Sounds of Home – Table

Tuesdays at 2pm
Welcome to the August 25th edition of Sounds of Home!

United at the Table
Unidos en la fiesta

Refrain:
United at the table: all our joy is joined in song.
United in the faith: all our joy to God belongs.

We will praise God, we will sing
alleluias with hymns and with psalmody;
we will praise God for the love
that sustains us eternally. Refrain

We will praise God, we will feast
at the bountiful table of life and grace;
we will praise God and give thanks
for communion with ev’ry race. Refrain

We will praise God, we will play
alleluias with rhythm and instruments;
we will praise God for the love
that invites all creation to dance. Refrain

Text: Joaquín Madurga; tr. Angel Mattos and Gerhard M. Hartford
Music: Joaquín Madurga
ELW # 498


Link to the words of Perhaps the World Ends Here by Joy Harjo

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/49622/perhaps-the-world-ends-here


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

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 31st.


Also accepting responses for  

“night”

August 23rd Worship

Order of Service

Part I
Preludeby KabalevskyChris Johansen, piano
Opening PrayerChris Tou
Welcome
Confession & Forgiveness
Pastor Linda
HymnTree of Life and Awesome Mystery
#334, vs. 1, Lent 3,4,5
Harry Johansen
Chris Johansen, piano
Greeting
Prayer of the Day
Pastor Linda
Psalm 46Harry Johansen
Chris Johansen, piano
Part II
Sermon & ScripturePastor Linda
CreedPastor Linda
Prayers of IntercessionNikki Strandskov
Lord’s PrayerPastor Linda
Closing PrayerChris Tou
Benediction
Blessing
Pastor Linda
HymnShall We Gather at the River
#423, vs. 1 & 4
Harry Johansen
Chris Johansen, piano
Postludeby MozartChris Johansen

Part I

Part II


Prelude

Chris Johansen


Welcome

Confession & Forgiveness

Ten years ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution affirming that water and sanitation are fundamental human rights “essential for the full enjoyment of the right to life.” 

Water was not included in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as it seemed to be a limitless resource available to all. But a perfect storm of global water depletion and destruction, growing poverty and inequality, and rising water rates for residents – often the result of the privatization of water services – led to a full blown human rights crisis by the turn of the 21st century. With billions living without access to clean water and sanitation, the call for water justice was born. The fight to recognize the human right to water was surprisingly fierce and bitter. It was opposed by the private water utilities and the bottled water industry, the World Bank that was promoting water privatization in developing countries, the World Water Council, and many wealthy countries of the North, including Great Britain, Canada and the United States. 


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 – Tree of Life and Awesome Mystery

1.
Tree of Life and awesome myst’ry,
in your death we are reborn:
though you die in all of hist’ry,
still you rise with ev’ry morn,
still you rise with ev’ry morn.

2.
Living Water of salvation,
be the fountain of each soul;
springing up in new creation,
flow in us and make us whole,
flow in us and make us whole.

3.
Give us eyes to see you clearly;
make us children of your light.
Give us hearts to live more nearly
as your gospel shining bright,
as your gospel shining bright.

4.
God of all our fear and sorrow,
God who lives beyond our death,
hold us close through each tomorrow,
love as near as ev’ry breath,
love as near as ev’ry breath.


Prayer of the Day

O God,
eternal goodness, immeasurable love, you place your gifts before us; we eat and rest and are satisfied. There is so much we take for granted, so much we fail to see because of its familiar and ordinary nature. Fill us with wonder and appreciation for the mystery and majesty of all that has being through you. Fill this world in all its need with the life that comes only from you. We offer these prayers in all the holy names of God.
Amen


Psalm 46

1 God is our ref-|uge and strength,
a very present | help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the | earth be moved,
and though the mountains shake in the depths | of the sea;

3 though its waters | rage and foam,
and though the mountains tremble | with its tumult

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the cit-|y of God,
the holy habitation of | the Most High.

5 God is in the midst of the city; it shall | not be shaken;
God shall help it at the | break of day.

6 The nations rage, and the | kingdoms shake;
God speaks, and the earth | melts away.

7 The Lord of | hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob | is our stronghold.

8 Come now, regard the works | of the Lord,
what desolations God has brought up-|on the earth:

9 behold the one who makes war to cease in | all the world;
who breaks the bow, and shatters the spear, and burns the | shields with fire.

