410-367-7287 [email protected]

A Meditation

Faith is hard. Jesus is right. It takes a lot to have even a small amount of faith. Everything must be in alignment. Including the belief that your faith is strong enough to take you far.

Jesus found out how dangerous faith is. He wrestled with himself from Galilee into Jerusalem. He knew what awaited him in Jerusalem. Things would not end well. But he kept putting one foot in front of the other. In time, the dusty road would melt away, as the landscape became more built up—less agrarian, and bigger buildings closer together. It was ever easier to realize that the trip was getting closer and closer to a great city. Jerusalem itself, the city that had captivated Jews down through the millennia. Jerusalem still takes pride of place in Jewish imaginations.

Our minds may reel at the destruction of Jerusalem a scant forty years after Jesus’ crucifixion. Year by tumultuous year, the Jewish people become overcome by rage and insanity against Rome. Eventually, the overlords, under the leadership of the son of the emperor—Titus Flavius—couldn’t abide the restive violence of Israel anymore. Rome was determined to conquer the rebellious nation. Jerusalem must pay.

Jerusalem was gutted by fire. The Temple was thrown down. Ten of thousands were exiled into slavery. Blind faith, by its very nature, has dangerously unpredictable outcomes. Jesus knew that personally. He taught about faith the size of a mustard seed. For Jesus, it changed everything.     Pastor Neil

Gathering

Celebrant ☩ Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
People     And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever.

Amen.

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 Celebrant         Jesus said, “The first commandment is this: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”

The Collect of the Day

 Celebrant         The Lord be with you.

People               And also with you.

Celebrant          Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

The liturgy of the Word

Old Testament:  Lamentations 1:1-6

How lonely sits the city
that once was full of people!

How like a widow she has become,
she that was great among the nations!

She that was a princess among the provinces
has become a vassal.

She weeps bitterly in the night,
with tears on her cheeks;

among all her lovers
she has no one to comfort her;

all her friends have dealt treacherously with her,
they have become her enemies.

Judah has gone into exile with suffering
and hard servitude;

she lives now among the nations,
and finds no resting place;

her pursuers have all overtaken her
in the midst of her distress.

The roads to Zion mourn,
for no one comes to the festivals;

all her gates are desolate,
her priests groan;

her young girls grieve,
and her lot is bitter.

Her foes have become the masters,
her enemies prosper,

because the Lord has made her suffer
for the multitude of her transgressions;

her children have gone away,
captives before the foe.

From daughter Zion has departed
all her majesty.

Her princes have become like stags
that find no pasture;

they fled without strength
before the pursuer.

 

Reader     The Word of the Lord.

People     Thanks be to God.

 

The Psalm will be recited together
Psalm 137

1 By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, *
when we remembered you, O Zion.

2 As for our harps, we hung them up *
on the trees in the midst of that land.

3 For those who led us away captive asked us for a song,
and our oppressors called for mirth: *
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”

4 How shall we sing the Lord’s song *
upon an alien soil.

5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, *
let my right hand forget its skill.

6 Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you, *
if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.

7 Remember the day of Jerusalem, O Lord, against the people of Edom, * who said, “Down with it! down with it!
even to the ground!”

8 O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, * happy the one who pays you back for what you have done to us!

 

The Gospel

Celebrant        The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to Luke.

People             Glory to you, O Lord.

Luke 17:5-10

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

“Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So, you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’”

Celebrant The Gospel of the Lord.
People      Praise to you, Lord Christ.

SERMON PASTOR O’FARRELL

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

Celebrant and People together, all standing

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Celebrant
I
n calling forth creation from the void, God, you revealed yourself in human form. You manifest your concern for your whole universe. Hear the world’s needs, as we bring the matters of our hearts before you.

Lay Reader

Pour out your life-giving Spirit on your holy church throughout the world. Equip its members to boldly proclaim their common faith and your bountiful blessings across the earth. Lord, in your mercy: Hear our prayer.

Let your Spirit move over our unruly time and heal its people broken in spirit and body. Bring peace to a weary and struggling world. Intercede and bring peace to Ukraine, Afghanistan, Haiti, the Middle East, and the streets of Baltimore. Lord, in your mercy: Hear our prayer.

Help those suffering from mental illness, broken families, and homelessness. Protect Mother Earth from human neglect and destruction. Protect animals and species in danger from human selfishness, greed, and misadventure. This must break your heart as much as it breaks ours. Lord, in your mercy: Hear our prayer.

Create changed hearts within us. Help us to become our best selves, as you created us to be. Lord, in your mercy: Hear our prayer.

Burn out all that is evil in us. Consecrate us for holy service. Empower us to work toward the salvation of the world. Give us energy and insight for our personal missions. Lord, in your mercy: Hear our prayer.

Renew the faith of all who call you Lord, so that we may devote ourselves to worship, teaching, and prayer—all to reveal your grace to a fragile humanity. Give noble purpose to our secular leaders, and a desire to do justice in the land and in the world. Lord, in your mercy: Hear our prayer.

Be with those who are dying and ill, and their families and loved ones. Bless the pastoral ministries of this congregation. Safeguard immigrants and refugees. Provide solace and healing to those beleaguered by the reality of their lives. Lord, in your mercy: Hear our prayer.

We especially pray for those we silently name now. (Pause) Lord, in your mercy: Hear our prayer.

Celebrant Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

A CONFESSION OF OUR SINS TO GOD

Celebrant Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbors.

Silence will be kept

Minister and People Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Celebrant Almighty God have mercy on you, ☩ forgive you all your sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in
eternal life. Amen.

THE PEACE

Celebrant The peace of the Lord be always with you.
People And also with you.

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING

Celebrant The Lord be with you.
People And also with you.
Celebrant Lift up your hearts.
People We lift them to the Lord.
Celebrant Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Celebrant It is indeed right and salutary that we should in all times and in all places give thanks to you Almighty Father, through Jesus Christ your son. For by water and the Holy Spirit you have made us a new people in Jesus Christ our Savior, to show forth your glory in all the world. Therefore, we praise your name and join angels and archangels by saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. ☩ Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Holy and gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us for yourself. When we had fallen into sin and become subject to evil and death, you in your mercy sent Jesus Christ, your only and eternal Son, to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of all.

He stretched out his arms upon the cross, and offered himself
in obedience to your will, a perfect sacrifice for the whole
world.

On the night before his death, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”

After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”

Therefore, we proclaim the mystery of faith:

Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.

We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O Father, in this sacrifice of praise and thanks- giving. Recalling his death, resurrection, and ascension, we offer you these gifts. Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him. Sanctify us also that we may faithfully receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace. And at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom. All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ.

By him, and with him, and in him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit
all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father,
now and forever. Amen.

And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to pray:

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

 

THE CALL TO COMMUNION

Celebrant The gifts of God for the people of God. Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving.

Celebrant will distribute communion to people in their chairs.

 

THE GENERAL THANKSGIVING

Celebrant Almighty and ever living God,

All We thank you for feeding us with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; and for assuring us in these holy mysteries that we are living members of the Body of your Son, and heirs of your eternal kingdom. And now, Father, send us out to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord. To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and forever. Amen

THE BLESSING

Celebrant Sisters and brothers, we go out into the world in peace. We live and walk as part of God’s beloved community. May God help us all to be of good courage, to hold on to what is good, and to return to no one an evil for an evil. Strengthen the faint-hearted, support the weak, aid the suffering, do justice, honor all people, and let our gentleness be known by everyone. May God, who raised our Lord Jesus from death, lift us up and restore us to wholeness. And may God bless us all, ☩ in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

DISMISSAL

Celebrant Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.