FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

Call to Worship: http://www.hymnary.org/text/rise_up_o_men_of_god

1 Rise up, O saints of God!
Have done with lesser things.
give heart and mind and soul and strength
to serve the King of kings.

2 Rise up, O saints of God!
The kingdom tarries long.
bring in the day of righteousness,
and end the night of wrong.

3 Rise up, O saints of God!
The church for you doth wait,
with strength unequal to the task;
rise up, and make it great.

4 Lift high the cross of Christ;
tread where Christ’s feet have trod;
come sisters, brothers in the faith,
rise up, O saints of God.

Morning Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8nx_VAtQ7o  Rise Up O Men of God,  listen closely to the change in words from the Call to Worship

First reading: Acts 7:55-60
Psalm: Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16
Second reading: 1 Peter 2:2-10
Gospel: John 14:1-14

Text for the Day: 1 Peter 2:2-10

Meditation: One of My D.C. Stories, You are:

My trip to Washington D.C. was marked with many “defining moments.” One of those moments was my personal walk down 14th Street. In the 60′s it was an area known for social unrest and turbulence. By the time I visited there in the early 80′s D.C. was known as the murder capital of the United States. I was frightened to be where I was. I was staying in a home in that area. Never before had I been in an area where “common” homes had windows and doors barred and padlocked from the inside. When I walked down the street it was like a ghost town. As the wind blew, shredded rags, towels, curtains waved as the wind blew threw the windows. I knew that I had to walk down this street. many times I had prayed, “Lord, help me to understand your love, what has all this violence been about.” Inside of me was a voice, it simply said, “take the first step.” As I walked I saw people appear in the windows looking out at me. I was alone. There were no other people on the street.

Then about a block ahead of me I saw people scurry into a building. When I got there I saw the word “Clinic” handwritten on a piece of cardboard taped to the inside of what glass there was. I went inside the building and saw people sitting in chairs as they were waiting. When I came in the room became deathly silent. I waited with everyone else. After about an hour a young lady came out. She looked at me and motioned for me to go with her. I did. I was ushered into what appeared to be a private office. The young lady said nothing, only nodding for me to sit in the chair. I waited. I could hear people talking from the other side of the wall. Then another person came into the room. She asked me who I was and why I had come. I said only that I am meeting with people asking them how the church and the community could better work together. She began by saying that she was a Christian. She had been working as a nurse in a hospital when she believed God was calling her to come here. She said she then left her job and came to this place. She had come after all the riots had simmered down and discovered the aftermath. “I have been here ever since.” All I would ask is that you tell other Christians they are needed to share God’s love. There are days when this is the only care my neighbors here on 14th Street will receive any notice.

I left the store front clinic. I continued my walk. It was not long before I came to an intersection where life seemed to start all over. It was bustling with coffee shops, book stores, government buildings, hotels and many clusters of people talking to each other as if 14th Street did not exist.

The Hymn Rise Up Oh Men of God has been sung, changed, adapted while never losing it’s message. The church year calls us and reminds us that ours is a special calling:

You are are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

In light of the words of scripture and the words of this nurse what will your story become? You are a special person for God has chosen you to touch the lives of those in your “neighborhood,” your “community.” Amen.

Benediction Song: Salvation Army Band (please clic through the advertising on You Tube)

 

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