Happy New Year, Swedenborgians!
WELCOME TO TODAY'S WORSHIP SERVICE
July 15, 2012
Happy New Year, Swedenborgians!
THIS YEAR'S THEME: The Year of the Lord
THIS MONTH'S TOPIC: What does the Lord require? Walking Humbly with Your God
Click for text vesion of today's message.
Open your Bible
Light a candle
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
[a version of this song was sung by the choir at the 2012 Convention]
From the Bible:
With what shall I come before the Lord
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly[a] with your God.
Secrets of Heaven, 10143, #5
For when the good and truth residing with a person have been joined together his will is new and his understanding is new, consequently his life is new. When this is how a person is, Divine worship is present in every deed he performs; for at every point the person now has what is Divine in view, respects and loves it, and in so doing worships it.
 The fact that this is the true worship of God is unknown to those who think that all worship consists in acts of adoration and prayer, thus in such things as belong to the mouth and thought, and not in such as belong to deeds flowing from the good of charity and the good of faith. …
 In short, acting in accord with the Lord's commandments constitutes true worship of Him, indeed constitutes true love and true faith, as may also become clear to anyone who stops to consider the matter …
 … the outward performance of worship without this inner devotion is not worship …
Shall I come before Jehovah with burnt offerings? Will Jehovah be pleased with thousands of rams? He has shown you what is good; and what does Jehovah require of you but to carry out judgment, and to love mercy, and to humble yourself by walking with your God? Micah 6:6-8.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I was recently talking to a friend of mine from another Christian denomination, and was explaining to her about our worship year. “We just started a new format last year. We have a theme for the year that starts at our annual convention and goes to the next annual convention – in early July.”
“So,” she said, “it’s like another version of the Christian liturgical year, that begins with Advent [right after Thanksgiving], and goes until the next Advent.”
“Right!” I said. “So we just finished a theme with our Convention, and now are starting on a new worship year.”
“Well, then,” she mused, “Happy New Year!”
I’ve been pondering her comment.
She is absolutely correct; this is a “Happy New Year” for our Swedenborgian liturgical year!
It is, however, a concept foreign to many of our worshippers, so I’d like to provide an overview of how we are worshipping in our on-line community and in many of the churches of General Convention.
As in its predecessors, readings are prescribed for each Sunday: a passage typically from the Old Testament (including those books sometimes referred to as the Apocrypha), or the Acts of the Apostles; a passage from one of the Psalms; another from either the Epistles or the Book of Revelation; and finally a passage from one of the four Gospels.
Also like its predecessors, it runs in three-year cycles; the gospel readings in the first year (Year A) are taken from the Gospel of Matthew, those in the second year (or Year B) from the Gospel of Mark, and in the third year (or Year C) come from the Gospel of Luke. Portions of the Gospel of John are read throughout Eastertide, and are also used for other liturgical seasons including Advent, Christmastide, and Lent where appropriate.
I often use the Revised Common Lectionary as a resource. It is called The Text This Week, and offers a wealth of sermons, blogs, music, liturgy and more for the texts of a given week.
Our Swedenborgian concept of denominational worship themes just began one year ago, with the Year of the Lord.
Our current seven-year cycle is on our web site at this location.
So, for us, this is New Year’s Eve. We are completing our first year of a denominational worship theme. For us in the web community, we began our theme in January of 2012 rather than with convention of 2011. The reason for that is that we had already developed a theme for the calendar year of 2011 and wanted to complete that theme.
So, let’s review our theme since January; the year of the Lord.
The entire series is on our worship page.
The Year of the Lord has included:
Talking to God
Listening to God
Union with God
What Does God Require? Acting Justly
What Does God Require? Loving Mercy
What Does God Require? Walking Humbly
As you consider our messages of this past seven months, how do you see your relationship with the Divine? How do you find God? Listen to God? Talk to God? When do you feel in union with the Divine? What do you feel that God requires of you? How do you do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God? Who or what is “your” God?
Inspiration and Prayer for July 15, 2012:
Have you ever wondered when things go wrong in your life "What doI do now?"I have found that I need to do the following:
Accept that this is the way it is supposed to be right now, go into prayer with God, listen for His will for you, and humbly carry it out to the best of your ability.
"Holy Lord, creator of all, help me to walk humbly with you daily. Teach me what I need to know to be your servant. Keep me under your wing and in your willso that I am in constant communion with you. Thank you for my life, thank you for all the lessons of my life. May I be a blessing to everyone I meet, and may they be a blessing to me. AMEN"
With love, Rev.Judith
This was sung by the choir at the 2012 ordinations
Extinguish your candle
Close the Bible
Go in peace, rejoicing in the Year of the Lord.
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|Happy New Year, Swedenborgians||