(in process of updating)

Acts 7:55-60: Stephen who has been on trial, expresses his vision of Jesus glorified, which angers the religious leaders, who drag him out of the city to stone him. But, Stephen, as he dies, prays for his attackers, and commits himself to God.
Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16: The Psalmist (David, according to the heading) pleads for God’s protection and deliverance from enemies who seek to harm and ensnare him, and commits his soul into God’s care.
1 Peter 2:2-10: Christ, who was rejected by people, but honoured by God, is the cornerstone on which God is building a spiritual temple in which followers of Christ are the stones. This community that built on Christ is called out of darkness into God’s light to be God’s holy nation.
John 14:1-14: Jesus encourages his disciples to trust in him and not be troubled, for he is the way to God and God is revealed and known in him.
(summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Resources: Textweek,

In my Abba God’s house there are many rooms….
I go and prepare a place for you;
I will come again and will take you to myself,
so that where I am, there you may be also. John 14.2-3

Jesus is not talking about being dead and entering into the afterlife.
He’s talking about entering into this life, being really alive.
God’s house is not death. It’s God’s presence.
It’s this life. This moment.
The Beloved goes before you into this moment,
is here in this moment before you are,
and makes room for you,
opens a space, blesses your belonging.
The Gracious One comes to you:
leaves the place of divine certainty and perfection
and meets you where you are, in your uncertainty,
your limitation, your partiality,
and takes you to himself,
gathers you into his heart,
so that where he is,
not where he’s going to be after he dies, or you do,
but where he is—right here, right now,
in the intimate presence of God—
you may be.
What if you were to enter your life?
It’s ready for you.
What if, in gratitude and humility,
you were to live it welcoming others
into the many rooms
of God?
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

Thomas said, “How can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
No one comes to Abba God except through me.” John 14.5-6
A zen koan*.
People have used it to imagine Jesus answering a question he wasn’t asked.
He was not being asked which religion will get you saved.
Not comparing one ism with another,
after all, he was Jewish, talking to Jews.
It’s not that there is one religion, one “way” and no other way;
there is no “way” at all. No set of rules. No formula. No ism.
Not even Christianity.
There’s only relationship. Presence. Love.
He’s not selling a religion, he’s offering himself.
Jesus is not trying to convert you.
He’s inviting you to love him.
“John,” the story’s author, sees Jesus as the embodied love of God,
the Word made flesh.
God’s koan.
Love is what Jesus means by “me.”
The only way to God is through God’s love.
Love is the way, the truth, and the life.
Forget religion.
Christ hides in all of life and whispers,
“Love me.”

* A koan is a riddle or puzzle that Zen Buddhists use during meditation to help them unravel greater truths about the world and about themselves.

Breath prayer: + love … me +
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

Singing from the Lectionary (Natalie Sims)

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon) in placement at Pilgrim Uniting Church, in Adelaide CBD (12 Flinders St). This blog is mainly to resource worship planners for our services, but of course may be useful for others. We have some great writers of music, words for hymns and liturgy at Pilgrim, so this blog also includes their words.
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