Afterthoughts

by Rick Diamond

Radishes? Seriously?

At communion we all shared bread, and juice - and everyone got a radish. 

"Radish" comes from the same word base as "radical" - and "root." As in, to be radical sometimes means to return to what is most basic, what is at the core, the root. The prophets in the Bible seemed crazy - but it was because they were doing whatever they could to get people to return to the deepest sense of what knowing and following God looked like. 

What's at the root of our lives? The nice religious answer is something like "devotion to God," but, honestly.

Maybe yours is consumerism. Buying and selling. Trading our time for more stuff, and freedom, and pleasure. Or maybe it's holding grudges and judging people. Maybe it's serving and caring for other people. Maybe it's learning and growing as a spiritual, emotional, intellectual being. Maybe it's serving your family. Maybe it's looking out for number one. 

This is really what being radically inclusive is about. What's the root of the thing we say Jesus was, and what we do when we follow Jesus? Some folks over the milennia have seen the deepest message o Jesus as judgment between the good people and the bad people. Some have seen it as belonging to the church, or believing the right things. Some have practiced certain moral standards or spiritual practices.

What seems to happen with us as Journeyers is that we believe Jesus taught and lived and practiced love. And Jesus' love was sacrificial, and servanthood, and meant for healing and wholeness. He said two things about the commandments he wanted his people to follow. He was asked what the most important laws from Torah and oral tradition were, and he said "Love God and love other people." At his last meal with his followers he said, "I am giving you a new rule: Love each other. That's how people will know you are following me: you are loving."

To include and honor every person as a fellow child of God isn't some crazy non-traditonal practice; it's at the core. It's down deep. It's the root of who we are.

Listen to the Service

Today's Program

Gathering Our Spirit to God's Spirit

The tall glass cylinder, now painted with words and symbols, is still in the center of the room and filled with branches extending out the top; branches are also hanging from the ceiling around the room. Roots have been painted on the floor, extending out underneath the chairs, which are set up in the round with the glass tree as the focal point of the room.

  • “Outsider” by The Daylights 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 why plants have roots to strengthen and nourish the them.  In addition, sometimes roots can help us by being used for food, like carrots, potatoes, peanuts and radishes.  The root of a plant is at the core of that plant’s health.

From Our Spirit to God's Spirit

  • David welcomes, has us breathe…
  • David explains the current series 
  • Inclusion skit with Steve F. and Amanda
  • David leads a brief discussion of what it means for our community to be inclusive
  • Three Journeyers stand and read loudly from their seats 

Reader 1:

“I believe I have no prejudices whatsoever. All I need to know is that a man is a member of the human race. That's bad enough for me.” -- Mark Twain, author and humorist (1835-1910) 

Reader 2:  Genesis 12:1-2 (New Living Translation)

The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.

Reader 3:  Galatians 3:28-29 (New Living Translation)

There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.

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

  • A Journeyer comes to the microphone for Reading 4 and leads an offertory prayer
  • Renee plays as the ushers pass the offering baskets and return them to the foot of the tree

Reader 4:  Ephesians 3:14-19 (New Living Translation)

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Telling The Story and Our Story

  • Rick talks
  • Rick officiates the sharing of the bread and juice as the Communion team (one team early and three teams late) takes position around the base of the glass tree trunk. During communion  “Get Together” is being played instrumentally.
  • Renee leads the community in singing “Get Together”

Go Out to Serve with Mercy and Grace

God spoke to Abram, and Abram was listening. He heard God tell him to pack up his family, dwellings, possessions and livestock and begin a journey that would start by leaving behind his lifelong home, many of his extended family, his business, and his country. God did not provide a trip itinerary, a GPS signal or a Google map. He simply said, “You go. I’ll let you know when you get to the right spot. And remember, the journey is as important as the destination. My part of the bargain is this: your faithfulness will manifest itself in the formation of a powerful community of people who both bless the world and will be blessed.” So Abram started packing…

  • David dismisses
  • “Outsider” plays again as folks depart

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