10 “Be still, then, and know that | I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted | in the earth.”

11 The Lord of | hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob | is our stronghold.


Scripture & Sermon

God: the Alpha and Omega, first and last. That which was before all things, when nothing as yet existed.

In his books Physics and Metaphysics, Aristotle argues that the existence of change (of seasons, for example) requires “that there must be an immortal, unchanging being, ultimately responsible for all wholeness and orderliness in the sensible world.” This Unmoved Mover must be perfectly beautiful, indivisible, and contemplating only the perfect contemplation.” The very supposition of a ‘before’ and ‘after’, requires some first, prior principle. He argues that in the beginning, if the cosmos had come to be, this first motion would lack an antecedent state, and since “nothing comes from nothing,” therefore, by logical necessity, God exists.

300 years earlier, the Greek philosopher, mathematician and astronomer, Thales, is recognized as the first to turn from mythology in explaining the world and the universe, and instead explained natural objects and phenomena by naturalistic theories and hypotheses, in a precursor to modern science. Aristotle reported Thales’ hypothesis that the originating principle of nature and the nature of matter was a single material substance, namely, water.

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 swept over the face of the waters.

This likely sounds familiar. It began last week’s reading. You might also remember that I wasn’t able to finish my sermon last week – and listening in on the zoom service, I was almost glad. You’re very good at taking up a topic and playing with it, offering ideas and reflections and questions. That might be a way to combine “new” church and “normal” church when we take to our pews again. I’ll write half a sermon and you all can contribute the rest!

Anyway, I haven’t gotten last week’s aborted topic out of my system. By now, you may realize that I like imagery. I think and remember things in pictures, not sentences. I would never have cut it in classical Greek culture. I have made a point over the years of introducing you to a variety of images for God, (including female). I believe that when we are presented with something that doesn’t fit our pre-conceived categories or stock images, we’re forced to consider that dissonance, to pause our rote religious expectations — and think! And that’s my preaching goal. I want to coax you away from static, standard, simple images and conventions and assumptions. I want Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling ‘old white man with a beard and bulging muscles in a pink dress’ to be just one of many ways you picture God.

I want a flood of options to flash before your eyes: a gardener planting Eden, a potter forming little creatures from dust and ashes and water; God as clothing – swaddling, cloak, breastplate; God as purifying fire, as warrior, as king; God as shepherd, as lamb; God as woman sweeping her house or kneading bread, God as mother hen, God as eagle; God as dazzling bright cosmic light; and, yes, God as Water, the originating principle and prime material substance of the cosmos.

And, when, on Day 6, after the wild animals of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind has been paraded past, God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness… in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them’, I want you to wonder about that image. What part of God, what feature or trait or substance is it that we share?

I’m threading fine line, but at least for today, follow me into heresy. I’m playing with a ‘what if.’

What if God is water? What if Thales and Aristotle were right? What if water is the image in which we are created? It means our bodies are 60% divine. That should give us pause – both in how we treat our own bodies, but certainly in how dismissive, egocentric, human-centric we can be in regard to other creaturely bodies, also equally divine. It means every living thing is sacred, because every living thing contains water. It means the very fact of our continued existence requires God. Humans can live for up to 40 days without food, but every living cell in our body requires water to function. Water lubricates joints, regulates body temperature, and helps to flush waste. We can live only 3 to 7 days without water.

1 In the beginning was the Water, and the Water was with God, and the Water was God. 2 Water was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through it, and without it not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in water was life.

~retelling of John 1

Primordial ooze – that watery chaos of complex cells and gregarious genomes that the wind of God’s Spirit nursed into life; rain and snow coming down from heaven, watering the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, accomplishing the divine purpose, succeeding in the thing for which it is sent; water pouring on the thirsty land, streams on dry ground; a new thing springing forth, (do you not perceive it?) a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, springs gushing forth in the valleys; still waters in green pastures, living waters of the co-creative womb; ever-flowing streams rolling down justice and righteousness in a parched and weary world; water flowing from the pierced side of Jesus; a river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Come, to springs of living water.

