Saturday, February 27, 2021

Lent Deeply Formed Life Message + Mass @ Home | Revelation 7:9-10: Racial Reconciliation for a Divided World


The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus by Rich Villodas Book Cover

The Cross of Christ isn't just a bridge God uses to unite with us; it's a sledgehammer that breaks down walls that separate us+ Rich Villodas, The Deeply Formed Life

Previous 2021 Lenten Deeply Formed Messages + Masses:

Story of God Liturgy Flow | Creation, Crisis, Covenant Community, Christ, Church, (New) Creation

(1) Creation

Call to Worship | Psalm 22:24, 27 + Our World Belongs to God (40)

The LORD has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. He has not turned His back on them, but has listened to their cries for help. ... The whole earth will acknowledge the LORD and return to Him. All the families of the nations will bow down before Him.

One: We grieve that Jesus’ Church, which shares one Spirit, one faith, one hope, and spans all time, place, race, and language, has become a broken communion in a broken world.
All: When our pride or blindness hinders the unity of God's household, we seek forgiveness. We marvel that the Lord gathers the broken pieces to do His work and that He blesses us still with joy, new members, and surprising evidences of unity.
Urban Doxology, 2014 A.D.

Purge me, won't You cleanse me?
My deepest desire is for You
Lord, I'm hurting, and yet I'm yearning.
Are You speaking clearly?
I need to hear from You, I need to hear from You.

I'm crying out, I'm desperate for You!
And I'm not afraid to open my heart and give You all!
We'll declare Your name,
Jehovah reigns despite our problems
And through the pain we'll learn to trust in You.

Do you hear me? I heard You can save me.
All it takes is a single touch from You.
Lord, I want You, and Lord I need You.
I come as nothing with everything to lose,
So come and make me new!

Oceans part, mountains move, giants die, Satan loses.
Chains will fall, nations freed, free from slavery ...
Will You save me?
Jesus save me, Jesus save me!

(2) Crisis

Prayer of Confession + Assurance | 

Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on us sinners ...

One: Lord Jesus, Your Kingdom is good news for a world caught in racial hostility.
All: We confess our anger, sadness, and collective sense of weakness.

One: Racism has been a strategy of evil powers+principalities infected by structural sin. 
All: We confess that the Gospel is good news for oppressed and oppressor. 

One: We ask that You form us to be peacemakers. May we speak Truth in love.
All: We confess that the Gospel is Your power to form a new people. Lord, we commit our lives to You. Only You can make all things new.

(3) Covenant Community

Sermon Scriptures | Revelation 7:9-10

Sermon Application | 7 Deeply Formed Practices for Racial Reconciliation

1) Remembering: Most-repeated words in Bible, remember ... we need to remember history of Black people in Bible, in U.S.: Ephraim, Manasseh, Zipporah, Simon + Perpetua, Felicity, Tertullian, Athanasius, Augustine / Crispus Attucks, Phillis Wheatley, Harriet Tubman, W.E.B. Dubois, Lemuel Haynes, Sojourner Truth, Francis Grimke

2) Incarnational Listening: Reconciliation involves a willing act to be vulnerable to another ... Leave your world: Let go of familiar, step out + Enter into someone else's world + Allow yourself to be formed

3) Lamenting: Lament is not simply to cry out but also discern God's direction through the tears / "Lament recognizes the struggles of life and cries out for justice against existing injustices." + Soong-Chan Rah

4) Reconciling Prayer: Prayer forges humility, opens us up to the love of God, out of which healing / "Prayer was a wellspring of strength and inspiration during Civil Rights Movement." + Coretta Scott King

5) Self-Examining:
Sample questions: Any ethnicity you don’t trust, child can’t marry? Who causes you to cross the street? When did you visit residence of someone from different culture? Who would you trust to invest, steward money? Why?

6) Renouncing White Supremacy: A destructive ideology that normalizes, absolutizes White values, experiences, history / ex: certain neighborhoods, skin color, hair types

7) Repenting + Forgiving: "Forgiveness flounders because I exclude the enemy from the community of humans even as I exclude myself from the community of sinners." + Miroslav Volf

Additional Sermon Resources |

+ Roadmap to Reconciliation: Moving Communities into Unity, Wholeness, Justice 
by Brenda Salter McNeil

God has the power to raise up disciples who are agents of racial healing in a world that so desperately needs to see credible witness of the Kingdom of God. + Brenda Salter McNeil

+ Rediscipling the White Church: From Cheap Diversity to True Solidarity 
by David W. Swanson

Holy Spirit-empowered rebels will defy this nation's racial oppression with the Gospel of reconciliation! Racism will die. Oppression will die. White supremacy will die. But you, child of God, will live! + David W. Swanson

Complementary Black History Month Sermon Post |

(4) Christ

Christ has died. Christ is risen! Christ will come again!

Your Peace Will Make Us One
Audrey Assad & Urban Doxology, 2019 A.D.

Mine eyes have seen the glory
Of the coming of the Lord.
You are speaking Truth to power,
You are laying down our swords,
Replanting every vineyard
'Til a brand new wine is poured.
Your peace will make us one.

I've seen You in our home fires
Burning with a quiet light.
You are mothering and feeding
In the wee hours of the night.
Your gentle love is patient,
You will never fade or tire.
Your peace will make us one.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Your peace will make us one!

In the beauty of the lilies,
You were born across the sea
With a glory in Your bosom
That is still transfiguring,
Dismantling our empires
'Til each one of us is free.
Your peace will make us one!

(5) Church

Maverick City Music, 2020 A.D.

God of Abraham, You're the God of covenant 
And faithful promises. 
Time and time again, You have proven 
You'll do just what You said.

Though the storms may come and the winds may blow, 
I'll remain steadfast, 
And let my heart learn when You speak a word, 
It will come to pass. ...

Great is Your faithfulness to me! 
Great is Your faithfulness to me! 
From the rising sun to the setting same, 
I will praise Your name! 
Great is Your faithfulness to me!

God from age to age, though the earth may pass away
Your Word remains the same.
Y our history can prove 
There's nothing You can't do, 
You're faithful and true! 

I put my faith in Jesus, 
My Anchor to the ground,
My hope and firm foundation, 
He'll never let me down!

From the rising sun to the setting same 
(Let it go up, and let it go down!) 
I will praise Your name 
(I still bless You! I'll still praise You!) ...

I'll still bless You I'll still bless You
In the middle of the storm,
In the middle of my trial
In the middle of the road
When I don't know where to go ...

(6) New Creation


May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you 
until He returns to make all things new.

Lectionary Readings
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16Psalm 22:23-31Romans 4:13-25Mark 8:31-38

Next post: Lent Deeply Formed Life Message + Mass @ Home | Psalm 139:1-7, 17-18, 23-24: Interior Examination for a World Living on the Surface

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Links for Deeply Formed Life Lent 2021:

Christ is all,

Rev. Mike "Sully" Sullivan

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