Worship Order for
a Hawaiian word that is used as a greeting when people arrive and
when they leave. It means "peace," is spoken to help a
guest feel welcome. When we meet face-to- face with an Aloha,
barriers that may separate us are broken down, and the ground we
stand upon becomes a safe and healing place.
Long ago, God
visited Abraham and Sarah "by the oaks of Mamre." Hearing
that story we remember that we may be welcoming angels without
knowing it when we show hospitality to strangers. Aloha is
thus not just a greeting we speak to each other. We are inviting the
Lord to come by here. Please stand and letís sing "kum bah
jah" - the new version.
Yes, Lord, come by here. Aloha! We welcome you. Help us to worship
you today. Speak to us through the Bible verses we read, the songs
we sing, and the things we share in Jesusí name. Amen.
Have you heard
the story of six visually impaired men who went to "see"
an elephant? Each one approached the creature from a different
direction. Making their astute observations, they each claimed the
truth about the beast. Their conclusions were quite varied,
including a wall (side), a spear (tusk), a snake (trunk), a tree
(leg), a fan (ear), and a rope (tail). The part of the elephant
they each happened to touch determined their perspective.
happen to us when we consider the word peace. There are at least
as many ways to define peace as there are to describe an elephant:
the absence of war, mental calm, a state of harmony, law and
order. In the Christian community, we often find different
meanings when we use that special word. And like those blind men,
we see different parts of this profound concept.
at camp this summer explored these many ways of talking about
peace. In each of six daily discoveries, a scripture opened a door
to a different way of understanding peace. Some of these doors are
very personal; others emphasize the community. Some talk about our
inner life; others focus on the world. Rather than just opening
one Ďfavoriteí door, by opening several, campers and
counselors tried to see the bigger picture of Godís desire for
humankind, to behold the whole "elephant," if you will.
The One who created and sustains us wants us to live together in
unity and harmonyóspiritually, emotionally, socially, and
each scripture lesson were words for peace from around the world.
Youíve already heard one of them, "Aloha." These words
were chosen because they help to describe these various aspects of
peace, focusing on one aspect each day. Our worship service this
morning revolves around these six camp discoveries, listening to
scriptures and hearing the variety of words for "peace"
from around the world. As we talk about Godís peace
today, may the peace of the Lord talk to us.
a Hebrew word that means peace. Like aloha, it also is a
word used in greeting and saying good-bye. But shalom is a much
bigger word. It also means harmony, completeness, wholeness,
well-being, even salvation. It describes the world as God intends
it to be. When we offer shalom to others, we bless them
with Godís blessing. Those who receive this blessing of shalom
enjoy Godís wholeness and salvation
the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." At
the end of each dayís creation work, "God saw everything
he had made, and indeed, it was very good." Thatís what
it says in the first chapter of the Bible. Everything and everyone
had a place, and it was good. Thatís what God wants. Shalom...
A song some of us sang at camp talks about this. "All Godís
During a storm
on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus called out to the raging wind and the
churning sea with a command, not a request. Back on land in the
very next chapter, he called out in a similar way to a man with an
unclean spirit who lived alone because of his inner violence. Both
the sea and this man then became still at Jesusí word of peace.
The call of
"Peace, be still!" is for us a call to quiet and
listening, so we can hear God speak to us. In Psalm 46 it says,
"Be still, and know that I am God." These words
form a prayer that what God intends - Shalom - will happen,
that Godís ways will prevail.
here two weeks ago, we sang the song that was the theme song for
camp this summer. We also sang this song at National Youth
Conference. The tune was written by the guy who led singing at
NYC. Heís also music director at the LaVerne, California Church
of the Brethren. The words were made popular by a woman who walked
on a solitary pilgrimage for peace around the United States from
1953-1981. She used these words as a meditation as she walked. She
simply called herself, "Peace Pilgrim." Letís sing
"Peace Pilgrimís Prayer."
written closer to the time (if not at the
one of the words for love in Greek, the language in which the New
Testament was written. It describes Godís love for us in Jesus
Christ. It is a love that accepts and loves us just as we are.
While agape is not exactly a word for peace, without it we
canít understand Godís desire for all to live in peace.
calls us to love, he moves us beyond just loving those who love
us. Itís not easy to love someone who doesnít love you, but
thatís what God did when he sent his only Son to save the world.
