August 9th Worship

Order of Service

Part I
PreludeFor the Beauty of the EarthChris Johansen
Opening Prayer
Welcome
Confession & Forgiveness
Liz Dodge
HymnLord of Glory, You Have Bought Us
#707
Harry Johansen
Chris Johansen, piano
Prayer of the DayLiz Dodge
Psalm 145: 8-9, 14-21Harry Johansen
Chris Johansen, piano
Part II
ReadingJohn 4: 3-42Dave & Diane Clifton
Liz Dodge
ReflectionCommentary from David Lose at Mount Olivet Lutheran ChurchLiz Dodge
Creed
Prayers of Intercession
Lord’s Prayer
Liz Dodge
Closing PrayerHenrik Strandskov
BenedictionLiz Dodge
Closing songJesus Met the Woman at the WellPeter, Paul & Mary
PostludeHere, There and EverywhereChris Johansen

Note: Audio for a full service appears here. A few individual parts of the service are also embedded in the text below.

Part I

Part II


Prelude

Chris Johansen


Opening Prayer

God of wonder and glory, this world around us is awesome.
You created it!
You continue to hold it together,
even as we threaten to tear it apart.

God of justice and righteousness,
to you we look for the truth.
You are the ultimate judge.
Your wisdom cuts through the lies.

God of grace and mercy,
the love you have shown us in Jesus is more than we deserve.
Your arms are open wide,
like a waiting father for his prodigal children,
ready to welcome and restore.

We come to you just now thirsting for your living water.
Guide us to the streams of your wonder and glory,
your justice and righteousness, your grace and mercy,
that we may drink and be satisfied,
renewed for our continuing journey with Jesus.

This we pray in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit….

Confession & Forgiveness

In the name of the Father, and of the +Son, and of the Holy Spirit.               Amen

We confess our entanglements with justice, hurts, and greed – and God’s difficult, blessed vision of a very different way. We seek the face of God, confessing our sin.

        Silence for reflection and self-examination.

Holy God,

we have sinned against you and each other. We pray for your forgiveness and healing. The good we want to do, we often fail to do. The harmful actions and thoughts we do not want, we turn to again and again. Deliver us, Gracious God. Save us, save our neighbors, save all your creatures from our lack of imagination and courage. Gird us for the challenges of change needed, called for, overdue. Guide our way in your way.    
Amen

We who were once far off have been brought near to God through the cross of Christ. May we forgive one another as God in Christ has first forgiven us.
Amen


Hymn – Lord of Glory, You Have Bought Us

1.
Lord of glory, you have bought us with your lifeblood as the price
never grudging for the lost ones that tremendous sacrifice;
and with that have freely given blessings countless as the sand
to theun-thankful and the evil with your own unsparing hand.

2.
Grant us hearts, dear Lord, to give you gladly, freely, of your own.
With the sunshine of your goodness melt our thankless hearts of stone
till our cold and selfish natures, warmed by you, at length believe
that more happy and more blessed ’tis to give than to receive.

3.
Wondrous honor you have given to our humblest charity
in your own mysterious sentence, “You have done it all to me.”
Naked, sick, in prison, hungry – in the least, your face we view,
saying by your poor and needy, “Give as I have giv’n to you.”

4.
Lord of glory, you have bought us with your lifeblood as the price
never grudging for the lost ones that tremendous sacrifice;
Give us faith to trust you boldly, hope, to stay our souls on you:
but, oh, best of all your graces, with your love our love renew.

Text: Eliza S. Alderson
Music: Rowland H. Prichard


Prayer of the Day

God of life,
Shower us in your living water, bringing us to new life, fresh and clean. Walk with us as we share the knowledge of your living water with others, so that all might live.
Amen.


Psalm 145: 8-9, 14-21

The Lord is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
    and his compassion is over all that he has made.
14 The Lord upholds all who are falling,
    and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand,
    satisfying the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is just in all his ways,
    and kind in all his doings.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desire of all who fear him;
    he also hears their cry, and saves them.
20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
    but all the wicked he will destroy.

21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
    and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.


Reading: John 4: 3-42 (Readers’ Theater)

Narr:    Jesus and his disciples left Judea and returned to Galilee.
            The trip took them through Samaria.
            After a time, they came to the Samaritan village of Sychar,
            near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 
               Jacob’s well was there;
            and Jesus, tired from the long walk,
            sat down beside the well for a rest.
            The disciples ventured off to look for provisions.
            It was about noon, and before long
            a Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water.
            Jesus said to her,

Jesus:  Would you please draw some water for me, and give me a drink?

Narr:    The woman was surprised,
            for Jews usually refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. 

Woman: I can’t believe that you, a Jew, would even speak to me,
            much less ask me for a drink of water!

Jesus:  If you only knew the gift God has for you
            and who you are speaking to!
            Because if you did, you would ask me,
            and I would give you living water.

Woman: Sir, you sit by this deep well,
            a thirsty man without a bucket in sight.
            Where would you get this living water?
            Do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob,
            who laboured long and hard to dig and maintain this well
            so that he would have clean water to share with his sons and daughters,
            his grandchildren, and his livestock? 
            How can you offer better water than he and his family enjoyed?

Jesus:  Drink this water, and your thirst is quenched only for a moment.
            You must return to this well again and again.
            But the water I offer you is different.
            I offer water that quenches thirst forever.
            It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within you,
            giving life throughout eternity.
            You would never be thirsty again.

Woman: Please, sir, give me this water!
            Then I’ll never be thirsty again,
            and I won’t have to keep coming here to get water.

Jesus:  Go and get your husband.

Woman: I don’t have a husband.

Jesus:  Technically you are telling the truth.
            But you have had five husbands
            and are currently living with a man you are not married to.

Woman: Sir, it is obvious to me that you are a prophet.
            So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist 
            that Jerusalem is the only place of worship,
            while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, 
            where our ancestors worshiped?”

Jesus:  Woman, I tell you that neither is so.
            The time is coming when it will no longer matter
            whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem.
            Believe this: a new day is coming—in fact, it’s already here—
            when the importance will not be placed on the time and place of worship
            but on the truthful hearts of worshipers.
            You worship what you don’t know, while we worship what we do know,
            for God’s salvation in coming through the Jews.
            The Father is spirit,
            and He is seeking followers whose worship is sourced in truth
            and deeply spiritual as well.
            Regardless of whether you are in Jerusalem or on this mountain,
            if you do not seek the Father,
            then you do not worship.

Woman: I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ.
            When he comes, he will explain everything to us.
           
Jesus:  I am the Messiah!

Narr:    Just then his disciples came back.
            They were shocked to find him talking to a woman,
            but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?”
            or “Why are you talking to her?”

