28.September.2014, #263

We talked about PROPHETIC JUSTICE today.  So obviously we started with Kingdom and a King from Robbie How-does-one-pronounce-my-last-name Seay.  I usually cut the prechorus, and lately I've chopped the bridge as well, but all the same it's a great song, and exactly the kind of song that is nearly non-existent, one that combines praise with a charge for action.  Case in point: "A call to give, and to serve, and celebrate, for You are great, O my God, You are great", as if to say, the reason we celebrate is because You are great, but also the reason we serve is because You are great, but also the reason we give is because You are great, and also did I mention You are great?!.  Anyway, great song, we did it in G so that it'd match up perfectly with some Third Day throwback, Your Love Reaches to the Heavens.  Closed with this prayer:

God of love, you see all the suffering, injustice, and misery which reign in this world; have pity, we pray, on what you have created; in your mercy look upon the poor, the oppressed, the destitute, and all who are heavy-laden; fill our hearts with deep compassion for those who suffer; hasten the coming of your kingdom of justice and truth, and quicken our resolve to take part in it; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
— Eugene Bersier (1831-1899, Swiss pastor)

For part II of the service I had a fun time combining Pete Seeger with the OT with a hymn from yesteryear with some an Episcopal prayer, complete with cool fades and overlaid texts.  Except for the part when the projector broke and would only show shades of purple, rendering my sweet presentation of pictures and words utterly useless.  Oh well.

We played a verse of We Shall Overcome and a verse of Lift Up Your Heads, O Mighty Gates.  It works if you strum up a folksy vibe in C; plus what's the actual meter of We Shall Overcome anyway?  It might as well be 4/4.   I think they're supplemental, insofar as one is about our efforts being quite needed and necessary, and the other is about Jesus' presence being quite needed and necessary.  Following the verse from each song I put a piece of a prayer from Malcom Boyd for people to reflect on.  So it was Seeger verse 1, then the hymn verse 1, then the prayer, then back to Seeger and the hymn verses 2, then more of the prayer, and so on through the 3rd verses.  Then we ended with Micah 6:8, which is one of those songs I think came out of the 80s that scream to be redone because they're fantastic songs with horribly dated recordings (see also: Knowing You, and There is a Redeemer, and Psalm 121, and the list goes on).

Here's the prayer:

We who stand in the world offer ourselves and our society for your blessed healing. We confess we have failed to love as you did. We have been socially unjust, and our society is imperfect, fragmented, and sometimes sick to death. Teach us your ways in the world and in this life which we share together. Don’t let us restrict you to a narrow ghetto labeled ‘religion,’ but lead us to worship you in the fullness of life as the Lord of politics, economics, and the arts. Give us light to seek true morality, not in narrow legalisms but in sacrifice and open responsibility. Show us how to express our love for you in very specific, human service to other people. Lord, change our hearts from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh, and let us give thanks to you for all of life.

Posted on October 17, 2014 .