May 17th Worship Elements

  • Reflection on Commissioning (theme of Matthew 28: 16-20)
    Includes conversation with Derek and Cassandra Noel, commissioned US army officers.
  • Special music: SPIN (audio-only) or SPIN (video with lyrics) performed by Sarah Doktor and lyrics by Gail Pomeroy Doktor.

Love goes walking in the world plus healing heaven & earth: themes from Matthew 28.

Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to.
Don’t try to see through the distances.
That’s not for human beings.
Move within, but don’t move the way fear makes you move.
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened.
Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading.
Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
— Rumi

Take my hand. We will walk. We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk without thinking of arriving anywhere.
Walk peacefully. Walk happily.
Our walk is a peace walk. Our walk is a happiness walk.
Then we learn that there is no peace walk; that peace is the walk;
that there is no happiness walk; that happiness is the walk.
We walk for ourselves.
We walk for everyone always hand in hand.
Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom under our feet.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Print on Earth your love and happiness.
Earth will be safe when we feel in us enough safety.
— Thich Nhat Hanh

Christ has no body now but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes
through which he looks compassion on this world.
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.
Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
― Teresa of Avila

Questions to consider:

  • How do you understand the connection between heaven and earth? What do you believe about heaven?
  • In what ways do you offer a healing presence in the world?
  • In what ways does the world heal you?

Songs:

Love Goes Out Walking In the World

Not all of us can do great things.  But we can do small things with great love. — St Mother Teresa of Calcutta

When you walk, arrive with every step. ― Thích Nhất Hạnh The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems. — Mahatma Gandhi

So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. Love someone who does not deserve it. — Wendell Berry
Remember, a small light will do a great deal when it is in a very dark place. — D.L. Moody

God is a fountain of sending love. This is the deepest source of mission. It is impossible to penetrate deeper still; there is mission because God loves people. — David Bosch

Love yourself. Then forget it. Then, love the world. ― Mary Oliver

Right where I don’t want to go, Jesus already is there. … Jesus is with us always, first and most profoundly because His Spirit has taken us up into His life  … — Gerrit Scott Dawson

Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt, work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever. — Betty Scott Stam

‘Go ye’ is as much a part of Christ’s Gospel as ‘Come unto Me.’ – J. Stuart Holden

Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible. – C.T. Studd

Let my heart be broken with the things that break God’s heart. – Bod Pierce

World Healing Songs, Gathas & Psalms

I often think of the heavens
your hands have made,
and of the moon and stars
you put in place.
— Psalm 8

Earth brings us into life
and nourishes us.
Earth takes us back again.
We are born and
we die with every breath.
— Thich Nhat Hanh, Earth Gatha

Earth, in which lie the sea, the river and other waters,
In which food and cornfields have come to be,
In which lives all that breathes and that moves,
May she confer on us the finest of her yield Earth,
In which the waters, common to all,
Moving on all sides, flow unfailingly, day and night,
May she pour on us milk in many streams,
And endow us with lustre
May those born of thee, O Earth be for our welfare,
Free from sickness and waste.
Wakeful through a long life
We shall become bearers of tribute to thee.
Earth, my mother, set me securely
With bliss in full accord with heaven,
O wise one, uphold me in grace and splendour.
— Atharva Veda, Hindu song

“Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, you heavens; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, you angels of the Lord; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, all you waters above the heavens; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, all you powers of the Lord; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, sun and moon; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, stars of heaven; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
“Bless the Lord, all rain and dew;sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, all you winds; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, fire and heat; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, winter cold and summer heat; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, dews and falling snow; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, ice and cold; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, frosts and snows;sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, nights and days;sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, light and darkness;sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, lightnings and clouds; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
“Let the earth bless the Lord; let it sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, mountains and hills;sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, all that grows in the ground; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, you springs; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, seas and rivers; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, you whales and all that swim in the waters; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, all birds of the air;sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, all wild animals and cattle; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
“Bless the Lord, all people on earth;sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, O Israel; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, you priests of the Lord; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, you servants of the Lord; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, spirits and souls of the righteous; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
Bless the Lord, you who are holy and humble in heart; sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
— Daniel 3, New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition

Healing Earth & Heaven

The temple bell stops.
But the sound keeps coming – out of the flowers.
— Basho

Supreme Lord, let there be peace in the sky and in the atmosphere. Let there be peace in the plant world and in the forests. Let the cosmic powers be peaceful. Let the Brahman, the true essence and source of life, be peaceful. Let there be undiluted and fulfilling peace everywhere. – Atharva Veda

The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. — Baha’u’llah, Bahai 

Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being. — Mahatma Gandhi.