            The woman went back to the town, leaving her water pot behind.
            She stopped men and women on the streets
            and told them about what had happened.
            And because of her testimony, the village of Sychar was transformed—
            many Samaritans heard and believed.
            They approached Jesus and repeatedly invited Him to stay with them,
            so he lingered there for two days on their account.
            And as he spoke to them, many more came to believe.
            They began their faith journey because of the testimony of the woman at the well;
            but when they heard for themselves,
            they were convinced that Jesus was God’s Anointed –
            the Saviour sent to rescue the entire world.

this setting drew inspiration from The Voice Bible translation of Scripture, copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. http://www.hearthevoice.com/


Reflection

David Lose
Mount Olivet Lutheran Church

Sometimes I think the way we interpret this passage says as much about us as it does the passage.

For this is a passage and story that has, in my opinion, been notoriously misinterpreted, in part because we read it in isolation of the rest of John’s gospel and in part because of the Church’s history of bad treatment of women.

So let me lay my cards on the table: I don’t think the Samaritan woman is a prostitute. I don’t think that she has a shady past. And I don’t think Jesus forgives her. Rather, I think he calls her not to repentance but to life-giving faith. Allow me to explain.

The character who occupies center stage of this passage is a woman of Samaritan descent, and even if we don’t know what that means, John goes out of his way to tell us. First, Jews and Samaritans don’t get along (verse 9); second, women and men generally keep a safe social distance from each other (verse 27).

All of which explains why she is so surprised when Jesus asks her for a drink. When she makes a remark to that effect, he offers her living water. Confused, but intrigued, she asks about this miraculous water. Jesus eventually invites her to call her husband, and when she replies that she has no husband, he agrees: “You have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband” (4:18).

And that’s precisely the sentence that has moved preachers of all stripes and across the centuries to brand her a prostitute. Yet if we read more closely we discover that there is nothing in the passage that makes this an obvious interpretation. Neither John as narrator nor Jesus as the central character supply that information. Jesus at no point invites repentance or, for that matter, speaks of sin at all. She very easily could have been widowed or have been abandoned or divorced. Five times would be heartbreaking, but not impossible.

Further, she could now be living with someone that she was dependent on, or be in what’s called a Levirate marriage (where a childless woman is married to her deceased husband’s brother in order to produce an heir yet is not always technically considered the brother’s wife). There are any number of ways, in fact, that one might imagine this woman’s story as tragic rather than scandalous.

The difficulty with the all too regular interpretation is that it interrupts and distracts from the rest of the story. Immediately after Jesus describes her past, she says, “I see that you are a prophet” and asks him where one should worship. If you believe the worst of her, this is nothing more than a clumsy attempt to change the topic.

But if you can imagine another scenario, things look different. Keep in mind that “seeing,” in John, is an important theological activity. “To see” is often connected with belief. When the woman says, “I see you are a prophet,” she is therefore not changing the subject but making a confession of faith.

Why? Because Jesus has “seen” her. He has seen her plight of dependence, not immorality. He has recognized her, spoken with her, offered her something of incomparable worth. He has seen her — he exists for her, has worth, value, significance, and all of this is treatment to which she is unaccustomed. And so when he speaks of her past both knowingly and compassionately, she realizes she is in the presence of a prophet.

For this reason only does she risk the central question that has divided Samaritans and Jews for centuries: where is the proper place of worship? This is no awkward dodge or academic diversion. This is a heartfelt question that gets to the core of what separates her from Jesus. And when Jesus surprises her with an answer that is simultaneously more hopeful and penetrating than she’d expected, she leaves her water jar behind to tell her neighbors about this man.

Can we imagine that? That John has not placed before us a morality tale but rather is offering this woman as a striking and inspiring example of faith? Of what happens when Jesus likewise sees us and invites us to see and believe in him in return? …..

This woman…is a Samaritan woman of no account (she is not even named) who comes at noon. Not, by the way, because she was ashamed of her shady past and so wanted to avoid her neighbors — as the traditional interpretation reads — but because just as darkness represents disbelief in John, so also daylight signifies faith. In the presence of the “light of the world,” this woman leaves behind her ordinary tasks and life (symbolized by her water jar) to share the extraordinary news of the one who sees us truly and deeply (“he told me everything I have done”), loves us as we are, and commissions us to share this news with others.

………..This nameless woman, shares the same insight and activity as Jesus’ principle disciples, except perhaps that where they each told one other person, she tells all her neighbors!

So let’s admit that how we interpret this passage says a lot about us and our theology. And then let’s interpret this passage… as John inviting us to imagine that anyone — even someone as unlikely as this nameless Samaritan woman … or unlikely as us! — is seen by Jesus, loved by Jesus, and has the capacity to bear witness to the one who comes to enlighten our lives and world and to give us living water to satisfy even our deepest thirst.

Taken from https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=1920 on 8/1/20


Creed

In you, Father all-mighty, we have our preservation and our bliss.
In you, Christ, we have our restoring and our saving. You are our mother, brother, and Savior. 
In you, our Lord the Holy Spirit, is marvelous and plenteous grace.
         You are our clothing; for love you wrap us and embrace us.
         You are our maker, our lover, our keeper.
Teach us to believe that by your grace all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.    
Amen


Prayers of Intercession

Living Water (inspired by Exodus 17: 1-7)

In the dry wildernesses of our lives,
in the days of heat and thirst,
you offer us living water,
Thank you, gracious and generous God.

When we begin to doubt your presence,
and grumble that your love is unreliable,
you offer us living water,
Thank you, gracious and generous God.

When life’s regrets and the bad choices we have made
leave us feeling excluded and unworthy,
you offer us living water,
Thank you, gracious and generous God.

When circumstances, or the inhumanity of others,
have left us alone and wounded,
you offer us living water,
Thank you, gracious and generous God.

We thank you and praise you, O God,
that how ever we may thirst,
what ever we may need to satisfy our souls,
you offer it freely and abundantly in Christ;

So we drink deep of the living water
and, as we draw from your wells,
we seek to pass the cup to others
who, like us, are thirsty for your grace.

Amen


Lord’s Prayer

Closing Prayer

Benediction

Go with the strength you have.
Go simply
lightly
gently
Go in search of Love.
And know the Spirit of God goes with you.
Amen.


Closing Song: Jesus Met the Woman by Peter, Paul & Mary

Jesus met the woman at the well
Jesus met the woman at the well
Jesus met the woman at the well
And He told her everything she’d ever done

He said, “Woman, woman, where is your husband?”
He said, “Woman, woman, where is your husband?”
He said, “Woman, woman, where is your husband?”
“I know everything you’ve ever done”

She said, “Jesus, Jesus, I ain’t got no husband”
She said, “Jesus, Jesus, I ain’t got no husband”
She said, “Jesus, Jesus, ain’t got no husband”
“And You don’t know everything I’ve ever done”

He said, “Woman, woman, you’ve got five husbands
“He said, “Woman, woman, you’ve got five husbands
“He said, “Woman, woman, you’ve got five husbands”
“And the one you have now, he’s not your own”

She said, “This man, this man, He must be a prophet”
She said, “This man, this man, He must be a prophet”
She said, “This man, this man, He must be a prophet”
“He done told me everything I’ve ever done”

Jesus met the woman at the well
Jesus met the woman at the well
Jesus met the woman at the well
And He told her everything she’d ever done


Postlude

Chris Johansen


Sounds of Home – Relish

Tuesdays at 2pm
Welcome to the August 4th edition of Sounds of Home!

