FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

Call to Worship:

God of grace:
We come for a taste of gentleness,
a moment when time and place can be put on hold,
a moment when the words of others can embrace us,
a moment when the only real distinction is love,
you as the giver and we as the recipients.
We seek to be transformed,
we seek to give our lives to you.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Amen

Morning Song: Malayalam Christian Song 

(follow the words- http://malayalamchristiandevotionalsonglyric.blogspot.com/2013/07/daiva-kunjaade-lyrics.html )

First Reading: Acts 2:42-47
Psalm: Psalm 23
Second Reading: 1 Peter 2:19-25
Gospel: John 10:1-10

Text for the Day: Acts 2: 42-47

Meditation:

As I was preparing this meditation I was drawn to music from people whose language is different then my own. The Morning Song is sung by people from India. The Benediction is sung by people from Pakistan. These two countries are known for their many struggles.  In some ways these struggles represent the global condition. The struggles are about spiritual, economic, geographical, cultural, political, sexual, religious and all other concerns.

Then just as quickly my mind jumped to an experience I had in Washington D.C. back in the early 80′s. I was with a friend, Rev. Loren Mead. We were discussing many issues around the subject of church and community when all of a sudden he started to laugh and said “I want you to meet a friend!” “He is known simply as Pastor Jack.” “Once you meet him – well, enough said!” He then got up, went to his phone and called Jack. “Jack, I want you to meet Carl, I am sending him over.” With that, we set up an appointment and I was on my way. The next morning I met with Pastor Jack. After a while he said you must join us for communion! It is Wednesday and each Wednesday we have noon time Communion. There is no sermon, no meditation. We gather only to celebrate the Lord’s Supper together. He then invited me to join him in serving. I reminded him that I was of a different church background. He told me that we are brothers and that was sufficient!

As we went to the front of the sanctuary people were gathering. This church building is/was a short distance from the White House and other government offices. At the time it was also known as the community with the highest level of violent crime in the United States as well.  Standing in front of us were men and women, people of all colors, people of all economic status, people from multiple political backgrounds, people from many different spiritual and religious backgrounds.

Pastor Jack then began the service. First there was silent prayer. Jack then prayed. Then Jack gave one of the simplest but most profound invitations I had ever heard. I remember it this way, “You, each of you and us (as he turned to me) are invited to the only place in the world where we stand as equals. We are invited to understand God’s love in a way that only we can understand. We understand our failures and our shortcomings. We understand our hopes and aspirations to be a part of a more loving world. We understand that in our failure it is Jesus Christ, who upon that cross, became that failure, that sin, and then God lifted Him from the death of that cross to a new life!” Then Pastor Jack lifted the cup and the bread. At 6’8″ tall, he was literally able to reach out and include us all as he waved the cup and bread. “It is here and only here that we stand as equals before God.” he said. Then he asked me to please serve with him the bread and the cup. We did. No other words were spoken. In quietness each person then left.

Many other thoughts go rushing through my mind. I think of my life not only then but now. I think of so many words but then am prompted to stop. Silence. Please hear the sound and read the words of the closing music shared by our Pakistani brothers and sisters. Amen.

Benediction Song:   English translation below. Oh God, I want to live dedicated solely to you.

Yaar Rahe Yaarab Tu Mera

jeena hai jeena hai jeena hai, tera ho ke hai jeena hai jeena hai jeena hai

jeena hai jeena hai jeena hai, tera ho ke hai jeena hai jeena hai jeena hai

yaar rahe ya Rab tu mera or mei tera yaar rahon

mujh ko fakat tujh se ho muhabbat

khalk se mei bezar rahon, her dam zikar o fikar mei tere

mast rahon sarshaar rahon

hosh rahe na mujh ko kisi ka

tera magar hoshiyaar rahon

ab tu rahe bus tadah mei akhir vird-e-zaban hai ae mere ilaa

la ilaha ilala la ilaha illala
la ilaha ilala la ilaha illala
la ilaha ilala la ilaha illala

tere siwa mabood-e-haqeqi, koi nahi hai koi nahi

tere siwa masood-e-haqeqi, koi nahi hai koi nahi

tere siwa moujood-e-haqeqi, koi nahi hai koi nahi

tere siwa mashood-e-haqeqi, koi nahi hai koi nahi

ab tu rahe bus tadah mei akhir vird-e-zaban hai ae mere ilaa

la ilaha ilala la ilaha illala
la ilaha ilala la ilaha illala
la ilaha ilala la ilaha illala

dono jahan mei jo kuch bhi hai

sub hai tere zer-e-nageen

jin o ins o hor o malaik

arsh o kursi charkh o zameen

kon o makan mei laiq-e-sajda

tere siwa ae nor-e-mobeen

koi nahi hai koi nahi hai, koi nahi koi nahi

ab tu rahe bus tadah mei akhir vird-e-zaban hai ae mere ilaa

la ilaha ilala la ilaha illala
la ilaha ilala la ilaha illala
la ilaha ilala la ilaha illala

jeena hai jeena hai jeena hai, tera ho ke hai jeena hai jeena hai jeena hai

jeena hai jeena hai jeena hai, tera ho ke hai jeena hai jeena hai jeena hai

yaad mei teri sub ko bula don koi na mujh ko yaad rahe

tujh per sub ghar baar luta don

khana-e-dil abaad rahe

sub khushion ko aag laga don ghum se tere dil shaad rahe

sub ko nazar se apni gira don tujh se fakat faryaad rahe

jeena hai jeena hai jeena hai, tera ho ke hai jeena hai jeena hai jeena hai

jeena hai jeena hai jeena hai, tera ho ke hai jeena hai jeena hai jeena hai

Yaar Rahe Yaarab Tu Mera

Oh God, I want to live dedicated solely to you.

Oh God, I want to live dedicated solely to you.

Oh God, I want to be friends with you forever

And only you I love as my Creator

And I want to constantly remember you

Your remembrance makes me secure and happy inside.

When I reach the tranquility, I’m oblivious to my surrounding and others

But not oblivious to you, Oh God.

And the only thing I want to utter till the day I die is

there is No God except You
there is No God except You
there is No God except You

there is No Real God Except you, I witness, I witness

there is No existing God Except you, I witness, I witness

there is No actual God Except you, I witness, I witness

there is No actual God Except you, I witness, I witness

And the only thing I want to utter till the day I die is

there is No God except You
there is No God except You
there is No God except You

Everything which is there within this universe

is all under your power

Whether it’d be Gins(Ghosts), humans, or angels

And all within this universe

All of them bow only to You.

As there is no bright light as you

Only to you, and only to you.

And the only thing I want to utter till the day I die is

there is No God except You
there is No God except You
there is No God except You

Oh God, I want to live dedicated solely to you.

Oh God, I want to live dedicated solely to you.

As I offer my prayer to you, my connection with you makes me forget all my worries and sorrows.

and to get closer to you, I’ll give up all that I have and help others.

so long as my heart is filled with your love, I’ll be a content person

so long as my life is filled with your affection, I’ll have peace in my life

and this is all I want to beg of you is…

Oh God, I want to live dedicated solely to you.

Oh God, I want to live dedicated solely to you.

 

 

 

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