God is water because all things – seen and unseen, known and unknown – are in God and, as water, God is in all things. All things react to water, are acted upon by water, and new things spring forth: microbes and long dormant seeds come to life when water soaks into dry soil — like hope in despair. The oldest mature seed that has grown into a viable plant was a Judean date palm seed about 2,000 years old, recovered from excavations at Herod the Great’s palace. The oldest carbon-14-dated seed that has grown into a viable plant was Silene stenophylla (a campion), an Arctic flower native to Siberia. Radiocarbon dating has confirmed an age for the seeds of 31,800 years (±300 years). In 2007, more than 600,000 frozen mature and immature seeds were found buried in 70 squirrel hibernation burrows 125 ft below the permafrost. Believed to have been buried by Arctic ground squirrels, three of the immature seeds were viable. Scientists successfully germinated plants which grew, flowered and created viable seeds of their own. Rain and melting snow form rivulets and streams and rivers – and along their way leach minerals from the earth and stones, and the salt water seas are created.
Water performs miracles.

So, of course, water is vital and amazing, and a source of kinetic energy – turbine and geothermal. Water has awesome power in tsunamis or a single, steady drip. Water is poised, liminal as glistening dew on a spider’s web. Water is luminous, reflective in and of light, self-revealing profound depths in shadow. Water is a portal to mystery – of growth, of ocean depths beyond the limits of human ability or reach or understanding. Water is powerful, dangerous, capable of great destruction, life-taking, as well was life-giving. But/and through danger and suffering, change occurs, new life rises. Water powers the climate in an eternal cycle, and will as long and heaven and earth endure.
But is water God?

I am playing with this proposition. I’m pretty sure I don’t really think God is water. But, all things are possible with God… and if cherished, necessary, ordinary, abundant, always-with-us water is how God chose to be present with us in this earthly experiment, while yet cosmically absolutely other; being God for the rest of the cosmos uniquely present in their need, then I’m interested in the then what’s.

What difference might it make if God is ordinary water with all of its extraordinary qualities and uses and necessities and apparent contradictions?

Jesus’ parables teach the kingdom by means of everyday, ordinary experiences. Maybe we got waylaid and misdirected by those Greek philosophers and their dualistic, logical necessities. And maybe the biblical redactors and writers of both testaments were so intent on being distinct from the pagan’s little gods that they flung us out too far in the other direction, describing God and distancing God to project power over all, instead of being satisfied with power in all, through all, uniting all. Majesty and glory glinting off rippling waves, reflecting the whole world in a single drop.

Water is a known entity. Water is ordinary and extraordinary. We all (ideally) have access to water, interact with water daily, immerse ourselves, quench our thirst, offer it up to a stranger – a cool glass of life-giving, sacred sustaining.
An Omnipotent God, King of the universe, Exalted and robed in majesty with the blue planet as His footstool is perhaps good on the Sistine chapel ceiling, but is too ‘other’ to love; is perhaps a God to fear, a God to bow before in subservience and shame, but not the God God wanted to be for us in the first incarnation – the first mixology. God wanted to surround and uphold us, to teach us to float on turbulent waters, trusting in the power of buoyancy and hope and the breath in our lungs. God wanted to take us out like Abraham and show us the night sky. And gently dampen us with dew while we count the stars. Envelop, surround, quench her little earthlings and comfort us, not judge us from on high, from that ceiling throwing thunderbolts. Maybe God did not want to be known as a God who punishes and divides and bullies – created in our own image of threatened self-reflecting, but instead to be known in the beauty of ordinary time, ordinary events, remembered with every shower, rejoiced over in every baptism, present in very day, in every living thing.

Maybe we were given the wrong image to worship and love and share.
Have I coaxed you into that creative dissonance of perceiving something new?


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


Prayers of Intercession

As we are one in the spirit, though separated in body, let us pray for the church, the world, and all that is in it. Your response today is Hear us, O God, your mercy is great.

Generous Creator, as summer draws to its close and the sounds, scents, and sights of autumn await us, remind us to appreciate and share the beauty and bounty you bestow on us in every season. Hear us, O God, your mercy is great.

God whose ways are not our ways, we pray for those whose lives, homes, and livelihoods are in danger from the effects of fire and wind and for those living under the threat of hurricanes. We acknowledge that some “acts of God” are consequences of our own acts of carelessness and poor stewardship of your creation. Inspire us to care for the suffering and to do what we can to prevent further disasters. Hear us, O God, your mercy is great.

