“Our Money Story” - Week 3
October 16th, 2022 –
Leviticus 19:9-10; 25:8-12, Mark 12:38-44
Call to Worship
One: Can you imagine unfettered love? Free and bold, wild and true, the kind of love that changes you? Can you imagine a home—safe and bright, With impromptu dancing, meals around table, and laughter late into the night? Can you imagine faith like a compass That guides the way you shop and vote, the way you love and hope;
That asks questions and yet still believes, even despite uncertainty? Can you imagine a world where trees, bees, and all living things grow wild and free? Where peace is the narrative and hope the currency? A world where news stories are testimonies and funerals are far between? Can you imagine?
All: Yes, we can imagine.
One: Today in worship, dare to dream. Dare to imagine what could be. And pay attention, for God is here, in wandering thoughts, hopes, and prayers.
All: Let us worship holy God, that great unfettered love.
Prayer for Illumination
We want to see what you see.
We want to see what you see,
But we stumble through roadblocks of bias and narrow perspective,
Fear and limited information.
We are too small to imagine the type of love and beauty you can sow.
So in this moment, we ask that you would clear the roadblocks that keep us from you.
Blow the dust out of our ears.
Thaw out the frozen parts of our hearts.
Tell the logical arguments we form about what will and will not work to take a backseat.
And as you do,
Breathe fresh air into our lungs and fill our minds with endless possibilities.
We want to see what you see.
We want to reimagine this life we’re living.
Clear away the roadblocks.
Leviticus 19:9-10; 25:8-12
9 “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 You shall not strip your vineyard bare or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.
The Year of Jubilee
8 “You shall count off seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the period of seven weeks of years gives forty-nine years. 9 Then you shall have the trumpet sounded loud; on the tenth day of the seventh month—on the Day of Atonement—you shall have the trumpet sounded throughout all your land. 10 And you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and you shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you: you shall return, every one of you, to your property and every one of you to your family. 11 That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee for you: you shall not sow or reap the aftergrowth or harvest the unpruned vines. 12 For it is a Jubilee; it shall be holy to you: you shall eat only what the field itself produces.
Jesus Denounces the Scribes
38 As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces 39 and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! 40 They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
The Widow’s Offering
41 He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44 For all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
Affirmation of Faith
We believe in God the Creator,
who, like a painter with a canvas, imagined creation and breathed it into being.
We believe in Jesus,
who many years later, walked this hurting world and showed us a new way to love.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
who prods us and pulls us,
leads us and guides us, carries us and loves us into new life, day after day. And we believe in the power of imagination, a gift from God that allows us to dream dreams, create anew, start over, try again, and live lives of hope.
So in response, together, as God’s church,
We dare to dream.
We strive to love.
We try to imagine a new day.
And we walk together,
All with God’s help.
by our Beloved quilter, Cathie Favret
"Trip Around the World"
My latest project is a vintage 1940’s quilt named Trip Around the World. The bright colors remind me of the sights and attractions of traveling. With Covid-19 though, plus sky-high gasoline prices and advancing age, travel for us isn’t as easy as it used to be.
Then I thought of the places mentioned in the Bible. All we have to do to travel is open it and read about some of the places mentioned. There’s Paul’s planned trip to Spain (Romans 15:24, 28). We can go to a wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11) - and have a glass of wine. Arabia, Asia, Lebanon, Egypt, India, Italy, Ethiopia and Libya are just a few of the “trips” we can plan. No expensive plane tickets, no lost luggage; no tour guide’s schedule to keep up with; the only limitation is our imagination. Bon voyage!
A Reflection by Pastor Wynne
"Can you imagine unfettered love? Free and bold, wild and true, the kind of love that changes you? Can you imagine a home—safe and bright, With impromptu dancing, meals around table, and laughter late into the night?... Today in worship, dare to dream. Dare to imagine what could be. And pay attention, for God is here, in wandering thoughts, hopes, and prayers."
We end our reflection in much the same way we began - by guiding the imagination. We cannot create something that we cannot imagine. We would hesitate when we "put our hands to the plow" and we would look back at what has been rather than seeing the possibilities of what might yet be wanting to emerge. But what if we allowed our imagination to be as free as that of a young child?
Something in the Year of Jubilee, when even the land has a chance to rest and renew, allows our imagination to take the center stage, rather than relying solely on the plans that were predetermined by the mind. The imagination, I belive, is centered in the heart, and has soul, and comes from the core essence of our being which is always connected to the Divine Heart from which it emerged. Practicing mindfulness has become a focus for many, yet we still struggle with heart-ful-ness, which is the guiding force of Divine Imagination.
A song that I loved to lead while I was in the Disciples of Christ was called "Dream God's Dream" by Bryan Sirchio. The song distills some of the prophetic imagery we have throughout the Scriptures and brings it into language that is understandable by today's culture here. With Bryan, we dream: "of a world where there is justice and everyone is free -- to build and grow and love and to simply have enough. The world will change when we dream God's dream..."
Take time this week to dream, to play, to release your grip on past promises, and to open up to what God might have in store for a joyful and playful future. The Holy Spirit might yet have something delightful to reveal through us, if we allow time and space for Her to guide our imagination once more.
Shape something from clay or dough. Paint a picture. Use your hands to craft something beautiful. Draw in the sand. Dance on the beach. Lay under the fluffy clouds or gaze into the colorful leaves of the trees. Rest, recharge, and reconnect with your inner child. God isn't done with you yet!