Restore - Week 4 of our Money Story

Call to Worship

One: In worship we tell a story:

All: A story of an unfettered love that changed the world.

One: In worship we tell a story:

All: A story of how we live and how we long to live.

One: In worship we tell a story:

All: Because we are forgetful people.

One: So may we remember who we are.

All: May we release the narratives that trap us.

One: May we reimagine this world to see what God sees.

All: And may we work toward restoration.

One: It’s all that easy, and it’s all that hard.

All: Let us worship holy God.


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Prayer for Illumination


God, We cannot do the work of restoration without your Word. We cannot do the work of remembering, releasing, or reimagining without your Word. We need you like the earth needs rain and a sailboat needs wind.


We come to you in prayer to ask that you breathe new life into us. Grant us the clarity needed to hear your Word anew. And as you do, restore us to your breath. Restore us to your Word. Restore us to one another. Gratefully we pray. Amen.


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Genesis 33:1-17

Jacob and Esau Meet

33 Now Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids. 2 He put the maids with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. 3 He himself went on ahead of them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near his brother.


4 But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. 5 When Esau looked up and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” 6 Then the maids drew near, they and their children, and bowed down; 7 Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down; and finally Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down. 8 Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company that I met?” Jacob answered, “To find favor with my lord.” 9 But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” 10 Jacob said, “No, please; if I find favor with you, then accept my present from my hand, for truly to see your face is like seeing the face of God, since you have received me with such favor. 11 Please accept my gift that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me and because I have everything I want.” So he urged him, and he took it.


12 Then Esau said, “Let us journey on our way, and I will go alongside you.” 13 But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are frail and that the flocks and herds, which are nursing, are a care to me, and if they are overdriven for one day, all the flocks will die. 14 Let my lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will lead on slowly, according to the pace of the cattle that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.”


15 So Esau said, “Let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.” But he said, “Why should my lord be so kind to me?” 16 So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. 17 But Jacob journeyed to Succoth and built himself a house and made booths for his cattle; therefore the place is called Succoth*.


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*A Sukka is a temporary structure or booth, created with three sides and a roof of something that grew from the ground and was cut off, like tree branches. You can read more about this here: http://bibleview.org/en/shared/moses-sukkot/


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John 21:1-19


Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples

21 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he showed himself in this way. 2 Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

4 Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”


When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he had taken it off, and jumped into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.


9 When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them, and though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.


Jesus and Peter

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”


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Affirmation of Faith

One: We believe in a restoring God,

All: Who restores our bodies through the gift of Sabbath.

One: We believe in a restoring God,

All: Who restores our souls through the gift of grace and second chances.

One: We believe in a restoring God,

All: Who restores this hurting world through the gift of mercy and God’s son Jesus Christ.

One: And we believe in a restoring God who invites us to join in this restoration work.

All: As people of faith, we seek to restore creation to God by feeding the hungry, loving our neighbors, forgiving seventy times seven, welcoming the children, seeing all, loving all, and living like we belong to all.

One: And so we will work until God’s promised day.

All: This we believe.

Amen.


* Words for Worship are Written by Sarah Are | A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org *


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Loose Threads

Reflections by our beloved quilter,

Cathie Favret


"Job’s Tears"


Leafing through a quilting book and finding the pattern for Job’s Tears led me to thinking about crying. The other morning, our dog, Becky, didn’t come back to the house after I let her out. This was very unusual because Becky is a grub hound and always comes back to the house immediately after “doing her business” so she can have breakfast.


But she’s getting older now and I’ve noticed some changes in her behavior. It was dark so I took the spotlight and looked for her and called her and then panicked. No Becky.


I had visions of her wandering out onto busy Latimer Road and being hit by a truck. I broke down and sobbed and sobbed. I calmed down a bit and thought “I’ll wait until it’s light and then look for her.”


After about 15 minutes (which seemed like an hour), I went to the door to call her once more and there she was! Safe and sound. This was an occasion to cry some more!


Thinking about it later it occurred to me that we cry when we’re happy and we cry when we’re sad. What a gift from the Creator! This simple act that brings us relief and comfort - made up of water and salt.


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Pastoral Reflection

by Pastor Trista Wynne


This past weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to join in a festival of harvest and celebration in the tradition of the Nahua people of Mexico. The ceremony was hosted in Olympia, where I have many family members on my mother's side. There were many reasons that this was the place I was called to be during my time away from TUMC, even though there also was a pastoral gathering in eastern Oregon where I had originally planned to travel this past week.


Honoring the cycles and seasons of life, (including the ebbs and flows of emotions and abilities over the course of our own lives) is one of my core values. It is a Biblical principle from very early on, supported all throughout the theological development of followers of YHWY in an agricultural society, when the housing and structures that were erected were temporary and created from natural resources that were renewed once the people moved away from their local settlements.


Now that we live in more "permanent" structures, (or at least much longer lasting!) we rely so heavily upon the shipping industry and eat food that is grown, produced, harvested and processed in far away lands, we often forget the necesity of giving thanks for the cycles and seasons as we move through them. But our stories today bring our attention back to the movements of the natural world, and the blessings of the land, the sea, the animals and the people with whom we are created to have relationship. Jesus reminds us to consider the natural order of things, and challenges us to cast our nets into the waters with grateful hearts and the fullest expression of our emotions. And the story of Jacob and Esau is one that reminds us that healing old family wounds takes courage, humility, grace and a willingness to sacrifice or to give up something that is very important to us.


In both the old and the new testament stories, we have an invitation to consider where God is re-creating and renewing relationship. What forms of healing do you notice? What relationships are being highlighted? How are each of the characters who are named interacting with the creation around them? How are they responding to their emotional movements? What can we learn from them today? And how might it affect our prayer life?


It takes courage to express our emotions, to welcome those from whom we have been estranged or to open the door to potential loss of a loved one. And yet, when we free ourselves to work from the whole spectrum of human emotion, we experience an opening of the heart that allows the potential for restoration and healing beyond what any of us could have previously imagined.


Let us give thanks for the gift of tears, both joyful and grief filled, for they allow us to move what could potentially get stuck and cause dis-ease within our spirit. May we join together and give thanks for the blessings we have received, and for all who have brought nourishment to our bodies, our hearts and our spirits. And may we receive our harvest with joy, giving thanks in all the ways we can, with all the people we can and share with everyone we meet. For that is a beautiful way to bring nourishment and healing to our communities as we ourselves reconnect with the whole of creation. Now, won't that be a wonderful gift of restoration and balance and blessing?


May it be so. And may the Holy Spirit lead us in this Way of Emotional Fluidity and Healing. Amen.





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