The Tiller

I am a tiller of the soil, a farmer frank and plain;
I love my home, its life and toil, its fields and wooded lane.
There countless flowers are growing in beauty rich and rare;
Mine is the brooklet flowing, and mine the fragrant air.

I heard from youth the cheerful choirs of birds above the moor;
they taught me when my heart desires on wings of song to soar.
Behind the plow and harrow and ringing scythe I sing,
Till wood and valley narrow with cheerful echoes ring.

But when the busy day is spent, and sunset paints the west;
My mind refreshed, my heart content, midst lovèd ones I rest.
And in my home-life ever my spirit finds rebirth,
and I will change it never with any man on earth.

Text: Mads Hansen, trans. by J.C. Aaberg
Music: Danish, composer unknown


Like to lend your voice?
Our upcoming theme is “mend”

If you have a response to this theme – whether a story or memory, original piece of writing or poetry, music, radio drama, or one-liner – the sky’s the limit – between 5 seconds and 5 minutes in length – or if you would like to guest host or lead a song to sing together — we’re eager to hear from you!

To submit a response, please make an audio recording and email it to Molly,
or send in a written response to be read aloud on the program.

Contact Molly at tulkmo01@luther.edu for information and submissions.
Deadline for submissions is Monday, August 10th


Also accepting responses for these upcoming themes 

“trail”
“table”


August 2nd Worship

Order of Service

Greeting
Confession & Forgiveness
Prayer of the DayHenrik Strandskov
Readings
Reflection
Prayer InterludesHenrik Strandskov
Prayers of IntercessionBarb Kass
CommunionCarolyn Saunders
Closing Prayer

Audio

Audio snippets can be found embedded in the text below.


Confession & Forgiveness

In the name of the Father, and of the +Son, and of the Holy Spirit.               Amen

We confess our entanglements with justice, hurts, and greed – and God’s difficult, blessed vision of a very different way. We seek the face of God, confessing our sin.

        Silence for reflection and self-examination.

Holy God,

we have sinned against you and each other. We pray for your forgiveness and healing. The good we want to do, we often fail to do. The harmful actions and thoughts we do not want, we turn to again and again. Deliver us, Gracious God. Save us, save our neighbors, save all your creatures from our lack of imagination and courage. Gird us for the challenges of change needed, called for, overdue. Guide our way in your way.    
Amen

We who were once far off have been brought near to God through the cross of Christ. May we forgive one another as God in Christ has first forgiven us.
Amen


Prayer of the Day

Across the continent, on the shores of small tributaries, in the shadows of sacred mountains, on the vast expanse of the prairies, or in the safety of the woods, prayers are being repeated, as they have for thousands of years, and common people with uncommon courage and the whispers of their ancestors in their ears continue their struggles to protect the land and water and trees on which their very existence is based. And like small tributaries joining together to form a mighty river, their force and power grows.

~Winona LaDuke


Reading: Genesis 1: 2

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 


Reflection

Mike Miles

Water-the Alpha element. Before the first day it was there when the earth was formless, empty, and dark. Water-on the second day it is shaped into the water over the sky (atmosphere?) and the water under the sky.

It is not until the third day that the seas are separated from the land and it is two days later that the waters “teem with living creatures”.

Water-The only element that exists in three forms; liquid,solid and gas, in a natural state. Water-combines a volatile gas, hydrogen, with another gas that is necessary for combustion to happen, oxygen, and the combination of the two atoms extinguishes fire.

Water is the basis of all life on earth, is the most abundant element on, and above, the earth, and yet we know so little about it. All the water on earth has been here from the beginning. We have what we have and must learn to live with it because we can’t live without it.

We are going to reflect on some basic knowledge about water today. While we can’t add to it or take away from it, we can learn about how it moves from here to there creating and maintaining life all over the planet we call home.

As you listen to the readings, think about how the water of the formless void came to make up 90% of a flower and 80% of your lungs. Think about how 75% of Americans live near a polluted water source and how more children die from drinking contaminated water than die from war.

Open your hearts and minds to the deep mystery that water is. There is nothing in the multi-verse more full of wonder than colorless, tasteless H2O and we get to live on a blue planet because of it. Let’s begin.


Water Facts

Amazing water

  • In a 100-year period, a water molecule spends 98 years in the ocean, 20 months as ice, about 2 weeks in lakes and rivers, and less than a week in the atmosphere.
  • A trillion tons of water is evaporated every day by the sun!
  • More than 90% of the world’s supply of fresh water is located in Antarctica.
  • The earth is a closed system that rarely loses or gains extra matter. Essentially, this means that the same water that existed on earth millions of years ago is still present today.                                                                           
  • If the entire world’s water were fit into a 4 liter jug, the fresh water available for us would equal only about one tablespoon.                   
  • There is more fresh water in the atmosphere than in all of the rivers on the planet combined

America

  • In one year, the average American residence uses over 100,000 gallons (indoors and outside).
  • Approximately 400 billion gallons of water are used in the United States per day.
  • American use 5.7 billion gallons per day from toilet flushes.
  • Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons annually nationwide. That’s equal to the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes.
  • About 27 trillion gallons of groundwater are withdrawn for use in the U.S. each year.
  • Over 42,000 gallons of water (enough to fill a 30×50 foot swimming pool) are needed to grow and prepare food for a typical Thanksgiving dinner for eight

Everyone else

  • It takes about 12 gallons per day to sustain a human (this figure takes into account all uses for water, like drinking, sanitation and food production)
  • 844 million people lack basic drinking water access, more than 1 of every 10 people on the planet.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, women and girls spend an estimated 40 billions hours a year collecting water.
  • Every day, more than 800 children under age 5 die from diarrhea attributed to poor water and sanitation.
  • Lost time gathering water significantly reduces productive farming time for women in parts of the developing world. With safe water nearby, it’s estimated that women could feed 150 million of the world’s hungry.
  • For every $1 invested in safe water and sanitation, a yield of $5 to $28 USD is returned in increased economic activity and reduced health care costs

For a list of more facts collected by Mike, look at the document below:


Prayers

(as you reflect on the facts above)

I’ve known rivers
 
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human
blood in human veins
 
My soul has grown deep like the rivers
 
I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young
 
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep
 
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it. I heard the
singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans,
and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset
 
I’ve known rivers
 
Ancient,dusky rivers
 
My soul has grown deep like the rivers

~ Langston Hughes

What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone,
in the forest, at night, cherished by this
wonderful, unintelligible speech
the most comforting speech in the world,
the talk that rain makes by itself all over the ridges,
and the talk of the watercourses everywhere in the hollows!
Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it.
It will talk as long as it wants, this rain.
As long as it talks I am going to listen