God of all, we pray for our brothers and sisters in all nations who are facing their own problems while we are concentrating on our own. Let us not forget that we are all in this world together. Hear us, O God, your mercy is great.

Loving God, we pray for our nation, for our elected leaders and representatives at all levels, that they may make wise and thoughtful decisions for the good of all. Hear us, O God, your mercy is great.

God who is with us in times of sorrow and suffering, we pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones, and for all those who are ill, injured, or frail in body, mind, or spirit. We pray for all who are separated from those they love by the pandemic. We pray for those who serve in our military and police forces , that they may return home safe and whole in body and spirit . Hear us, O God, your mercy is great.

We ask all this in the strong name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


Lord’s Prayer

Benediction

   May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you.

    May the Lord look upon you with favor and grant you peace.   Amen      

Blessing

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 – Shall We Gather at the River

1.
Shall we gather at the river,
where bright angel feet have trod,
with its crystal tide forever
flowing by the throne of God?

Refrain
Yes, we’ll gather at the river,
the beautiful, the beautiful river;
gather with the saints at the river
that flows by the throne of God.

4.
Soon we’ll reach the shining river,
soon our pilgrimage will cease;
soon our happy hearts will quiver
with the melody of peace.
Refrain


Postlude

Chris Johansen

Sounds of Home – Trail

Tuesdays at 2pm
Welcome to the August 18th edition of Sounds of Home!

Upward Trail Sung 2x through (music below)

We’re on the upward trail, we’re on the upward trail,
singing, singing, ev’rybody singing as we go.
We’re on the upward trail, we’re on the upward trail,
singing, singing, ev’rybody singing Homeward bound.

Views of Mary’s Little Butternut trail

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

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 24th


Also accepting responses for  

“swing”

August 16th Worship

Order of Service

PreludeArabesque
Debussy
Chris Johansen, piano
Welcome
Confession & Forgiveness
Pastor Linda
HymnWord of God, Come Down on Earth
#510
Harry Johansen
Chris Johansen, piano
Prayer of the DayPastor Linda
Psalm 36: 5-10Harry Johansen
Chris Johansen, piano
ReadingGenesis 1
John 1
Pastor Linda
SermonPastor Linda
CreedPastor Linda
Prayers of IntercessionClaire Scriba
Lord’s Prayer
Blessing
Benediction
Pastor Linda
HymnLet Justice Flow Like Streams
#717
Harry Johansen
Chris Johansen, piano
PostludeAllegro
Clementi
Chris Johansen

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 – Word of God, Come Down on Earth

1.
Word of God, come down on earth,
living rain from heaven descending:
touch our hearts and bring to birth
faith and hope and love unending.
Word almighty, we revere you;
Word made flesh, we long to hear you.

2.
Word eternal, throned on high,
Word the brought to life creation,
Word that came from heaven to die,
crucified for our salvation,
saving Word, the world restoring,
speak to use, your love outpouring.

3.
Word that speaks God’s tender love,
one with God beyond all telling,
Word that sent us from above
God the Spirit, with us dwelling,
Word of truth, to all truth lead us;
Word of live, with one bread feed us.


Prayer of the Day

Glorious God,
you water the world with goodness and cover creation with abundance. We too often are drawn to discontent. Help us to soak in that goodness, to bathe in beauty, to refresh our spirits – longing for companionship – in connections and care. Keep us always mindful of your generous love for us and for all.  
Amen


Psalm 36: 5-10

5 Your love, O Lord,
reaches to the heavens,
and your faithfulness to the clouds

6 Your righteousness
is like the strong mountains,
your justice like the great deep;
you save humankind and animals, O Lord

7 How priceless is your love, O God!
All people take refuge
under the shadow of your wings.

8 They feast upon the abundance
of your house;
you give them drink
from the river of your delights

9 For with you is the well of live,
and in your light we see light.

10 Continue your loving-kindness
to those who know you,
and your favor
to those who are true of heart.


Reading

Genesis 1 (condensed)
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. 6And 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. 9And 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.

John 1 (re-write)
In the beginning was Water, and the Water was with God, and the Water was God. 2Water was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through it, and without it not one thing came into being. What has come into being  4in water was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

Sermon

Rosalyn R. LaPier Is a Research Associate of Women’s Studies, Environmental Studies and Native American Religion at Harvard Divinity School. She writes that “For thousands of years, Native American tribes across the Great Plains developed their own methods of living with the natural world and its limited water supply. They learned both through observation and experiment, arguably a process quite similar to what we might call science today. They also learned from their religious ideas, passed on from generation to generation in the form of stories.