When our hearts are good, the sky will be good to us — Maha Ghosananda, Cambodia
 

First, a person should put his house together, then his town, then the world. — Rabbi Israel Salanter

The world grows smaller and smaller, more and more interdependent…today more than ever before life must be characterised by a sense of Universal Responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life. —XIV Dalai Lama

… to return the thing given to the human as a gift of nature to its original place. — Shinto

It is not difficult to forgive destruction in the past which resulted from ignorance. Today however we have access to more information, and it is essential that we re-examine ethically what we have inherited, what we are responsible for, and what we will pass on to coming generations. — Dalai Lama

No creature is there crawling on the earth, no bird flying with its wings, but they are nations like unto yourselves. We have neglected nothing in the Book; then to their Lord they shall be mustered. — Qur’an 6:38

The world is sweet and verdant green, and Allah appoints you to be His regents in it, and will see how you acquit yourselves. — Islam and the Environment, Harfiyah Abdel Haleem

God is in the water of the lake; he is also in the cracked bed of the lake, when the lake has dried up. God is in the abundant harvest; he is also in the famine that occurs when the harvest fails. God is in the lightning; he is also in the darkness, when the lightning has faded… Brothers and sisters, you pile up stones to make shrines, imagining that God will make himself present there. Then you are surprised when these shrines do not ease your cares and worries. — 366 Readings From Islam

If the foundations of living are strengthened and are economically used, then Nature cannot bring impoverishment. But if the foundations of living are neglected and used extravagantly, then Nature cannot make the country rich. — Xunzi, Master Zi, Confucianism

Humanity follows the Earth, the Earth follows Heaven, Heaven follows the Dao, and the Dao follows what is natural. — Dao De Jing

In the Vedas, saints and holy people are compared to trees, which give charity to everyone. Trees never complain, but freely give fruit, shade from the sun, shelter from the storm and even their own bodies for fuel. — Rasamandala Das 

The central concept of Islam is Tawhid – the Unity of Allah. Allah is Unity and His Unity is also reflected in the unity of mankind, and the unity of man and nature. His trustees are responsible for maintaining the unity of His creation, the integrity of the Earth, its flora and fauna, its wildlife and natural environment. Unity cannot be had by discord, by setting one need against another; it is maintained by balance and harmony. Therefore, Muslims say that Islam is the middle path and we will be answerable for how we have walked this path and how we have maintained balance and harmony in the whole of creation around us. … it is these values which led Muhammad, (peace be upon him), the Prophet of Islam, to say: ‘Whosoever plants a tree and diligently looks after it until it matures and bears fruit is rewarded’, and ‘If a Muslim plants a tree or sows a field and men and beats and birds eat from it, all of it is a charity on his part’, and again, ‘The world is green and beautiful, and Allah has appointed you as His stewards over it.’ — Dr. Abdullah Omar Naseef, Muslim World League

I am a sacrifice to Your almighty creative power which is pervading everywhere … Air is the Guru, Water is the Father, and Earth is the Great Mother of all. — Guru Angad Dev, Sikhism 

At the time of the Second Master, Guru Angad Dev, a man called Bhal Jeeva used to cook khichrri porridge to bring to the langar every day. One morning, however, the wind was so high that he could not get the wood of his cooking fire to light, though he tried over and over again. Eventually he decided to pray that the wind would stop so that he could cook the meal for the Guru and the other Sikhs. His prayer was answered, the wind stopped and he was able to finish cooking the food and took it to the langar as usual.  But, to Bhal Jeeva’s surprise, on this day the Guru refused to accept the offering and spoke to him thus: “By stopping the wind you gained the capacity to feed just a few people in the sangat but the Almighty has to feed all flora and fauna alike. On the land, in the water and in the skies there are many beings and He has his ways to provide food for them. A strong wind is useful to carry pollen, grains, leaves and clouds to far off places and bring the fruit down from the trees. With this simple act of God He serves the ants and many other creatures, and though you have the right to pray you must bow to His divine will. Understand – everything that happens in his will has a very deep sense of caring for all creation. — Guru Angad Dev

You are that which you intend to hit, injure, insult, torment, persecute, torture, enslave or kill. — Mahavira

The goodness of God fills all the gaps of the universe, without discrimination or preference. God is the gratuity of absolutely everything. The space in between everything is not space at all but Spirit. God is the “goodness glue” that holds the dark and light of things together, the free energy that carries all death across the Great Divide and transmutes it into Life. When we say that Christ “paid the debt once and for all,” it simply means that God’s job is to make up for all deficiencies in the universe. What else would God do? Basically, grace is God’s first name, and probably last too. Grace is what God does to keep all things he has made in love and alive—forever. Grace is God’s official job description. Grace is not something God gives; grace is who God is. If we are to believe the primary witnesses, an unexplainable goodness is at work in the universe. ― Richard Rohr

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