~Thomas Merton

When trees take over an island and say so all at once
some in pigeon some in pollen with a coniferous hiss
and run to the shore shouting for more light
and the sun drops its soft coverlet over their heads
flash to and fro
like spirits of sight whose work is on the water
where the massless mind undulates the intervening air
shading it blue and thinking
I wish I was there
or there

~Alice Oswald


Prayers of Intercession

The water that God called into being is at the heart of all that lives.
Mindful of the many ways water affects our lives,
let us pray for our waters and for the life of the world around us.
(silence)
Lord, in Your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We ask your prayers for all people of faith,
and for the transformations in their lives that are marked by the sacredness of water:
at the Red Sea, in the Jordan and the Ganges Rivers,
in ritual baths, in the washing of feet, and in Holy Baptism.
(silence)
Lord, in Your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We ask your prayers for the leaders of nations, corporations, and communities around the world,
that they may exercise wise stewardship over the waters of their lands,
so that all people may have clean water to drink and live free from waterborne diseases. (silence)
Lord, in Your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We ask your prayers for the wisdom to shape creative solutions to conflicts over water
in the dry places of our planet, and for justice and peace in desert lands.
(silence)
Lord, in Your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We ask your prayers for the oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, watersheds, streams,
ponds, deltas, marshes, and swamps of our planet,
for the waters beneath the ground,
and for all creatures that live in the waters of the earth.
(silence)
Lord, in Your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We ask your prayers for all who suffer from too much water
in the destruction of flood, storm, tsunami, and ice;
and for those people and creatures who suffer as the glaciers and ice floes vanish.
(silence)
Lord, in Your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We ask your prayers for all who thirst for water, for health, for love, for wisdom, for God,
that their cups may be filled to overflowing.
(silence)
Lord, in Your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We ask your prayers for all who have died and for all who mourn,
that their tears of grief may be turned to wellsprings of joy.
(silence)
Lord, in Your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Blessed God, in your wisdom you uphold creation
and renew it again and again.
Help us to see all water as holy water,
and all our concerns as bathed in the living water Christ gives us,
in whose name we pray. Amen.


Communion

Invitation to Celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion

The peace of the Lord be with you.
All:  And also with you.

Together, yet distanced, we gather at the table to remember. We remember Jesus who recognized the burdens of our lives and said, “Come to me and I will give you rest.” To those who were parched, he said, “I will quench your thirst.” And to those who hungered, “I will nourish you with the bread of life.”

Through the Sacrament of Holy Communion, we remember the love and compassion of God. We remember God’s goodness.

On this day, not only do we remember, but we are re-membered. Our sins are forgiven, our lives are renewed. We are made whole! We are re-membered and restored to following faithfully the ways of Christ.

All:  Thanks be to God!

We remember on the night before he died, Jesus gathered with his disciples, his closest friends, in an upper room. Around the table, they celebrated by remembering the Passover. They came as they were, accepted for who they were. Their lives were open to the indwelling of God’s Spirit.

Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, saying: “This is my body which is broken for you. Take and eat, in remembrance of me.” As the meal came to a close, he took the cup, blessed it and said, “This is my blood, the cup of the new Covenant, which is poured out for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins. Take and drink, as often as you will, in remembrance of me.”

And so, in remembrance of that holy night, we take the bread, break it and eat, remembering Christ’s life was broken so that our lives might be made whole.

And we take the cup and drink, remembering that by this cup of blessing, we are refreshed, restored, renewed.

Praying together, let us give thanks for the bread broken in love for us and the cup of our joy:

All:  Because the broken bread has meant our healing, because the outpoured cup has meant our life, because this time of sharing has meant the communion of our souls, and because we have here been graced by your presence, O God, we give you thanks and pray that our lives may be renewed in the life and the love of Jesus Christ.  Amen. 


Lord’s Prayer

Closing Prayer

You call us,
Wanderer of seashores and sidewalks,
inviting us to sail out of our smug harbors
into the uncharted waters of faith
to wander off from our predictable paths to follow You
into the unpredictable footsteps of the kingdom;
to leave the comfort of our homes and accompany
You into the uncomfortable neighborhoods we usually avoid.

As we wait,
in our simple, sometimes crazy,
constantly uncertain lives,
speak to us, Spirit of Grace:
of that hope which is our anchor;
of that peace which is our rock;
of that grace which is our refuge.

Benediction

Go with the strength you have.
     Go simply
     lightly
     gently
Go in search of Love.
And know the Spirit of God goes with you. Amen
Amen.


A couple videos about water

Sounds of Home – Fly

Tuesdays at 2pm
Welcome to the July 28th edition of Sounds of Home!

Come, Skylark

Come, skylark, sing to me your merry melody!
As daylight grows I long to hear you singing
as if with pure delight, above, far out of sight
a thousand little silver bells were ringing.

You roam not far and wide, a killer, eagle eyed;
not proud as peacocks, cunning as the raven,
but shy and simply dress up from your hidden nest
your flight goes straight and true from earth to heaven.

From dizzy heights again you to your nest descend
to mate and brood, your happiness and treasure.
You are wholeheartedly what you were meant to be
and therefore is your life so full of pleasure.

My bird of faith, you sing to me a song of spring
while winter’s snow is still upon the branches;
your ringing carol peals above the empty fields
proclaiming: springtime bright and warm advances!

Teach me your joyful song of hope, triumphant, strong,
that I, like you, may drive out doubt and sadness!
Teach me, like you, to see that life is victory,
that Lenten gloom must yield to Easter gladness!

Text: Chr. Richardt; trans. by S.D. Rodholm
Music: Joseph Glæser


Poems by Emily Dickinson

Bee! I’m expecting you!
Was saying Yesterday
To Somebody you know
That you were due —

The Frogs got Home last Week —
Are settled, and at work —
Birds, mostly back —
The Clover warm and thick —

You’ll get my Letter by
The seventeenth; Reply
Or better, be with me —
Yours, Fly.

****************************

The Butterfly in honored Dust
Assuredly will Lie
But none will pass the Catacomb
So chastened as the Fly –


Like to lend your voice?
Our upcoming theme is “relish”

If you have a response to this theme – whether a story or memory, original piece of writing or poetry, music, radio drama, or one-liner – the sky’s the limit – between 5 seconds and 5 minutes in length – or if you would like to guest host or lead a song to sing together — we’re eager to hear from you!

To submit a response, please make an audio recording and email it to Molly,
or send in a written response to be read aloud on the program.

