Afterthoughts

by Rick Diamond

Saul the powerful avenger is stopped literally in his tracks by a bolt of lightning. He relents. He breathes. He prays. He fasts from food and drink. He sees visions. He waits.

Ananais, a follower of Jesus and part of the community of followers in a city called Damascus, also sees a vision; in the vision, the Spirit of Jesus tells him to go to a certain house and pray for a man named Saul. 

Ananais responds, "Isn't Saul the man who was coming to wipe us Jesus-followers out? I don't want to go pray with this man." And the Spirit of Jesus insists. 

Saul waits. Ananais goes. Saul receives; Ananais serves. Both obey.

Love is served.

We are called to do the same.

Listen to the Service

Today's Program

Gathering Our Spirit to God's Spirit

The Living Room is set up with the large table again in the center of the room. The room is very dark until communion, when the lights gradually brighten to regular levels. Cards on the chairs…

  • “Know Your Enemy” by Green Day plays
  • A Journeyer steps up to light the lamp and another rings the bell
  • David (E) and Leslie (L) make announcements

Worshiping with Our Children

  • A Journeyer leads our children in talking about when things don’t turn out the way we planned, how easy it is to get sad or scared, and worry that we will always be sad or scared. It will help us to remember that God is always with us and will send someone to sit with us, encourage us and remind us of God’s presence.

From Our Spirit to God's Spirit

  • David welcomes, has us breathe…
  • David recaps the series
  • A Journeyer reads Acts 9:8-19 (Contemporary English version)

Telling The Story and Our Story

  • Rick talks

We Share In Serving and Being Served Communion

  • Rick officiates as the communion team serves the bread down each row, and then serves cups of juice down each row

From Our Spirit to God's Spirit

Telling The Story and Our Story

  • Rick talks some more

Giving -- To Help God Do God's Work in This World

  • Rick leads an offertory prayer
  • Dave Madden’s “Open Eyed” plays as the community comes forward to put their offerings and prayer requests in the baskets on the table

Go Out to Serve with Mercy and Grace

  • A Journeyer leads the community in a responsive prayer

A Journey Responsive Prayer

Reader: God, there are so many voices clamoring for a piece of me… so many voices… and I know some of them are from you, but some of them are not. How am I supposed to know the difference?

Journey: I’m a little confused, but here I am, God.

Reader: When I get still and quiet, I hear a little more clearly, but the reality is that I have less of everything these days: less time, less money, less energy, less motivation. Actually, there is one thing I have more of--fear.

Journey: I’m a little scared, but here I am, God.

Reader: I know that the scriptures say that “perfect love casts out fear,” but if I could love perfectly, we probably wouldn’t need to be having this conversation.

Journey: I’m imperfect, but here I am, God.

Reader: Is it wrong for me to be picky about the ones I will or won’t serve? Service should be comfortable and stress-less, right?

Journey: I’m more than a little uncomfortable, but here I am, God.

Reader: Uncomfortable is doable, but not HIM, God! And anybody else but HER! I know the whole “love your enemies” thing is a big deal to you, but can’t you get somebody else to serve that doesn’t have a panic attack when they get in the same room with them?

Journey: I’m a little freaked out, but here I am, God.

Reader: Okay, I get it. The call to service can be confusing, scary, uncomfortable, and disorienting, but is the highest calling we know. We serve because we have been served, and we are called by one whose life was the ultimate life of service.

All: Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here I am, God. Send me!”

AMEN

  • David leads the community in reading together Acts 2:46-47 (New Living Translation)
  • David dismisses
  • “Know your Enemy” plays again as folks depart

Images