20 January 2022 Chapel

GATHERING MUSIC

“Lift Every Voice & Sing”

Christ Church Choir

Words: James Weldon Johnson Music: J. Rosamond  Johnson

OPENING PRAYER

Min Lee  

God of Righteousness, grant us your life-giving presence. 

Guide us in our time of worship,

and remain with us as we step out into the world,

that we may face injustice with courage and love. 

May we come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself,

a society that can live with its conscience.

The timing may feel off;

the end of the road might be out of sight,

yet we trust in your holy presence.

How long? Not long, because no lie can live forever.

How long? Not long, because you still reap what you sow.

How long? Not long.  Because the arm of the moral universe is long,

but it bends toward justice. 

How long? Not long, because you are our God,

and all may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.  Amen.

SONG

“Lift Every Voice & Sing”

Christ Church Choir

Words: James Weldon Johnson Music: J. Rosamond  Johnson

SCRIPTURE – Luke 4:16-21       

Felistas Mahachi 

16 When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

18 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

   because he has anointed me

     to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives

   and recovery of sight to the blind,

     to let the oppressed go free,

19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’

20And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’

VIDEO – Tribute to the 1963 March on Washington

READING

Excerpt from “Our God is Marching On”

Dr. Chris Boesel

SONG

“Injustice Anywhere”

Matt Markay & Mark Miller

Words: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Music, M.Miller

READING

Excerpt from “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”

Leah Luke

SONG

“Let Justice Roll”

 Festival choir, 2019 Juneteenth Celebration,            Carnegie Hall, New York, New York

M. Miller

CALL TO ACTION/PRAYER

Beth Quick 

One:  Words from prophets echo through the ages. So many voices, and yet we fail to hear the ancient words that ring again and again in the very heart of creation. 

Many:  How long must you inspire prophets to speak to harden hearts and the heavy burden of systems that deny human dignity? 

One:  “In that day they shall know that it is I who speak.”  Day after day you call to us and we fail to recognize your voice calling out for the redemption of all creation; calling out our common humanity that depends on one another; calling out the truth that we all share a single garment of destiny.  

Many:  How long will we continue to utter words weighted with injustice: “unwise and untimely,” “Outsiders coming in,” and “all lives matter”?

One:  We neglect to hear the sound of the genuine in ourselves and others, too busy working for those very systems that deny human dignity, and your soul cries out, “How long?”

Many:  How long will we be “more cautious than courageous and remain silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained-glass windows?”

Sung Refrain:  How long, How long, must we wait X2

One Voice:  

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,                                                

Come, you may stand upon my

Back and face your distant destiny,

But seek no haven in my shadow.

I will give you no hiding place down here.  (Maya Angelou, On The Pulse of Morning)

Sung Refrain:  How long, How long, must we wait X2

One:  This day we gather, not to simply reflect on the words of the prophets, but so that their words will be fulfilled in our hearing, in our speaking, in our living. 

Many:  We will attune our hearts to hear the Rock that cries out to us; to hear the words of prophets loud and clear. 

We will attune our voices to echo the melody of the prophets; to show up and call out the powerful systems that make your heart weep;  to speak words that sow seeds for the beloved community to be.  

We will attune our lives to be more courageous than cautious; to live as constant reminders of your kin-dom on earth; to live as though we believe that we are all woven together in a garment of shared destiny; to work for a world where love for neighbor is more valued than power harnessed for greed and oppression.  

We will be brave enough to see it. We will be brave enough to be it.

Sung Refrain:  How long, How long, must we wait X2

(After each prompt, share in the comments or lift in your heart what stirs in you. This is your commitment to continue the work of the prophets)

I will seek to learn and understand. 

I will seek to be brave, to be more courageous than cautious.  

I will seek and work for justice.

Sung Refrain:  How long, How long, must we wait X2

May the words we have committed to this day be fulfilled in our hearing, in our speaking, and in our living.  In the name of the one who shows us the way, may it be so. Amen. 

RESPONSIVE BLESSING

Mark Miller and Beth Quick

Today we proclaim “that we are not about to turn around.

We are on the move now.

Yes, we are on the move and no wave of racism can stop us.

We are on the move now.

The burning of our churches will not deter us.

The bombing of our homes will not dissuade us.

We are on the move now.

Like an idea whose time has come,

not even the marching of mighty armies can halt us.

We are on the move now.”

And we are on the move because The Spirit of the Lord God is upon us…

to preach good tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted,

proclaim liberty to the captives,

and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.

We are on the move and we thank you God for going with us.

SENDING FORTH SONG     

“The Day Is Coming”

Julian Wamble soloist, members of Christ Church choir

Words: Laurie Zelman T’00, Music: Mark Miller

****

Worship Notes: 

Opening Prayer: Written by Rev. Eliza Buchakjian-Tweedy, adapted from “Our God is Marching On!” (speech delivered at the Alabama State House by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, March 25, 1965). Sermonizing.wordpress.com

Blessing: Adapted from UCC Worship Ways (quotation from MLK’s speech “Our God is Marching On”) https://www.ucc.org/worship-way/martin-luther-king-weekend-service-january-18-2021-year-b-2/

Prayer and Call to Action: Adapted from Heather Williams, DMin student, including words from the prophets: Prof. Mark Miller, “How Long,” Rev. Dr.  Howard Thurman, The Sound of The Genuine, Rev.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Amanda Gorman, “The Hill We Climb,” Maya Angelou, “On The Pulse of Morning,” Isaiah 52: 1-10

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