Contact Molly at tulkmo01@luther.edu for information and submissions.
Deadline for submissions is Monday, August 3rd


Also accepting responses for these upcoming themes 

“mend”
“trail”

July 26th Worship

Order of Service

Part I
PreludeMalagueñaMercy Wetzig
GreetingJeff Wetzig
Opening PrayerHenrik Strandskov
Confession & ForgivenessJeff Wetzig
HymnLift Up Your Arms
(tune #461)
Harry Johansen
Chris Johansen, piano
Henrik Strandskov, text
Prayer of the DayJeff Wetzig
Psalm 77: 7-20Harry Johansen
Chris Johansen, piano
Part II
ReadingNumbers 20: 1-13Abel Wetzig
ReflectionNikki Strandskov
Reading1 Kings 17: 1-16Jeff Wetzig
ReflectionMark Hulsether
Prayers of Intercession
Lord’s Prayer
Christy Wetzig
Closing PrayerHenrik Strandskov
BenedictionJeff Wetzig
PostludeFantasy on Holy MannaChris Johansen

Note: Audio for a full service appears here. A few individual parts of the service are also embedded in the text below.

Part I

Part II


Prelude

Mercy Wetzig


Greeting

We gather in the triune name of sacred Love. May God’s peace be ever with you, Christ’s mercy near at hand, and may the Holy Spirit guide and encourage you in all circumstances and in every need.  
Amen

Confession & Forgiveness

In the name of the Father, and of the +Son, and of the Holy Spirit.               Amen

We confess our entanglements with justice, hurts, and greed – and God’s difficult, blessed vision of a very different way. We seek the face of God, confessing our sin.

        Silence for reflection and self-examination.

Holy God,

we have sinned against you and each other. We pray for your forgiveness and healing. The good we want to do, we often fail to do. The harmful actions and thoughts we do not want, we turn to again and again. Deliver us, Gracious God. Save us, save our neighbors, save all your creatures from our lack of imagination and courage. Gird us for the challenges of change needed, called for, overdue. Guide our way in your way.    
Amen

We who were once far off have been brought near to God through the cross of Christ. May we forgive one another as God in Christ has first forgiven us.
Amen


Hymn – Lift Up Your Arms

1.
Lift up your arms to welcome the morning sunshine,
Let us give thanks for God’s new dawn;
Thanks for the gift of sunlight on misty river,
Gift of a moon though night is gone.
God, Creator, making the morning,
God, Creator, making this day,
Thanks for a world remade for us every dawning,
Thanks for our own lives ever new.

2.
High on the mountain, pure, hidden springs are flowing,
Fed by forgotten rains and snows.
Their precious water, filling our lakes and rivers,
Nourishes everything that grows.
Holy Spirit, free-flowing fountain,
Pouring Grace on each thirsting heart.
Life-giving water feeds all the world around us:
Grace from the Spirit heals our souls.

3.
Thanks for the good folk joined with us here in worship,
Gathered as one in Jesus’ name;
But in the warmth we share in this sanctuary,
Let’s not forget why Jesus came.
Not to comfort wealthy and righteous,
But for sinner, outcast, and lost:
Help us, O God, to cherish the Other yonder:
Love is the meaning of your cross.

Text: © Henrik Strandskov, 2017
Music: William Moore (c. 1825)

This hymn text was composed for the installation service of the Reverend Cordelia M. Strandskov as pastor of Second Congregational Church United Church of Christ, Norway, Maine, on Sunday, February 26, 2017.


Prayer of the Day

Almighty and ever-living God, you are always more ready to hear than we are to pray, and you gladly give more than we either desire or deserve. Pour upon us your abundant mercy, and give us those good things that come only through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. 
Amen.


Psalm 77: 7-20


Reading: Numbers 20: 1-13

1The Israelites, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. Miriam died there, and was buried there.

Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and against Aaron. The people quarreled with Moses and said, “Would that we had died when our kindred died before the Lord! Why have you brought the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness for us and our livestock to die here? Why have you brought us up out of Egypt, to bring us to this wretched place? It is no place for grain, or figs, or vines, or pomegranates; and there is no water to drink.” Then Moses and Aaron went away from the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting; they fell on their faces, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and your brother Aaron, and command the rock before their eyes to yield its water. Thus you shall bring water out of the rock for them; thus you shall provide drink for the congregation and their livestock.

So Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he had commanded him. 10 Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Listen, you rebels, shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff; water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their livestock drank. 12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me, to show my holiness before the eyes of the Israelites, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” 13 These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and by which he showed his holiness.


Reflection

Nikki Strandskov

I’ve not found it easy to come up with something to say today. But then I remembered that I’m just writing a reflection, not a sermon; so this may seem a bit random, but it’s what I have reflected on this week.
The passage we have heard from Numbers speaks of water, but the water is not really the point of the story. Yes, Moses strikes a rock and water gushes out for the thirsty Israelites and their livestock – but God faults him for grandstanding with the staff and for acting as if Moses himself, as a sort of magician, is causing the water to come from the rock, rather than giving the glory to God.

Almost more than anything, even coffee hour, what I am missing most during this pandemic is the singing – a part of worship that, we are told, may not even come back when we once again gather in person. When I first began to think about this passage, I looked it up on the website Hymnary and also used Google to see if I could find commentary or sermons. The sermons all seemed to focus on the disobedience of Moses. Although in the parallel story in Exodus, God tells Moses to strike the rock with his staff, in Numbers he is not told to do so – it’s his own idea, and the way he speaks to the people suggests that he is taking the credit for this miracle to himself. All this makes for a lot of sermons about being obedient to God’s word, usually as interpreted for you by doctrine or your pastor. But the hymns are different. As one might expect from poets, which is what the writers of hymn lyrics really are, they bring in the visual image of water gushing forth from a rock.

Though one might say the opposite of water is fire, one could also make a case for water’s opposite being rock. Rock is hard, mostly stationary, and usually dry, and an inhospitable place for plants. Water is usually moving, refreshing, helping plants grow. Rocks have their uses, but we could probably live without them. Water – not so much. A rock in the desert – I imagine a big piece of granite, but it could be sandstone or some other mineral – can provide shade. The writer Elizabeth Clephane, in “Beneath the Cross of Jesus,” speaks of the cross as “the shadow of a mighty Rock within a weary land.” Numerous hymns speak of God or Jesus as a rock, using rock as a metaphor for stability, unchangingness, shelter, and a firm foundation, as in Grundtvig’s hymn, “Built on a Rock.” On the Hymnary site, put “Rock” in the search field and you will come up with over 5,000 hymns.

Oddly enough (considering how many hymns reference baptism), the word “Water” comes in second, with only about 4,500 hymns. Water in hymns is identified with purification, refreshment, and life, but also with danger and loss of control, as in “Jesus calls us o’er the tumult of our life’s wild, restless sea.” Several hymns seem to specifically reference the story (whether in Numbers or Exodus) of God bringing forth water from a rock. In “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah,” we hear “Open now the crystal fountain Whence the healing stream doth flow.” In Fanny Crosby’s hymn “All the Way My Savior Leads Me,” she says,

“Though my weary steps may falter
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see;”

In the well-known hymn, Rock of Ages, Augustus Toplady speaks of Jesus as the rock from which healing waters (and blood) flow, and also as a rock which can give shelter even as it, itself, is broken “Rock of Ages, cleft for me.”

