child that lives in detention;

Love the acorn whose side split open too soon;

Love the mother oak who prays for a few of her offspring to live.

 

Love the cold creak of the wooden front porch;

Love the surprisingly loud snoring of the cat;

Love the old scar on your hand from a forgotten danger;

Love the scent of hot coffee brewed in silence this morning.

 

Love the person you’ve been taught to fear;

Love the faith which most protects your vulnerable body;

Love the inner gift which releases your clutch on hatred;

Love the wonder which has called you to live at this critical time.

 

Love the buzz of workers making things you will never buy;

Love the tears of an old woman remembering someone dear;

Love the smell of a spent candle and its cooling wax;

Love the ride of being here – the highs and the lows.

 

Love everything.

Love everyone, even your own precious self.

There is no door so stuck

it cannot be opened with love.

But know this, dear ones, love takes time.

Be patient.

Love everything.

Holy Fools — a new series for Lent-Easter

rws_tarot_00_fool

(c) Kathryn M. Schreiber, 2019

Use anytime, especially Lent-Easter Year C

CONTENTS For details, please see “Living Liturgies: Lent-Easter” in the menu

Ash Wednesday “Holy Fools Return” Scripture: Joel 2:12-17 and 1 Corinthians 1:20-31. Fools: Joel & Paul and Us.

1st Sunday of Lent “Holy Fools Clarify” Scripture: Luke 4:1-13 and Psalm 91. Fools: Carpenter Jesus and Mother Jones.

2nd Sunday of Lent “Holy Fools Align” Scripture: Luke 13-31-35 and Psalm 27. Fools: Jesus Christ and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

3rd Sunday of Lent “Holy Fools Persevere” Scripture: Luke 13:1-9 and Psalm 68:1-8. Fools: The Fig Gardener and Shakuntala David.

4th Sunday of Lent “Holy Fools Recover” Scripture: Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32 and Psalm 32. Fools: Prodigal Son & Family and People in Recovery.

5th Sunday of Lent “Holy Fools Pray” Scripture: John 12:1-8 and Psalm 126. Fools: Mary of Bethany and Indigenous Female Leaders.

6th Sunday of Lent (Passion Sunday) “Holy Fools Give” Scripture: Philippians 2:5-11 and Isaiah 50:4-9. Fools: Jesus Christ and Us.

Holy Week: “Holy Fools Surrender” Scripture: John 18:1-19:42 (edited and adapted) and 1 Corinthians 1:20-31. Fools: Jesus Christ and His Disciples.

Easter Sunday: “Holy Fools Rejoice” Scripture: Luke 24:1-12. Fools: Disciples & Angels at the Tomb and Us.

We also have two other Lent-Easter series as well as other goodies for this sacred time of the year. Please see “Living Liturgies: Lent-Easter” in the menu.

God Bless!

 

Artist’s Statement: “The Visitation”

The Visitiation 2018©Kathryn K. Schreiber, “The Visitation,” 2018, Colored Pencil, 8.5” x 11”

This modern interpretation of the beloved Christian icon “The Visitation” illustrates the biblical story of two significant women at a critical time in their lives. St Mary, pregnant with Jesus, and her aunt, St Elizabeth, pregnant with St John the Baptist, greet each other and affirm God’s outrageously good care for the vulnerable. (Gospel of St Luke, Chapter 1, Verses 39-56).

Stylistically, my drawings are influenced by sacred Hindu art, Persian miniatures, and fantasy artwork for children’s books, all of which blend bold colors and soft edges. Visually, such graphics inspire a feeling of enchantment and wild possibility – a quality I wish to bring to the rendering of classic Christian images.

This new artwork maintains much of the visual vocabulary of the classic icon — Mary is much younger and to the left of Elizabeth who is older. They are depicted talking or embracing in an outdoors landscape often with buildings behind them. Sometimes, there is a building on the right with a large open door where a person stands.

