Using John 20:1-18, Melissa talks about the surprise that the women experienced when they went to the tomb, looking for the corpse of Jesus, and what that surprise meant for them and for us.
Melissa spoke from Matthew 21:1-17 on this Palm Sunday.
“So it is that on Palm Sunday street theater, a flash mob, turns into reality. When Jesus enters Jerusalem, when he turns over the tables in the Temple, he is initiating a new reality. The theater becomes the real thing. We, Jesus’ disciples, are set on this path, this path of upending economic oppression, of bringing this new world into being.”
Melissa’s sermon today was broken up into five parts, interspersed between readings from John 11 by Lowell, Ruth, Chris and Kari, as well as by music (which is not included in this recording). One section of the message is the poem Forsythia Bush, by Brian Doyle. During the last portion, she talks about the death of Michael “MJ” Sharp who was recently kidnapped and killed along with at least two others while working for the United Nations to bring about peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Melissa brought the message this morning. Before she spoke and at the conclusion of her message Pam read a poem by Mark Jarman, The Transfiguration, Part VII.
The story of the Transfiguration forms a hinge in the church year. The door swings open into Ash Wednesday, the door that points the way to Jerusalem, towards Gethsemane, towards the cross, towards death, towards dying alone.
Sometimes it may be that the story needs to sit here, filled with longing and loneliness and incongruity.
Joy continued the series on Mennonite identity, this week focusing on communion. Breaking bread together is fundamental to being in community. Acts 2:43-47 and Matthew 25:31-46 formed the basis for her message. Communion happens whenever we eat together.
Before the message, Helen read a wonderful poem, “Prayer,” by George Ella Lyon
In Melissa’s second sermon in the series on being Mennonite, she drew from Matthew 18:15-20 and Acts 15:22-35 and focused on discernment and decision making within the body. The concept of the “priesthood of all believers” is an Anabaptist distinctive. It’s a part of what binds us together. How we go about making decisions matters as much as the decision itself.
We live into these decisions borne out of our shared life, out of our listening, out of listening to those at the margins, out of trusting each other. That’s the work we’ve been given to do.
Melissa started a new four-part series on Mennonite identity this Sunday. Before the sermon, Pam read the poem “Mennonites,” by Julia Kasdorf and Joy read the response, “A New Mennonite Replies to Julia Kasdorf,” by David Wright. (Sorry, cant’ find a version of the second one online.)
Being Mennonite is not something rooted in birth or cultural traditions. It’s a disposition of patience, a slow coming into the life of a community, being vulnerable to one another’s voices, of learning how to receive the gift of another.
We’re all in this together as a community, where everyone has a part, where every person sings a song.
Rachel Taylor takes on the persona of a playwright from Coventry 600 years ago to tell about the creation of the Coventry Carol and remind us of the incredible gift of the Christchild.
The song gives voice to the anger of the women whose children were killed by King Herod, as told in Matthew 2:13-23. Even more, it’s a lullaby about the absolute, total love of God our mother who loves us so much she can’t be satisfied with leaving us to the powers of sin and death, but sent her own child to be with us in the mess our sin creates.
In the midst of the message Pam Bruns sings the haunting lullaby.