And, in Henrik’s hymn we’re singing today, he envisions the Holy Spirit as life-giving water – an unusual metaphor for an aspect of the Trinity usually characterized as breath or air. I hope that you will look at some of the hymns I have mentioned, listen to them, and sing them this week, and think about rocks and water as two essential parts of God’s creation.


Reading: 1 Kings 17: 1-16

1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” The word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Go from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the Wadi Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the wadi, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the Lord; he went and lived by the Wadi Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the wadi. But after a while the wadi dried up, because there was no rain in the land.

Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 10 So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.” 11 As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” 13 Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth.” 15 She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. 16 The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.


Reflection / Song

Mark Hulsether

My song is like the shadow of a rooted northern pine
And the echo of the wind across the plain
It soars like the thunderclouds riding above the storm
I feel it like the calm behind the rain
It’s hard to remember as the summer sun beats down
A cooling breeze will come with the night
My song is like the echo of the wind across the plain
And the shadow of a rooted northern pine

The colors of the sunset are dancing on the waves
Birds are singing long before the dawn
The rain has turned the yellow grass to seven shades of green
Ancient rocks are soaking up the sun.
It’s only a moment that we can smell the rain
And taste the salt on each other’s’ skin
It’s only a moment and then we’re underground
So do not waste the time that you’re given

May the cold winds of winter bear you up upon your wings
May the work you do build bridges and not bombs
May the people in your dreams be friends
May you always find the strength to carry on
May your children learn forgiveness
May your parents age with grace
And may the songs you sing always ring true
May the light that shines within you be the light upon your path
May there always be grace surrounding you.

© Mark Hulsether, 2014


Prayers of Intercession

Lord’s Prayer

Closing Prayer

Benediction

The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord’s face shine on you with grace and mercy.
The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.
Amen.


Postlude

Chris Johansen

Sounds of Home – Found

Tuesdays at 2pm
Welcome to the July 21st edition of Sounds of Home!

Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound

Amazing grace! – how sweet the sound — that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found; was blind but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved;
how precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already come;
’tis grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me; his word my hope secures;
he will my shield and portion be as long as life endures.

ElW #779, vs. 1-4
Text: John Newton
Music: W. Walker, Southern Harmony; arr. Edwin O. Excell


Like to lend your voice?
Our upcoming theme is “fly”

If you have a response to this theme – whether a story or memory, original piece of writing or poetry, music, radio drama, or one-liner – the sky’s the limit – between 5 seconds and 5 minutes in length – or if you would like to guest host or lead a song to sing together — we’re eager to hear from you!

To submit a response, please make an audio recording and email it to Molly,
or send in a written response to be read aloud on the program.

Contact Molly at tulkmo01@luther.edu for information and submissions.
Deadline for submissions is Monday, July 27th


Also accepting responses for these upcoming themes

“relish”
“mend”

July 19th Worship

Order of Service

Part I
PreludeBouree from Handel’s Water Music Chris Johansen, piano
Opening PrayerHenrik Strandskov
Welcome
Confession & Forgiveness
Kyrie
Pastor Linda
HymnLight Dawns on a Weary World
#726
Harry Johansen
Chris Johansen, piano
Prayer of the DayPastor Linda
Psalm 114Harry Johansen
Chris Johansen, piano
Part II
ReadingPastor Linda
Musical InterludeJay Stackhouse
SermonPastor Linda
Creed
Prayers of Intercession
Lord’s Prayer
Pastor Linda
Closing PrayerHenrik Strandskov
Blessing
Benediction
Pastor Linda
HymnJoyful, Joyful We Adore Thee
#836
Harry Johansen
Chris Johansen, piano
Postludefrom G Major Partita
Bach
Chris Johansen

Note: Audio for a full service appears here. A few individual parts of the service are also embedded in the text below.

Part I

Part II


Prelude

Chris Johansen


Welcome

Confession & Forgiveness

P:  In the name of the Father, and of the +Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
C: Amen

P: We confess our entanglements with justice, hurts, and greed – and God’s difficult, blessed vision of a very different way. We seek the face of God, confessing our sin.

Silence for reflection and self-examination.

Holy God,
we have sinned against you and each other. We pray for your forgiveness and healing. The good we want to do, we often fail to do. The harmful actions and thoughts we do not want, we turn to again and again. Deliver us, Gracious God. Save us, save our neighbors, save all your creatures from our lack of imagination and courage. Gird us for the challenges of change needed, called for, overdue. Guide our way in your way.    
Amen

P:  We who were once far off have been brought near to God through the cross of Christ. May we forgive one another as God in Christ has first forgiven us.    
Amen


Kyrie


Hymn – Light Dawns on a Weary World

1.
Light dawns on a weary world
when eyes begin to see
all people’s dignity.
Light dawns on a weary world:
the promised day of justice comes.

Refrain
The trees shall clap their hands; the dry lands, gush with springs;
the hills and mountains shall break forth with singing!
We shall go out in joy, and be led forth in peace,
as all the world in wonder echoes shalom.

2.
Love grows in a weary world
when hungry hearts find bread
and children’s dreams are fed.
Love grows in a weary world:
the promised feast of plenty comes.
Refrain

3.
Hope blooms in a weary world
when creatures, once forlorn,
find wilderness reborn.
Hope blooms in a weary world:
the promised green of Eden comes.
Refrain


Greeting

We gather in the triune name of sacred Love. May God’s peace be ever with you, Christ’s mercy near at hand, and may the Holy Spirit guide and encourage you in all circumstances and in every need.  
Amen

Prayer of the Day

O Creator of puddles and skeeterbugs, in majesty and playfulness you preside over land and sea, sunshine and storm. By your vision help us notice, by your providence teach us to treasure, by your wisdom compel us to preserve, and by your hand push us along. We need your inspiration and encouragement. Help us be the people you intended when you formed us from clay, when you puffed hopefully into those little nostrils. Let us be that creation. 
Amen


Psalm 114


Reading

Water is life. The story of God is told in water. God is in the water.

That is my premise for these weeks of considering water in scripture – but it’s more than a premise. If we read scripture paying attention to God’s way and will with water, if we can imagine that water bears the presence of God, carries an image of the divine (as we ourselves do), then what might that mean? 

My first flash of a thought was washing dishes and flushing toilets… waste water. Surely God is not flushed? But, the follow up thought was about lives we waste, flush away, because they are Black or gay or addicted or Muslim or Confederate flag-waving or tree hugging — whatever is the affront du jour. If we find it offensive or sacrilegious to throw God out with the bathwater, how can we not be humbled, horrified, outraged by our treatment of human lives? We cannot accept the glimmer of God in our bodies and deny it in others. 

But, back to the premise. Why should we consider God in the water? Because water is life. And where else would God be?