The Blackfeet viewed water as a distinct place – a sacred place. It was the home of divine beings and divine animals who taught the Blackfeet religious rituals and moral restrictions on human behavior. It can, in fact, be compared to Mount Sinai of the Old Testament, which was viewed as “holy ground” and where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments.”

Science and faith are kin. This is true for those in the Judeo-Christian tradition as well as indigenous religions. Science and faith are two languages of observation of the natural world and of human ways, thoughts, inspiration; they are two meandering streams seeking cause, meaning and explanation of what is observed.

Trying to understand God – theology – was perhaps the first science, the primal explanation of the creation and causes and movement of life. God is the Alpha and Omega, first and last. That which was before all things, when nothing as yet existed. Although, according to Genesis, things did exist. Water was there. A watery chaos out of which God called land to rise and light to shine and life to grow.

Genesis 1 John 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.

“For the Blackfeet, Lakota and other tribes of the Great Plains, water is “life.” They understood what it meant to live in a dry arid place, which they expressed through their religion and within their ecological knowledge. Indigenous people from around the world share these beliefs about the sacredness of water.”

The Whanganui River, one of the largest rivers on the North Island of New Zealand, has come to be legally recognized as having “all the rights, powers, duties, and liabilities of a legal person.” Bolivia and Ecuador have passed laws for the Rights of Mother Earth, motivated by the belief that nature, including water, has legal rights.

The Lakota protests at Standing Rock demanding a right to clean water – free from the threat of potential environmental harm – was also an effort to protect it.

I’ve been thinking about indigenous religion’s relationship to the earth, about the sacredness of water, the absolute necessity of water, and that we have the same water now that the earth has always had – water is neither created nor destroyed.

The Israelites were tribal, indigenous people, too, when the stories started. Some of the earliest biblical material was edited out – especially during the religious revival after exile. The earliest stories were brought up to date. So there might have been more mythic stores. But even as it stands, the Bible tells its story through water. I began this series saying that God is in all things and all things in God – therefore, God is in the water and the water is in God.

In the beginning was the Water, and the Water was with God, and the Water was God. 2Water was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through it, and without it not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in water was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

Instead of Word, what if the author of John has said Water? “And the Water became flesh and lived among us, full of grace and truth.” We don’t worship a word, after all, we worship Christ. And we aren’t all that good at honoring bodies even though God took human form.

So what would change if we truly believed Christ’s real presence is in, with, and under the water? That’s the formula Martin Luther used for baptism and communion. What might change in our appreciation and use of water if we honored it as a sacred element? Would we be better ecological evangelists, seeing that all people have access to fresh, clean water, using our collective will to break down barriers that prevent living water to flow to all people? Would we give more thought to what water reveals about injustice, racism, sustainability, the ecological web of which we are a part (but only a part, not the telos)?


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

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 – Let Justice Flow Like Streams

1.
Let justice flow like streams
of sparkling water, pure,
enabling growth, refreshing life,
abundant, cleansing, sure.

2.
Let righteousness roll on
as others’ cares we heed,
an ever-flowing stream of faith
translated into deed.

3.
So may God’s plumb line, straight,
define our measure true,
and justice, right, and peace pervade
this world our whole life through.


Postlude

Chris Johansen

Sounds of Home – Mend

Tuesdays at 2pm
Welcome to the August 11th edition of Sounds of Home!

There Is a Balm in Gilead

Refrain:
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
there is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul.

Sometimes I feel discouraged and think my work’s in vain,
but then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again. Refrain

If you cannot preach like Peter, if you cannot pray like Paul,
you can tell the love of Jesus and say, “He died for all.” Refrain

Don’t ever be discouraged, for Jesus is your friend;
and if you lack for knowledge, he’ll ne’er refuse to lend. Refrain

Text: African American spiritual
Music: African American spiritual; alternative acc. hymnal version


How Can Mend a Broken Heart by the Bee Gees
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QUX8fJ40RA

How Quickly Your Heart Mends by Courtney Marie Andrews
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjuDrInUKXk


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

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 17th


Also accepting responses for these upcoming themes 

“table”
“swing”

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