Wednesday, September 06, 2006

be opened ~ a month clearing the way to god

welcome to september! welcome to the fall! welcome to "open season" at the crossing!

this month we're trying to "clear the way & open to god." our driving questions: how do we open to god? AND what could we let go of in order to get open? lynn campbell and i will alternate sharing the worship reflections. if you'd like to see the gospel readings and make some comments, read on.

nobody does spiritual practices for centering and opening quite like st. ignatius. lynn will borrow from her experience running young adult spirituality retreats and introduce us to various practices from the rich, deep ignatian tradition. first at 6-6:30 p.m., then woven right into the worship.

so come on over to the sanctuary. we always need folks to help out with set-up (show up by 5:15 p.m.) or greeting at the door (6:10-6:45 p.m.). if you're game, contact kendra mclaughlin at 857.939.0353 or she's putting together a list of leaders for the month -- don't you want to be on it?

now, for the readings:

September 7: Mark 7:31-37
Jesus returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened." And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, "He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak."

September 14: Mark 8:31-38
Jesus called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

September 21: Mark 9:33-37
Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the way?" But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all." Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me."

September 28: Mark 9:42-50
Jesus said, "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell., And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched. For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."