From the Pastor’s Desk, 10/18/21

From the Pastor’s desk—

   Books come into my library and life in a variety of ways, one of which is as a gift from someone culling their personal library. I’m presently reading “The Rule of Benedict: Insights for the Ages” written by Joan Chittister, O.S.B., a gift from the library of another that I have added to my collection. The writing is divided into daily readings in which Chittister shares a small portion of “The Rule of Benedict” upon which she then writes a brief commentary. Following are a couple of excerpts that I’ve found helpful and enlightening.

   From The Rule:

   Seeking workers in a multitude of people, God calls out and says again: “Is there anyone here who yearns for life and desires to see good days?” (Ps. 34:13). If you hear this and your answer is “I do,” God then directs these words to you: If you desire true and eternal life, “keep your tongue free from vicious talk and your lips from all deceit; turn away from evil and do good; let peace be your quest and aim” (Ps. 34:14-15). Once you have done this, my “eyes will be upon you and my ears will listen for your prayers; and even before you ask me, I will say” to you: “Here I am” (Isa. 58:9). What is more delightful than this voice of the Holy One calling to us? See how God’s love shows us the way of life. Clothed then with faith and the performance of good works, let us set out on this way, with the Gospel for our guide, that we may deserve to see the Holy One “who has called us to the eternal presence” (I Thess. 2:12).

   Commentary:

   The godly know when the world they live in has them on a slippery slope away from the good, the true, and the holy, and they refuse to be part of the decline. What’s more striking, they set out to counter it. It is not enough, Benedict implies, simply to distance ourselves from the bad. It is not enough, for instance, to refuse to slander others; we must rebuild reputations. It is not enough to disapprove of toxic waste; we must do something to save the globe. It is not enough to care for the poor; we must do something to stop poverty. We must be people who bring creation to life. “Once you have done this,” the rule reminds us, “my eyes will be upon you and my ears will listen for your prayers.” Once you have done these things, you will be in the presence of God.

   From The Rule:

   In just this way Paul the apostle refused to take credit for the power of his preaching. He declared: “By God’s grace I am what I am” (I Cor. 15:10). And again Paul said: “They who boast should make their boast in God” (2 Cor. 10:17). That is why it is said in the Gospel: “Whoever hears these words of mine and does them is like a wise person who built a house upon rock; the floods came and the winds blew and beat against the house, but it did not fall: it was founded on rock” (Matt. 7:24-25).

   Commentary:

   God is neither cajoled nor captured, the rule makes plain. God is in the Here and Now in Benedictine spirituality. It is we who are not. It is we who are trapped in the past, angry at what formed us, or fixated on a future that is free form pain or totally under our control. But God is in our present, waiting for us there.

   From The Rule:

   With this conclusion, God waits for us daily to translate into action, as we should, these holy teachings. Therefore our life span has been lengthened by way of a truce, that we may amend our misdeeds. As the apostle says: “Do you not know that the patience of God is leading you to repent?” (Rom. 2:4). And indeed Gd assures us in love: “I do not wish the death of sinners, but that they turn back to me and live” (Ezek. 33:11).

   Commentary:

   Clearly, living life well is the nature of repentance. To begin to see life as life should be and to live it that way ourselves is to enable creation to go on creating in us.

October 17, 2021   

   Worship, in-person, centered around the theme of abundance. Understanding that God’s grace is everlasting and sufficient for all empowers us to live with a mindset that all of humanity falls within God’s abundance. As a result, the need to gain more or accumulate much is unnecessary. Rather, the emphasis in on finding ways for all experience the abundance God offers. In doing so, we are united in love and goodwill.

   Links to songs/videos shared during the time together follow:

All Who Hunger by David Belt and Sylvia Dunstan:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_kOR-tqFik

Imagine Abundance: Everyone Wins! By Carine Clark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0q5H0Vz5Ow

(Only a portion of this video was shown during worship. The remainder of worthy of being viewed.)

   The worship service was streamed on Facebook Live and posted on the Canton Church of the Brethren Facebook page (www.facebook.com/cantoncob).

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24 WORSHIP

   We will meet via Zoom for worship on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. See connection information below.

   If you have a Monopoly Game, bring it along with you to worship. The scripture text we’ll continue to explore is Acts 4:32-37.

***ZOOM WORSHIP SERVICE***

 Canton Church of the Brethren, October 24, 2021

9:30am

Topic: Oct. 24, 2021 Worship Service

Time: 09:30 AM Central Time

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82626431255?pwd=N2lLdytvQzIwRXpWRG1YS1RhZFZ1Zz09

Meeting ID: 826 2643 1255

Passcode: 838116

 Dial by your location

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Meeting ID: 826 2643 1255

Passcode: 838116

 Worship schedule: 1st and 3rd Sundays, indoors

2nd and 4th Sundays, Zoom

5th Sundays, To be announced

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