Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Living in the Spirit: Rest Awhile


Jeremy’s gone this weekend and Andre unreachable by phone which for me is a bad sign, so I’m on my own this weekend.  The chapel is cozy, but too filled with too many things related to Noche and others. Today as we continue our Life in the Spirit series, the topic is  Rest Awhile and the question is
What do you need to get away?

We sing Every time I feel the Spirit acapella. Our opening hymn is
Great is Thy Faithfulness. We begin the service of the word with
Gospel is Mark 6:30-34,53-56. 

So I’m going to Dublin in August. I haven’t had a real vacation in 3-4 years. It’s always, there was always, pressing work. Now it can be fun to be around the city in summer. Especially in August. The city is almost empty. But when you don’t get away,  there’s a relentlessness to time, one day after another. After another. And your effectiveness suffers.

Our gospel lesson this morning  has always been one of my favorite passages, because of its encouragement to rest.

It’s an introduction of Jesus as a successor  following John the Baptist…this story immediately follows his death.  Jesus figures he and the disciples  need a retreat before the heavy stuff begins to happen…it’s time to come away to a deserted place and rest awhile. But…there’s a crowd there already…

Jesus acts out of compassion…and what does he do? He teaches …His is a ministry of teaching. I was trying to explain to a friend the difference between Presbyterian and Catholics..Teaching is big with us…Jesus’ Teaching ministry, where teaching is healing. In our tradition, I used to be called  a minister of word and sacrament…Today I’m called teaching elder, I administer, not consecrate the sacraments…a priest is  more of  a magician…There’s nothing wrong with that…sometimes we need magic…Art,  itself something of magic
Medicine is magical and magical is art…Paul Simon. OK, so where are we?
OK, so like Hogwarts,maybe…? Dumbledore as a model of ministry?

Our passage leaves  out two big stories:
* The feeding of the 5000
* Jesus walking on the water

That’s hard work, no wonder it was time for a  break…

I’m going to finish with my song, Rest Awhile….When I wrote my song, I took all of this chapter of Mark into account…(it’s hard for me to write original religious songs…)

I wrote this to remember Teddy Mapes. Teddy came to us during Occupy. Not everyone knew this, but he worked all night at City Hall, came back here and worked all day at West-Park. Because he believed in what we were and what we could be and sought to live that out in every way.
And I felt that at last he could rest. We all need rest.
What do you need now? How will you get it?
Rest awhile

We sang Dona Nobis Pacem in Latin, Hebrew and Arabic.
Dona nobis, pacem, pacem, dona nobis pacem
Sim shalom, sim shalom, sim shalom, sim shalom, aleinu.
Rabu habna slamann tamman, rabu habna salamann.
And finished with Great is thy faithfulness
And as our closing song Go With Us Lord in canon style.

After worship, the session met to discuss a plan created by Don to help us manage our building’s burgeoning arts activity.

A hot and sunny summer’s afternoon awaits.

GOSPEL MARK 6:30-34, 53-56
30The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31He said to them, "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them.34As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
53When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 54When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, 55and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

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