Receiving this love, and trusting in Jesus, we are invited - no,
we are commanded to start living in the same way, to love
even our enemies. Thatís where peace between people begins.
our Tithes and Offerings
"Bless those who curse you; pray for those who abuse you;
offer the other cheek to those who strike you; share your shirt when
someone takes your coat; donít demand back what others have taken
from you." These are not easy words to live by. If not for
the love of God in Christ, would we really be able to "do to
others as you would have them do to you" in the way Jesus
says? Think about this as you return your offering just now. Allow
love to create in you a sanctuary - a "pure and holy, tried and
true" space, that may live - on the outside (loving even
enemies) - the peaceful presence that God is growing within you. ...
by John Thompson & Randy Scruggs, adapted
©1982, Full Armor Music; Whole Armor Music
Lord, please make me a sanctuary,
D ... A
pure and holy, tried and true;
and with thanksgiving, I'll be a living
sanctuary for you.
to hear the music on a midi file, click here
Bless these offerings, O Lord. And help us to love like you love,
the way that you have showed us in your Son, Jesus. Amen.
a South African word for peace that has its setting in
"community." It means "I cannot be who I am unless
you can be who you are." We are connected to each other. I
need you to be whole, and you need me, even if you are white and I
am black. Archbishop Desmond Tutu introduced Ubuntu to the
rest of the world. Moving beyond apartheid (pronounced
"a-part-hate"), a terrible form of racism now
ended in South African, has meant:
- telling the truth about what has been done wrong,
- showing remorse and repenting,
- asking for and giving forgiveness, and
- doing what needs to be done to make things right.
Thatís Ubuntu. It is also the way Jesus taught.
we learned about ways to resolve conflict. We did our learning
together. For six days we were a "community" - living
together in cabins, eating together in the lodge, working together
on projects, playing together at the pool, singing together around
the campfire, praying together in quiet times. We needed each
other, just like the very first believers in Jesus long ago needed
each other. In South Africa it is called Ubuntu. Here we
call it "fellowship." Like the very first church, we
need the living presence of God, the Holy Spirit, to help Ubuntu
to happen. Letís sing a peaceful song about the Spirit that we
sang at camp.
a Japanese word for peace. The word describes a sense of peaceójustice
with compassion, gentle equality, and harmony. It is a peace of
heart, not a peace gained by the sword. When Jesus read from the
prophet Isaiah in his hometown synagogue, he proclaimed that this
message of peace and justice was fulfilled in his lifeís work.
Of course, as it says in Lukeís gospel, this message wasnít
very well received by these people who were his neighbors,
friends, and fellow Jewish believers when he was a growing boy. Is
a prophet accepted in his own hometown?
back from camp changed. Maybe not in big ways. Then, again, maybe
something very profound happened in the woods, or out in the
field, or at the pool, or on a hike, or in the cabin, or at any
number of different places and times throughout a week of camp. We
may just have a hard time putting it into words. We talk about all
the fun stuff, and camp certainly is full of fun. But, as we
return to our hometown synagogue, this congregation, are you
listening to God speak peace through us? Will you accept us and
the words we have shared this morning? Will they find fulfilment
in your hearing? Please repeat each word for peace that we
discovered this summer, after we speak it one more time.
- Be Still
(open sharing about "my" week)
[Those who went to church camp this summer are invited to
sit up front and share personal experiences from their
week, passing the microphone around the group. Half-way
through, we'll pause to sing a plain-old fun camp song,
led by some campers (the "Beaver Song"), then
continue on with the sharing until all who wish to have
had an opportunity to speak.]
Much of the above is adapted from
New Earth: Christian Resources for the Outdoors
Outdoor Ministry Resources for 2006
Produced for the Cooperative Publication Assoc. by
the Christian Board of Publication and
the United Methodist Publishing House
Note: 2 of the
curriculum writers on the team this year are Church of the
Brethren members from our district - Ed Poling (Biblical &
Theological Reflections) and Jan Gilbert Hurst (Daily Discoveries
for Older Children, & More Activities: Creative Arts).
(para traducir a espaŮol, presione la bandera de EspaŮa)