Scripture is taken from the Book of Common Prayer, Readings for Lent until Holy Week, Year 2 and may be found here.
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Romans 8: 11 – 25
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation — but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
John 5: 25 – 29
“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;
may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you from the storm;
may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;
may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.
Feel free to join the discussion.
You can share your church struggles and concerns.
Let’s also use it as a time to encourage one another spiritually.
What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?
Do you have any special Bible verses to share, any YouTube songs that you have found uplifting?
13 thoughts on “SSB Sunday Gathering – March 22, 2020”
Thanks, Kathi and Julie Anne, for continuing these Sunday Gatherings.
The two churches I frequent have put together similar online services too, as have many during the coronavirus shutdown. You were ahead of the curve.
One of our daughters lives near you, she’s a (now out-of-work) waitress in Portland Oregon, spending quality time with her dog. Love and prayers from Maine.
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For 2 years now, I have been pausing on Sunday mornings to feast on the scriptures and music you provide here. I no longer attend a church, instead go out into the world on weekends. I accidentally started working 2 yrs ago, on weekends, in a market and garden center that has become an amazing tourist destination. I sense the presence of God with me as I encounter the unexpected smiles and heartaches shared with/by others. As a Sr Citizen, I definitely sat long enough in the pews. Sometimes, I imagine, this joy I experience resonates with Jesus walking among people.
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Ted – Hopefully a lot of people are finding the temporary change a good church experience.
I’m concerned about how this is financially impacting people in our area such as your daughter. My daughter worked at Powell’s Bookstore at the Beaverton location. They shut down all locations without notice and then laid everyone off except for a few employees to fulfill online orders. She’s filed for unemployment for now. I read an article last Friday that in Oregon unemployment claims jumped from 800 to 18,500 in three days. We’ll see what happens, but I think we’re on the way to another recession.
Celeste – Thank you for hanging with us for so long! Your job sounds wonderful. I hope that everything slowing down or shutting down doesn’t impact your employment.
How is everyone else doing? There seems to be change on a daily basis, so I hope you’re all taking care of yourselves.
I started working from home on the 13th. We’re doing this at least through the 31st, maybe longer. Because I work in our benefits area in leave of absence, I have been very busy. Our leadership is determining new policies on a daily basis, so there’s a lot going on.
Since we got a new dog, he has helped me get out of the house for 2-3 walks a day. Work provides a free exercise app and I’ve been doing a little more yoga to stretch out the kinks. Some co-workers have put together a daily plank challenge that they video call in with each other. I’ve seen an account on Instagram where employees company wide are sharing their work from home space. This change has led people to adjust their day to day life as well as offered a unique way to connect with others.
Thanks for doing this. I’m doing ok. Some work has been altered, some cancelled, and some busier than ever. Missing my church family and others I had hoped to get together with. I have mixed feelings on living alone and being a widow. I’m pretty sure late-hubby would’ve been quarantined; he caught colds often, even before we suspected the eventual cancer diagnosis.
JPU – Hang in there. Be kind to yourself. I hope you have people that you’re able to connect with by phone or video calls.
I have not gone into my weekend job for 4 weekends now. I am choosing to be proactive to avoid exposure. My manager and owners are gracious, and it affords more hours for much younger workers.
Hopefully, there will be a larger awareness and acceptance for people to rethink the habitual practice to do Sundays the way “we have always done it”.
Kathi – How is everyone else doing?
I think it it difficult not to feel somewhat subdued. Living in central Europe, Italy and France not so very far away and seeing the number of infections increase, and particularly in Italy the number of deaths is sobering.
The govt has reacted fairly quickly, and most of the population have accepted that ‘social distancing’ is now essential if the rate is to be curbed to an extent enabling the healthcare system to have a chance of coping. Some of the lessons of Italy have been learnt, and the time used to try to prepare better for whatever is coming. 6 (?) weeks of lockdown boredom isn’t very much if you live 7 or 8 decades, but the economic consequences will leave their mark for some time.
Looking at reports of what is happening in the UK, I suppose anger would be appropriate at both government indecision coupled with the monumental stupidity of too large a section of the population who just won’t see how serious the situation is, and have literally carried on partying.
The healthcare system there has been systematically underfunded for years, and it upset me to see that it is already starting to buckle under the strain, and the desperate efforts now being made by dedicated and decent people to make up for lack of staff and equipment. I really do fear government inaction might lead to a horrific increase in numbers in the next couple of weeks.
On the brighter side, people are going out of their way to help, the various rival vaccine companies are cooperating, and there are some exciting developments with medication and eventually a vaccine. Italy has received help from China, Russia and Germany. The Germans are accepting French patients.
Church has been shutdown and gone online. Why some are creating about whether the government has the right to do this when there is a health scare is beyond me, a faith that cannot withstand a few weeks of not turning up to a building can’t be worth all that much, surely.
Today is my first day working from home. I thought it would be less stressful but it is not, probably because we talk about COVID constantly.
I did have a ‘cocktail hour’ last night with 3 other sets of friends on zoom and it seems to have gone well. Have another scheduled tomorrow. Maybe that will help fill the social void? Still exercising outside and did yoga at home yesterday. Will definitely need to do more of that, but it doesn’t have the same soothing feel as it does at the studio.
I don’t know. I’m pretty stressed as I see the numbers increase.
Lea – I’m pretty stressed as I see the numbers increase.
Believe me I know how you feel. The Robert Koch institute, the people dealing with this in Germany, made a prediction that if the population did not stick with the restrictions being imposed (and since strengthened) there could be 10 million people infected within about 3 months. That made me very depressed for a while. It would shatter the healthcare system.
The same institute, however, said 80 to perhaps 90% of those infected would get through the illness with few symptoms, rarely very serious. The average mortality rate is expected to be 1%. (The high figures for Italy are probably because they failed to clamp down early enough.) Provided the spread can be contained, the medics should be able to cope.
This is in no way to minimise the potential seriousness of the situation, or to refuse to face what might happen, but I did find it a relief to know that a disaster on the Spanish flu scale 100 years ago is at least not inevitable.
I’ve found it better to listen to virologists and others in related disciplines than media pundits, and wouldn’t touch social media at all.
Kathi, Powells Books is one of Heather’s favorite places. It’s on my list to visit too, and we thought we might get to Portland in April, after visiting my wife’s parents in Santa Clara, CA–one of the first places with the covid outbreak. But, that ain’t happening. Sorry to hear that Powell’s has massive layoffs. I think a lot of businesses that were already stressed may not survive after things straighten out.
I do listen to these but I work in healthcare and all the on the ground stuff is scary/stressful/frustrating. I can’t turn it off because it’s work 🤷🏻♀️