The first creation story in Genesis shows God’s breath sweeping over the face of the waters from which life will come. The second story shows God sitting on a river bank fashioning figures out of clay, breathing that same Spirit into the man’s nostrils to give him life. 

The third creation story is told by Lady Wisdom in Proverbs 8: 
22 The Lord conceived me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago. …

24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, … 26 when he had not yet made earth and fields, or the world’s first bits of soil. 

27 When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, 28 when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, 29 when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, 30 I was beside him, like a master worker; and I was daily his delight,  rejoicing before him always, 31 rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.”

Musical Interlude

Jay Stackhouse

Sermon

Two things stick out to me as I read this passage. The first is how big a part water plays in creation – fountains of the deep and the seas assigned their boundaries and springs abounding with water. The second thing is the joy evident in the act of creation (no less, if creation is seen over time as evolutionary adaptation). It is best seen as a playful venture. Woman Wisdom always by God’s side, rejoicing in each new thing, her delight delighting God. She is “…rejoicing in the inhabited world and delighting in the human race.” 

Delight is not mentioned among the attributes of God. We hear power words: omnipotent, omniscient, almighty, majesty, transcendence. Does it improve or denigrate your conceptualization of God to picture divine delight in forming mudpie people and transfiguring tadpoles?

Listen to these verses from Psalm 104. Do you not hear delight and playfulness in God’s design?

10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills, 11 giving drink to every wild animal; the wild asses quench their thirst. 12 By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation; they sing among the branches. 13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work. 

14 You cause the grass to grow for cattle, and plants for people, to bring forth food from the earth, 15and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart. 16 The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly …

24 O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. 25 Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable, living things both small and great. 26 There go the ships, and Leviathan [a great and terrible sea monster in ancient thought] that you formed to frolic in it.” 

Again, it might be because it’s been hot and muggy and sunny – and I don’t have a swimming hole or enough water pressure to spin a sprinkler; it might be that I want a break from worrying about the coronavirus and the pandemic of racism, but I’ve been thinking of gushing water and clapping trees. It’s probably not a surprise that Light Dawns on a Weary World is one of my favorite hymns. It comes from Isaiah 55, where God compares his word to water:

10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. 

12 For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 

13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle, and it shall be to the Lord a memorial, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

A memorial – like the rainbow – something to remind God.

7 “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord,” said the prophet Jeremiah (17). 8 “They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.”         

Over and over again in scripture, we hear that Nature plays. Sea monsters and little lambs frolic. Life flourishes, springs gush forth. There is joy in water. Music in water. Peacefulness and restoration.  You’ve probably seen the ad on TV – 15 seconds of the sound of rain. I can feel my blood pressure drop 5 points when I watch it. It is a memorial for me that I’ve watched CNN too long, and so I get up and go away. I don’t know what it’s advertising, but it calms and changes brain activity from the barrage of words. The sound of water frees up space for our own thoughts. That ad has the amazing ability to help me, at least, wake from the passive sponge of 24hr repetitive breaking news, and come back to life.

18 Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. 19 I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43 

If the Bible were illustrated with emojis, what face would you insert at this point? What is the expression on God’s face? I picture mischievous joy. Can you hear the lilt in her voice, the playfulness expressed as springs bubble up in parched land and long dormant flower seeds push up out of impossible soil? Is there not delight in lambs and kids bouncing beside still waters in green pastures? 

We do ourselves a disservice if we can only imagine God as the old white guy Michelangelo painted, or hear a serious, if not actually stern, voice as the only appropriate biblical vocalization for God. God’s mirth is in water, springing forth, bubbling up, streaming by, living wells, roaring seas. 

Playfulness is in  provision: “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground;” God says through Isaiah (44). “I will pour my spirit upon your descendants, and my blessing on your offspring. 4 They shall spring up like a green tamarisk, like willows by flowing streams.” 

Scripture is awash with water imagery – and mostly, it is a positive force: Cleansing lepers, and healing the lame; changing into wine; Jesus coming, walking through the waves of a sudden storm; the Ethiopian eunuch who sees a pond and says why not? What’s to prevent me from being baptized? New things spring forth. Restoration, renewal, hope, peace, well-being, happiness, new life gushing forth as the water breaks.

It all begins with water, and with joy, and with God.

This sermon is kind of pointless – a wandering point – but I have three hopes. 

One is that you will become aware of the place of water in scripture – listen for it, stop and consider its prominence, importance – its cherished status. 

The second is that you will begin to look for the presence of God in water outside of the baptismal font (like the presence of Christ is outside of the church building) and that it will cause you thought for the way water is used, abused, withheld, or is the agent of change, renewal, regrowth. 

My third hope is that you will take seriously the call to play – to frolic in the water like Leviathan, or splash in the next puddle you see and get your shoes wet, or move into the circle of the sprinkler if you have one that spins, or shoot your beloved with the kitchen sink sprayer and have a good-natured water fight right there in the middle of your kitchen, or take a lovely shower with good smelling suds. And in it and through it, remember that water is life and God is the water.


Prayers of Intercession


Creed

In you, Father all-mighty, we have our preservation and our bliss.
In you, Christ, we have our restoring and our saving. You are our mother, brother, and Savior. 
In you, our Lord the Holy Spirit, is marvelous and plenteous grace. 
         You are our clothing; for love you wrap us and embrace us.
         You are our maker, our lover, our keeper.
Teach us to believe that by your grace all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.    
Amen

~ Julian of Norwich

Lord’s Prayer

Closing Prayer

Blessing & Benediction

Go with the strength you have.
     Go simply
     lightly
     gently
Go in search of Love.
And know the Spirit of God goes with you.
Amen


Hymn – Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee

1.
Joyful, joyful we adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love!
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before thee, praising thee, their sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness, drive the gloom of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day.

2.
All they works with joy surround thee, earth and heav’n reflect thy rays,
stars and angels sing around thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
chanting bird, and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in thee.

3.
Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blest,
wellspring of the joy of living, ocean-depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our brother, all who live in love are thine;
teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine!


Postlude

Chris Johansen

Sounds of Home

**Sounds of Home is on break this week – July 14th.**
Regular programming will resume again July 21st.

Take a listen back down Sounds of Home lane, or catch up on your listening here!
https://www.westdenmark.org/category/sounds-of-home/


Like to lend your voice?
Our upcoming theme is “found”

If you have a response to this theme – whether a story or memory, original piece of writing or poetry, music, radio drama, or one-liner – the sky’s the limit – between 5 seconds and 5 minutes in length – or if you would like to guest host or lead a song to sing together — we’re eager to hear from you!

To submit a response, please make an audio recording and email it to Molly,
or send in a written response to be read aloud on the program.