I have chosen to change some elements such as setting the scene at night (which I’ve never seen before.) I placed these hopeful, faithful women under a very starry sky to speak to us about hope in dark times. The building on the right is quite like older icons with a single person pulling back a drape.  I’m not sure of the traditional meaning, though it speaks to me of institutions which are dark on the inside possibly being exposed to light. In this image, the woman pulling back the curtain is “Sophia/Chokhmah” a personification of Holy Wisdom.

Mary’s dress is pink – a color chosen to align with contemporary, youthful Feminist movements. It is decorated with blooming trees inspired by the Hebrew prophet Isaiah: “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” (Isaiah 11:1 NRSV). Jesse is the father of King David, the great Jewish leader. The anticipated messiah was expected to come from his royal lineage. The child Mary is carrying is the new branch on the old family tree stock. I began drawing these trees on December 7th – the anniversary of the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. Thoughts of Japanese-Americans, for whom this day remains traumatic, came to mind. In their honor, I designed trees which are a hybrid of the beloved Sakura (cherry tree) and stone fruit trees (peach and almond) from California’s Central Valley where many Japanese settled to work on orchards, and still do.

Mary’s veil is blue and decorated with swirls of water symbolizing the Jordan River – the line of demarcation between The Wilderness and The Promised Land. This is where St John began a new spiritual movement baptizing people to prepare them for the Messiah. Mary’s veil is short, as the Christian movement is newer than its parent religion – Judaism.

Elizabeth’s dress is a darker plum-red color reflecting her maturity. It is decorated with blooming cacti, also inspired by the Hebrew prophet Isaiah: “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus.” (Isaiah 35:1 NRSV). Refugees traveling up from Guatemala and Honduras to the United States were in my heart as I drew this “blooming dessert.” It was completed the day the death of Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin, a seven-year-old Guatemalan girl who died in US Custody was announced, days after the Feast Day for La Virgin de Guadalupe, an indigenous manifestation of St Mary in the Mexico highlands.

Elizabeth’s veil is much longer and more elaborate, appropriate for the Jewish faith. Elizabeth is the descendant of the first religious leaders – Moses, Aaron, and Miriam — of the freed Hebrew slaves who left Egypt. These divine ancestors are honored by the three decorative bands on Elizabeth’s veil. The color of the veil is a nod to the ocean — not so much a specific body of water, but the ocean as the source of all life.

The images of Mary’s and Elizabeth’s foetus represent their sons as persons and their on-going ministries. John is represented by a blue, watery “comma” – the call to water baptism and spiritual cleansing. Jesus is rendered as a yellow-orange fiery “comma” – the work of the Holy Spirit manifesting in the created realm inspiring hope, compassion, justice, and mercy.

The persons of Mary and Elizabeth are meant to be Middle Eastern, a more realistic portrait of Jesus’ family, and a reminder that faith and race keep intersecting and impacting each other. As I drew these women I thought of amazing women of color that I know who are courageously breaking new ground with their compassionate leadership which addresses critical problems.

This specific icon “The Visitation” and its holy text origin have long inspired me. Recently I spoke about this sacred moment when these two women, pregnant with God’s Dream, celebrate God’s goodness and call us forward with hope. If you’d like to hear that message – visit: https://soundcloud.com/owedia/seeing-in-the-dark-be-friend)

We will be offering this image in card and poster form later in 2019. To be notified, please email: inthebiglove@gmail.com.

 

Turning the Year Mindfully

an integrative care mini-retreat at Miura Integrative Health Clinic in Berkeley

Saturday, January 12, 2019 1:00-3:15pm. $75.00. Limited Enrollment.

Rev. Kathryn Schreiber will facilitate practices to gently release the old year and welcome the new year. Includes guided meditation, discernment tools, and reflection techniques with breakout options for wellness care such as acupuncture, mindful coloring, and journaling. Registration begins at 12:30pm. Additional breakout treatments available afterward. www.inthebiglove.com

 To hold your space: Please email Kathryn @  inthebiglove@gmail.com.

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