Contact Molly at tulkmo01@luther.edu for information and submissions.
Deadline for submissions is Monday, July 20th

July 12th Worship

Order of Service

Part I
PreludeChris Johansen, piano
Welcome
Confession & Forgiveness
Pastor Linda
HymnAs the Dark Awaits the Dawn
#261
Harry Johansen
Chris Johansen, piano
Prayer of the DayPastor Linda
Psalm 104: 1-15Harry Johansen
Chris Johansen, piano
Part II
ReadingPastor Linda
SermonPastor Linda
Prayers of IntercessionPastor Linda
Blessing
Benediction
Pastor Linda
HymnAs the Deer Runs to the River
#331
Harry Johansen
Chris Johansen, piano
PostludeChris Johansen

Part I

Part II

Note: audio of the scripture and sermon will posted below later today.


Prelude

Chris Johansen


Welcome

Confession & Forgiveness

P:  In the name of the Father, and of the +Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
C: Amen

P: We confess our entanglements with justice, hurts, and greed – and God’s difficult, blessed vision of a very different way. We seek the face of God, confessing our sin.

Silence for reflection and self-examination.

Holy God,
we have sinned against you and each other. We pray for your forgiveness and healing. The good we want to do, we often fail to do. The harmful actions and thoughts we do not want, we turn to again and again. Deliver us, Gracious God. Save us, save our neighbors, save all your creatures from our lack of imagination and courage. Gird us for the challenges of change needed, called for, overdue. Guide our way in your way.    
Amen

P:  We who were once far off have been brought near to God through the cross of Christ. May we forgive one another as God in Christ has first forgiven us.    
Amen


Hymn – As the Dark Awaits the Dawn

1.
As the dark awaits the dawn, so we await your light.
O Star of promise, scatter night, loving bright, loving bright,
till shades of fear are gone.

2.
As the blue expectant hour before the silv’ring skies,
we long to see your day arise, whole and wise, whole and wise,
O lucent Morning Star.

3.
As the moon reflects the sun until the night’s decrease,
may we your healing light release, living peace, living peace,
unto your holy dawn.

4.
Shine your future on this place, enlighten ev’ry guest,
that through us stream your holiness, bright and blest, bright and blest;
come dawn, O Sun of grace.


Prayer of the Day

Giver of Life,
We thank you for water. Lakes and rivers. Oceans and streams and springs and creeks. Ponds and bogs and puddles. And rain, falling on the just and unjust alike. We squander that gift with contaminants and privilege and fail to see reflected in it your love for all. Forgive our sight so shortened we see only our own reflection. May holy rain cleanse the air, and cure our vision, and make everything fresh and new. 
Amen


Psalm 104: 1-15


Reading

70 to 75% of the earth’s surface is covered with water. Roughly 70% of an adult’s body is made up of water, and about 85% of the adult brain is made up of water. Water is mentioned 722 times in the Bible, more often than faith, hope, prayer, or worship. Water carries the story of God from beginning to end. Water is life.

Genesis 1
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while the spirit of God brooded over the face of the waters. 3Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. 6 And God said, ‘Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.’ 8God called the dome Sky. 9 And God said, ‘Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so. 10God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. 11Then God said, ‘Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.’ And it was so.

2:4 In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, 5when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground; 6but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground— 7then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. 8And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east… 10 A river flows out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it divides and becomes four branches. 11The name of the first is Pishon…13The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one that flows around the whole land of Cush. 14The name of the third river is Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. 

6:5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. 6And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7So the Lord said, ‘I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created—people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry thaThen the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.t I have made them.’ 8But Noah found favour in the sight of the Lord.

7:1 Then the Lord said to Noah, ‘Go into the ark, you and all your household …2Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean; 3and seven pairs of the birds of the air also to keep their kind alive on the face of all the earth. 4For in seven days I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights… on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. 

17 The flood continued for forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. 18The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters. 19The waters swelled so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered; 20the waters swelled above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep.24And the waters swelled on the earth for one hundred and fifty days.

13 In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and saw that the face of the ground was drying. 14In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. 15Then God said to Noah, 16‘Go out of the ark…17Bring out with you every living thing that is with you so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.’ …19And every animal, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out of the ark by families. The Lord said in his heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done. 22 As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.’

Isaiah 43:2
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 18 Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. 19 I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. 

Isaiah 44:3
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

Isaiah 35:6
Then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;

Isaiah 55:1
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;

Isaiah 58:11
The Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

John 4:7    
A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink’… 9The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?’ (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) 10Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink”, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’ 11The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?’ 13Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’ 15The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water…’

Revelation 21
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; 4 he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.’ 5 And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’ …To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. 

22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

Epilogue:16 ‘It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.’ 17 The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’And let everyone who hears say, ‘Come.’And let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes, take the water of life as a gift.

Sermon


We turn on the tap and there it is, expected, clean, flowing water. 
For a few in this world. 
Water is life.
Water is power.
Water is scarce and overwhelming.
Water is diverted, contaminated, taken for granted. 
Water is a resource of privilege. 
Water is granted legal standing – personhood – in New Zealand, with “all the rights, powers, duties, and liabilities of a legal person.” In Bolivia, the government passed the “Law of the Rights of Mother Earth,” motivated by the belief that nature has legal rights. The Ecuadorian constitution recognizes the rights of “Nature with respect for its existence.”

Water is life.

And will be our topic for the coming weeks – and a proper sermon for this week will bob up soon. 


Prayers of Intercession


Lord’s Prayer

Blessing & Benediction

Go with the strength you have.
     Go simply
     lightly
     gently
Go in search of Love.
And know the Spirit of God goes with you.
Amen


Hymn – As the Deer Runs to the River

1.
As the deer runs to the river, parched and weary from the chase,
we have come from hurt and hurry, thirsting for your healing grace.

Refrain
Jesus, source of living water, may we drink of you and live!

2.
When your Israel crossed the desert where no stream or spring was seen,
Moses struck the rock, and water flowed for them, refreshing, clean.
Refrain

3.
“Come and drink,” Isaiah summoned, “all who for God’s mercy plead!
God’s forgiveness, like a fountain, flows to satisfy your need”
Refrain

4.
Christ, we come from desert places, deepest thirst unsatisfied.
Lead us to the waters flowing from the cross on which you died.
Refrain


Postlude

Chris Johansen

Sounds of Home – Imagine

Tuesdays at 2pm
Welcome to the July 7th edition of Sounds of Home!

Simple Gifts

‘Tis a gift to be simple, ’tis a gift to be free
‘Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gained, to bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed.
To turn, turn, will be our delight, ’till by turning, turning, we come ’round right.


**Sounds of Home will be taking a break the week of July 14th.**
Programing will resume again July 21st.


Like to lend your voice?
Our upcoming theme is “found”

If you have a response to this theme – whether a story or memory, original piece of writing or poetry, music, radio drama, or one-liner – the sky’s the limit – between 5 seconds and 5 minutes in length – or if you would like to guest host or lead a song to sing together — we’re eager to hear from you!

To submit a response, please make an audio recording and email it to Molly,
or send in a written response to be read aloud on the program.

Contact Molly at tulkmo01@luther.edu for information and submissions.
Deadline for submissions is Monday, July 20th.